Summer 2023 DCAIP
Thank you for your interest in the Summer 2023 DoD College Acquisition Internship Program (DCAIP). The application submission cycle for 2023 DCAIP has closed. Please continue to visit this page for the latest updates on the 2023 program. To learn about other opportunities for students, please visit the HCI College Corner.
DCAIP is a paid, 10- to 12- 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 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.
Students will have the opportunity to perform their internships within DoD Components participating in the DCAIP. Participating DoD Components may vary year to year based on resources and hiring needs. Students selected will be placed in a DoD Component according to their geographic preference and degree.
The DCAIP has several tracks such as technical, financial, contracting, and business. Students in all degree fields are encouraged to apply.
Students selected will work full-time (40 hours/week) between May/June and August of each year.
Students will choose from a list of geographic locations coinciding with participating DoD Components. Although selected students receive hourly pay, they do NOT receive a housing allowance. Students applying should choose a location in which they have access to housing.
(New England & Middle Atlantic)
- Boyers, PA
- Dayton, OH
- Eatontown, NJ
- Lakehurst, NJ
- Mechanicsburg, PA
- Natick, MA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Picatinny, NJ
- Tobyhanna, PA
- Detroit, MI
- Fort Sill, OK
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Omaha, NE
- Rock Island Arsenal, IL
- Warren, MI
- Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
- Arlington, VA
- Baltimore, MD
- Cherry Point, NC
- Dahlgren, VA
- Edgewood, MD
- Fort Belvoir, VA
- Fort Bragg, NC
- Fort Detrick, MD
- Fort Eustis, VA
- Fort Gordon, GA
- Fort Hood, TX
- Fort Jackson, SC
- Fort Meade, MD
- Fort Sam Houston, TX
- Fort Walton Beach, FL
- Galveston, TX
- Huntsville, AL
- Indian Head, MD
- Jacksonville, FL
- Mobile, AL
- Newport News, VA
- New Orleans, LA
- Norfolk, VA
- Orlando, FL
- Pascagoula, MS
- Patuxent River, MD
- Quantico, VA
- Redstone Arsenal, AL
- Research Triangle Park, NC
- San Antonio, TX
- Wallops Island, VA
- Warner Robbins, GA
- Washington Navy Yard, DC
- West Bethesda, MD
- Winchester, VA
- Albuquerque, NM
- Aurora Springs, CO
- Camp Pendleton, CA
- China Lake, CA
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Fort Huachuca, AZ
- Keyport, WA
- Lancaster, CA
- Los Angeles SFB, CA
- North Island, CA
- NUWC Keyport, WA
- Pearl Harbor, HI
- Port Hueneme, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Vandenberg SPF, CA
- White Sands Missile Range, NM
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 OPM guidelines as determined by their qualifications and education level. Interns will be paid between the federal employee minimum salary rate of $15 an hour and the GS-4, step 10 hourly rate. This rate will includes a locality adjustment, which varies depending on geographic location of the intern’s duty site. Interns in regions with higher cost of living, as recognized by OPM, may receive a slightly higher salary even at the same grade and step (or equivalent).
- 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 (paid by DoD Component).
- May qualify for travel expenses (determined by DoD Component). Funding may be provided by DCAIP management office.
- The opportunity to non-competitively convert to a permanent AWF position upon successful completion of the program after graduation under the Recent Graduates Direct Hiring Authority.
This program is for full-time currently-enrolled sophomore and junior college students; “Super Seniors,” who will graduate in December after the summer program, may work their last summer prior to graduation provided they are returning interns. To be considered, a student must not graduate before August of the summer program. To be eligible a student MUST:
- Be a U.S. citizen (interns cannot 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 toward a specific degree program.
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0.
- Be available for an interview and other applicable processing between October 2022 and December 2022.
- Be available for the 10- to 12-week summer program in May/June through August of 2023.
- 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.
The application period for the Summer 2023 DCAIP has closed. Applications for DCAIP 2024 will be accepted September 13, 2023 through October 11, 2023.
