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Summer Language Program

Undergraduate and graduate students will learn to analyze foreign communications for vital intelligence missions by apprenticing with experienced language analysts in NSA's Summer Language Program. Geopolitical, cultural, and technical knowledge may be used to understand both overtly stated meaning and subtly implied intent as you scan, translate, and transcribe foreign communications, then report critical information to U.S. government customers.

About the Program

The Summer Language Program is a 12-week internship intended for high-potential full-time college upperclassmen and graduate students. Foreign language proficiency combined with a wide array of majors and minors will be considered for this program, which can be a one-summer or two-summer internship. The program may begin after your sophomore year, and if mutually agreeable, continue the summer after your junior year. Likewise, the program may begin the summer after your junior year and continue the summer between your senior year and your first year of graduate school. The program may also take place in the summers between years of graduate study. Participation during a second summer is encouraged but not required. At the end of your internship, an offer may be extended for you to join NSA in a full-time position after graduation.

The 2016 Summer Language Program is hiring students with proficiency in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. The languages may change from year to year based on the Agency's projected hiring needs.

The summer includes

  • A language mentor assigned from NSA's language analysis team
  • Hands-on operational experience
  • Relevant job-specific briefings
  • Job-specific training and customized language training

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted May 15th - October 15th 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 headquarters campus.


  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Must be eligible to be granted a security clearance
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher is preferred in language/area studies.
  • Must have at least one semester or quarter of college study remaining at the conclusion of the summer internship
  • Must have language proficiency in one of the advertised foreign languages
  • Must be available for an operational interview, language testing, and other applicable processing at some point between June and January.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted online on or before October 15. Applications received after the deadline, as well as incomplete applications, will not be considered.

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

To be considered for the Summer Language Program, you must submit a complete application package that includes:

  • Unofficial transcripts
  • A list of your fall courses and proposed spring courses
  • When submitting your online application, be sure to complete the College Education portion. If you do not yet have a degree, list your school and your projected graduation date. Use the Other Professional Details section of the application to include any additional relevant information, such as language immersions, scholarships, interests, etc.

IMPORTANT: When applying online, you may only submit your resume. Please email all other required documentation to

**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 Summer Language 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: Sep 24, 2015 | Last Reviewed: Sep 24, 2015