According to a news release from the University of Arizona, the university has been selected as one of four universities to host the U.S. Department of Defense’s new Defense Civilian Training Corps (DCTC) program.

This initiative aims to prepare college students for civilian careers within the Defense Department, specifically in: acquiring, implementing, and supporting new systems, supplies, and services.

The program offers various benefits, including tuition and fees reimbursement, a $2,000 monthly living stipend, a paid summer internship with the Department of Defense, and employment opportunities upon graduation.

The University of Arizona will be joined by Purdue University, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in hosting the pilot programs for the Defense Civilian Training Corps.

Approximately 80 students across the four universities are expected to participate in the two-year pilot program, with graduation planned for the spring of 2025.

Larry Head, professor of systems and industrial engineering and principal investigator of the UArizona pilot program, expressed that undergraduate students from all majors are eligible to apply.

The curriculum of the training corps will cover topics such as the structure of the Department of Defense, acquisition processes, project cost estimation and management, technology evaluation, protected technologies crucial to national security, leadership skills, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

Head highlighted the significance of this program for students, emphasizing that it provides a unique opportunity for them to contribute to national security and defense without joining the military. He also emphasized that the University of Arizona aims to offer diverse career opportunities to its student population.

As part of the program, students will undertake internships with Department of Defense labs and partners during the summer of 2024. They will be presented with real-world scenarios related to their fields of study and will be required to assess and provide solutions.

The program will span two years and will require approximately six hours of work per week. Planned activities and social events will also be incorporated into the program.

Students will have the opportunity to obtain their own government security clearance, facilitated by the University of Arizona Applied Research Corporation.