Georgetown University has a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the CyberCorps™ Scholarship for Service Program to provide scholarships to students to earn degrees critical for cybersecurity in exchange for service in the form of employment in a governmental cybersecurity position. This national program is designed to educate the individuals who will design and protect the nation's critical information infrastructure, define the policies, and write the laws that govern and protect this infrastructure, and educate the nation's future generations of cybersecurity professionals.
Eligible work placements include US Government organizations in the intelligence community, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security, to name a few. It also includes Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, such as The MITRE Corporation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Analogous agencies and organizations at the state, local, and tribal levels are also eligible.
The scholarships provide up to two years of tuition, stipend, and funds for books, travel, health insurance, and professional development. Recipients are obligated to work at an eligible cybersecurity position for a duration equivalent to the duration of their scholarship, but not less than one year. The ideal duration for scholarships is two years, although shorter periods are possible. Students with scholarships longer than one academic year must complete an internship in an appropriate governmental position. They also take classes and attend job fairs designed and offered expressly for them.
Candidates for Georgetown's Cyberfellows Scholarship Program must earn a degree that will lead to full-time employment in the area of cybersecurity at an eligible governmental position. Students may pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees in areas critical for cybersecurity, such as computer science, mathematics, law, policy, technology, and international affairs. Students entering the program must join the governmental workforce within two years; many jobs require that students be able to obtain a security clearance. Candidates must be in good academic standing and have a grade-point average of 3.5 or above. Please note: these requirements mean that undergraduate scholarships are generally only open to students who will be juniors or seniors.
OPM requires scholarship recipients to work after graduation in a full-time position related to cybersecurity in a governmental cybersecurity position for a time equal to the length of their scholarship. Students who receive the scholarship for less than one academic year must work for one year. Students on scholarship for two years must obtain an internship in an appropriate governmental position during the summer before their final academic year. Ultimately, NSF and OPM determine whether positions are appropriate for the program's scholars. As an indication of what types of jobs qualify, please see the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework or read NIST Special Publication 800-181. OPM also requires recipients to fulfill Georgetown's program obligations.
Georgetown requires that its Cybersecurity Fellows, first and foremost, maintain good academic standing and a high grade-point average.
Fellows who are undergraduate students pursuing a degree in computer science must take Information Assurance (COSC-230) and Introduction to Network Security (COSC-235). Fellows in the STIA program must take:
- Computer Science I (COSC-051)
- Computer Science II (COSC-052)
- Math Methods for CS (COSC-030)
- Data Structures (COSC-160)
- Information Assurance (COSC-230)
- Introduction to Network Security (COSC-235)
Undergraduate Fellows in other areas can minor in computer science and take the above courses as well, or can arrange an alternative course of study focused on cybersecurity with the director of the Cyberfellows program.
Fellows who are graduate students pursuing a degree in computer science must take Network Security (COSC-535), Topics in Computer Security (COSC-730), and one additional course in security, such as Introduction to Cryptography (COSC-530), Data Privacy (COSC-531), or Differential Privacy (COSC-633), Advanced Cryptography (COSC-732).
Fellows who are graduate students in the Security Studies Program (SSP) complete a total of 12 courses, and at least four of these must be cybersecurity courses, either in the SSP program or as external electives. Fellows who are graduate students in other programs will follow an approved course of study based on the structure of their degree program.
All Georgetown Cyberfellows must take a one-credit cybersecurity seminar during every semester of their scholarship. This course provides students with an understanding of topics such as the requirements for security clearances, Federal cybersecurity regulations and standards (e.g., FISMA), the roles federal agencies in securing and protecting government and civilian networks, and the policy controls and best practices to protect networks and systems.
All Scholars must take a two-credit course on technical writing. The course teaches Fellows how to write effectively in the most common genres required for professional careers.
Fellows must also attend special events, such as Georgetown's advising sessions, kick-off meetings, talks related to cybersecurity, and OPM's annual CyberCorps™ Scholarship for Service Job Fair in every year of their scholarship, as well as external professional development courses.
Students who withdraw from or do not meet their obligations to Georgetown's Cybersecurity Fellows Program will need to repay the portion of the scholarship they used through a conversion of the scholarship to an educational loan. Prior to starting the program, students will accept these obligations and terms, including repayment, through signed agreements with OPM and with Georgetown University.
Candidates for Georgetown's Cybersecurity Fellows Program should time their application so they can enter the program two years before they plan to enter the federal workforce.
- Prospective applicants to Georgetown for undergraduate study should express an interest in the program only after they matriculate.
- Prospective applicants to Georgetown for a master's program in computer science, security studies, or in an area that will lead to employment in cybersecurity should apply to the CyberFellows Program when they apply for graduate study.
- Current Georgetown undergraduate students should express an interest in the program and apply in the spring semester of their sophomore year. Students pursuing a degree in an area other than computer science should take Computer Science I (COSC-051) and Computer Science II (COSC-052) prior to applying to demonstrate success at programming.
We encourage prospective applicants to review OPM's answers to frequently asked questions. Prospective applicants who are within one year of applying to Georgetown's Cyberfellows Program can send questions to cyberfellows at georgetown dot edu.