Application packets MUST NOT include information such as home address, a Social Security Number, Financial Information, Race/Ethnicity, or Photographs.
A 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;
- contact information for two (2) references that includes 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 HCI at DoDCollegeInternship@dau.edu.
Will I need to get a security clearance?
A: Participants in the Internship 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 that can be found at: https://news.clearancejobs.com/2021/03/05/security-clearance-adjudicative-guidelines. A copy of the standard security questionnaire form can be found at: opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF86.pdf. 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. Students selected will earn an hourly rate based on OPM guidelines as determined by their qualifications and education level. Interns will be paid between the federal employee minimum salary rate of $15 an hour and the GS-4, step 10 hourly rate. This rate will includes a locality adjustment, which varies depending on geographic location of the intern’s duty site. Interns in regions with higher cost of living, as recognized by OPM, will receive a slightly higher salary even at the same grade and step (or equivalent).
How is this program funded?
A: DCAIP is funded with DAWDA; HR Services & Billets provided by Component.
Is this program the same as Pathways?
A: No, this is a direct hire program managed by the Human Capital Initiatives office.
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 have already completed my undergraduate degree?
A: No, to be eligible for the DoD College Acquisition Internship, you must be currently enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program. You may be eligible for other programs with the Federal Government. You should look at USAJOBS.gov for more information.
Do I qualify for the internship if I am a senior?
A: No, to be eligible for the DCAIP, 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. You may be eligible for other programs with the Federal Government. You should look at USAJOBS.gov for more information.
Do I qualify for the internship if I graduate before the summer program initiates?
A: No, DCAIP is not a recent graduate program. You may be eligible for other programs with the Federal Government. You should look at USAJOBS.gov for more information.
What skills/competencies is DCAIP looking for in a candidate?
A: STEM/Accounting/Business/Humanities. However, we will students from all majors to apply for appointment.
Are there any resources I can use to help craft my application?
A: Your university career center should be able to assist. Please reach out to DoDCollegeInternship@dau.edu for any questions you may have.
If I did not receive an internship in a previous application cycle, but I am still eligible this year, can I apply again?
A: Yes, we encourage you to apply again if you are still eligible.
When is the application deadline?
A: The application window for 2023 DCAIP was September 14 - October 12, 2022. No applications will be accepted after 2359 EST (11:59 p.m. EST) on October 12, 2022.
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. Selected students, however, may be eligible for travel expenses, such as transportation to duty station and back. This must be coordinated with the hiring DoD Component in advance. You are encourage to seek a location in which you have access to housing.
Do you provide a stipend for rent, utilities, etc?
A: No, interns will not be provided a stipend for rent, utilities, etc
Will the Government pay to ship my car?
A: The Government will not pay to ship your car.
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, including marijuana, 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 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 and a medical screening 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 several states have legalized recreational marijuana under state law, and other states plus the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medical use, marijuana remains a controlled substance under federal law. Controlled substance use is considered during the background investigation process and may adversely impact your eligibility for a security clearance or suitability for employment. The issue of illegal drug use, including marijuana, prior to 12 months ago is carefully evaluated during the security processing and any medical screening.
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 1 December of the application year.
How are selection decisions made by DoD Components?
A: This varies by each DoD Component. Some factors that may be consider, your major, your GPA, your locations of interest, or telephonic interview.
If I am eligible to convert out of my intern position to a permanent position where will I be placed?
A: If you are eligible to convert, the location will typically be where you have worked your summer internship, however, the Component may have additional opportunities in other locations which you may be considered for. These discussions must occur with your Component’s HR office.
23) If I am eligible to convert out of my intern position to a permanent position what will my salary be?
A: Students who are converted to a competitive service position will have their pay set by the Component’s human resources (HR) office. The HR office will consider other recent graduate appointments and that salaries should be adjusted commensurate with skills, labor/market conditions etc. Students can be placed in a GS-05/GS-07 (or equivalent in non-General Schedule pay systems such as Acquisition Demonstration, the Scientific Reinvention Labs or Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System) provided that they have met the OPM guidelines for the job series and grade.