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DoD CySP Scholarship Program

Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program

About the Program

The Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (DoD CySP) at CSUSB started in 2016. Reemerging from its origins as the Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) with the help of local Congressman Pete Aguilar, the DoD CySP provides regionally and nationally accredited Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cybersecurity (CAE in Cyber Defense, CAE in Operations, and CAE in Research) the opportunity to develop this grant-funded scholarship program.

As a CAE in Cyber Defense, CSUSB selects the most qualified candidate applications to send to the Department of Defense (DoD) each year. After reviewing all of the applications it receives nationwide, the DoD selects individuals to participate in the program. This program is one of the most competitive and prestigious in the Nation, with anywhere between 50-100 yearly participants. 

Students selected to participate in the program receive the full cost of tuition, fees, eligible books/supplies, and an annual stipend ($25,000 for undergraduates and $30,000 for graduates). Students are required to attend an internship with the Department of Defense during the summer. Internships do NOT count towards the post-graduation obligation requirements. 

Eligibility Requirements

Before reviewing the application, you must determine whether or not you meet the eligibility requirements.

Students eligible for the Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program must:

  • Be a United States Citizen, 18+ Older
  • Be a full-time CSUSB student (outside employment is prohibited while receiving the DoD CySP Scholarship)
  • Be pursuing an academic program in Cybersecurity at CSUSB
  • Previously, students would need to be enrolled in the final one-two years of a bachelor's or master's at CSUSB; however, applicants for 2021-2022 can apply for either the 1, 2, or 3 year scholarship, with a post-graduate obligation for the same number of years toward federal service.
  • Have 3.2+ GPA for undergraduate students or a 3.5+ for graduate students
  • Be eligible for federal employment 
  • Be able to obtain a security clearance

Application Procedure

  • Complete the Candidate Interest Form. All applicants must submit this form.
  • Attend the scholarship info session on December 16th at 1pm.
  • Coordinate an appointment date through the Cybersecurity Center with Dr. Vincent Nestler. Appointment dates will range from December 17-18, 2020 and January 4-15, 2021. Follow-up appointment with Dr. Coulson must also be completed in this time period. Ensure you attend appointments for both meetings by January 15th.
  • Receive the scholarship application after the initial one-on-one interview
  • Complete the application and contact Robin at the Cybersecurity Center for a follow-up appointment with the Cybersecurity Executive Director for affirmation.
  • During the final 2-weeks of January, final candidates will be invited back for a final (3rd) interview with significant other(s).
  • Have all 3 appointments completed and submit the application to the Cybersecurity Center by February 1, 2021. Applications may not be received after this date.

You must thoroughly look through the application packet. The DoD requires several supplemental documents you must include with your application, including a page highlighting your honors and awards, your knowledge and abilities within the six competency areas, two letters of recommendation, assessment forms for your letters of reference, and an agreement to accept a federal appointment and intern assignment. In addition to the DoD application requirements, you MUST have a follow-up meeting with Dr. Tony Coulson during the application process to assess your eligibility and go over the application packet. You can arrange appointments with Dr. Nestler & Dr. Coulson via the Cybersecurity Center at, 909-537-7535. 

The Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (DoD CySP) at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB)  is supported by grant award number H98230-18-1-0293.


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