Careers & Internships


Undergraduate Internship Program - Directorate of Operations

The application for Summers 2020/2021 DO Undergraduate Internships opens in December 2018.

Work Schedule: Full Time
Salary: $42,331 ($20.28 per hour)
Location: Washington, DC metropolitan area

As a Directorate of Operations Undergraduate Intern for the CIA, you will support the Directorate of Operations (DO) mission of collecting human intelligence on critical international developments. The DO is the covert arm of the CIA.

Working in the Washington, DC area, DO student interns perform duties typical of a Collection Management Officer or Staff Operations Officer, teaming with knowledgeable professionals to facilitate the collection and dissemination of foreign intelligence used by US national security, defense, and foreign policy officials and intelligence analysts.

Interns are generally freshmen at the time of application and are interested in pursuing a DO career upon graduation. Competitive applicants that apply early in the application process—as opposed to the final week—have a better chance of making it through the stringent security and medical processing that must be completed before entering on duty as a Directorate of Operations Undergraduate Intern the following summer.  If you plan to study abroad or otherwise be outside of the United States in Summer 2018, we strongly recommend you apply no later than 31 January 2018.

We encourage all applicants to read about the Agency. Please review our Intelligence Profession Reading List.

Offices of the CIA – Directorate of Operations:

The Directorate of Operations (DO) strengthens national security and foreign policy objectives through the clandestine collection of human intelligence (HUMINT), and by conducting covert action as directed by the President. Learn more about the Directorate of Operations.

Life at CIA:

In addition to a comprehensive benefits package, the CIA offers exciting career opportunities and a dynamic environment. We’re on the forefront of world-altering events – as they happen. So working here isn’t just a job, it’s a mindset and a lifestyle.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Full-time student pursuing an undergraduate degree in a 4-year academic institution with at least one semester completed at the time of application; there is no preferred major or program of study. Please include your college/university information under the Education Section of the on-line application with your anticipated graduation date
  • Competitive applicants enrolled in 2-year degree programs that feed into accredited 4-year programs will be considered. Please address your plans to continue studying at a 4-year college/university in your cover letter. If competitive, proof of acceptance into the 4-year program is required prior to entering on duty
  • GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale at the time of application and maintained throughout the application process and internship program
  • Availability to complete two 90-day summer internships (the first summer internship typically starts May or June 2019 and the second will start May or June 2020)
  • Attending school on a full-time basis before/following this internship
  • Impeccable integrity
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated interest in foreign affairs and national security issues
  • Commitment to serving the interests of our country
  • Interest in a career with the CIA's Directorate of Operations following graduation
  • Due to processing requirements, the DO will not consider applicants who travel out of the US for more than three consecutive months between January 2018 - May 2019. Extended foreign travel is discouraged between January 2020 - May 2020 as well.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Foreign language skills and/or overseas experience

Application Instructions:

The following items must be attached to your on-line application (PDF format preferred):

  • Cover letter (no more than two pages) describing yourself, telling us why you are interested in a DO career, and highlighting characteristics and experiences that distinguish you from other applicants.
  • Qualifications Supplement -- in a separate PDF attachment address the following questions:
    • Why does a career in public service appeal to you (1 paragraph)
    • Why do you wish to serve in the Directorate of Operations (1 paragraph)
    • Other than the Directorate of Operations, what other career options are of interest to you (1 paragraph)
    • Describe one thing from your academic, military, or professional background that has prepared you for success in the Directorate of Operations (1 paragraph)
    • Complete this thought: "I do my best work when..." (1 paragraph)
    • Describe a time when you did not succeed, professionally or academically, and what you learned from that experience (2 paragraphs)
    • College transcripts showing Fall 2017 grades (copies of unofficial transcripts are acceptable at this stage of processing).


    • Applicants who will be overseas during the late Spring/Summer 2018 are STRONGLY encouraged to submit their application by 31 January 2018.
    • Serious applicants are encouraged to complete their application well in advance of the 15 March 2018 deadline to allow for timely processing of competitive applicants.


        All applicants must successfully complete a thorough medical and psychological exam, a polygraph interview and an extensive background investigation.US citizenship is required.

        To be considered suitable for Agency employment, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last twelve months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to twelve months ago is carefully evaluated during the medical and security processing.

        Important Notice: Participation in the DO student internship program requires discretion. Applicants are encouraged to limit disclosure of their interest in and application to the DO student internship program to one or two close family members that you can trust to maintain discretion. All discussions related to your interest in the DO student internship should be done in person. Your discretion throughout the entire hiring process is necessary to ensure maximum flexibility for a potential DO career. You will receive further guidance on this topic as you proceed through your CIA employment processing.

        To Apply:

        Save the position(s) that interest you in the job cart. You can add up to four (4) positions. Job cart selections will only be retained during this site visit, so be sure to click “Apply Now” before closing the browser window. After clicking "Apply Now" you will be taken to the application account creation page. The positions will appear in the cart once you have created an account. DO NOT submit multiple applications; this will only slow the review of your application and delay processing. Please read the Application Instructions carefully before you begin the online application process.

        Application Instructions

        An equal opportunity employer and a drug-free work force.

        c_bfa _stu d_bus d_edu d_eng d_lis d_law d_sci d_soc d_med d_art m_acc m_ba m_mba m_fin m_hr m_is m_ib m_man m_mar m_op m_sta m_scl m_ci m_et m_lac m_sl m_tev m_aerl m_bio m_chm m_civ m_com m_eec m_eeh m_ims m_mtr m_mec m_nuc m_aap m_dl m_is m_dp m_enl m_il m_lrw m_tl m_ta m_pl m_arcm_bsb m_che m_cs m_cj m_cys m_ddm m_ear m_fs m_gis m_mts m_mth m_nan m_opt m_pa m_phy m_pgm m_rob m_sta m_smi m_web m_ant m_dem m_eco m_eng m_his m_inr m_jou m_lan m_gss m_phi m_pol m_psy m_soc m_clp m_hcm m_im m_nur m_pt m_pa m_psc m_slp m_sme m_tec m_vet m_des m_ixd m_mm m_pai m_pho m_pri m_pub m_the m_vid

        Posted: Mar 20, 2008 06:01 PM
        Last Updated: Mar 16, 2018 11:12 AM

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