Undergraduate Training Assistance Program

A small number of high-achieving and committed secondary school seniors and /or college freshman and sophomores interested in a career in public service will be offered tuition assistance to accredited colleges or universities, provided challenging summer work, and guaranteed a position in their field of study upon graduation from this highly competitive program. Minorities, women and the disabled needing financial assistance to complete their undergraduate education are strongly encouraged to apply. Students will attend classes full-time during the academic year, and work at DIA during the summer in positions related to their course of study. While in school, students must maintain an overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 for the freshman year and 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent) for each semester/quarter thereafter.

Program Benefits

Students accepted for this program receive:

  • Tuition and required fees (limited to $18,000 per year) toward a four-year degree program at an accredited college or university selected by the student and endorsed by the Agency
  • Reimbursement for books and needed supplies
  • An annual salary (paid bi-weekly) to cover college room, board and other personal expenses
  • Full-time employment in a job related to their academic major during the summer vacation while in college
  • Full benefits including health insurance, life insurance and retirement
  • Guaranteed position at DIA after graduation appropriate to their skills and abilities

Eligibility Criteria

  • A minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.75, or above, and 3.0 for freshman and sophomores.

  • Minimum SAT of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative portion plus a minimum of 500 on the writing portion OR a minimum ACT composite score of 21 for those applying as secondary school seniors.

  • Baccalaureate degree programs should be focused toward the following academic programs deemed critical to DIA, such as: foreign area studies, computer science, international relations, political science, chemistry, physics, biology, microbiology, human resources, pharmacology, toxicology, engineering, or intelligence analysis related courses.

  • Demonstrated leadership abilities as evidenced by extracurricular student activities, a high degree of civic involvement, volunteer work, or part-time employment.

  • US citizenship of applicant and all members of the immediate family. Please be aware that security clearances cannot be granted to applicants who hold dual citizenship. All finalists must pass a drug screening test. All applicants conditionally selected for internships and all DIA employees are subject to initial and periodic counterintelligence (CI)-scope polygraph tests.

  • Financial need as demonstrated by the household income ceiling of $70,000 for a family of four and $80,000 for a family of five or more.

  • Additional requirements which may include written assessment exercises and interviews telephonically or in person may be required for finalists.

Application Procedures

Application process for high school seniors:

  • Applications are to be reviewed by the applicant's High School guidance office (prior to on-line submission) and must include:
  • High School transcript (9th – 11th grade) and a list of senior year scheduled classes.
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) results.
  • Gender, Ethnicity, Race, and Disability Self-Identification (DIA Form 418A) form available on the DIA website.
  • Resume, including extra-curricular activities during high school (awards, leadership roles), volunteer work or part-time employment, etc,
  • Essay explaining why you wish to pursue a particular field of study and illustrating how you have demonstrated leadership ability.
  • Financial Aid Statement (FAS)/Personal Data form available on the DIA website, and a copy of last year's income tax return for parent(s) or guardian.
  • If any items listed above are not received your package will not be considered.

Application process for college freshman and sophomore students:

  • Applications are to be submitted on line and include:
  • A complete transcript and a listing of course to be taken the next semester
  • Resume detailing extracurricular activities, volunteer work and any work experience.
  • One signed letter of recommendation from a college professor or employer.
  • Essay explaining why the applicant is pursuing a particular area of study, and how he or she has displayed leadership ability.

Application Instructions

Applications will only be accepted on-line at diajobs.dia.mil. Click on "View Vacancy Announcements & Apply for DIA jobs" then click "no" when it asks if you are a current DIA employee. Click on the link to view job postings, and then place a check next to "Undergraduate Training Assistance Program." To apply for the program, click where it says "apply" next to the program. Please submit only the information requested. Upon request, additional documents can be mailed to: Defense Intelligence Agency, Attn: HCH-4 (UTAP), Building 6000, 200 McDill Blvd, Bolling AFB, DC 20340

For additional information contact the Human Resources Operations Center at 202-231-4762.

For additional information about DIA, please visit our world wide website at http://www.dia.mil.

DIA is an equal opportunity employer. All candidates will be considered without regard to non-merit factors, such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, handicap, or sexual orientation. Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous service may apply.

FAQs for the Undergraduate Training Assistance Program

Should I submit additional material such as recommendation letters or writing samples?

Please submit only what is specified in the application procedures.

When can I expect to hear if I am selected as an Undergraduate Training Assistance Program participant?

Finalist, alternate, and non-select letters will be sent by January 30, 2013.

Can I use the UTAP scholarship at any university?

Yes, the UTAP scholarship can be applied to any accredited university within the United States; however, the university must be endorsed by the Agency.

How does the selection process work?

Your application will be screened for completeness and to ensure you meet the minimum qualifications (including family income level) as stated on the UTAP eligibility criteria. Complete applications will be forwarded to a selection panel of senior managers representing all major directorates of the Agency. The panel will select a small group of applicants for further screening. The additional screening will consist of security-related questions, a written assessment exercise and usually, a telephonic interview.

