School of Engineering and Computer Science

NSF scholarship program offers pathway to cybersecurity careers

Scholarship applications are being accepted through March 31

icon of a calendarFebruary 28, 2022

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NSF scholarship program offers pathway to cybersecurity careers
From left, Dr. Huirong Fu, professor in OU's Computer Science and Engineering Department and principal investigator of OU's NSF CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service grant, is pictured with former OU Ph.D. candidates (now graduates), Dr. Ali Alshehri and Dr. Abdelnasser Bani Hani.

Oakland University undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in a career in cybersecurity working in the government are encouraged to apply for the National Science Foundation CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS). 

This unique national program is designed to recruit and train the next generation of information technology professionals to meet the cybersecurity needs of federal, state and local governments.

A $3.2 million NSF grant will provide full scholarships for two or three years for OU undergraduate and graduate students along with an annual stipend, starting in fall 2022. This program is designed to help students earn a degree and obtain a job in the government; recipients will be required to work after graduation for a period equal to the length of the scholarship, in a position related to cybersecurity within a federal, state, or local government agency.

“The CyberCorps program at OU will provide students a pathway to exciting, rewarding careers in cybersecurity,” said Dr. Darrin Hanna, a professor in OU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a co-principal investigator of the scholarship grant. ”Students often don’t know where to start  to get government jobs in cybersecurity, earn high-level security clearances, and work on cyberdefense initiatives.  We’re really excited that now we have a program here at OU that provides fellowships and a pathway directly to these opportunities.”

To be eligible for the OU CyberCorps scholarship, students must meet the following requirements: 

  • Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Demonstrate a commitment to a career in cybersecurity
  • Possess a high level of competency in relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Meet selection criteria for U.S. federal employment
  • Possess at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • Attend OU as a full-time student while pursuing a cybersecurity-related degree for the length of the scholarship

Scholarship recipients will receive the following benefits: 

  • Coverage of full-time tuition and education-related fees
  • Annual stipend of $25,000 for undergraduate students and $34,000 for graduate students 
  • Professional development allowance (travel, professional certification, etc.) up to $6,000 per academic year 
  • Opportunities working for the federal, state, or local governments
  • Personalized multi-level academic advising
  • Supports from professional communities and opportunities to attain professional certifications
  • Opportunities to attend SFS seminars, annual field trips, cybersecurity competitions 
  • Exposure to outreach such as NSA/NSF funded GenCyber programs and lab activities

Scholarship applicants will be selected for the following program tracks:

  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (Students apply during their sophomore year and are funded during their junior and senior year)
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology + Master of Science in Information Technology (Students apply during their junior year and are funded for up to three years; senior year + 2-year master’s degree)
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity (Students apply during their senior year and are funded for a two-year master’s degree)

To apply, students must submit an application online including a resume, transcript, personal statement and letter of recommendation. Those who advance beyond an initial assessment will participate in an in-person interview with OU faculty. The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 31.

For more information, email

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