NSA student and internship programs (2022)

Our student programs allow you to learn more about NSA, deepen your career field knowledge and collect a paycheck or scholarship money.

NSA student and internship programs (1)

We offer internships, scholarships, a co-op program and other programs for students in high school up through doctoral candidates. The application process for our student programs is the same as our job application process.

Our programs are paid; salary is based on your education level. We may also offer paid time off, holiday and sick leave, subsidized housing assistance (if eligible) and travel reimbursement (if eligible).

Undergrad and graduate programs

We generally accept applications from September 1 to October 31. Check the individual programs for exceptions. Each internship announcement will provide specific application requirements.

SEARCH FOR AND APPLY TO STUDENT PROGRAMS AND INTERNSHIPS

Mathematics programs

Open to: Undergraduate freshmen, sophomores and juniors

Majors/fields: Mathematics, computer science and physics

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

Each summer, we invite about two dozen exceptional mathematics students to collaborate with each other and with NSA mathematicians on problems critical to the intelligence gathering and information assurance missions of the agency. You will work on a wide range of problems and apply abstract algebra, geometry, number theory, analysis, probability, statistics, combinatorics, graph theory, algorithms and computer science skills. You will use mathematical theory, apply what you learn to real-time solutions and enjoy success built on hard work and innovation. You will use state-of-the-art resources, as well as a variety of computational algebra and statistics packages.

We are seeking participants who have distinguished themselves in undergraduate research or national mathematics competitions. Admission to this program is highly competitive.

Open to: Undergraduate students

Majors/fields: Mathematics and computer programming

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

You will contribute to mission-essential operations by transforming collected data into a format analysts can readily consume for intelligence purposes by analyzing signals and protocols and overcoming security measures. Each summer, we invite 12 students to learn, use and further NSA's tradecraft as they work on operational problems of national importance.

This program begins with classified briefings on modern cryptography and operational projects that you will use for research throughout the summer. Research problems may include applications of math, statistics, computer science, reverse engineering and software development. You will work with data from many sources, analyze a wide range of technologies and access cutting-edge computing resources. Your results are integrated to provide new capabilities to our organization.

Open to: Graduate students

Majors/fields: Mathematics and statistics

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

In this program, exceptional mathematics and statistics graduate students work directly with mathematicians and statisticians on mission-critical problems and experience the excitement of the NSA technical community firsthand. You will work on a wide range of problems involving mathematics, statistics, data science, cryptology, and communications technology and document your work in internally published technical papers. You will access state-of-the-art computing resources and software packages such as Python, R, Sage, Magma, MATLAB and others.

Open to: Graduate or doctoral students

Majors/fields: Applied mathematics, data science and big data analytics, statistics, operations research, modeling and simulation, industrial engineering, systems engineering, computer network engineering, computer science or management science.

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

SPORT offers you the opportunity to apply your academic knowledge in the stimulating professional environment of one of the most advanced intelligence agencies in the world. You will spend the summer developing innovative solutions to unique problems.

You will apply the technical skills you've learned in graduate school to challenging operational problems. You will lead the technical development of your project and communication with your agency customer, work with operations research analysts and attend weekly seminars on best methods and practices. At the end of your internship, you will present your findings directly to your project customer, fellow interns and senior leadership.

Cybersecurity programs

Open to: Undergraduate sophomores, juniors, or seniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Cybersecurity, computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

The CAE-Cyber Ops Summer Program is our premier outreach program for students enrolled in the cyber operations specialization at NSA-designated universities. You will gain knowledge of specific cyber-related topics and apply your skills to address various real-world technical challenges. You will work on a broad range of problems involving applications of computer science and engineering.

You will participate in a capstone activity focused on specific real-world technical problems. You will gain better understanding of how to conduct data analysis and will apply that learning to developing real-time solutions and experience the excitement of success built on hard work and innovation. The outstanding work you accomplish is documented in the program's year-end report.

The goals of the program:

  • Introduce our country's future leaders in cyber-related fields to the agency's mission and share the excitement of working on problems of national importance.
  • Provide a deep understanding of the vital role that computer science and engineering play in enabling the agency to tackle a diverse set of technical challenges.
  • Encourage undergraduate and graduate computer science and engineering majors to continue cyber-related studies and careers.
  • Afford participants the opportunity to provide solutions to current operational problems.

