Critical Skills Recruiting Program

Sandia’s Critical Skills Recruiting Program (CSR) is a special, entry-level hiring program, which provides new or recent technical bachelor’s degree candidates the opportunity to pursue a fully funded Master’s of Science degree. The CSR program is designed to attract talent pursuing key disciplines aligned with Sandia’s national security mission, including Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, which supports Sandia’s strategic staffing needs to meet our important national security mission. In addition, the program supports achievement of a more diverse technical workforce at Sandia.

Successful applicants will become regular full-time Sandia employees and join multidisciplinary 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, CSR participants will enter graduate school to pursue their technical master’s degrees full time. Sandia will pay for eligible tuition and tuition-associated costs.

While in graduate school, fellows will remain on roll as Sandia employees and will receive an annual stipend and employee benefits. After receiving their master’s degrees, CSR participants are placed in appropriate technical staff positions at Sandia.

Program Eligibility

  • Ability to obtain a DOE security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship
  • Application deadline: November 7th
  • New or recent Bachelor’s of Science degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Qualify to attend Sandia approved graduate schools

Program Requirements

  • Apply to a minimum of 3 nationally accredited Sandia-approved universities and be accepted to at least 1 prior to beginning employment. Approved universities include Georgia Tech, Purdue, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, University of Texas-Austin, University of New Mexico and other top campus recruiting schools selected by Sandia.
  • Successfully complete the GRE as required by the universities of interest 
  • Complete a master’s degree within:
    • three semesters (five equivalent quarters, four trimesters) for a non-thesis option, or
    • four semesters (six equivalent quarters, five trimesters) for a thesis option
  • Maintain the required GPA set forth by the school in the discipline area of study
  • Spend at least two months working at Sandia prior to graduate school
  • In addition, eligible CSR participants must apply for a National GEM Consortium Fellowship and/or National Physical Sciences Consortium (NPSC) Fellowship
  • Pursue a technical master’s degree that fulfills Sandia’s business needs
  • Complete service requirement at Sandia upon graduation


  • Obtain a master’s degree while remaining on-roll as a Sandia employee and receive a competitive annual salary (paid biweekly) 
  • Regular employee benefits (except vacation accrual) while attending graduate school 
  • Paid tuition and related tuition associated costs 
  • Relocation benefits based on current Sandia policy
  • Placement into technical staff position upon graduation and successful completion of the program

Application procedure

  1. Browse the list of Critical Skills Recruiting (CSR) openings. 
  2. Complete an online application for a specific opening of your interest.

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

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Sandia invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law, EEO is the Law Poster Supplement, and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Sandia is a drug-free workplace. As a national laboratory funded by a U.S. government agency, we are subject to federal laws regarding illegal drug use. Illegal use of a controlled substance, including marijuana even in places where it does not violate state law, may impact your ability to obtain and/or maintain a Department of Energy security clearance, and may result in the withdrawal of an employment offer or termination of employment.

Sandia demonstrates its commitment to public safety in the national interest by requiring that all new hires be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved medical or religious accommodation before commencing employment. The requirement also applies to those who are telecommuting and working virtually.
Any concerns about the ability to meet this requirement should be directed to HR Solutions at (505) 284-4700.
For more information, please review the New Hire Vaccination Requirements.