Once I have been notified that I am a finalist or an alternate, what is the next step?

A Human Resources Specialist will contact you and you will be required to complete pre-employment documents which include the SF-86 background questionnaire for the security clearance. Regardless of your current or past security investigation(s), the completion of a SF-86 is mandatory. We will also request that our vendor contact you for a drug screening test. You must complete satisfy DIA's conditions of employment (drug testing, polygraph exam, etc.), before a final offer will be extended.

You will not receive an official offer package, until your security clearance has been approved. That package will contain a letter offering employment to you and advising you of the date, time, and location where you must report for duty.

I have dual citizenship with another country. What are my chances of getting a security clearance?

Dual citizens are eligible for a security clearance.  Depending on foreign travel the clearance process may take longer to clear.

A member of my immediate family is not a U.S. citizen. Can I still receive a clearance in time to participate in the Defense Intelligence Scholar Program?

Yes, as long as you have dual citizenship your status for clearance is eligible.

What does the UTAP program provide?

The Undergraduate Training Assistance Program will pay up to $18,000 per year for tuition and fees ($9,000 per semester). You will be reimbursed for your books and any required supplies. You will also receive a full salary ranging within the GG3-GG6 pay range per year from which to pay your room, board and personal expenses while at college. If you do not attend a university within the Washington, DC area, you will receive travel expenses and temporary lodging/per diem expenses for your summer work assignments. UTAP participants are eligible for all employee benefits – life and health insurance, retirement, etc., and will earn 4 hours of sick leave and 4 hours of annual leave every pay period.

What assistance will DIA provide in locating housing for my summer work tours?

UTAP participants are encouraged to live in temporary housing quarters located on Bolling Air Force Base, unless otherwise specified. If base housing is unavailable, DIA will provide housing resource information that may be of assistance to you in finding summer housing. UTAP participants attending schools outside DC may reside in local university dorms for the summer.

What type of work will I do for my summer work assignment?

UTAP summer work assignments are based on entry level professional job descriptions and will involve a great deal of independent work under the guidance of a senior level supervisor and mentor. Duties may involve research and drafting reports and presentations. Assignments are not clerical in nature.

What hours will I work during my summer work assignment?

The workday at DIA is 8 1/2 hours (1/2 hour uncompensated for lunch). DIA permits flexible work schedules with supervisory approval.

How is my pay determined?

As an Intern, you will be paid an hourly rate according to the number of credit hours you have completed. Subsequent pay increases are dependent on the number of credit hours completed and your summer work assignment evaluation. It is extremely important that you submit a complete official transcript through spring term of each year when you report for duty (in the summer), so we can determine the appropriate pay rate.

Is my work location accessible by public transportation?

The locations in the Defense Intelligence Analysis Center (DIAC) on Bolling Air Force Base are accessible via a DIA shuttle from the Anacostia and L'Enfant Plaza Metro Stations. The shuttle runs continuously during rush hour on weekdays. Shuttle riders must have the required identification badges. For new employees, you must carry a copy of your offer letter and picture ID to gain access to the shuttle and base.

Is there parking available?

Parking is available, although limited at the DIAC and Reston. Very little parking is available therefore public transportation is recommended. You will need a copy of your vehicle registration and proof of insurance to apply for a parking permit.

What will my first day be like?

There will be a 5-day orientation held in the summer prior to your college enrollment. In-processing requirements, employee benefit enrollment, and assistance with obtaining a security badge will be conducted at this time.

What is the dress code for the agency?

In general, the dress for civilians at the Agency is conservative business attire – shirts and ties for men and appropriate dress, skirt and blouse, or pant suit for women. Some offices are more informal than others and allow business casual on a routine basis. Men will need a suit and women a tailored dress or suit for meetings and making presentations.

What is the role of my mentor?

You will be assigned a mentor who will assist you during your academic study. Your mentor will help you with selecting your academic courses and in-house DIA training seminars, assisting with in-processing logistics, introducing you to other agency officials and generally being a "sounding board". You will also have a supervisor and sponsor for your summer work assignment. They will orient you to your specific office and the agency, provide guidance on how to perform your specific work duties and generally answer questions you may have.

How will I be placed in a permanent position when I graduate from college?

Senior UTAP student resumes will be presented to an agency panel composed of senior management from each directorate, prior to their graduation in the spring for assignment to an appropriate position. UTAP participants are encouraged to network with DIA offices during their summer work tours and to consult with their mentor on appropriate permanent placement assignments. UTAP participants interested in working for a particular office should make their interest known and request the office to submit a requirement to the panel that requests them by name.

What is my service obligation to DIA in exchange for the scholarship?

You are obligated to work for DIA for a period of time that is one and ½ times the amount of time you were in school. For a four year undergraduate degree, you are in school 9 months per academic year. Therefore, your work obligation is 9 x 4 x 1.5 or 54 months (4 1/2 years). If you do not work for DIA, you are liable for repaying the amount spent on your education (tuition, fees, books and supplies). The amount due will be prorated to account for any time worked after graduation.