Open to: Undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduate students

Majors/fields: Cybersecurity, computer science, engineering, mathematics, network security, Information assurance

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

This program is our outreach effort to the very best undergraduate and graduate computer cybersecurity, computer science, engineering, mathematics, network security and information assurance students in the country. You will work with other students in teams and directly with technical professionals on mission-critical cyber-related problems.

You will work on a broad range of problems, applying computer science and engineering skills. In the first two weeks, you are broadly exposed to the NSA's cyber mission through lectures, classes and tours. Then, you choose a current mission-drive problem that you will focus on for the summer. You will present your work to senior leadership, as well as have it documented in the year-end report. You will learn and develop data analysis, network analysis and exploitation techniques, apply what you learn to come up with real-time solutions and experience the excitement of success built on hard work and innovation.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Introduce our country's future leaders in cyber-related fields to the Agency's mission and share with them the excitement of working on problems of national importance.
  • Provide a deep understanding of the vital role that cybersecurity, engineering, mathematics, network security and information assurance majors to continue their studies and pursue careers in the cyber-related fields.
  • Provide solutions to current operational problems.

Open to: Undergraduate juniors, graduate students and doctoral students

Majors/fields: Cybersecurity, computer science, computer engineering, information systems, information assurance, computer forensics, systems engineering, network engineering

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

In this program, you will join the Cybersecurity Directorate (CSD) and work directly with technical professionals on mission-critical cyber-related problems. This Cybersecurity Directorate collaborates across industry and government to expose foreign cyber espionage, patch critical vulnerabilities, modernize encryption and issue unique, timely, and actionable cybersecurity guidance. You will have unique access to classified and unclassified data to solve hard problems and secure critical systems.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Introduce our country's future cyber leaders to the CSD mission in cyber-related fields and share with them the excitement of working on problems of national importance.
  • Provide a deep understanding of the vital role that cybersecurity, computer science, computer engineering, information systems, information assurance, computer forensics, systems engineering and network engineering plays in enabling the Cybersecurity Directorate to tackle a diverse set of technical challenges.
  • Provide solutions to current cyber related operational problems.

Open to: Undergraduate sophomores, juniors or seniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Cybersecurity, computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

Your knowledge is applied to real-world, mission-related technical projects. Participants in the program will work on a broad range of problems involving computer science and engineering. As an added bonus, this position is in Hawaii, so you will spend the summer in a tropical paradise unlike anything you can find stateside.

As a participant in the program:

  • You will learn about NSA's unique mission and will be exposed to the broad scope of cyber studies and careers.
  • You will gain a deep understanding of the vital role that cyber operations play in enabling NSA to work a diverse set of technical challenges.
  • You will work on a classified project that will support a real mission.

Computer science, engineering and information systems programs

Open to: Undergraduate freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Architecture, accounting, business management, business statistics, control systems, data analytics, data visualization, design and planning, economics, engineering, environmental science, finance, fire protection, operations/supply chain management and urban development/city planning

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

Along with valuable work experience, you will gain substantial exposure to our mission operations through supporting functions and tours of various sites. You will interact with leaders daily and receive unparalleled mentorship and professional development. The internship will culminate in a final presentation to senior leadership, describing your project impact and summer experience at the NSA. By the end of the program, you will understand the infrastructure backbone of an intelligence agency.

Previous intern projects have included:

  • Contribute to construction and renovation projects that support facility operations and maintenance through infrastructure planning, design development, standards application and project management services.
  • Monitor our 24/7 operations at the Facilities Control Center with a team of control systems specialists, including experts on fire alarms, SCADA and electrical systems.
  • Coordinate master plans for the new campus under construction, backed by quantifiable cost-benefit analysis.
  • Troubleshoot mechanical and electrical system deficiencies through control management systems with a team of seniors engineering and optimizing functionality for successful future operations.

Open to: Undergraduate freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Mechanical engineering, electrical/power engineering, industrial control systems and information technology/networking

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

This program provides you with real world exposure to data center facility management and technology. You will gain hands-on experience managing a data center. Positions are available in Washington D.C.–Ft. Meade, San Antonio, Texas and outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.

