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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating major crimes such as terrorism, murder, kidnapping, extortion, and robbery. Founded in 1908, the FBI has over 20,000 employees and is headquartered in Washington D.C.
The FBI internship program offers students an opportunity to gain valuable experience that will prepare them for successful careers at the FBI or other law enforcement agencies. In addition to providing you with a unique educational and career development experience, this program will also provide you with up-to-date training on current investigations, strategies, and techniques used by the FBI.
This prestigious internship provides you the opportunity to work closely with members of various divisions including the National Security Branch, Criminal Investigative Division, Counterterrorism Section, Laboratory Analysis Unit, Technical Services Division, Human Resources, and Information Systems Divisions, Financial Crimes Division, Training Academy, and Regional Field Offices.
FBI Internships Programs
- Visiting Scientist Program
- Collegiate Hiring Initiative
- Honors Internship Program
Honors Internship Program
This competitive program comprises ten weeks and is a paid course targeted at both college undergraduates and graduate students. Interns will work with FBI staff in Washington, D.C., or at local field offices across the country. Students from a wide range of academic disciplines can benefit from the direct expertise and experience provided by FBI agents.
Applying for this course begins in August, and you must be a current full-time college student who maintains a minimum 2.95 cumulative GPA to be eligible. Furthermore, you must pass all security checks and be eligible for top-secret security clearance.
Visiting Scientist Program
The FBI Visiting Scientists Program provides the opportunity to work inside one of the most advanced laboratories in the entire world, the heart of the FBI’s Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Division, or CTFSRU.
The program is open for applications from faculty, recent graduates, and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in working with some of the most innovative companies in the world. Those in the program work with state-of-the-art scientific technology and equipment to conduct research. The program lasts from one to five years (or longer).
Collegiate Hiring Initiative
The FBI’s College Hiring Initiative is its recruitment program for graduates from colleges or universities of at least bachelor’s level within the last two years. This program brings new people into the FBI who can apply their unique talents to support the Bureau’s operations.
Within the Bureau, many different types of positions exist. Some of these include analyzing processes, assessing the security of the Bureau, providing business support, etc. These positions can lead to other positions within the Bureau, including management.
Candidates for this position must meet all of the requirements listed below:
- You must be a citizen of the United States.
- Attending a college or university full-time as an undergraduate, graduate, or post-doctoral student. Students who graduate before the program starts are ineligible for the scholarship. However, students who continue their education in the semester after the program starts are eligible.
- Applicants must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better at the time they apply for the internship, throughout the application process, and during their stay at the company.
- A first-semeter freshman or student attending an institution that does not offer a GPA will need to satisfy alternative requirements. Instead of a 3+ GPA or higher, the candidate must maintain at least a 3+ high school GPA and score 1,500 out of 2400 on the SAT (1 out of 1600 on new SATs) OR score a 22 or higher on the ACT (or equivalent).
- To pass all of the FBI employment screening requirements and be able to get a top-secret security clearance.
- The FBI is interested not just in applicants with a college degree but also in applicants with a wide variety of educational backgrounds. These include but are not limited to accounting, business, STEM, English, finance, foreign languages, human resources, information technology, Journalism, Law, Marketing, Public Relations, Visual Arts.
How Can I Apply?
Students can learn more details about applying for any of the following important opportunities at the FBI’s careers website, including a detailed description of requirements and the application process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to be hired as an FBI Honors Intern or Collegiate Hire?
The hiring process will depend on the length of the background investigation. When conditional job offers are made and the candidates complete the necessary e-QIP application and preliminary processing, the FBI will begin the background investigation. Background investigation length can be affected by things like foreign travel, international friends or contacts, and other factors. However, most entry-on-duties (EODs) will take place during the summer after applications are due.
Who is my point of contact during the application process?
The Applicant Coordinator, or designated field office representative from your local FBI Field Office, is your point of contact throughout this process.
May I apply to both the Honors Internship Program and Collegiate Hiring Initiative at the same time?
No. The Honors Internship Program is for students who have not yet graduated or who are not graduating until at least the Fall of the year after they apply. The Collegiate Hiring Initiative is for students who are graduating through the Summer of the year they apply, or who have graduated within 24 months of applying. For example, a student graduating in Summer 2019 may not apply for the Honors Internship Program but is eligible to apply for the Collegiate Hiring Initiative. Likewise, a student graduating in Fall 2019 may apply to the Honors Internship Program, but not to the Collegiate Hiring Initiative.
If I have taken illegal drugs in the past, can I still work for the FBI?
The FBI’s illegal drug policy is both clear and explicit. No exceptions will be made to the policy, and your answers are subject to verification by urinalysis and pre-employment polygraph examination(s). Please review the Employment Eligibility page to ensure you are eligible to apply for employment with the FBI.
If I have traveled or lived abroad, will that hinder my receiving a security clearance?
Many of the permanent positions at the FBI are internationally oriented, and experience living or traveling abroad is often viewed as a positive experience. However, there are cases in which national security concerns may arise. Extensive foreign experience may delay the background investigation process if there is difficulty verifying information on the application.
I am a citizen of another country. May I apply?
You must be a United States citizen to apply. If you are a United States citizen with dual citizenship, you may apply if you are willing to renounce your non-U.S. citizenship. Dual citizens who renounce their non-U.S. citizenship will be required to execute a declaration form.
My background investigation is taking a long time and the program begins soon. Should I assume that I have been disqualified?
No. You will be notified in writing if you have not been accepted. You may contact the Applicant Coordinator in your processing field office at any time to ascertain your status.
Does the FBI furnish housing for Honors Interns or Collegiate Hires?
No. The FBI does not pay for or provide housing or travel expenses.
Can I have roommates who are not FBI employees?
Yes. All roommates, however, must undergo a security check. Upon entering on duty, you and your roommates must complete a roommate background data form.
May I take any time off during the internship?
Yes. Interns earn annual and sick leave while on a full-time schedule for 10 weeks during the summer only. As a guideline, interns may take “leave” approximately one day per month.
How should I dress for work?
Appropriate attire for men includes business suits, sports jackets, slacks, shirts, and ties. Appropriate attire for women includes business dresses, dress suits, pants suits, and professional blouses.
What types of projects do Honors Interns and Collegiate Hires work on?
Interns work on a variety of projects, including (but not limited to): analyzing crime data, developing portals to facilitate the exchange of information between law enforcement agencies and the FBI, supporting operations, and aiding with division audits to ensure compliance with FBI regulations. For more information on Collegiate Hire work experiences, please visit the Collegiate Hiring Initiative section.
Will I be offered a full-time position with the FBI at the conclusion of my Honors Internship?
Interns are not guaranteed a job offer for a full-time position. However, interns who have graduated and receive recommendations for hire may be extended a job offer. If the job offer is accepted, they are converted to a permanent position pending their completion of 16 hours per month of work at the field office during the rest of their academic tenure. This 16 hour ensures the student is able to maintain his or her security clearance according to OPM’s guidelines.