About the Program
Thank you for your interest in the DoD College Acquisition Internship Program. The application cycle for 2021 DCAIP is now closed. To learn about other opportunities for students, please visit the HCI College Corner.
The DoD College Acquisition Internship Program is a paid, 10-week summer internship that provides students with real-world exposure to Department of Defense acquisition workforce career opportunities. The program targets full-time second and third year students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at an accredited college or university. Interns receive hands-on, practical experience in analysis, research, report writing, oral briefings, policy development, program analysis, and computer applications. Student interns gain experience in career fields available within the Acquisition workforce such as: Engineering, Contracting, Logistics, Business - Financial Management, Business - Cost Estimating, Information Technology, Test & Evaluation, Industrial Contract Property Management, Purchasing, Science and Technology, Production, Quality and Manufacturing, Facilities Engineering, and Program Management.
Click here to view the 2021 DCAIP Implementing Guidance.
What is Acquisition?
DoD Acquisition is explained as the mission and process involved in the procurement of weapons, systems, supplies, or services to satisfy DoD needs and support military operations. The acquisition process encompasses a range of phases such as: research, design, engineering, manufacturing, technology, testing, deployment, sustainment, operation, and disposal. To execute the acquisition and sustainment mission, members of the acquisition workforce require the education, skills and knowledge to perform many occupations, i.e. program manager, engineer, digital technology, financial manager, contract officer, logistician, etc.
There are numerous DoD Components participating in the 2021 program. Students selected will be placed in a DoD Component according to the geographic location annotated in their application package.
The DoD College Acquisition Internship Program for 2021 will have several tracks such as technical, financial, contracting, and business. Students in all degree fields are encouraged to apply.
Selected students will work full-time (40 hours/week) over 10 consecutive weeks between May and August 2021. There may be opportunities to work over winter break and to return during the summer of 2021; this is determined by DoD Component need, continued eligibility, and student’s availability.
Although selected students will receive hourly pay, they will NOT receive a housing allowance. Students applying should choose a location in which they have access to housing. Positions are available in the following areas (choose one city and annotate on application checklist):
(New England & Middle Atlantic)
- Newport, RI
- Natick, MA
- Eatentown, NJ
- Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
- Mechanicsburg, PA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Rock Island, IL
- Detroit Arsenal, MI
- Omaha, NE
- Fort Sill, OK
- Washington Navy Yard, DC
- Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
- Baltimore, MD
- Fort Detrick, MD
- Patuxent River, MD
- Arlington, VA
- Dahlgren, VA
- Fort Belvoir, VA
- Fort Eustis, VA
- Lorton, VA
- Norfolk, VA
- Quantico, VA
- Winchester, VA
- Cherry Point, NC
- Fort Bragg, NC
- Fort Jackson, SC
- Fort Gordon, GA
- Orlando, FL
- Huntsville, AL
- Redstone Arsenal, AL
- Fort Hood, TX
- Fort Sam Houston, TX
- Galveston, TX
- San Antonio, TX
- Ft. Huachuca, AZ
- White Sands Missile Range, NM
- Camp Pendleton, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Port Hueneme, CA
Midwest (East & West North Central)
South (South Atlantic, East South Central, West South Central)
West (Mountain & Pacific)
Students selected will earn an hourly rate based on their qualifications, education level, and set within the basic hourly range of ($11.00-$22.00); this rate includes locality which varies depending on geographic location.
- Opportunity to gain experience in research, analysis, report writing, oral briefings, policy development, program analysis, and computer applications as related to the acquisition workforce
- Paid Salary
- Security Clearance
- Earn annual leave, sick leave and paid federal holidays
- May qualify for a Student Intern Relocation Incentive (DoD Components determine)
- May gain the opportunity to non-competitively convert to a permanent acquisition workforce position upon successful completion of the program.
This program is for college students. To be considered, you must not graduate before May 2021. To be eligible you MUST:
- Be a U.S. citizen (Interns may NOT hold dual-citizenship).
- Be suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation.
- Be able to obtain and hold a security clearance.
- Be enrolled full-time as a sophomore or junior in an undergraduate program at an accredited university and have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours.
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0.
- Be available for an interview and other applicable processing between October 2020 and December 2020.
- Be available for the 10-week summer program May through August of 2021.
- If male, over 18 years of age, and born after December 31, 1959, you have registered with the Selective Service System.
NOTE: Some positions may require pre-employment drug testing.
Applications will be accepted starting on 14 September 2020 until the maximum number of applications per location have been received, or 2359 EDT (11:59 p.m. EDT) 12 October 2020. You are encouraged to submit early as the window for popular locations will close much earlier than 12 October. Incomplete application packages will NOT be considered.