You will learn about the dynamic field that governs the facilities and complex engineering frameworks that support massive parallel computing systems. DCFM involves an unprecedented integrated approach that combines power and HVAC engineering disciplines with information technology. All these branches of knowledge join together to help create a safe and secure environment where parallel computing systems and their infrastructure can operate at peak efficiency with optimal potential for future expansion. DCFM also ensures that efficient and forward-thinking practices are implemented during the design, construction, installation, and maintenance projects that occur regularly within the walls of an operating data center.

Previous intern projects have included:

  • Research of Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools, which are software-based programs to better manage most aspects of a data center.
  • Creation of room layouts to optimize efficiency of a data center.
  • Collect and analyze power space and cooling data for new system installations.
  • Use of 6 Sigma Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tool to better understand how certain factors affect the information technology environment.
  • Design of a new-zero data center facility with the latest industry power and cooling infrastructure technology.

Open to: Undergraduate freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Computer science, cybersecurity, engineering, information technology, mathematics, psychology

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

This paid internship allows you to gain hands-on experience working with researchers on innovative cybersecurity research and technology. The Research Directorate (RES) is home to a highly technical and talented workforce that performs cutting-edge research and creates breakthroughs in mathematics, computer science, engineering, cybersecurity, physics, neuroscience and linguistics that lead to creative solutions to our most challenging problems.

Open to: Undergraduate sophomores or juniors

Majors/fields: Computer science, cybersecurity, data science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, network engineering, software engineering, telecommunications

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

You will work with leading computer scientists and engineering on the nation's toughest cyber problems while enhancing your skills in assignments related to your major. You will work closely with a project mentor on a specific, mission-focused problem while learning in an exciting high-tech environment.

Open to: Undergraduate students, graduate students and doctoral students

Majors/fields: Computer science with preference given to those who have completed courses in data structure, discrete mathematics or structures and calculus I and II.

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

In this program you are assigned to projects that contribute to our mission. Projects culminate in a short presentation and technical paper. Projects are typically in the areas of:

  • Big data
  • Information retrieval
  • Information visualization
  • Computer and network security
  • Machine learning/artificial Intelligence
  • Human language technology/computational linguistics
  • Ontology/taxonomy and graphical analysis
  • Information query and question answering
  • Knowledge and data representation, distillation and sharing
  • Knowledge and database crawling
  • Software agent planning and control
  • Signal processing
  • Architecture and systems

Open to: Undergraduate juniors and seniors, graduate and doctoral students

Majors/fields: Computer science, computer networking, cyber and Information Security, computer technology/computer information technologies, management information systems, information systems security, information assurance, computer and information systems, network system administration, computer engineering, cybersecurity engineering, mechanical engineering, electronics engineering, software engineering, electrical engineering, system/network administration and operations, systems security engineering, information assurance systems and project acquisition, cryptography, threat and vulnerability assessment, risk management, operations of computer emergency response teams, education and management, computer forensics/cyber forensics/digital forensics, defensive information operations

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

Accelerate your career in the field of information assurance in this program by experiencing hands-on technical experience. You will work on projects that enable the cyber mission through current analysis, expertise, training and tools. You will work on projects that include protecting and defending the nation's information systems networks and outmaneuvering cyber adversaries. To participate in this program, students must return to school for at least one semester following the internship.

Open to: Undergraduate freshman, sophomores or juniors

Majors/fields: Computer science, electrical engineering, computer engineering, mathematics, data science, physics, information systems, political science, area studies, international relations, history, telecommunications

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

In this program you will support NSA as a salaried intern by working on projects involving the development, production and modification of tools, software applications or hardware. You will have the opportunity to leverage your skills to support information collection strategies, implement mission initiatives with lawful compliance, manage collection tasks and understand critical mission data flows. You are mentored by experienced SIGINT professionals and will discover various career paths you could pursue in the future as full-time NSA employees. Finally, the friendships and networks SICP interns build during their tour can last a lifetime.

Open to: Undergraduate freshman, sophomores and juniors

Majors/fields: Computer science, engineering, mathematics, cybersecurity, political science, criminal justice, English or history

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

This program offers you the chance to gain hands-on work experience while building knowledge and skills in fundamental aspects of the NSA mission. We offer internships in multiple mission areas requiring a range of competencies like computer science, programming and engineering.

