Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence Program

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence developed the Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC-CAE) program at select universities to help meet the IC's critical need for diverse personnel who possess the technological, analytic and critical language capabilities needed for the 21st Century world. In 2009, Virginia Tech was named an IC-CAE university and its programs are administered by the Hume Center for National Security and Technology.

With generous philanthropic support from our flagship education partner SAIC and the members of the Academic Affiliates Program, Virginia Tech is helping develop the pipeline of qualified candidates through a targeted development of pre-collegiate outreach, national security symposiums, basic research in IC-relevant topics, curriculum development, student funding to study abroad, and internship/co-op facilitation with IC agencies, national labs, and related industries.

What is the ICCAE?

Student Expectations

The IC-CAE program is very popular and reaching capacity; we can only retain those students who show commitment and participation in events, volunteering, and office hours. There are two levels of IC-CAE participation. Both levels are required to participate in at least three events per semester to remain enrolled in the program and to list IC-CAE on their resume, and are expected to attend the annual Colloquium in the spring.

IC Scholars receive financial support through the scholarship program and are required to identify a focused area of independent student research related to national security or the IC, develop and present a research poster at the IC Colloquium, and write a final report on the topic. More information on the IC Scholars program can be found here.

IC-CAE Associates have access to all the speakers and workshops we have and are able to list IC-CAE on their resume and online applications which will be a significant help in getting positions. Through this program we can help make the contacts between them and agencies, national labs and private companies involved in national security work.


Students who participate in this program will garner significant benefits to their educational and long-term career goals through the following activities:

  • access to our IC Colloquium speakers and research sessions;
  • one-on-one face time with representatives of the IC to gain a better understanding of the reality of work within the IC;
  • gaining exposure to the work of National Security and understanding the structure and function of the 16 IC agencies;
  • improve their critical thinking skills, communication capabilities and other core skills desired by the IC and by any employer;
  • improving their understanding of global affairs and obtaining better awareness of different cultures and societies;
  • assistance in resume development for pursuing Intelligence Agency co-ops, internships and full-time employment;
  • assistance in finding and obtaining co-op/internship positions and full-time employment through the program's direct connections to the IC and related companies; and
  • paid travel abroad for those selected to the NSEP travel abroad program.


The following are the requirements for participants in the IC-CAE program:

  • be a US citizen;
  • attend at least three events per semester: IC-CAE speaker series, workshops such as intel brief writing, IC resume development, ins/outs of security clearances, IC-CAE field trips, etc
  • attend the annual IC Colloquium, with a target date mid April;
  • meet with an IC representative or faculty mentor at least once a semester;
  • maintain good academic and Honor code status while enrolled in the program;
  • check email and the Canvas site for regular updates;
  • keep an up-to-date listing of the internships/co-ops/jobs they have applied to, and report it using the Scholar site, including agency/organization of application, position name, date of application, application result, and anticipated start date; and
  • any additional requirements for students selected for the study abroad program.

To Apply

To apply to join the IC-CAE program as an associate (rolling acceptance):  

Note that the application to internships and jobs is a critical metric for both the IC-CAE and the IC agencies and will help determine whether the program and agency visits are continued. The exception to this is applications to NCS at CIA, where we don't collect information.

If you have any questions about NSEP or the application process, please read the Frequently Asked Questions or contact Colleen Bartos.