Cyber Service Academy

Now more than ever, the United States needs a talented, highly trained cyber workforce. As a member of the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, Senator Gillibrand is fighting to create scholarships and open career pathways in technology and cybersecurity for young people. And in 2023, she passed legislation to establish a Cyber Service Academy scholarship program.  

In the meantime, current students interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity should consider applying for the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Scholarship Program, which covers expenses like tuition, books, and lab fees in return for service with the DoD after graduating. 

Apply for the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program at the link below. 

Cyber Scholarship Program and Cyber Service Academy FAQs

1. Who is eligible for the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program?

There are two types of scholarships available: Recruitment and Retention. Recruitment Scholarships are available to students who are not currently DoD or government employees who are enrolled in or applying to universities designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C). Following graduation, students are eligible for full-time employment with various components and agencies across the DoD. Students are required to work for the DoD a minimum of one year for each year of scholarship support they receive.  

Retention scholarships are available to DoD civilians, military officers, and enlisted personnel pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in cyber-related fields of study.  

Full eligibility requirements can be found on the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program website. 

2. Which New York schools are part of the NCAE-C program? 

In New York, there are 19 schools that are participants in the NCAE-C program. They are:

Public Universities: Binghamton University, SUNY Albany, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Canton   

Private Universities: Excelsior College, Fordham University, Mercy College, New York Institute of Technology, New York University, Pace University, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John’s University, Syracuse University, The College of Westchester, Utica University   

Community Colleges: Mohawk Valley Community College, Rockland Community College, Suffolk County Community College, Westchester Community College   

3. What is the current status of the Cyber Service Academy?

Currently, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Chief Information Officer’s office is developing the guidelines and procedures to combine the existing Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program with the more robust legislation passed by Senator Gillibrand to create a DoD Cyber Service Academy Program.  

While the particulars are still being worked out, the application process for the Cyber Service Academy will likely mirror the current process for the DoD Cyber Scholarship Program. Potential applicants should prepare to work for the DoD as a civilian employee for each year of scholarship assistance. Further, students should also expect to be in internship roles with the federal government relevant to the Cyber Service Academy.  

Finally, students should also expect to be high performers. The Department of Defense may expect undergraduate students to maintain at least a 3.2 out of 4.0 GPA, and graduate students to maintain at least a 3.5 out of 4.0 GPA. The sensitive and important nature of cybersecurity work with the DoD means applicants should prepare for background and security checks typical of jobs at the Department of Defense or other federal agencies, which may also include drug testing. Applicants will also need to agree to a code of conduct.