Undoubtedly, a career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is held up on one of the pedestals within the realm of criminal justice professions. Its mission is “providing national security intelligence to senior US policymakers”. It goes without saying that getting a job with the CIA – whether it be in investigations, analysis, science, geography, cyber security, clandestine services or other areas- is extremely competitive. General requirements include a relevant degree (such as a criminal justice, homeland security or cyber security degree), an exemplary GPA and a clean criminal record; knowing a foreign language and having relevant experience are huge assets. One way to help pave the way to a CIA career is participating in one of its student opportunity programs. If you perform well during one of the CIA’s co-op, internship or other experiential programs, you could be offered a job in the end. More so, what you’ll learn during such an experience will be of ultimate value and help you in any professional avenue.
Naturally the student opportunities with the CIA are also competitive and thus high grades, American citizenship and an interest in international affairs are required; previous experience and being bilingual, trilingual or more are definite assets.
High school students planning to complete a 4 to 5 year college/university program or undergraduate students in their first or second year of university may apply for the undergraduate scholarship program. The Scholarship program requires you to be attending school full time and maintaining a 3.0/4.0 GPA; during summer breaks you will be working at the CIA headquarters in Washington DC in a department related to the academic degree you are completing. Benefits include tuition, a salary, and housing and travel expenses for your summer work terms.
The CIA also offers co-op and internship opportunities to undergraduate students. Students pursuing a variety of programs, such as computer science, national security, political science and engineering, are eligible. Co-op students must complete three semesters (or four quarters); interns must complete the equivalent of two 90-day summer internships (or one semester and one summer internship).
Additionally, the CIA offers the opportunity to graduate students seeking direct professional experience with the agency. Those majoring in international affairs, foreign languages, economics and several other relevant disciplines will be considered.
For more information on the Central Intelligence Agency’s student opportunities, visit: