CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS)

Through the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte provides funding to students Pursuing studies in cybersecurity.

Students pursuing a BS Computer Science degree with a concentration in Cybersecurity, a MS Cybersecurity degree, or a PhD in Computing and Information Systems are eligible to apply for the SFS program. Each scholarship student must be able to complete his or her academic program within a maximum of two years (for Ph.D. students, the degree must completed in three years).  Undergraduates are eligible to apply as rising juniors or seniors, or through the Early Entry (4+1) Master's program. 

Recipients have access to activities exclusively developed for SFS students and will be fully integrated into the department's research programs, which can lead to affiliation with an on-going research project. 

SFS is federally-funded through grants awarded by the National Science Foundation.  Upon graduation, recipients agree to work for the U.S. Government for a period of time equal to their length of participation in the SFS program.  More information available at


Scholarship Benefits

Each student in the SFS program will be supported for up to two years, or up to three years for PhD candidates. The specific benefits are:

  • Tuition and fees: Applicable tuition and fees, including the reasonable cost of textbooks, any out-of-state and/or graduate student fees, and other education-related fees
  • Stipend: To cover housing, meals, and other expenses, an undergraduate will be paid a stipend of $25,000 per academic year. Graduate students will be paid a stipend of $34,000 per academic year
  • Professional development: Professional allowance of $6,000 for SFS Job Fair and other travel, professional certification, and related development in addition to access to virtual and in-person job fairs in Washington, D.C.
  • Research: Each student will be matched to a on-going research project under the direction of a Cybersecurity faculty member
  • Employment: Participants commit to post-graduation government service for a period equivalent to the length of scholarship

Requirements and Eligibility

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • A United States citizen.
  • A full-time MS Cybersecurity student within two years of graduation at UNC Charlotte or a qualified rising junior/senior at UNC Charlotte pursuing a BS Computer Science degree with a Cybersecurity concentration or a Ph.D. student in the Computing and Information Systems program at UNC Charlotte within three years of graduation
  • Preference will be given to those students who will be in the program for at least three semesters in order to have the necessary exposure to information security and privacy research
  • Each student must meet selection criteria for federal, state, or local government employment. Final job placement may require a security clearance, so each scholarship recipient may be required to undergo the background investigation required to obtain such clearance

Recipient Responsibility

In return for receiving scholarship benefits, each recipient holds two critical responsibilities:

  • During the summers while enrolled in the program, each student will be responsible for securing an internship position at a federal, state, or local government agency. Numerous resources are available to assist students in identifying and applying for internships.
  • Upon graduation, each student will be required to work in a qualified information assurance position for a federal, state, or local government agency or a qualified national laboratory. The work requirement time period matches the supported time period. For example, a full two-year scholarship requires two years of federal employment. Each student is responsible for identifying, applying for, and securing a qualified position. Numerous resources are available including an annual job fair specifically for SFS students as well as the assistance of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) which oversees permanent placement for scholarship students.

Application Process and Deadlines

Each applicant to the SFS program should provide the following:

  • Completed UNC Charlotte SFS application form
  • Statement of purpose and description of goals and motivations to pursue a career in cybersecurity, computer security, and information assurance
  • Official transcripts of all college work outside of UNC Charlotte
  • Resume
  • Recommendation letters from at least two university faculty members familiar with the student's background; faculty recommendations may be from UNC Charlotte or other institutions
  • Additional letters of recommendation from employers, supervisors, or other faculty members are encouraged, though not required
Application deadline for receiving scholarship in Spring semesters is Nov. 15.
Application deadline for receiving scholarship in Fall semesters is July 15.

All applicants should send (in electronic form) all of the information listed above to Dr. Bill Chu:  Please include "SFS Application" in the Subject line.


Criteria for Selection

The selection criteria are as follows:

  • Undergraduate Students
    • United States citizen
    • Junior (60 hours) or Senior (90 hours) standing at UNC Charlotte as of the Spring semester 2008. Students must be able to complete their undergraduate degree requirements in no more than two years (i.e., four regular semesters) following acceptance into the program
    • At least a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale
    • Recommendation letters from at least two faculty members. Additional letters from employers or faculty members are acceptable
    • Evaluation of the student's potential for success in the program
  • Graduate Students (Master's or PhD)
    • United States citizen
    • Official acceptance into the graduate program by either UNC Charlotte or NC A&T State University
    • Expected graduation with MS Cybersecurity degree in no more than two years (i.e. four regular semesters) following acceptance into the program
    • At least a 3.2 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale
    • Recommendation letters from at least two faculty members. Additional letters from employers or faculty members are acceptable
    • Evaluation of the student’s potential for success in the program

In addition, we will consider the following criteria for both undergraduate and graduate candidates:

  • Commitment to participate in summer service and service following degree completion according to the guidelines of the SFS program
  • Commitment to participate in assessment activities after their scholarship and required federal service has ended
  • Demonstrated leadership, participation in team activities, prior social service, and/or evidence of creative and independent thinking and/or acting

Note: Acceptance into UNC Charlotte's SFS program is selective and highly competitive.  Meeting selection criteria does not guarantee acceptance into the program.


Useful Web Links

UNC Charlotte academic program links: 
CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) operations Links:


Questions about UNC Charlotte's CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program may be directed to Dr. Bill Chu:

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