Workforce Development

Building America’s Future Homeland Security
Science and Engineering Workforce


The Department of Homeland Security's Office of University Programs builds a diverse, highly capable, technical workforce for the homeland security enterprise.

The DHS Office of University Programs (OUP) Workforce Development Initiatives educate and train  the current and future homeland security workforce in science and engineering professions to enhance the capabilities and effectiveness of the homeland security community.  Through OUP grants, internships and fellowships, students acquire advanced technical knowledge and training and gain exposure to and experience in complex real-world challenges.

The four OUP Workforce Development Initiatives are developing a cadre of professionals dedicated to the DHS mission.  The students supported through these programs will become the next generation of homeland security leaders, taking positions with DHS components, national laboratories, and other agencies with homeland security missions.  Collectively, these programs help ensure there will be a steady stream of homeland security science and engineering professionals to meet current and future homeland security challenges.

Summer Internships provide juniors and seniors up to ten weeks of internship support during the summer. Participants conduct research in DHS mission-relevant research areas at federal research facilities and at DHS Centers of Excellence (COE).  Over 250 summer internships have been granted since awards began in 2008.

Homeland Security Externships provide students with quality homeland security science and engineering learning and research opportunities at homeland security research facilities. Launched in 2013, this program is open to highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students studying in homeland security science and engineering disciplines and DHS mission-relevant research areas.

Military Service Academies Program  provides faculty and student teams from U.S. military academies the opportunity to conduct research at universities affiliated with the COEs or participate in field studies sponsored by DHS.  Geared toward rising senior cadets and midshipmen, the goal of the program is to increase research collaborations between DHS and the U.S. Department of Defense.  For more information visit the DHS Center of Innovation at the United States Air Force Academy.

The Graduate Research Internship Program is a pilot program in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The goal of this program is to engage NSF graduate fellows in mission-related, collaborative research projects under the guidance of research mentors at DHS to develop expertise in critical homeland security areas.

For more information, contact:  universityprograms@hq.dhs.gov.

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