There are two positions offered for the NSA Colorado Summer Internship:

Software engineer internship positions duties:

  • Analyze user/customer requirements related to software or software system design.
  • Build software prototypes.
  • Design, develop and debug software applications.
  • Troubleshoot and debug computer code.

Target analyst internship positions duties:

  • Conduct analysis of metadata.
  • Conduct target analysis.
  • Conduct target research.

Open to: Undergraduate freshman, sophomores and juniors

Majors/fields: Computer science, engineering, mathematics and related fields

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

You will gain hands-on work experience while building knowledge and skills in fundamental aspects of the NSA mission. We offer internships in multiple mission areas requiring a range of competencies like computer science, programming and engineering.

Open to: Undergraduate freshman, sophomores and juniors

Majors/fields: Computer science, engineering, mathematics or related fields

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

In this program, we offer internships in multiple mission areas requiring a range of competencies like computer science, programming, engineering and analysis.

You will gain hands-on work experience while building knowledge and skills in fundamental aspects of the NSA mission. Plus, this position is in Hawaii, so you will spend your summer in a tropical paradise unlike anything you can find stateside.

Open to: Undergraduate sophomores, juniors and seniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Science and technology, applied mathematics, computer engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science, cyber intelligence and security, information assurance or information technology

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

How would you like to spend your summer developing technological solutions that contribute to the security of our nation? Does the prospect of applying your skills to NSA/CSS mission spark your interest? You can join a team of highly skilled, motivated and passionate professions who lead the cryptologic enterprise.

You will gain hands-on work experience while building knowledge and skills in fundamental aspects of the NSA mission. Take charge of your professional development and experience a once-in-a-lifetime internship opportunity.

Analysis programs

Open to: Undergraduate students, graduate students and doctoral students

Majors/fields: Any

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

We seek students with foreign language proficiency combined with a wide array of majors and minors will be considered for this program, which can be a one-summer or two-summer internship.

If you have proficiency in Arabic, Chinese and Russian, we need you. Individuals with skills in less common languages are also encouraged to apply. Preferred languages may change from year-to-year based on the agency's projected hiring needs.

This program includes:

  • A language mentor assigned from NSA's language analysis team.
  • Hands-on operational experience.
  • Relevant job-specific briefings.
  • Job-specific training and customized language training.

Open to: Undergraduate juniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: International affairs/relations, intelligence studies, regional studies

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

Are you looking for an opportunity that will provide innovative professional work experiences that are meaningful to your career goals, enable you to explore the fascinating world of intelligence and give you the opportunity to serve your country? In this paid internship program, you will train in a multi-faceted cryptologic discipline and build knowledge and skills in the intelligence analysis field.

You will also build:

  • Knowledge of the fundamental concept of modern digital communications and network analysis.
  • Skills in advanced analytic tools and techniques.
  • Knowledge of the structure and processes of the Intelligence Community through immersion in signals intelligence topics, projects and meetings.
  • Skills in conducting independent and original research, document results and communicate findings to help satisfy customer requirements.
  • Skills in systematically applying logic, creativity and judgement to the evaluation and use of intelligence.

Open to: Undergraduate juniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: International affairs/relations, intelligence studies, regional studies, economics, psychology or data science

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

Are you looking for a unique opportunity to learn about the NSA's mission while also directly contributing to civil liberties and privacy efforts? Would you like to join a team that promotes meaningful government transparency while helping NSA achieve the right balance between privacy and national security? In this program, you will see firsthand how fundamental privacy principles influence decision-making daily. We will expose you to a variety of cryptologic disciplines and civil liberties and privacy processes.

You will actively participate in or support ongoing CLPT activities like:

  • Identifying and documenting existing Civil Liberties and Privacy (CLP) activities.
  • Identifying and making recommendations regarding improvements to existing gaps in CLP protections and identifying topics for and providing input to external reports on activities.
  • Creating written and briefing material suitable for both internal executive-level and public audiences.
  • Establishing or coordinating mechanisms to ensure compliance with appropriate Department of Defense and Intelligence Community regulations and standards to ensure that protection of civil liberties and privacy is incorporated into policies and procedures.
  • Managing or preparing, as appropriate, mandatory internal and external reports.

