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DHS Graduate Fellowship

TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED - Provides up to three years of support for graduate study in a homeland security related science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field.


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) realizes that the country’s strong science and technology community provides a critical advantage in the development and implementation of counter-terrorist measures and other DHS objectives.  The DHS Fellowship Program is intended for students interested in pursuing the basic science and technology innovations that can be applied to the DHS mission.  Eligible students must be studying in a homeland security related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (HS-STEM) field with an interest in one of the following homeland security research areas: Explosives Detection, Mitigation, and Response; Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; Risk and Decision Sciences; Human Factors Aspects of Technology; Chemical Threats and Countermeasures; Biological Threats and Countermeasures; Food and Agriculture Security; Transportation Security; Border Security; Immigration Studies; Maritime and Port Security; Infrastructure Protection; Natural Disasters and Related Geophysical Studies; Emergency Preparedness and Response; Communications and Interoperability; Advanced Data Analysis and Visualization. 


SEE ALSO:  Goldwater Scholarship, DOD Graduate Fellowships, NIH Graduate Partnerships Program, DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Hertz Fellowship

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of scientists and engineers based on the student’s academic record and submitted test scores, reference reports, and essays.  Reviewers provide an overall rating and a separate rating on each of the following:

  • Academic Record - Transcripts are reviewed and evaluated in conjunction with information on the student’s program and information from reference reports.

  • Reference Reports - The best reference reports typically come from professors who know the applicant and can make an informed judgment about the applicant’s fitness for the proposed program of study.  Reviewers look for evidence of the ability to succeed in research, so references from research supervisors are helpful, even if these references are not the applicant’s professors.

  • GRE Test Scores - These are used to enhance other information related to academic potential.  There are no minimum test-score requirements.  Applications without GRE General Test scores will not be reviewed.  Applicants without GRE Subject Test scores in fields where tests are offered will be reviewed, but strong GRE Subject Test scores can enhance other evidence of potential to succeed in a graduate program.

  • Research Experience Essay - The best essays will do three things: succinctly describe the specifics of your experience, including the specific role that you played if you were part of a larger project; list any publications or presentations of research findings; and tell the reviewers what it is you think you gained from the experience.

  • Current Research Interests Essay - The best essays demonstrate both an ability to define a research problem relevant to the DHS mission and an understanding of how such a problem might be solved.  These essays should contain only original thoughts or other properly attributed information.

  • Contribution to Public Service Essay - Reviewers will look for evidence that the applicant is interested in a public service career relevant to homeland security.  The best essays will demonstrate insight into the career that interests you, the steps you may take to achieve your goals, and indicate how the fellowship will contribute to your career goals.  Reviewers also take note of unique life experiences and backgrounds that motivate you to succeed in making the homeland safe and secure.


Applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen at the time of the application deadline;

  • Not have earned a master’s or doctoral degree as of the application deadline;

  • Not be pursuing a DVM, MBA, MD, joint MD/PhD, JD, or joint JD/PhD;

  • Have a cumulative undergraduate GPA from their bachelor’s degree granting institution of 3.30 or higher on a 4.0 scale, including fall semester grades for graduating seniors;

  • Be pursuing a doctoral or master’s degree with a thesis requirement in a homeland security science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field with interest in a homeland security research area;

  • Have received a bachelor’s degree prior to the fall semester for which the fellowship will be used;

  • Have completed no more than two graduate courses since completion of a bachelor’s degree;

  • Not have any commitments such as active military service, summer field work, or study abroad, that would prevent the applicant from attending school full-time, attending the fall orientation meeting and participating full-time in a 10 week internship during the summer, or accepting an employment offer following the receipt of the graduate degree;

  • Be enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited college or university located in the U.S. or its territories during your appointment.  However, this condition would not prohibit a Fellow from doing some of their study or research at a foreign institution, with approval from DHS;

  • Be accepted in a graduate program by the fall semester for which the fellowship will be used;

  • Not plan to defer the DHS award, the internship component, or the service requirement;

  • Not accept any other fellowships, grants, or federal loans while on your DHS appointment other than educational benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and need-based assistance approved by DHS.

An orientation meeting, 10-week summer internship program, and, although employment is not guaranteed, willingness to accept, after graduation, competitive employment offers from DHS, state and local homeland security offices, DHS and national laboratories, or other DHS related research staff positions are requirements for this Fellowship.


The Fellowship provides full tuition and fee support as well as a $2,300/month living allowance.


Appointments are up to three years, given satisfactory academic progress and availability of funding.

For more information:

DHS Graduate Fellowship



Internal Selection Deadline (LSU)