Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program 2020

Room of students running cyber attack simulations

Metropolitan State University is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CAE-CDE institutions receive formal recognition from the U.S. Government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for their role in securing our Nation's information systems including this scholarship opportunity.

About the Scholarship Program

The Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (DoD CySP) provides regionally and nationally accredited Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cybersecurity (CAE in Cyber Defense, CAE in Cyber Operations, and CAE in Research) the opportunity to submit proposals to develop a grant-funded scholarship program. This program is one of the most competitive and prestigious in the nation, with anywhere between 50-100 yearly participants.

Students selected by DoD to participate in the program typically receives two years of financial support to complete degree. Students must reapply for each year of funding; funding returning students is first priority of program. Students will typically complete a funded internship with the component in the summer between academic years. Upon graduation, scholarship recipients commence their payback period with component. Recruitment payback is one year for every year or partial year of scholarship.

Student Selection

As a CAE-CDE, the College of Science, Computer Science and Cybersecurity Department (COS/CSC) selects the most qualified student applications to submit to the DoD. DoD Agencies participate in a review panel and select students based on the mission needs and goals of their agency. Students are selected for the scholarship when a DoD Agency agrees to hire upon graduation.

Students eligible for the Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program must:

  • Be a United States Citizen, 18+ older
  • Be a full-time Metropolitan State University student (outside employment is prohibited while receiving the DoD CySP Scholarship but current part-time status is OK to apply)
  • Be pursuing an academic program in Cybersecurity at Metropolitan State University
  • Be enrolled in the final one-two years of a bachelor's
  • Have 3.2+ GPA for undergraduate students
  • Be eligible for federal employment (see eligibility requirements in application packet) 
  • Be able to obtain a security clearance (see eligibility requirements in application packet) 

Application Requirements

The application deadline is Feb. 14, 2020 so time and attention to detail is essential for student application to be considered. The DoD requires several supplemental documents you must include with your application, including a page highlighting your honors and awards, your knowledge and abilities within the six competency areas, two letters of recommendation, assessment forms for your letters of reference, and an agreement to accept a federal appointment and intern assignment. A checklist and sample resume are linked below:

Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Checklist
Department of Defense Scholarship Sample Resume


To receive a Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program application, please contact Metropolitan State University Cybersecurity Program Coordinator Professor Faisal Kaleem at faisal.kaleem@metrostate.edu. If you met the initial qualifications, be prepared to be called for a short pre-screening interview at Metropolitan State University Saint Paul Campus done prior to Feb. 27, 2020.