Workforce support programs

Open to: Undergraduate juniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Accounting, information technology or cybersecurity

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

Are you looking for an opportunity that will provide innovative professional work experiences that are significant and meaningful to your career and academic goals, enable you to explore the fascinating and unique world of intelligence and give you the opportunity to serve your country? This program offers you training and experience in auditing multiple disciplines (e.g., program performance, cybersecurity and financial statements). You can be an agent for change, analyzing operations for efficiency and effectiveness and deliver results to our customers to reduce program costs and provide value to the NSA and the U.S. taxpayer.

You will join an audit team from day one with an assigned supervisor and sponsor to help you learn and acclimate. During your first few days on the team, you will participate in an overview to become familiar with various business functions at the NSA and within the Intelligence Community. You will have the opportunity to work on audits that provide meaningful recommendations for change within the agency and influence the direction of the Intelligence Community and DoD.

Your specific responsibilities are to:

  • Assess and evaluate internal controls within the context of the audit objective.
  • Identify and evaluate criteria to measure performance and evaluate compliance.
  • Conduct interviews within the context of an audit or evaluation.
  • Gather and analyze audit evidence and compare observed results to specified requirements in the criteria.
  • Identify problems and develop recommendations to improve the agency's efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Write work papers and reports outlining results and findings from audits and evaluations.

Open to: Undergraduate juniors, seniors or graduate students

Majors/fields: Writing, editing, journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising, social media, visual arts, television production, animation, museum management, archives

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

You will support the strategic communications organization's role of providing accurate and timely information on signals intelligence and cybersecurity mission and accomplishments to a variety of audiences using state-of-the-art messaging products.

You can intern in the following positions

  • Corporate communications, messaging and public affairs: responsible for communications and major initiatives for the worldwide NSA workforce and external audiences.
  • Multimedia production: videography or animation to support corporate video production.
  • Graphic design: creating original artwork ranging from project graphics, cartooning, web graphic images, storyboarding and presentation graphics.
  • Photography
  • Museum collections management, archives or conservation.

Open to: Undergraduate sophomores, juniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Communications, political science, international relations, sociology, history, criminal justice, homeland security, computer science or computer forensics

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

Join the Security and Counterintelligence (S&CI) world and support ongoing mission activities in areas like personnel security investigations, adjudications, physical security and access control, anti-terrorism/force protection or counterintelligence programs. You will work directly under the guidance of veteran security professionals responsible for protecting personnel, facilities and operations worldwide. In the process, you will understand how the S&CI group supports and interacts with the larger NSA enterprise and counterpart organizations across the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense.

Open to: Graduate and doctoral students

Majors/fields: Industrial and organizational psychology

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

As an intern working in the human resources strategy and program design unit, you'll learn to apply scientific and quantitative methods to address a wide range of human capital issues. You will gain valuable applied experience by working alongside psychologists in areas like personnel assessment (i.e. research and development work to support assessments used to select applicants for mission-critical positions), organizational design and development, human capital systems design and consulting, occupational/job analysis, organizational assessments and workforce surveys and program evaluation.

Open to: Undergraduate sophomores, juniors and seniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Health promotion and wellness, health education, nutrition and dietetics

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

You will gain practical health promotion experience within the Office of Occupational Health Environmental and Safety Services (OHESS).

We seek candidates with:

  • Interpersonal relationship and team-building skills.
  • Program design, implementation and evaluation.
  • Organizational skills for project places and events.
  • Public speaking.
  • Assistance with meditation and stress reduction programs.
  • Assistance with health promotion and wellness special programming.
  • Partnering with clinical staff to select appropriate health education materials.
  • Judgment and insight to develop updates to our wellness webpages.
  • Research for cause/benefit analysis and return on investment for wellness programs.
  • Research topics and craft health tips for distribution to the agency workforce.

Open to: Undergraduate juniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Rehabilitation counseling, counseling, psychology or sign language interpretation

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

You will gain practical experience in workplace accommodations and will gain a broad understanding of the reasonable accommodation processes and implementation. You will work alongside experienced sign language interpreters and reasonable accommodation experts.

