Frequently Asked Questions
Please see the application deadlines for the following fall semester and links on the How To Apply page. Both the SFS and SFI programs begin in the fall semester and applicants must have all materials submitted by the deadlines for consideration.
No. All course work and research is conducted at The University of Arizona Tucson campus. Other than the courses in the Enterprise Security Certificate (MIS 515, 516 and 517), the AZSecure program is not available online or through satellite campuses.
SFS students will sign a written service agreements that details your responsibilities. The current service agreement is available for view. SFI students do not need to sign a binding contract to participate in AZSecure.
The scholarship funding is only available to eligible, qualified AZSecure program participants. However, students enrolled in MIS are welcome to take information assurance classes and/or to enroll in the online Enterprise Security Certificate program.
SFS students have work requirement in a one-for-one match between the time you are supported and the time you are expected to work, but must work a minimum of one year. SFI students do not have a post-graduation work requirement.
If you are applying for a position that requires an official University of Arizona transcript, you may order transcript delivery through the University’s Office of the Registrar. See the “University of Arizona Transcripts” page at https://www.registrar.arizona.edu/transcripts to view an unofficial copy of your transcript, or to order an official copy.
SFS students may fulfill their work requirement in federal, state or local government entities. AZSecure strongly encourages SFS placements in executive branch agencies, which includes all major research labs, the NSA, and the CIA, among other leaders in national cybersecurity. All government placements outside of the executive branch must be approved by the Office of Personnel Management.
Yes, a limited number of students may be placed in National Laboratories and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs). Such placements require prior approval from OPM SFS.
No; to fulfill the SFS government work obligation, SFS graduates must work at a federal, state, local or tribal government organization, an independent agency, government corporation, commission, quasi-official agency, national laboratory or federally funded research development center. AZSecure strongly encourages SFS placements in executive branch agencies, which includes all major research labs, the NSA, and the CIA, among other leaders in national cybersecurity. All government placements outside of the executive branch must be approved by the Office of Personnel Management.
Yes, for SFS students to meet their work requirements, they must be employed at a government agency in an information assurance position.
More information about security clearances can be found on the National Background Investigations Bureau page. The procedures and forms used by agencies vary, but the Standard Form (SF) 86 (Questionnaire for National Security positions) is often used for background investigations and security clearances.
No, SFS students are responsible for their own job searches, but will receive support in that search through events and services such as a national career fair and a database of participants' resumes. SFI students may take advantage of the career support services at the Eller College of Management as well as through the broader services provided by the University.
Federal employees with a bachelor's degree typically begin their employment at the GS-7 level and above, and those with a master's degree may be appointed at the GS-9 level. Higher civil service levels and steps may be applicable depending on many factors. The hiring agency makes the determination about the civil service step and pay grade. Federal pay rates vary depending on the geographic location of the appointment, and special pay rates have been created for federal IT-related jobs.
If an SFS student declines a reasonable offer and does not find a position to meet their obligation they could be required to pay back the monies received through the scholarship.
If an SFS student leaves their job before the requisite employment period, they must repay a prorated amount equivalent to the length of the period not served.
The U.S. Department of Personnel Management has an extensive list of FAQs related to the SFS program that you may find helpful. Both SFS and SFI prospective students are encouraged to contact the AZSecure Program Coordinator or Program Administrator for more information.
More FAQ's available at the OPM SFS FAQ page at https://www.sfs.opm.gov/StudFAQ.aspx
The above adapted from UT-Austin SFS website, 2014.