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Internships with The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Opportunities Available for a Wide Range of Majors


About the CIA:

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is located in the United States and is responsible for providing the intelligence for a wide range of national security issues. CIA agents work all over the world to monitor and report situations that are of interest to the US government. The primary function of the CIA is to collect a wide range of information about the activities of corporations, individuals, and foreign governments that may affect the security of the US.

The CIA Undergraduate Internship Program:

Undergraduate students participating in the CIA Undergraduate Internship Program are given an opportunity to gain a first-hand look at the role the CIA plays in helping to create our country’s foreign policy.


The CIA seeks students who are majoring in engineering, computer science, mathematics, economics, physical sciences, foreign languages, area studies, business administration, accounting, international relations, finance, logistics, human resources, geography, national security studies, military and foreign affairs, political science and graphic design to apply.


An internship with the CIA requires students to complete a combination of one semester plus one summer internship or two 90 day summer internships.

The CIA Part Time Internship Program:

The CIA Part-Time Internship Program offers practical work experience to undergraduate senior or graduate students currently attending college in the Washington DC area. Interns participate in a wide range of meetings and projects and participants are often considered for future full-time employment with the agency.


Interns majoring in international affairs, non-romance languages, area studies, economics, geography, physical sciences, or engineering are encouraged to apply. Students must have completed three full years of undergraduate studies or be enrolled in a graduate school program and plan on continuing college on a full time basis after their internship is over. Students must also be enrolled in a College or University in the Washington/ Metropolitan area when completing their application and for the duration of the internship. Interns are usually required to work two semesters. To apply for a student program, applicants must be at least a college sophomore.


Interns are eligible for benefits including health and life insurance, retirement options, paid Federal holidays, sick leave, and even potential tuition assistance. The CIA also offers payment for the cost of transportation to and from college and the Washington, DC area. Student interns are offered salaries that are competitive with the private sector.

The CIA Graduate Studies Program:

The CIA Graduate Studies Program is seeking graduate students majoring in international affairs, languages, economics, geography, cartography, physical sciences and engineering. Other majors may be considered. Students selected for this program should be entering either their first or second year of graduate studies following this assignment. Students will be assessed on their individual skills and knowledge and may be offered full-time employment once their education is completed.

The CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program:

The CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program is available to high school seniors who are planning to enroll in a 4- or 5-year college program, or to college sophomores who are enrolled in a 4- or 5-year college program, and are looking for career experience in a dynamic environment. Students must apply for the The CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program between August 1 and October 15.

The Undergraduate Scholarship Program was created to assist minority and disabled students and is an extremely competitive program. The application process is open to all students who meet the scholarship requirements. Selected candidates will be awarded an annual salary, optional benefits package, life insurance, and retirement. Students are required to work at an Agency during the summer and be prepared to return to college at the beginning of fall semester.

Anyone accepting an Undergraduate Scholarship are expected to continue working with the Agency after all educational and internship requirements have been met.

All scholarship applicants must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Be18 years of age by April 1 of senior year
  • Have a 1000 SAT (Math and Verbal) or 21 ACT scores or higher (high school students)
  • A 3.0/4.0 scale high school or college GPA or higher
  • Demonstrated financial need with a household income ceiling up to $70,000 for a family of four, and $80,000 for a family of five or more
  • Meet same employment standards as permanent employees, must successfully complete both security and medical processing
  • Available to work in the Washington, DC area during your periods of employment

    All internships take place in the Washington DC area and are very competitive.

    To Apply:

    Students can check with their career advisor or internship/co-op program coordinator at their college to find out more about opportunities with the CIA.

    The deadline to apply for Summer 2010 is November 1. Applications for winter, spring, and fall internships should be sent six to nine months before the internship start date. The application period for the Undergraduate Scholarship Program is August 1 - October 15. Applications received prior to August 1 or after October 15 will not be considered for the program.

    The CIA promotes diversity within the organization and maintains partnerships with diversity-focused organizations, such as: InRoads, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and the Washington Internship for Native Students (WINS).

    To find out more about jobs with the CIA, be sure to check out fellow guide Robert Longley's site on the US government.

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