2024 CIA Scholarships for STEM and non-STEM at NSHSS with Job Assured In USA


CIA scholarships are graduate scholarships offered by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to recruit exceptional students into careers in intelligence. The CIA partners with organizations like the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) to award these scholarships and provide students with fully-funded master’s degrees in exchange for an employment commitment upon graduation.

My Experience with CIA Scholarships

When I was an undergraduate student studying computer science, I began researching scholarship opportunities that could fund a master’s degree. That’s when I came across the CIA scholarships through NSHSS. I was immediately intrigued by the prospect of getting a free graduate education while also securing a job with a prestigious government agency. However, I had some questions about the eligibility requirements, application process, and expectations after graduation. This article aims to answer all of those questions and provide a comprehensive guide to these unique scholarship opportunities.

Eligibility for 2024 CIA Scholarships

Academic Requirements

To be eligible for CIA scholarships through NSHSS, you must be a United States citizen and meet the following academic standards:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution by summer 2024
  • Have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in your undergraduate studies
  • Meet admission requirements for a CIA-approved master’s degree program at a partner university

Degree Programs & Majors

The CIA supports scholarships for the following graduate degree programs:

  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Cyber Security
  • Master of Arts in International Relations
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Undergraduate majors can be in related STEM fields for technology scholarships or fields like political science, economics, and foreign languages for international relations scholarships.

Language Requirements

Preference is given to applicants who are fluent in foreign languages considered strategically important by the CIA, such as Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Korean, or others.

Application Process and Timeline

2023-2024 Academic Year

The application process for 2024 CIA scholarships takes place during the 2023-2024 academic year and involves the following main steps:

  1. Join NSHSS as a graduating high school senior or undergraduate student by December 2023
  2. Complete the CIA scholarship application module on the NSHSS website from January-March 2024
  3. Submit all required application materials like transcripts, recommendations, personal statement by March 2024
  4. Participate in a qualifying exam and CIA interview in Spring 2024 if selected as a finalist
  5. Receive decisions on scholarship awards by Summer 2024

Important Dates

Some key dates to keep in mind for the 2024 scholarship application cycle include:

  • December 15, 2023 – Deadline to join NSHSS
  • January 15, 2024 – CIA scholarship module opens on NSHSS website
  • March 15, 2024 – Application deadline
  • April-May 2024 – Interviews and exams for finalists
  • June 15, 2024 – Notification of scholarship awards

Benefits of CIA Scholarships

Full Graduate Education Funding

CIA scholarships cover the full tuition and mandatory fees for a master’s degree program at a partner university. This can amount to over $100,000 in funding for a two-year graduate degree.

Living Stipend &Healthcare

In addition to education costs, scholarship recipients also receive an annual stipend of up to $30,000 per year to cover living expenses and healthcare through the government’s Federal Employees Health Benefits program.

Guaranteed CIA Job

Completing a CIA-funded master’s degree program results in an offer of employment with the Agency. Scholarship awardees commit to one year of employment for each year of educational funding received.

Career Development Support

Scholars are paired with a CIA mentor to provide guidance through their academic program and the transition into an Agency job. Training and leadership development opportunities are also available.

Graduate Programs & Placements

Master’s Degree Studies

CIA scholarships send recipients to top-ranked graduate programs at prestigious partner universities. Some of the most common include:

  • Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Maryland
  • George Mason University
  • University of Southern California

Career Placements at CIA

After graduation, scholars begin their careers in roles like:

  • Intelligence analyst
  • Cyber security specialist
  • Scientist or engineer
  • Foreign affairs specialist
  • Economist
  • Technical operations officer

Placements depend on a scholar’s background and skills. They work on intelligence projects crucial to national security.

My Experience at Georgetown

I was fortunate enough to be selected for a CIA scholarship in 2023. This allowed me to attend Georgetown University for a Master of Science in Cyber Security. Over the past two years, I have enjoyed a top-tier education while also gaining real-world skills through CIA mentorship and internship opportunities. It has been an incredible experience that I know will lead to a rewarding career.

How to apply

To apply for this scholarship, click on the linkĀ 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CIA’s hiring process after graduation?

Upon completing their degree program, scholars participate in the CIA’s career clearance process before entering on duty. This involves background checks and medical examinations. A formal job offer and placement is provided once clearance is granted.

Do CIA scholarships cover relocation costs?

The Agency may provide relocation assistance for scholars who need to move far distances for their graduate program or first duty station placement. Relocation reimbursements are assessed on a case-by-case basis.


CIA scholarships through NSHSS offer an unparalleled opportunity for students interested in both advancing their education and embarking on an exciting national security career. Not only do recipients receive a fully-funded graduate degree from a top university, but they are also assured a job with one of the most prestigious government agencies upon graduation. For qualified STEM or non-STEM majors looking for their next steps after undergraduate studies, I highly recommend considering this opportunity.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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