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Overview | Benefits | Requirements | Eligibility | Application Process | IA Program at Sac State | Contact Info

The application EXTENDED deadline for Fall 2014 is April 28, 2014.


The College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) at California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State) has developed a solid infrastructure for education and training in cybersecurity, including the establishment of both a strong information assurance component to the Computer Science program and a Center for Information Assurance and Security (CIAS). The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Sacramento State’s CIAS a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE-IAE) for academic years 2007 – 2012 and again for 2012 – 2017.

In 2010 the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Sacramento State’s Computer Science Department a $1.19 million four-year grant to enable 15 students to become cybersecurity specialists as part of the CyberCorps® Scholarship for Service (SFS) program. This award placed Sacramento State in select company among institutions of higher learning nationwide that participate in this program. The funding has helped Sacramento State to establish a strong SFS program for security to become more integrated into our curriculum.

The SFS program, which began in 2002, is designed to deal with threats to the nation’s information technology infrastructure by developing a cadre of security specialists. These individuals will be trained to combat cyber threats that have increased exponentially in recent years. For more information about the NSF SFS program visit https://www.sfs.opm.gov/ .

ECS has submitted a renewal proposal seeking additional funding to support 32 students (four cohorts of eight students) over a period of four years starting in fall 2014. It will cover their educational expenses in their final two to three years before receiving their degrees and allow for one student from each of the first three cohorts to receive a third-year of funding to extend their studies from the BS to the MS program. If funded, the renewed program will provide financial assistance to students in return for their commitment to serve a Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Government organization in an information assurance position for the length of the scholarship, or one year, whichever is longer.

Scholarship recipients must complete either a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (CSc) or Computer Engineering (CpE), or a Master’s degree in CSc/CpE within two years of entering the SFS program. Some students may receive a third-year of funding to extend their studies from the BS to the MS program provided that they meet admission requirements to the Master’s degree program in CSC or CpE. Qualified juniors and seniors are eligible through the undergraduate track. Graduating seniors can also apply through the graduate track if they plan to pursue a graduate degree in CSc or CpE at Sacramento State. New and existing CSc or CpE graduate students are eligible to apply under the graduate track.

In addition to their degrees, SFS recipients who successfully complete the program in Computer Science will receive a Certificate in Information Assurance.


SFS Scholarship Benefits

Beginning Fall 2014, each scholarship recipient will receive the following benefits for up to two years. Some students may receive a third-year of funding to extend their studies from the BS to the MS program.

  • Tuition and fees(does not include items such as meal plans, housing, or parking).
  • Annual Stipend (Undergraduate: $20,000 Graduate: $25,000).
  • Annual Book allowance of $1,000 per academic year.
  • A health insurance reimbursement allowance up to $2,000 per year.
  • A professional development allowance of $3,000 per year for SFS job fair, travel, professional certification etc.

Existing Students (Before fall 2014), each scholarship recipient will receive the following benefits for up to two years.

  • Tuition and fees.
  • Annual Stipend (Undergraduate: $20,000 Graduate: $25,000).
  • Annual Book allowance of $1,000 per year.
  • A health insurance reimbursement allowance up to $1,200 per year.
  • A professional development allowance (travel, professional certification etc.) of $1,300 per year.



Scholarship recipients must meet the following requirements:

  • Maintain full-time enrollment with good academic standing in CSc or CpE focusing on Information Assurance with minimum GPA of 3.0 and 3.2 out of 4.0 for undergraduate and graduate students, respectively.
  • Receive their degree within two years of the beginning of their scholarship based on a plan of study approved by an SFS advisor.
  • Take Federal, State, Local, or Tribal government internship positions in the summer between their first and second year of scholarship study. The SFS program office, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), provides numerous tools to assist students in this job search.
  • Work on full-time basis upon graduation as an information assurance specialist in the Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Government organizations for up to two years commensurate with the supported time period. Employment in National laboratories and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) may satisfy this requirement. The OPM provides several tools to aid graduating students in this job search as well.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions specified in SFS Student Service Agreement


Eligibility Criteria

ECS awards SFS scholarship to motivated students who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and a sincere interest in information assurance and computer security, who meet the SFS eligibility criteria, and who are confirmed as qualified for employment in the Federal Cyber Service by OPM. Applicants must meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:

