I&A Internship

Apply for an internship, earn a paycheck and learn the skills you need for an exciting career in intelligence.

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is the lead intelligence office within the Department of Homeland Security. We offer undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to hone their skills to prepare for careers as intelligence professionals.

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Internship Mission Areas

Includes analysis of issues related to terrorism, cybersecurity, economic security and transnational organized crime.

Includes open source collection, document and media exploitation, counterintelligence operations and the 24/7 Operations Center.

Includes budget and finance, human resources, program management, security, strategic planning and policy development.

Includes information assurance/IT security, IT engineering, data science and visualization, and programming and development.

Eligibility

All applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen and able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance.
  • Be a current degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student in an accredited university (as defined by the U.S. Department of Education) and have at least one academic year of study after an I&A internship. Rising seniors are eligible to apply if they will be going directly on to graduate school.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (no exceptions).
  • Be 16 years old or older.

Generally, the following majors are hired for the I&A internship, however this is not an exhaustive list:

  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Computer/Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Sciences
  • Criminology/Criminal Justice
  • Data Science
  • Digital Forensics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Economics
  • Engineering (other)
  • English
  • Finance
  • Global Studies
  • History
  • Human Resources
  • Intelligence Studies
  • International Affairs/Relations
  • Law
  • Logistics
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • National/Homeland Security
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Regional Studies
  • Security Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Statistics

FAQ

Internships are in the Washington, D.C., area.

All interns start in the summer and work full-time for a 10-week period (late May to mid-August). Interns attending metropolitan Washington, D.C., universities may continue to work either full- or part-time during the academic year, depending on their class schedule. Interns will determine a schedule with their supervisors based on their academic commitments.

Students apply in the early fall for the following summer. Bookmark this page for announcements regarding the application period.

Interns may be teamed with an intelligence analyst to learn tradecraft and research, write and present finished intelligence products on terrorism, cyber or economic security issues. An intern in our IT mission area may assist in developing databases or working on IT tools to enhance analysis. Other intern positions support field operations, analyze performance measurement and organizational development, or aid in human resources, or budget and financial operations. Interns work alongside I&A employees and support their mission activities.

I&A also provides special training and outreach experiences at DHS Components and other Intelligence Community agencies. The Intern Program Manager, in conjunction with the intern’s supervisor, will recommend appropriate training and developmental experiences to enable interns to succeed in their work assignments.

There are five stages in the intern hiring process:

  • Initial Application Review: Application materials must be complete before referral to the selection panel. Incomplete applications are not considered.
  • Application Evaluation: I&A reviews intern applications and considers each in light of academic background, any other relevant experience and the current needs of I&A. Applicants may be interviewed by phone or asked to provide a writing sample during this phase.
  • Conditional Offer: I&A contacts selected individuals via phone or email to confirm their continued interest. If the candidate confirms, I&A extends a conditional offer of employment. This offer is contingent upon the successful completion of a background investigation and the granting of a Top Secret security clearance. Due to the volume of applications, only those selected as candidates will be contacted.
  • Background Investigation: Candidates who accept the conditional job offer must complete and submit required background investigation paperwork. U.S. government investigators will contact your current/former employers, references, social acquaintances and neighbors, and review school, credit, arrest, medical and military records. The length of the investigation depends on how quickly and thoroughly each applicant completes the documents, the extent of foreign travel or time spent living abroad, and inconsistencies in the application and investigation process. The I&A internship processing timeline takes approximately four months. However, every case is unique. If an intern has not been granted the clearance by the time of the official start of the internship program in late May, I&A will work individually with interns as they clear security to determine if a later start date is feasible. Students attending local schools may be able to start later in the summer if they continue to intern during the academic year.
  • Enter on Duty: Upon successful completion of the background investigation and granting of a security clearance, human capital representatives contact interns and assign an enter-on-duty date. The I&A Internship Program generally begins right after Memorial Day in late May.
  • If you travel abroad, keep a list of dates, locations and foreign contacts.
  • If you have foreign contacts on social media, include them on your list.
  • Do not use illegal drugs, including marijuana. While legal in several states, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Do not misuse legal/prescription drugs.
  • Do not illegally download material.
  • Be careful with alcohol consumption.

DHS requires each employee to be reliable and trustworthy. All selected applicants must undergo, and successfully complete, a background investigation and be granted a Top Secret clearance with access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) as a condition of placement in the I&A Internship Program. This investigation includes a review of delinquency in the payment of debts, tax obligations, certain criminal offenses and the illegal use or possession of drugs.

Applicants should consult the Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Access to Classified Information to review how these and other considerations could affect their applications. Issues may not necessarily preclude DHS from granting a security clearance, but they may lengthen the time required to complete the clearance process.

No. I&A generally views living or traveling abroad as a positive experience. However, there are cases where national security concerns may arise from time spent abroad. Additionally, extensive foreign experience may delay the background investigation process if there is difficulty verifying information provided on the application.

Applicants should not be studying abroad during the academic year prior to the summer in which they wish to intern, as an individual must be physically present in the U.S. for the clearance process.

No, I&A does not pay for or provide housing for interns, nor does it pay for travel to/from Washington, D.C., for participation in the program. The I&A Internship Program Coordinator can provide interns with information on nearby housing options. Interns receive a salary for time worked, which can help pay for living expenses. All interns are paid according to the General Schedule (GS), depending on their level of education and academic credits. Typically, interns are paid at GS grades from 3 to 9. Interns are not eligible for federal benefits except paid holidays and annual and sick leave accrual.

I&A offers federal public transit subsidies for the daily commute to and from work. Free parking is also available at several I&A facilities.

By the nature of their temporary appointment, interns are not eligible for federal health and life insurance or retirement benefits. They will accrue annual and sick leave.

Yes! In fact, we encourage our high-performing interns to return for an additional summer internship as long as they are students.

While an I&A internship is not a guarantee of a permanent position, we make every effort to place successful interns. All offers are contingent upon performance and fit for available positions.

Additional information can be found at https://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-careers/office-intelligence-and-analysis-internship-program. Please note that I&A does NOT participate in the Pathways Program administered by the Office of Personnel Management.