CyberCorps Program Overview

 

Eligibility Requirements

  • United States citizen
  • At least 18 years old
  • Current GW Student or applicant for next Fall
  • Undergraduate junior or higher with GPA of at least 3.0
  • Graduate student with GPA of at least 3.2

Monetary benefits per year (3 year maximum):

  • Full tuition and fees are paid
  • 9 month stipend of $22,500 (undergraduates) or $34,000 (graduates)
  • Up to $4,000 annual allowance for professional development activities
  • $2,000 allowance of textbooks
  • Up to $3,000 for health insurance costs

Service obligation

  • Internship in cybersecurity (typically during the summer, typically paid)
  • One year of paid government service for each year of the scholarship
  • Possible employers are
    • Federal, state, local, or tribal agencies, public educational institutions
    • Federally funded research and development corporations
    • National laboratories


The federal government’s most successful, but still limited, pipeline for young cyber security talent is the CyberCorps program of the federal government.  One of the most successful feeder institutions into this pipeline, educating and sending computer security experts into government service since 2003, is The George Washington University’s Partnership in Securing Cyberspace through Education and Service (Project PISCES).  This program has produced 88 federal government employees to date, and 17 more scholars are on track to graduate by 2020.

The George Washington University (GW) is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R) by the National Security Agency (NSA) in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  GW provides cybersecurity education opportunities for students with diverse backgrounds to become Computer Security and Information Assurance (cybersecurity) professionals and help protect the safety and security of our nation’s information infrastructure. It does this by combining scholarships, university courses in computer security and information assurance, internships, laboratories, and government service, with a unifying and reinforcing Seminar that prepares students with the knowledge, perspective, and expertise to perform competently in their future government positions, repay the federal government its hefty investments in their education, and serve their country.

The GW CyberCorps is a group of scholarship students supported by the Scholarships for Service (SFS) program of the National Science Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security.  Our multidisciplinary academic program in information assurance, our signature government guest lecturer Seminar, and our location at the center of the government cyber security workforce make this effort attractive for students and the government, and our 96% graduation and placement rate for CyberCorps students reflects that. 

Academic Program for CyberCorps Students

GW CyberCorps students pursue a degree in a major that incorporates many aspects of cybersecurity.  They must take a minimum number of cybersecurity-related courses in their home department beyond the courses required for their degree.   They may also be required to take additional cybersecurity courses outside of their department that are appropriate for their major. 

Our CyberCorps students have received or are currently pursuing degrees in these fields from GW:

  • cybersecurity in computer science
  • cybersecurity policy and compliance (online with required weekly in-person attendance in Washington)
  • computer science
  • electrical engineering
  • engineering management and systems engineering
  • business administration
  • public policy
  • information technology 
  • high tech crime investigation (no longer offered)

A required seminar for all CyberCorps students provides support, connections, networking, and “insider” information sets us apart, expands the base of prospective students, and serves the students, university, and government well, by creating a learning environment where a heterogeneous cohort learns to work (and sometimes play) together and to appreciate the contributions that persons from various backgrounds and disciplines can make to solving cybersecurity problems in the workplace.

Student Demographics

While the majority of our students are in their twenties and in computer science, we do not limit our recruiting to only technical specialists; nor do we recruit only rising juniors or those just graduating with a bachelor’s degree.  We have also selected applicants who were older or had limited computer science experience but significant potential.  Each one has gone on to succeed in their federal careers.  One even was described in Government Computer News as “the model for a federal scholarship initiative.”

GW CYBERCORPS

Underrepresented Men

Other Men

Women

TOTAL

Graduates as of July 2018

14

45

29

88

In program as of July 2018

2

10

5

17

Withdrew from program

0

1

1

2

TOTAL

16

56

35

107

Graduation Rate= 86/88=98%;Underrepresented Graduates=49%;Women Graduates=33%