In the reasonable accommodation part of this program, you will:

  • Gain sound knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the reasonable accommodation process, from the initial request for accommodations through the implementation of the approved accommodations.
  • Work directly with employees, management and resources available at NSA.
  • Enhance your ADA and section 504 and 508 knowledge and compliance requirements.
  • Enhance your counseling skills to aid employees and managers in the accommodation process.
  • Facilitate briefings on working with persons with disabilities for various offices and staff at NSA.

In the sign language interpreter part of the program, you will:

  • Gain sound knowledge of the fundamental concepts of interpreting and managing communication within highly technical and dynamic work environments.
  • Work directly with employees, management and resources available at NSA.
  • Enhance your understanding of NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct and how it applies in the workplace setting.
  • Develop professional/personal skills that enable a skillful navigation through the diverse interpreting needs presented by the NSA community.

Open to: Undergraduate juniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Human resources, business, economics or data science

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

You will acquire practical human resources experience while putting your intelligence and creativity to work in the Intelligence Community. We will assign you to one of these specialty areas: total compensation, human resource strategies, recruitment and staffing, benefits and employee services, human resources information systems, data analytics or global service delivery.

You will learn how to use data to deliver consultation and analysis to customers across the agency to help them gain a better understanding of their workforce. We will expose you to many parts of the agency, and you will interact with personnel at all levels. We look for teammates who want to learn how to help others to leverage workforce-based information for better decision-making and who demonstrate curiosity about information and data. Exposure to business intelligence tools (examples include Cognos, Tableau, PowerBI, Python, R, MS Excel, etc.) is beneficial but not required.

Open to: Undergraduate juniors and graduate students

Majors/fields: Finance, accounting, marketing, business administration, economics, operations research, industrial engineering, statistics or mathematics

When: 12-week program from mid-May or June

Do you want to gain professional significant and meaningful work experiences that enable you to explore the fascinating and unique world of intelligence and give you the opportunity to serve your country? You will train and gain experience within a multifaceted business organization for business majors or those interested in applying their math knowledge to financial challenges. In this paid internship, you will build knowledge and skills in a variety of disciplines within the business field and attend various operational tours so you can understand what the NSA does in defense of our nation.

You will work directly with seasoned business professionals on activities like:

  • Developing negotiation positions or negotiating multimillion dollar contracts.
  • Preparing the agency's annual budget.
  • Acquiring products and services from industry partners.
  • Providing financial support in execution of the agency's budget and for major acquisition programs.
  • Analyzing financial, performance and requirements data for business decision making.

You will:

  • Gain knowledge of the fundamental concepts of government planning, programming, budgeting and execution.
  • Preparing and processing contractual agreements.
  • Using business IT systems and tools.
  • Gaining a working knowledge of the agency's acquisition processes.
  • Learning fundamentals of cost and price analysis of proposals.
  • Using financial principles to identify trends in data.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) Programs

You will alternate semesters of full-time work with full-time study from entry into the program until you graduate. We require a minimum of 52 weeks of co-op work experience before graduation. You will work a regular 40-hour week during work periods, with each work block focusing on the specific areas you can focus on as a career.

We accept applications twice a year, from February 1 to March 31 and from September 1 to October 31.

Open to: Sophomores and second-semester freshmen

Majors/fields: Computer sciences, electrical engineering or cybersecurity

Electrical or computer engineering

You will design, develop, test and evaluate electronic communications systems in advancing areas like optics, lasers, acoustics and microprocessors.

Computer science

You will explore high-tech opportunities, such as object-oriented methodology, multimedia, data warehousing/data mining, design/analysis development of software and systems, client/server development, networking and Internet technology.

Cybersecurity (technical track)

You will work on the frontlines of defense against our cyber adversaries, focused on the technical expertise needed by the NSA.

Open to: Second-semester freshmen and sophomores

Majors/fields: Chinese language and studies, computer sciences, computer/electrical engineering, cybersecurity

Chinese language and studies

You will assist on projects and will have full use of NSA labs, equipment and advanced technologies. You will work in the original written or spoken foreign language by determining the relevance of the intelligence collected, researching it, analyzing it and putting it into context for national-level policymakers, military commanders and other customers.

