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Cybersecurity Education, Research & Outreach Center

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DoD - Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP)


Contact Information

Eric Brown, Assistant Director
Cybersecurity, Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC)
(931) 372-3519

Applications are being accepted for the 2021-22 academic year.  Please read ALL details below regarding the application process.

A program orientation meeting will be held on Friday, December 11, 2020 at 3pm for individuals interested in the details of the program.  Please click HERE to register.

The Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Scholarship Program (CySP) is authorized by Chapter 112 of title 10, United States Code, Section 2200. The purpose of the program is to support the recruitment of new cyber talent and the retention of current highly skilled professionals within the DoD cyber workforce. Additionally, this program serves to enhance the national pipeline for the development of cyber personnel by providing grants to institutions of higher education.  For more information, see

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Computer Science majors who are U.S. Citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply for this scholarship (for studies during the Academic Year 2021-2022), if they fall into one of three categories:

  • Rising Juniors, or Seniors pursuing a B.S. degree with a 3.5 GPA in Computer Science and 3.2 GPA overall
  • Students in their first or second year of a M.S. degree with a 3.5 GPA
  • Students pursuing a Ph.D. degree

Award Criteria and Information

This scholarship is competitive and will only be awarded dependent upon grant funding.  Applicants will participate in a local review process.  Candidates will be scored by the local review board and submitted for consideration by the DoD and their appointed review board.  This solicitation is for the 2021-2022 academic year only.  While subsequent years may be awarded, future awards are not guaranteed.  However, students currently in the DoD CySP program will receive priority the following year.

Students selected to participate in the DoD CySP will be required to sign a written agreement obligating them to work for a DoD agency, as a civilian employee for one calendar year for each year of scholarship assistance. However, should a student apply for only one semester (or six months) of scholarship, the student must still agree to work for a DoD agency for one year. This agreement is provided to the selecting agency for their records to ensure compliance with the service commitment. Students will also be required to serve in internship positions, if timing permits, with DoD organizations during the time they are receiving scholarship support until they complete the course of study provided for by the scholarship. These internships will be arranged by the DoD to occur during the summer or other breaks between school terms, as appropriate to the individual’s circumstances and Tennessee Tech's academic calendar. The internship does not count toward satisfying the period of obligated service incurred by accepting the CySP scholarship.  Students will be required to formally accept or decline the scholarship within 15 days of notification. Non-acceptance by this date will mean the scholarship will be offered to the next available student.

Students will be required to complete a security investigation questionnaire to initiate the process for a background investigation in preparation for their internships, if applicable, and as a condition of future employment with the DoD. Drug tests or other suitability processing will occur as appropriate. Students will also be required to sign an agreement stating that they will accept assignments requiring travel or change of duty stations as interns or employees. Individuals who voluntarily terminate employment during intern appointments or before the end of the period of obligated service required by the terms of Chapter 112, title 10, Section 2200, United States Code, will be required to refund the United States, in whole or in part, the cost of the educational assistance provided to them. Web pages have been provided in the Application Background and Application Package for review about security clearances to assist both the PIs and the students in understanding these requirements before they apply.

An opportunity also exists for scholarship payback through military service. Individuals choosing to enlist or accept a commission to serve on active duty in one of the Military Services shall incur a service obligation of a minimum of 4 years on active duty in that Service upon graduation. The Military Services may establish a service obligation longer than 4 years, depending on the occupational specialty and type of enlistment or commissioning program selected.

Undergraduate scholarship recipients will be required to maintain an overall 3.2 GPA (3.5 GPA in major) out of 4.0 grade point average or the equivalent; graduate students will be required to maintain an overall 3.5 out of a 4.0 grade point average. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress will constitute grounds for termination of financial assistance and termination of internship and/or employment appointment. Additionally, students who fail to complete the degree program satisfactorily or to fulfill the service commitment upon graduation shall be required to reimburse the United States, in whole or in part, the cost of the financial (scholarship) assistance provided to them. Tennessee Tech will be responsible for monitoring student progress and will notify the DoD CySP Program Manager should any student scholar fail to attain minimum academic standards required for continuing scholarship support.

Students selected as Cyber Scholars will receive the full cost of tuition, books (from the institution/degree specific required book list, not books which are optional for the class), required fees (including health care), up to $1,500 for a laptop, and a stipend to cover room and board. The stipend levels are $25,000 for undergraduate students and $30,000 for graduate (Master’s/PhD) students. Awards will be made via a grant to the CAE institution. Selecting agencies will also provide sponsors who will maintain contact with the student during the scholarship period, and who will facilitate the student’s entry into internships, if applicable, and eventually into DoD employment.

Except for small achievement awards, not to exceed $5,500 in any academic year, a student may not accept simultaneous remuneration from another scholarship or fellowship. Graduate programs may include a reasonable amount of teaching or similar activities that are, in Tennessee Tech's opinion, contributory to the student’s academic progress; however, the development of students, not service to Tennessee Tech, will govern the assignment of these activities.

Application Process

Applications must be submitted to by 4:30pm, January 25, 2021. All file submissions must be in a single, PDF-formatted document using the file name LASTNAME_First Name_Tennessee Tech University.PDF. All submission pages, must be typed. Handwritten submissions will be deemed incomplete not be evaluated. The PDF file must be editable and not locked; submissions not meeting these requirements or not in PDF format will be deemed incomplete and not be evaluated. Original, not web-print, transcripts are required to be considered (includes digitally-signed documents from the institution). These documents must be submitted by the application deadline to or POB 5134, Cookeville, TN 38505.


Student Application Preparation Instructions

Attachment C Application Background and Requirements

Attachment D New Student Application 2021-2022

Attachment D Returning Student Application 2021-2022

DoD CySP Resume Template (DOCX file)

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