Targeted Education & Development

Public Service
DoD Culture & Values
Acquisition Teamwork
Critical Technologies

Launch Your Career
with the Department of Defense

Endless Opportunities to Make an Impact

The Defense Civilian Training Corps is a congressionally-mandated talent development program that provides a multidisciplinary, active-learning curriculum with summer internship projects at DoD organizations. DCTC is a highly selective pilot program that provides a 100% tuition scholarship and prepares scholars for a direct pathway into DoD acquisition-related careers.

  • High achieving students with a demonstrated interest in making a meaningful difference as part of an innovative, interdisciplinary team, are selected from majors such as finance, engineering, sciences, business, and public policy to join a DCTC cohort at host universities across the United States.
  • The curriculum is presented in an active learning environment where DCTC scholars engage in multi-disciplinary classroom activities to develop critical and creative thinking skills.
  • Summer internships with DoD acquisition, labs and other DoD organizations embed DCTC scholars within the DoD civilian workforce for first-hand experience collaborating with dedicated, results-oriented teams working on complex challenge projects that draw on major acquisition-related functions from program management, business, engineering, sustainment, finance and supply chain management.
  • Upon graduation, scholars join the DoD full time with the support and accelerated career advancement opportunities necessary to achieve their professional ambitions.
Building National Security Leaders Today and for Tomorrow

Recruit and develop resilient DoD leaders who bring innovative ideas, diverse backgrounds, and a collaborative mindset to enable and secure the defense ecosystem.

  • The Defense Civilian Training Corps (DCTC) will educate and develop exceptional scholars to become digitally literate future leaders, capable of collaborating across disciplines and with the private sector to procure and protect strategically significant technologies.
  • DCTC launches scholars onto a career pathway full of exciting opportunities for growth, mentorship, and advancement.
  • DCTC scholars represent the highly prepared, innovative, agile and dynamic workforce of the future and will be empowered to make an immediate impact on the world.
Targeted Development for Success

The development and integrated curriculum approach is a hallmark of the DCTC program. The approach is designed to provide DCTC scholars with the skills and experience to jump-start their professional careers and be productive members of the DoD acquisition community immediately upon graduation.  The four elements of the development and integrated curriculum are: the (1) core curriculum, (2) immersive learning experiences, (3) summer internships, and (4) innovation capstone project.

  • Core Curriculum - The DCTC pilot, starting with juniors, consists of four, 2-credit semester courses that begin with an introduction to the acquisition process and community followed by courses that dig deeper into DoD acquisition systems, critical technology needs, and other topics important to the DoD mission.
    • DCTC 301 ‐ Fundamentals of Civilian Public Service in the DoD
    • DCTC 302 - The DoD Acquisition Environment
    • DCTC 401 - Overview of DoD Missions and Community Functions
    • DCTC 402 - Capstone and Leading as part of the Acquisition Team
  • Innovation Capstone Project (2 semesters) - The innovation capstone project is the final project required of the DCTC curriculum. STEM and non-STEM scholars will form multi-disciplinary teams to design important prototype solutions needed by DOD organizations. Capstone students will engage with military and non-military mentors to develop solutions to real DoD challenges. Capstone projects are typically completed throughout your Senior year.
  • Summer Internship (8 wks) - Multi-disciplinary, cohort- and project- based summer internships at DoD organizations allow DCTC scholars to solve real-world DoD problems with experts in the field.
  • Immersive Learning Experiences – Throughout the academic semester, DCTC scholars will use simulations, gamification, and targeted team workshops for student deep learning on acquisition innovation, technologies, digital literacy, leadership and more.

Our Partners

The DCTC program operates through collaboration between the DoD and academia. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment (OUSD(A&S)) is the lead organization for the pilot effort, working in tandem with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness (OUSD(P&R)), the Chief Digital & Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO), and the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN).

The curriculum introduces scholars to the important partnership between the DoD and defense industrial base. Implementation of the pilot program and curriculum is led by the Acquisition Innovation Research Center (AIRC), a university affiliated research center (UARC) located at the Stevens Institute of Technology in partnership with land-grant universities, a Historically Black College and University, and a Minority Institution to create an inclusive program across a breadth of diverse backgrounds.

DCTC scholars represent the future of the workforce and are selected through a rigorous and highly competitive process. Our partners in Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs and the military academies have shared curricular and extra-curricular models to transform individual Scholars into a mission-driven team.

Partnerships with the military departments (Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force) and their organizations, will provide scholars with student internships, projects, and future DoD employment. Through teamwork and innovation, scholars will contribute as national security leaders today to solving DoD challenges.

Acquisition Innovation Research Center (AIRC)
Chief Digital & Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO)
Defense Industrial Base
Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA)
Military Academies
Military Departments
National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)
Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD)
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

Pilot Universities

Click each university below to learn more about DCTC