Electrical or computer engineering

You will design, develop, test and evaluate electronic communications systems in advancing areas like optics, lasers, acoustics and microprocessors.

Computer science

You will explore high-tech opportunities, such as object-oriented methodology, multimedia, data warehousing/data mining, design/analysis development of software and systems, client/server development, networking and Internet technology.

Cybersecurity (technical track)

You will work on the frontlines of defense against our cyber adversaries, focused on the technical expertise needed by the NSA.

Open to: Second-semester freshmen and sophomores

Majors/fields: Foreign languages, including Russian, Korean, Farsi, Arabic or Chinese

You will assist on projects and will have full use of NSA labs, equipment and advanced technologies. You will work in the original written or spoken foreign language by determining the relevance of the intelligence collected, researching it, analyzing it and putting it into context for national-level policymakers, military commanders and other customers.

Scholarship Programs

Open to: High school seniors, college freshmen and sophomores

Majors/fields: Computer sciences or computer/electrical engineering

When: A minimum of 12 weeks during the summer

The Stokes Educational Scholarship Program allows you to gain valuable experience in your field while attending college and earning a degree. You will acquire real-world experience and receive a salary year-round. After you graduate college, you won't have to go through the job search hassle—we will hire you for a position in your area of study. By participating, you will agree to work for the NSA for at least 1.5 times the length of your study after graduation.

This scholarship also covers tuition and mandatory fees up to $30,000 per year, as well as salary, housing and travel costs during your summer employment if the school is more than 75 miles from headquarters. You will also have federal benefits.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, program requirements have changed. Instead of SAT/ACT scores and AP/IB exam scores, high school transcripts must show a minimum of one physics or calculus course and a combination of two courses (minimum) of computer science, computer programming or engineering.

Computer Science

You will explore high-tech opportunities, such as object-oriented methodology, multimedia, data warehousing/data mining, design/analysis development of software and systems, client/server development, networking and Internet technology.

High school student programs

We accept applications between September 1 through October 31.

High school student programs information

Open to: High school seniors who are at least 16 years of age

Majors/fields: Foreign language aptitude in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Farsi or Arabic

When: 12 weeks from mid-May to mid-August

This 12-week summer internship in Fort Meade, Maryland, runs from mid-May to mid-August following your high school graduation. The program is for high school students with aptitude in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Farsi or Arabic. You will gain valuable experience in a foreign language.

Open to: High school juniors who are at least 16 years of age

Majors/fields: Business, computer sciences, applied arts, engineering, graphic arts or manufacturing

When: Part-time employment from September to August of your senior year

This program is for students who plan to participate in a school-sponsored work experience program during their senior year. Positions are available based on requirements at each site. When applying, ensure the job opening is for your local site.

Administrative and technical students:

  • Office assistant—you will perform basic administrative tasks—type, file, maintain records, answer phones and operate business equipment like word processors and personal computers.
  • Computer aide—you will operate or maintain data processing equipment, often the most sophisticated equipment on the market.

Vocational students:

  • Model shop—You will learn skills like machining, precision sheet metal, welding, woodworking, 3D printing, graphic design, sewing and painting.
  • Vo-Tech—you will assist with:
    • Operating and maintaining printing.
    • Binding and packaging equipment.
    • Operating computer graphics software across various computer platforms/experience in Adobe Creative Suite.
    • Operating industrial/production equipment, machinery and tools such as die cutters, laminators, air compressors and soldering equipment.
  • You will perform assembly line tasks requiring excellent hand-eye coordination to produce electronic assemblies, electronic media and printed products.
  • Installation and logistics—You will assist with installing and maintaining architectural building systems by repairing, altering or constructing replacement items from materials such as wood, plastic or metal. You will apply surface finish treatments such as painting or staining. You may sanitize, declassify or destroy materials and dispose of other materials by recycling or other methods.

Language students:

  • Chinese—You will use your Chinese language skills to perform daily duties. You need to excel in Chinese reading, writing and listening skills and have a lead Chinese instructor recommend you.
  • Russian—You will use your Russian language skills to perform daily duties. You need to excel in Russian reading, writing and listening skills and have a lead Russian instructor recommend you.

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