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Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Applications for this program are accepted from April 1 - August 14.

Work Schedule: Full Time
Salary: $29,046 - $38,701 ($13.91 - $18.54 per hour)
Location: Washington, DC metropolitan area

The Undergraduate Scholarship Program is a financial needs based initiative that offers undergraduate students an unmatched experience in a diverse and inclusive environment. Undergraduate students, serving as scholarship recipients with the CIA, attend an accredited college/university on a full-time basis and work during summer breaks at the CIA.

While working at the CIA, you will be exposed to intelligence challenges while performing meaningful work that relates to your college major. An IT major, for example, might be given increasingly complex projects involving sophisticated computer systems. An engineering major might help produce a piece of state-of-the-art equipment. A finance major could be involved in developing and analyzing budgets for a worldwide operation, while a foreign language major might be instrumental in translating documents for US policymakers. An international relations major might brief a senior policymaker and, as a final example, a human resources major could have the opportunity to develop and implement personnel policies and procedures.

If selected as a scholarship recipient, you will receive a wide array of benefits, including:

  • Tuition assistance up to $18,000 per calendar year for tuition, mandatory fees and books
  • Daily allowance for meals and incidentals during summer tours
  • Reimbursement for transportation costs between school and Washington, DC
  • Annual salary
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Federal retirement plans
  • Paid time off, as well as sick and holiday leave

Because the CIA invests in scholarship recipients, accepting an offer means continued employment with the CIA for a specified timeframe. You are required to work at the CIA after college graduation for a period equal to 1.5 times the length of the college sponsorship you received from the CIA. Students who leave earlier are required to reimburse the US government for their tuition. All positions require relocation to the Washington, DC Metropolitan area during summer work tours.

Offices of the CIA

Our Undergraduate Scholarship recipients work in all Directorates and Offices of CIA. click here to learn more about our five directorates and offices that support the Director of the CIA.

Life at the 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. Working here isn't just a job, it's a mindset and a lifestyle.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • 18 years of age by date of application to the scholarship program
  • Financial need as demonstrated by the gross annual household income ceiling up to $70,000 for a family of four or less, and $80,000 for a family of five or more
    • If the applicant has not been listed as a dependent for the previous tax year, the gross annual household income ceiling is $35,000 or less
  • 1000 SAT (new official score scale) or 1500 (old score scale); or 21 ACT scores or higher (high school students)
  • Acceptance at a 4- or 5-year college/university; or pursing an undergraduate degree as a full time student enrolled in, or planning to take, at least 9 credits per semester
  • GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for high school and/or college
  • Availability to work at least two 90-day summer tours prior to graduation and willingness to work at CIA full time after graduation

Desired Qualifications:

  • Academic excellence in core subjects related to your college major or desired major
  • Relevant practical or job experience in your field of interest
  • Proficiency in a foreign language. Languages of interest are listed on our Foreign Language page here
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities
  • Genuine interest in contributing to CIA's mission

The Scholarship Program is extremely competitive, therefore attention to detail is critical. The following items must be attached to your on-line application (PDF format preferred):

  • Cover sheet listing all documents attached
  • SAT or ACT scores (for high school seniors who are taking the SAT or ACT in the fall, please make note of your test date in your application).
  • Names and ages of all family dependents and proof of gross annual household income. Please provide one of the following documents to prove that you meet the financial requirements of the program:
    • Either a copy of your most current Federal Application for Financial Student Aid Form (FAFSA),
    • Or a copy of the most recent W2(s) stating gross annual household income
  • Unofficial transcripts for all degrees.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Scholarship Program Application [PDF*]
  • Qualification Supplement [PDF*]

ALL POSITIONS REQUIRE RELOCATION TO THE WASHINGTON DC METROPOLITAN AREA.

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: Friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are an applicant for or an employee of the CIA. Their interest, however, may not be benign or in your best interest. You cannot control whom they would tell. We therefore ask you to exercise discretion and good judgment in disclosing your interest in a position with the Agency. 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.

*The latest version of Adobe® Reader® is needed to view Adobe PDF files. Additionally, Internet Explorer is not a recommended web browser. If you don't already have Adobe Reader installed, you may download the current version at www.adobe.com (opens in a new window). [external link disclaimer]

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Posted: Apr 21, 2007 05:36 PM
Last Updated: Apr 11, 2017 02:35 PM