Volunteer Student Internship Program

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) Volunteer Student Internship Program (VSIP) is part of a larger effort by the commands to help cultivate future generations of defense and security practitioners. Our VSIP provides students exposure to NORAD and USNORTHCOM missions and responsibilities, while working alongside current military and civilian professionals dedicated to the defense of North America. 


Program Information

Participants in the NORAD and USNORTHCOM VSIP gain valuable hands-on experience related to their education endeavors while working in a joint, interagency and international environment at NORAD and USNORTHCOM headquarters in Colorado Springs. Students may potentially earn academic credit for the work performed and those that qualify may receive a Department of Defense secret clearance.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for consideration, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled, at least half-time, in an accredited graduate educational institution degree program, Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) program, or service academy
  • Be able to obtain and maintain a GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Be available to work a minimum of 9 weeks in the program (work schedules vary)
  • Be a U.S. citizen and able to successfully complete a background security investigation
Application Requirements
  • VSIP Application [PDF]
  • Review of the Command and Staff Structure [PDF]
  • Current professional/academic resume with anticipated graduation date
  • Cover letter identifying student as a VSIP applicant along with the student's career area of interest
  • Unofficial transcripts with courses, grades and GPA
  • Educational Institution Acknowledgement Letter [PDF]

To apply, email the above documents in PDF format to the VSIP administrative section at n-nc.peterson.n-ncj7.mbx.j72-internship-omb@mail.mil.

DISCLAIMER: It should be noted that, under 5 U.S.C 3111, a student volunteer is not a federal employee for any purposes other than injury compensation and law related to the Tort Claims Act. Student participation in the program is on a voluntary basis, and there is no remuneration or other employee benefits provided. N&NC does not provide housing assistance or support. Volunteer service is not credible for leave or any other employee benefits or monetary compensation.

Program Timelines

The VSIP is an annual program offered over the fall, spring and summer academic semesters. As such, there are different deadlines for submitting applications for each semester. Below are general timeframes for each hiring period.

  • Internships Posted: December - March
  • Candidates Selected: April / May
  • Internship Completed: September - December
  • Internships Posted: April - July
  • Candidates Selected:  August / September
  • Internship Completed: January - March
  • Internships Posted: August - November
  • Candidates Selected: December / January
  • Internship Completed: May - August

Research Opportunities

NORAD and USNORTHCOM invites all institutions to partner in research that is mutually beneficial in the areas of aerospace defense, homeland defense, security cooperation and Defense Support of Civil Authorities. The below research topics list identifies current and previous areas of interest and can potentially be used to satisfy student research project or capstone requirements while assisting NORAD and USNORTHCOM improve our understanding of the focus area. We have a broad research topics list that can potentially be used to satisfy student research project requirements while helping to advance NORAD and USNORTHCOM's understanding of a given focus area.  



Have Questions?
For questions or inquiries about our Volunteer Student Internship Program, send us an email using the contact form below. You may also reach us at 719-554-7340.
VSIP Coordinator