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Undergraduate Internship Program - Directorate of Operations

The application period for Summers 2018/2019 closed on 15 March 2017. Please check back in Dec 2017 for information on internships for Summers 2019/2020.

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

Interns in the CIA's Directorate of Operations (DO) support the DO's 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.

DO student internship positions offer competitive salaries and benefits.

Interns are generally freshmen at the time of application and are students interested in pursuing a DO career upon graduation.

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

Minimum Qualifications:

  • US citizenship (dual national US citizens are eligible)
  • 3.0 GPA or better at the time of application and maintained throughout the application process and intern program
  • Anticipated graduation date of Spring 2020, with at least one semester as a full-time student remaining after completion of the second internship
  • Enrolled as a full-time student in a 4-year academic institution with at least one semester completed at the time of application. 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
  • Availability to complete two 90-day summer internships as a DO student intern in the Washington DC area; the first summer internship typically starts May or June 2018 and the second will start May or June 2019
  • Impeccable integrity, outstanding interpersonal skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, and commitment to serving the interests of our country
  • Demonstrated interest in foreign affairs and national security issues
  • 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 2017 - May 2018. Extended foreign travel is discouraged between January - May 2019 as well.
  • Availability to allow for the successful completion of medical and polygraph examinations, as well as a background investigation by Spring 2018.
  • Foreign language skills and/or overseas experience are desirable but not required.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Foreign language skills and/or overseas experience

Application Instructions:

Please list in the Education Section of the online application your current college/university information with your GPA and anticipated graduation date. Under preferences and Job Objective, please explain why you are interested in an internship with the DO and what makes you a good candidate.

Applicants must include/attach the following to the online application (PDF preferred):

  • A 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.
  • An essay (not to exceed 500 words) on a foreign policy issue of concern to the President.
  • College transcripts showing Fall 2016 grades (copies of unofficial transcripts are acceptable at this stage of processing).


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. Further guidance will be provided as competitive applicants move through the hiring process.

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.

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Posted: Mar 20, 2008 06:01 PM
Last Updated: Mar 16, 2017 06:16 PM