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Office of the Under Secretary of Defense
for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S)

Entry-Level Career Opportunity

SMART Scholarship Program

The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program has been established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing technical degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.The program is an opportunity for students to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully employed by the Department of Defense (DoD) upon degree completion.

For more information on SMART visit: SMART Scholarship Program

Department of Defense scholarships provide cash awards to students who have demonstrated ability and aptitude for excelling in STEM fields in disciplines of importance to DoD. Applicants must pursue a technical degree in one of the 19 STEM disciplines. Once accepted into the program, SMART scholars receive $25,000 to $38,000 a year. The scholarship application deadline for the 2018 class is Dec. 8, 2017. The next submission window runs from Aug. 1 to Dec. 1, 2018, for the 2019 class.

For more information on STEM scholarships visit: STEM Scholarships

Pathways Program

The Pathways Program offers federal internship and employment opportunities for current students, recent graduates and those with an advanced degree. For more information visit: USAJOBS Pathways Program, or click on one of the three available paths below:

Internship: The Pathways Internship Program provides selected students a paid opportunity (internship) with the Department of Defense while they are current enrolled high school, undergraduate or graduate school.


For additional information visit: Internships

Recent Graduate: This program provides an opportunity for recent graduates (within two years of degree or certificate completion) to participate in a career development program with the potential for conversion to a permanent position.


For additional information visit: Recent Graduates

Presidential Management Fellows: A highly competitive program for college graduates with advanced degrees (Master’s, Ph.D) that are selected for future leadership programs. The program requires 4-6 months of service with the option for conversion to a permanent position.

For additional information visit: PMF

Career Ladder

Typically all Acquisition Career Development Program positions start at the General Schedule-7 (GS-7) level with promotion potential to the GS-12 level. Individuals with directly related advanced educational degrees or specialized experience may be eligible to start at the GS-9 level. Advancement in the entry-level career ladder program is commensurate with positive performance.

View the Slick Sheet