Critical Skills Master’s Program

The Critical Skills Master's Program (CSMP) provides exceptional bachelor's-level candidates with the opportunity to receive fully funded master's of science degrees. Successful applicants will become regular full-time Sandia employees and will join multidisciplinary R&D teams that are advancing the frontiers of science and technology to solve the world's greatest challenges.

After spending at least two months at Sandia acclimating to the national-laboratory environment and contributing to Sandia's missions, CSMP recipients will enter graduate school to pursue their technical master's degrees full-time. Sandia will pay for tuition and all tuition-associated costs.

While in graduate school, fellows will remain on roll as Sandia employees and will receive an annual stipend and employee benefits (with the exception of vacation accrual). After receiving their master's degrees, CSMP participants are guaranteed placement in appropriate technical staff positions at Sandia with their hiring organizations.


  • U.S. citizenship and the ability to obtain a Department of Energy security clearance
  • New bachelor's of science degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.2/4.0


  • Apply to three graduate schools jointly selected with Sandia
  • Spend at least two months working at Sandia prior to graduate school
  • Pursue a technical master's degree that fulfills Sandia's business needs
  • Earn a master's degree in three consecutive semesters (or four if pursuing a master's thesis)
  • Complete the master's program with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5/4.0
  • Return to Sandia after graduation as a technical staff member


  • A competitive salary while working full-time at Sandia
  • An annual stipend and regular employee benefits (except vacation accrual) while attending graduate school
  • Sandia-paid campus visit, tuition, and all tuition-related costs
  • Sandia-paid relocation to and from graduate school

Application procedure

  1. View the CSMP job openings that interest you in the following fields:
    • Computer Science/Computer Engineering/Electrical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering/Materials Science/Device Physics/Chemistry/Optical Science (646625)
  2. Click Apply Now, and follow the instructions to upload your resume.

Detailed instructions for using Sandia's Careers tool to apply for a position are also available.