Information Assurance Scholarship for Service Program

The George Washington University (GW) is designated a federal Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education - Research. This enables GW to provide government-funded full scholarships for fulltime study for upper level undergraduates, masters, and doctoral students. Scholarship recipients receive a traditional education in their chosen major enhanced by detailed knowledge in computer security and information assurance provided by additional courses that address emerging technical and government policy-related issues, often using guest lectures by government and outside experts. They also receive hands-on experience in a laboratory that demonstrates traditional and emerging attacks and defenses.

National Science Foundation Department of Defense Department of Homeland Security

Each fall, approximately a dozen students start to pursue their bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees with federal funding from the National Science Foundation, the Defense Department, and the Department of Homeland Security. These grants are part of GW's Partnership in Securing Cyberspace through Education and Service (PISCES) program. Federal funding provides two-year full scholarships (tuition, books, stipend, and in most cases room and board) for students to study computer security and information assurance at GW or a partner university. After completing their coursework, students will help protect the nation's information infrastructure by working as security experts in a government agency for two years. Since 2002, 43 students have graduated with help from this program, earning degrees in computer science, electrical engineering, engineering management, forensic sciences, business administration, and public policy. They have gone on to work at the organizations shown on this web page.

"Just as the Reserve Officer Training Corps [ROTC] trains traditional military officers, our CyberCorps program is training the cyber-age experts who defend and secure the information infrastructure," said SEAS Professor Lance Hoffman. "And just as ROTC has summer camp for its students, this program is placing trained students in summer internships and post-graduate jobs working on federal computer systems."

GW is partnering with Marymount University on the CyberCorps program to expand computer science and information assurance education opportunities to traditionally underrepresented groups and citizens of the Washington, D.C. area, as well as to capitalize on the strength and accessibility of courses available to students through the 11- member Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.

GW also working with the University of Hawaii (UH) on a program that enables at least one UH student per year to spend the summer working on CSIA in a region rich with such work, the Washington DC metropolitan area. The student(s) live, study and work in a security-related internship arranged for and monitored by faculty members at UH and GW.

Collaborating on these projects along with Hoffman and Professor Rachelle Heller of the Department of Computer Science, are Professor Julie Ryan of the SEAS Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering (EMSE); Professor Eva Vincze, Program Director in the Forensic Sciences Department at GW; and Professor Joseph Cordes, Chair of the Public Policy Department at GW. Also working with many of the students in their coursework are Professor Julie Ryan of EMSE and Professors Poorvi Vora, Bhagi Narahari, and Rahul Simha of the Computer Science Department at GW. Professor Diane Murphy at Marymount University is in charge of the Marymount program where students take many computer security and information assurance courses at GW while earning a Marymount degree. Prof. Martha Crosby is in charge of the Hawaii program.

Eligible majors include Mathematics, Biometrics, Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Computer Programming, Computer Support, Data Base Administration, Computer Systems Analysis, Operations Research, Information Security (Assurance), Forensic Science, Business Management, Business Administration, Public Policy, and Public Administration.

Scholarship program eligibility, requirements, benefits, and important dates at a glance.

CAE-R Certificate Presentation by Government Officials in 2008

Prof. Julie Ryan accepts the CAE-R Certificate for GW from government officials.

Scholarship program targets need for cybersecurity skills; How a federal education program helps fill the growing need for cybersecurity talent (Government Computer News, March 23, 2009)

GW's Cybercorps scholarship students have worked for these
government organizations as of August, 2009:

Naval Criminal Investigative Service

Federal Aviation Administration

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Agency for International Development

Institute for Defense Analyses

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Department of Justice

National Security Agency

Department of the Army

Department of Defense

Defense Information Systems Agency

Naval Research Laboratory

Department of Commerce

Government Printing Office

Federal Reserve


Government Accountability Office

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Department of Transportation

Department of Energy

Central Intelligence Agency

National Park Service

Federal Trade Commission

Holocaust Museum

Department of Homeland Security