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Job Opportunities for Students

The Department of Homeland Security offers a variety of prestigious scholarships, fellowships, internships and training opportunities to expose talented students to the broad national security mission.

Secretary's Honors Program

The Secretary’s Honors Program (SHP), announced by former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in October 2012, is a highly competitive, premier program for exceptional entry-level professionals looking for a career at DHS. The SHP offers professional development and training opportunities through fellowships in areas such as cybersecurity, information technology, management, emergency management, policy and law.

SHP Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative

The SHP Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative is an unpaid student volunteer program for college students pursuing a program of study in a cybersecurity-related field. Originally created in April 2013, the program expanded to new DHS offices and locations in 2014, with over 100 unpaid student volunteer assignments available in over 60 locations across the country. Participating offices and Components in the program include U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations computer forensics labs, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer, and state and major urban area fusion centers. Student volunteers in the program gain invaluable hands-on experience and exposure to the work done by DHS cybersecurity professionals, and perform a broad range of duties in support of DHS’ cybersecurity mission. 

Apply for the 2014 SHP Cyber Student Volunteer Initiative.

Pathways Programs

The Pathways Programs offer clear paths to federal internships for students from high school through post-graduate school and to careers for recent graduates, and provide meaningful training and career development opportunities for individuals who are at the beginning of their federal service. As a student or recent graduate, you can begin your career in the federal government by choosing the path that best describes you and where you are in your academics.

  • Internship Program (OPM): This program is for current students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions from high school to graduate level, with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school.
  • Recent Graduates Program (OPM): This program is for individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs and seek a dynamic, career development program with training and mentorship. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who will have up to six years to apply).
  • Presidential Management Fellows Program (OPM): For more than three decades, the PMF Program has been the Federal government’s premier leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. This program is now for individuals who have received a qualifying advanced degree within the preceding two years.

Health and Science

  • Office of Health Affairs Volunteer Scholars Program offers unique unpaid work opportunities to students interested in medical and health matters. Applications are reviewed quarterly.
  • DHS Scholarship Program provides individual scholarships to support undergraduate students pursuing degrees in homeland security-focused courses of study.
  • National HS-STEM Summer Internship Program provides undergraduate juniors and seniors the opportunity to work with homeland security professionals and researchers for up to ten weeks during the summer. Participants are provided a stipend and conduct research in DHS mission-relevant research areas at federal research facilities and DHS Centers of Excellence.
  • Summer Research Team Program conducts research at one of the twelve U.S. Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence and their partners for ten weeks during the summer.
  • Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellowship Program (NFGFP) provides support to graduate students pursing doctoral degrees in nuclear, geochemical, and other disciplines directly related to nuclear forensics.  Fellows gain unique, hands-on experience through two 10-week laboratory practicums at a Department of Energy national laboratory, Department of Defense laboratory or federal agency conducting research related to technical nuclear forensics, and close interaction with technical and policy experts throughout the nuclear forensics community.
  • Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Scholarship Program (NFUSP) provides scholarships to qualified undergraduate students pursuing degrees in disciplines relevant to technical nuclear forensics including physics, chemistry, nuclear engineering, and material science.  Students gain hands-on experience through summer research opportunities at the Department of Energy national laboratories and close interaction with technical experts throughout the national nuclear forensics community.
  • Seaborg Institute Nuclear Science Summer Internship Program seeks graduate students from research universities across the nation to work in critical skills areas related to nuclear forensics. Students are given an opportunity to join scientists in independent research projects at a national laboratory and are teamed with mentors who can help hone their skills and guide research projects for advanced degrees.
  • Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Summer School provides undergraduate students with comprehensive, experimental, hands-on training in topics essential to nuclear forensics. Through laboratory experiments and complementary lectures, students are introduced to the practice and technical aspects of nuclear forensic science.

Law Enforcement

  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) College Intern Program provides a unique opportunity for college students, majoring in Criminal Justice or a related field, to participate in a federal law enforcement training environment.
  • CBP Explorer Program offers opportunities in character building, good citizenship, and fitness for young men and women ages 14 through 21. CBP has Law Enforcement Explorer Posts both at ports of entry and at Border Patrol sectors, which provide Explorers with practical training and hands-on experience in Federal law enforcement-related activities.

Legal

  • The General Counsel's Law Student Summer Volunteer Program is a volunteer program over the course of the summer that provides law students the opportunity to work on assignments that offer both valuable experience and substantial individual responsibility in the Office of the General Counsel at the Department of Homeland Security headquarters located in Washington, D.C. 
  • The General Counsel's Law Student Volunteer Program is a volunteer program during the fall or spring semesters offering law students the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and to earn academic credit while working in the headquarters Office of the General Counsel at the Department of Homeland Security located in Washington, D.C.
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