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Student Programs

Undergraduate Internship Program - Directorate of Operations

  • Internship
  • Starting salary: $50,018-$52,877
  • Full-time student pursuing an undergraduate degree

As a Directorate of Operations Undergraduate Intern for CIA, you will support the CIA mission of collecting human intelligence on critical international developments.

Agency-wide Requirements

All applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens (dual U.S. citizens also eligible)
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Willing to move to the Washington, DC area
  • Able to complete security and medical evaluations
  • Registered for the Selective Service

About the Job

The 2024 Submission window for this internship closed on 14 April 2024. The next submission window will open in early 2025.

As a Directorate of Operations (DO) Student Intern (DOSI), you will have the opportunity to work in two positions that provide the vital investigative research and strategic oversight to operations that are run around the world.  DOSIs are most likely to spend one summer serving as a Staff Operations Officer (SOO) for the CIA and a second summer as a Targeting Officer (TO).  Your critical-thinking, advanced analytic, and creative problem-solving skills will all figure prominently as you provide the seamless integration between CIA offices overseas and in the Washington Metropolitan Area necessary to drive clandestine operations to success. DOSIs will have the opportunity to work on real challenges and current cases; your work will make a difference to national security!

SOOs apply advanced knowledge and expertise of clandestine operations, operational trade craft, and intelligence priorities while providing strategic guidance and operational case management. SOOs are often asked to find solutions to complex operational problems, identifying new technical tools and capabilities to advance operations, and tapping the resources of CIA and U.S. Government to ensure operational requirements are met. TOs are integral to the planning and implementation of CIA’s foreign intelligence collection, counterintelligence, and covert action operations. You will combine specialized training, utilize advanced analytic skills and tools to identify new opportunities for intelligence collection activities and enhance ongoing operations.

After successful completion of internships in each of these positions and depending on hiring needs of the mission at that time, DOSI may be offered the opportunity to convert into being hired into the Professional Trainee (PT) program. 

Who You'll Work With

At the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), we recognize our Nation’s strength comes from the diversity of its people. People from a broad range of backgrounds and viewpoints work at CIA, and our diverse teams are the reason we can keep our country safe.

Read more about diversity and inclusion

What You Will Get

The CIA offers various benefits to students, including:

  • Paid time off
  • Federal health and life insurance
  • Retirement
  • Education and training
  • Health services
  • Child care center
  • Credit union

As a CIA employee, you’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing your work is part of something bigger than yourself. Our work is driven by one mission: to keep our Nation safe. Every day is an opportunity to enhance U.S. national security.

Learn more about working at CIA

Minimum Qualifications

  • Must be a full-time student pursuing an undergraduate degree in a 4-year academic institution with at least one semester/quarter completed at the time of expressing interest. Competitive candidates enrolled in a 2-year degree program that feeds into an accredited 4-year program will be considered. Please address your plans to acquire a Bachelor’s degree in your Cover Letter. Proof of acceptance into a 4-year program will be required prior to the start of your first internship.
  • At least a 3.5 GPA on a 4-point scale preferred (NOTE: In order to remain in the DOSI program, you must provide proof of maintaining this GPA throughout your undergraduate college experience.)
  • The availability to interview the summer of 2024 and to attend two sets of follow-on appointments in the Washington DC area in the late summer and early winter
  • The ability to intern in person in the Washington DC area during the summer of 2025 and 2026. These internships are paid but you will be responsible for covering the cost of housing.
  • Personal integrity with impeccable discretion
  • Strong writing, briefing and organizational skills
  • Action and results oriented
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and in team
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and commitment to CIA
  • Ability to meet the minimum requirements for CIA, including U.S. citizenship and background investigation

Please include the following in your interest form submission:

  • An unofficial transcript for the first semester/quarter in an accredited undergraduate program that shows your program of study and current GPA
  • A completed and uploaded qualification statement and cover letter.
  • An additional written submission that specifically addresses your academic, professional experience, or interests as they relate to the SOO and TO professions and your recognition of the DOSI program requirements for being available for interviewing, follow-on appointments and two 90-day internships as is outlines in the job advertisement.
  • Given the nature of the work and this internship, please note that you will not be able to receive college credit for this internship or list a CIA internship on your resume

*NOTE: Resumes without accompanying transcripts and all supplemental attachments will not be considered.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience or familiarization in STEM fields, to include academic, professional, or personal interests
  • Foreign cultural or language ability (academic or personal)
  • The ability to quickly apply learning to new situations and complex, international issues
  • Inquisitive and investigative to push for creative recommendations to evolving challenges
  • Determined, collaborative and mission driven team players
  • Ability to shift focus quickly, work on multiple tasks concurrently, and excel in high-pressure/high-impact situations