  • A citizen of the United States at the time of application.
  • Enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) in a full-time program in CSc or CpE at Sacramento State. CpE students may need to take few additional courses beyond what is normally required to get a BS or MS degree in CpE in order to satisfy SFS program requirements.
  • Completed a minimum of two years of an undergraduate degree program, or beginning the first year of a master degree program in CSc or CpE. The undergraduate applicants should have as their declared major prior to applying for SFS scholarship.
  • Undergraduate applicants: Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0
  • Graduate applicants: Fully-classified based on Computer Science Department or Computer Engineering standards.
  • Graduate applicants: Minimum overall GPA of 3.2 out of 4.0 in graduate courses taken, and minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 for Bachelor of Science Degree.
  • Meet established criteria for federal employment and able to obtain security clearance, if necessary

A faculty panel will review all applicants who have applied by the application deadline and meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Potential candidates will be interviewed in person or by telephone before the final selection. Preference will be given to those applicants who can stay in the program for two years.

All scholarship recipient must agree to the terms stated in the Student Service Agreement (posted at http://www.ecs.csus.edu/sfs/agreement.pdf) and must participate in activities and meetings organized by the SFS program at Sacramento State including program orientation, academic advising, , colloquiums and workshops on cybersecurity, field trips, mentoring and socializing events.

Please note that a renewal proposal from Sacramento State for funding from 2014 to 2019 is currently under review by NSF. The new scholarship awards are contingent upon funding.


Application Process

Each applicant to the SFS program must submit the following by April 14, 2014:

  • Completed application form.
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate programs attended.
  • A 500-word essay describing applicant’s interest in information assurance and computer security including any experience in cyber security.
  • Two recommendation forms completed preferably by faculty members or employers who can comment on applicant’s technical background, motivation, time/resource management, and potential future professional success.
  • Resume.
  • SAT (undergraduate candidates) or GRE scores (graduate candidates). (Optional: Provide the scores if you have taken the exam recently)

The review panel may request additional information to be submitted by candidates.

Completed applications should be sent to:

Scholarship for Service
Department of Computer Science
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6021

Applications can also be submitted electronically to sfs@ecs.csus.edu. Incomplete applications won’t be considered.


Information Assurance Program at Sacramento State

The Computer Science department offers an Information Assurance and Security (IA) certificate program at both graduate and undergraduate levels. At the undergraduate level, students successfully passing the following three courses are eligible to receive the IA certificate:

  • CSC 152 Cryptography Principles and Practice
  • CSC 153 Computer Forensics Principles and Practice
  • CSC 154 Computer Systems Attacks and Countermeasures

At the graduate level, a student successfully passing three of the following courses is eligible to receive an IA graduate certificate:

  • CSC 250 Computer Security and Privacy
  • CSC 252 Cryptography
  • CSC 253 Computer Forensics
  • CSC 254 Network Security
  • CSC 236 Formal Methods for Secure Software Engineering

The department also allows graduate students to take any of the IA graduate courses to satisfy a breadth requirement. IA education at Sacramento State is applied and practically oriented. Various courses include hands-on laboratory assignments involving security and forensic tools.

Alongside these programs, the College of Engineering houses two centers offering expertise and research opportunities: Center for Information Assurance and Security and Californian Smart Grid Center. The mission of the Center for Information Assurance and Security is to advance knowledge of information assurance and security practices through:

  • Education, training, and awareness programs in information assurance and security issues and practices
  • Applied research in information assurance and security
  • Developing interdisciplinary programs in information assurance and security
  • Outreach programs to assist our community, including community colleges, K-12 schools, industry, and government in information assurance and security issues
  • Forming collaboration with other education, research, industry, and government institutions as partners

The Center received National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education designation that is jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2007.

The California Smart Grid Center at Sacramento State engages in product testing of automated metering infrastructure and develops practical field solutions for large-scale integration of Smart Grid technologies. The Center aims to inform the development of real-time pricing of electricity by providing an unbiased proving ground where utilities, industry and the public sector will work together to impact consumer choice, global climate change and energy security. In addition, the Center works directly with California and national utilities to support the development of the highly desired upgrades to the nation's electric grid.


Contact Information




Mailing Address:

SFS Assistant
Department Of Computer Science
Sacramento State
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6021

Disclaimer: We make every effort to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information provided on this website. However, we review the information on a regular basis and reserve the right to make necessary changes without prior notice.