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Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Services Summer Program (CES SP)

The Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Services Summer Program (CES SP) is open to undergraduate students majoring in mathematics, computer science, or a major with a strong background in math and computer science. CESSP provides an opportunity for exceptional undergraduates majoring in mathematics, computer science, and related fields to work directly with National Security Agency analysts on real, mission-critical cryptanalysis problems. As a CES SP participant, you will develop a deep understanding of the vital role that mathematics and computer science play in tackling a diverse set of technical challenges at NSA. You'll also experience firsthand the excitement of working on problems of national importance. If you possess imagination, initiative and intellectual curiosity, apply for the CES SP.

About the Program

The CES SP runs from the end of May through the middle of August and is open to students majoring in mathematics or computer science. A background in both math and computer science is desired. These programs afford the opportunity to "earn while you learn" by providing hands-on experience during a 12-week paid work assignment. Assignments are based on the student's experience and academic status. These intense 12-week programs give the brightest mathematics and computer science students in America's colleges and universities the chance to put their problem-solving skills to the test and receive valuable work experience at the same time. Students participating in the programs have the opportunity to learn cryptomathematical theory and to apply the theory to operational problems. At least one year of post-calculus math and/or statistics and one year of computer science training are strongly recommended prior to application.

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted August 1st - October 31st each year.


Students are paid a competitive salary commensurate with their education level.


  • Receive annual leave, sick leave and paid federal holidays
  • Participation in agency-wide extracurricular programs
  • Students who attend schools in excess of 75 miles from Ft. Meade, MD are eligible for a round trip airfare ticket to and from school or mileage reimbursement up to the cost of a government-issued airline ticket.
  • Daily transportation to and from work is not provided. Students participating in the program are highly encouraged to bring a vehicle. Carpooling with other students MAY be available but is NOT guaranteed.
  • Subsidized housing accommodations are available upon request if school is located in excess of 75 miles from NSA main HQs campus.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be eligible to be granted a security clearance
  • Must be an undergraduate student majoring in mathematics or computer science. Other majors with a strong background in math and computer science may apply. Students that are completing their degree after the fall or spring semester are also eligible to apply.
  • Must be available for an operational interview and other applicable processing between November and March

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted online on or before October 31st. Applications received after the deadline, as well as incomplete packages, will not be considered.

To submit a resume online during open season, click any "Apply Online" link. Under "Basic Job Search," type in keywords "Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Services Summer Program" and click on "Search." Select "Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Services Summer Program" and click "Apply Now." Follow directions as prompted.

To be considered for any of the summer math programs, you must submit a complete application package that includes:

  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members who can speak directly to your mathematics or computer science background
  • Transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended through current academic year, to include transferred credits


Transcripts may be issued directly by the Registrar, or issued to you by the Registrar, then sent with your application materials. Only originals via post, photocopies of originals via post, scanned copies of originals via email (PDF format only), or fax copies of originals will be accepted. Should you choose to fax your transcripts, please make clean photocopies first, then fax the photocopies, as the security features can render faxes of actual transcripts unreadable. If your Registrar is capable of directly sending electronic transcripts, please have them sent directly to you and then email the transcript as an attachment. Please do not send html transcripts accessible via a website or text versions thereof.

IMPORTANT: When applying online, you may only submit your resume. Please see job posting between August 1st and October 31st for the email and postal addresses to send transcripts and letters of recommendation.

**Applications are not complete without the requested documentation. If you have applied to multiple positions, you MUST follow the instructions on each posting and send your requested documents to each program separately. Documents (including transcripts) will NOT be shared between programs.


If you have questions about the Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Services Summer Program, please contact us at 1-866-NSA-HIRE. You may also e-mail or call (410) 854-4726

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Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Aug 27, 2015 | Last Reviewed: Aug 27, 2015