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Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (CySP)

Application Deadline: February 1, 2024

About the Program

In 2024, UCF will join the Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (DoD CySP). The scholarship will start from Fall 2024 for one academic year. The DoD is seeking junior and senior (third and fourth year at Fall 2024) undergraduate, or in first/second year of a master’s degree, or a doctoral degree student who is interested in full-ride scholarships for concentrated studies in cybersecurity and other cyber-related disciplines. Students selected to participate in the program receive the full coverage of tuition and required fees (including health care), textbooks (from the institution and degree specific required book list, not books which are optional for the class), and a stipend. The stipends are $29,000 for undergraduate students and $34,000 for graduate students for one year. Students must agree to serve one year of service to the DoD, upon graduation, for each year or partial year of scholarship received (scholarship could last one year or two years). A student is required to complete an internship with the DoD during the summer after the first year scholarship if he or she reapplies and obtains the second-year CySP scholarship. Internships do NOT count towards the post-graduation obligation requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a United States Citizen, 18+ years of age
  • At Fall 2024, be a rising junior, senior (third and fourth year) undergraduate, or in first or second year of a master’s degree, or a doctoral degree graduate student
  • Be a full-time UCF student during the scholarship period and enrolled with a declared major in a cyber-related degree program, including Computer Science, Information Technology, Computer Engineering, Digital Forensics, Cyber Security and Privacy
  • Have 3.2+ GPA for undergraduate students or a 3.5+ GPA for graduate students
  • Be willing to sign a written agreement to work for the DoD as a civilian employee for one calendar year for each year of scholarship assistance after graduation (and to serve in DoD summer internship for multi-year scholarship)
  • Be willing to subject to security background check for internship and obtain a security clearance
  • Must not currently be a DoD or Federal employee (civilian or military)
  • Must be willing to be mobile and move to the location of their internship/final service obligation

General Application Information

Application deadline for Fall 2024 cohort is February 1, 2024

  • Students submit their applications by using the DoD CySP online application tool. Here is the detailed CySP Student Application Quick Start Guide.
  • Application required materials:
    • Transcripts from all colleges you have attended (official or unofficial).
    • Information about recognitions, honors and awards.
    • Resume – the system will prompt the application to provide the required information to auto-generate the resume.
    • Two letters of recommendation (one uploaded by the student, the other one emailed by the recommender by Feb. 1st, 2024).
  • This is an one-year scholarship. An CySP scholar can reapply for the second year CySP scholarship and will be given first priority over new applicants as long as they meet the CySP requirements. Funding amounts will be pro-rated for returning Cyber scholars requesting less than a full year of support.

UCF CySP faculty team roles

  • Announce and promote the CySP program to UCF students
  • Review UCF student applications after February 1, 2024 application deadline. Provide review statement about each student, and indicate one of three levels of recommendation to DoD by February 28, 2023
  • Final review and recruitment of CySP scholars are conducted by DoD, not by UCF faculty team

Scholarship Comparison: DoD CySP vs. NSF SFS in UCF

  • After graduation, CySP requires job placement in DoD; SFS requires job services in a federal, state, local, or tribal Government organization (such as NSA, FBI, DoD, DoE, DHS, Army, Air Force, etc. Here is a list of agencies).
  • A senior undergraduate, or a second-year master student can apply CySP because CySP provides one-year scholarship; SFS provides multi-year scholarship so students with one year left before graduation are not considered in our SFS recruitment.
  • SFS scholars are recruited by UCF faculty team, while CySP scholars are recruited directly by DoD—-UCF faculty team only provides review recommendation.
  • CySP covers the cost of required textbooks, while SFS provides $6,000 professional allowance per year for each SFS scholar covering SFS Job Fair and other travel, conferences, research materials and supplies, a laptop, books, professional training and certifications, etc.
  • CySP application deadline is Feb. 1, 2024 on DoD portal;  SFS application in UCF is open in April and deadline is May 15, 2024. An applicant can only possibly get one service scholarship, not both.


For additional questions of the CySP program, please contact UCF CySP faculty team:

  • Dr. Cliff Zou, Dept. Computer Science, phone: 407-823-5015, Email:
  • Dr. Sean Mondesire, Institute for Simulation and Training, phone: 407-882-1435, Email:
  • Dr. Yao Li, Institute for Simulation and Training, Email: