Student Opportunities with the CIA
If you want to become an FBI agent, or if you would someday like a CIA job, you can start your career path while you are still a college student. The CIA has many opportunities for students, including internships, undergraduate co-ops and graduate studies programs.
Students are paid for their work and are given work assignments supervised by CIA officials. There are jobs available in several areas of the CIA including Analytical, Clandestine Service, Language, Science, Engineering & Technology, or Business, IT & Security.
Applications are due nine to twelve months before the desired start date, so if you are looking for summer employment, you should complete an application between May and August of the prior year. Applicants must be college sophomores or higher. The screening process, as you would expect from the CIA, is very strict. The requirements are the same for professional, career positions and include:
- Applicants must be US citizens
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Foreign language skills
- Outstanding interpersonal skills
- Strong writing skills
- Strong interest in foreign affairs
- Complete medical and polygraph examinations
- Drug screening and a clean record without illegal drug use
- Extensive background investigation
- Previous international residency and military experience are pluses
If you are hired by the CIA for one of these positions, you will have to live in the Washington, DC area. Although housing is not provided, the agency does help students find housing.
The Undergraduate Co-Op Program is ideal for students in many areas including 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. In this program, you work every other semester or quarter for a total of at least three semesters or four quarters. This can include work during the summer.
The Undergraduate Internship Program was originally designed for minority students and those with disabilities, but is open to all qualifying students. The CIA looks for interns 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. Interns work one semester plus one summer or two 90-day summer internships.
The Graduate Studies Program is for students who will enter their first or second year of graduate school once their assignment is complete. Areas of study include international affairs, languages, economics, geography, cartography, physical sciences and engineering. Graduate students work with professional intelligence analysts.
Besides invaluable experience and pay, students receive health and life insurance, retirement investment options, paid Federal holidays, annual and sick leave, and possible tuition assistance.
You can apply for any of these programs by going to the CIA Student Opportunities webpage.