Application packets MUST NOT include information such as home address, a Social Security Number, Financial Information, Race/Ethnicity, or Photographs.
Résumé that includes the following information:
- contact information;
- completed course work (unit/credit hours);
- degree and academic standing/GPA;
- work/volunteer experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates or employment; and title, series, and grade, if applicable;
- two (2) references that include the name, phone number and email address for each reference. References can be selected from a part-time or full-time job, prior internship, volunteer, or paid work experiences. References might include current or former supervisors, faculty mentors, campus staff or advisers, coaches or anyone in a professional position who can speak about your character, skills, and work ethic.
- Current transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however if selected, an official college transcript will be required. Transcripts MUST include the student’s name, name of the school, current GPA/academic standing, past and current coursework, and degree program.
Proof of Enrollment or Class Registration and documentation that states projected graduation date.*
*Proof of Enrollment must include the student’s name. Proof of Enrollment may include a screenshot of the student’s semester class schedule, an official letter of enrollment, or listed on official transcripts. The document should show the academic institution where the full-time student is currently enrolled.
- DD-214 (Member 4 copy) If you are claiming veterans’ preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 (Member 4 copy), or other official documentation from a branch of the Armed Forces or the Department of Veterans Affairs showing dates of service and type of discharge. Ten-point preference eligibles must also submit an Application for 10-point Veteran Preference, SF-15, along with the required documentation listed on the back of the SF-15 form. For more information on veterans' preference view FedsHireVets.
Applications MUST include:
Students submitting incomplete applications, applications for a location that has closed, or applications past the 12 October deadline WILL NOT be considered!
If you have questions about the DoD College Acquisition Internship Program, please contact us at DoDCollegeInternship@hci.mil.
Will I need to get a security clearance?
A: Participants in the Intern program must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance from the DoD. It is highly encouraged that you read the security clearance adjudication guidelines prior to applying to the program. A copy of the standard security questionnaire form can be found at: opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF86.pdf. Applicants should not submit an SF86 form at this time. Applicants will be notified when and if they are required to submit this form.
Is this a paid internship?
A: Yes, interns receive a competitive hourly rate for the duration of the internship.
Do I qualify for the internship if I have already completed my undergraduate degree?
A: No, to be eligible for the DoD College Acquisition Internship Program, you must be currently enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program.
Do I qualify for the internship if I am a senior?
A: No, to be eligible for the DoD College Acquisition Internship Program, you must be enrolled full-time as a sophomore or junior in an undergraduate program at an accredited university and have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours.
Do I qualify for the internship if I graduate before the Summer program initiates?
A: No, DCAIP is not a recent graduate program.
When is the application deadline?
A: The application window will close upon the receipt of the maximum number of applications per location, or 2359 EST (11:59 p.m. EST) on 12 October 2020. You are encouraged to apply quickly and completely as popular locations will close earlier than 12 October.
Are international students eligible for an internship?
A: No, only U.S. citizens are eligible to participate in the DoD College Acquisition Internship Program.
Do you provide housing?
A: No, Student Interns will not be provided housing. However, selected students may be eligible for a relocation incentive i.e. transportation to duty station and back; however, this must be coordinated with the hiring DoD Component in advance. You are encouraged to seek a location in which you have access to housing.
Do you provide a stipend for rent, utilities, etc?
A: No, Student Interns will not be provided a stipend for rent, utilities, etc
Will the Government pay to ship my car?
A: Absolutely not.
What if I used drugs or still use drugs; will this disqualify me from the internship or future employment?
A: To be considered suitable for employment with the DoD, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs within the last 12 months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to 12 months ago is carefully evaluated during the medical and security processing. Drug abuse is one of the common reasons applicants are denied a security clearance. Many jobs within the DoD require the applicant to be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. Some jobs also require drug testing for safety or national security reasons.
I live in a state that has legalized the use of marijuana. How will that affect my internship and possible employment with the DoD?
A: While states such as Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana under state law, and 20 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medical conditions, marijuana remains a controlled substance under federal law. Drug use is considered during the background investigation process, and may adversely impact your eligibility for a security clearance or suitability for employment. .
What if the background investigation finds something disqualifying about me, will I have a chance to explain?
A: Yes, prior to the denial of a security clearance, you will be given an opportunity to provide additional information to explain the circumstances surrounding the issue. If the clearance is denied, you will also have the right to appeal that decision. It is advised that applicants be truthful and forthcoming throughout the investigative process, as failure to provide requested information is a serious issue.
When can I expect to hear if I was selected?
A: Participating DoD Components are responsible for selecting summer interns and notification will vary; however, if selected you should be notified no later than 18 December 2020.