CIA Student Internships and Programs

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offers fellowship programs, scholarships, and more to students in the United States. If you’re a student interested in entering the security sector, one of these programs could be an opportunity to get money to help cover education costs and real-life, hands-on experience. In this article, we’ll do a quick review of the various programs the CIA offers including their fellowships, internships, and scholarships so you can uncover the best option for your education and future career goals. 

What Are the CIA Student Programs?

These student programs, including scholarships, internships, and more allow individuals to gain real-world experience with the CIA. It’s important to note that these programs do have medical and security processes that you will need to pass in order to be accepted. In general, students must also: 

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Live or be willing to move to Washington, DC
  • Have registered for the Selective Service
  • Pass a background investigation 
  • Pass a polygraph interview
  • Meet any specific program requirements which include but not limited to minimum GPA, particular majors, and certain skills

Desired qualifications for many of these programs include demonstrated leadership qualities, proficiency in a foreign language especially those requested by the CIA, practical experience in the field, academic excellence in major or intended major studies, and interest in the CIA’s mission.

The CIA Student Programs and careers with the Agency also offer a wealth of benefits to those who are accepted beyond pay including health care, coverage for various work related costs, retirement plans, and more.

1. Directorate of Analysis Fellowship Program

For students attending a four-year Minority Serving Institution (MSI) as either an undergraduate or graduate, there is the Directorate of Analysis Fellowship Program. This paid opportunity, Intelligence Analyst Interns can expect to work alongside full-time CIA employees, evaluate information, and analyze their findings. A student’s exact responsibilities will depend on their major.

In order to apply, students must meet the general requirements as well as:

  • Have at least one quarter or semester remaining 
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Possesses critical thinking, analytical writing, and briefing skills

Students interested in applying should submit an expression of interest 6 months to 12 months prior to their desired start date. 

2. Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The CIA’s Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarship programs are for students who have financial need. Experiences in the program depend on the student’s major, but students can expect a number of benefits including up to $25,000 for tuition assistance each calendar year, reimbursement of qualifying costs, retirement plans, health services, and more. 

Students must meet the following requirements: 

  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Be a full-time student and/or acceptance to a four-year college or university
  • Have at least a 3.0
  • Commit to at least one 90-day tour
  • Apply by June 30th

Those who accept the offer must agree to work at the CIA for a period of time after graduation. If you fail to meet this requirement, you will be responsible for paying back the award.  

3. Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

The CIA’s Internship and Co-Op Programs are year-long opportunities for college students pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees. Paid, these positions are for a variety of career fields and majors. Students looking to get credit for this program, however, must work with their school. Pay depends on the position and experience level.

Students are advised to apply for these positions 6 to 12 months in advance as the hiring process is lengthy, but those interested can apply to up to 4 jobs.

How to Apply to the CIA Student Programs

Students interested in applying to any of these programs can find open positions on the CIA’s website. Resumes must be submitted through MyLINK and students will be expected to complete screening, interviews, testing, and more in order to be eligible to receive a Conditional Offer of Employment (COE). 

Getting hired for one of the internship or fellowship positions takes time, so students should plan ahead if they are interested in applying. 

These programs through the CIA can be a great entryway into jobs with the Agency, government, or the security industry as a whole. It also looks fantastic on a resume! If you’re interested in applying for one of these positions, be sure to complete your application as soon as possible to give yourself plenty of time for the hiring process!

The CIA’s scholarship program can make college more affordable, but if you’re not in one of the desired majors or don’t have the qualifications, it can be tough to be accepted. There are plenty of other scholarships out there though that may be perfect for you! Finding them isn’t difficult, either, with College Raptor’s Scholarship Search Tool. Sign up for free here to start uncovering awards and free money you qualify for!

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