Eligibility requirements

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply for the Defence Graduate Program.


Applicants must be an Australian Citizen and hold citizenship for at least 3 months before the program starts.


Applicants must have completed a minimum Bachelor’s Degree within the last 5 years' at the time of starting the program. Please note, each pathway has separate qualification requirements.

Any applicants completing a degree during the application process will need to verify they have completed their degree before starting the program.

Applicants holding international qualifications will need to provide a statement verifying recognition of qualifications. This can be done by:

  • the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition
  • the State or Territory Overseas Qualifications Unit 
  • the Australian Education International.

Pathway eligibility

Policy and Corporate Pathway/Intelligence Pathways (DIO) require applicants to meet the following eligibility criteria: 

  • working towards a credit average at the time of application
  • graduate with a minimum of a credit average.

Research and Innovation Pathway applicants need a Bachelor with Honours Degree within the 2 years before starting the program.

Some Engineering roles in the Technical Pathway applicants must have Engineers Australia membership.


Defence has graduate opportunities across Australia. When applying to the graduate program, it's important to note successful applicants may need to relocate for the Program. Defence can provide organisational and financial support.

Security clearance

To work at Defence applicants will need a security clearance to be eligible for employment. Each level of clearance required will be in the specific pathway information pack. 

Security clearance assessments are undertaken by the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA).

Before applying, graduates need to consider if they are willing to provide personal information for this process. If candidates aren’t able to meet the minimum security requirements of an advertised position, their application will be unsuccessful.

The AGSVA website has more information to help prepare for the security clearance application.

Psychological assessment

For roles in a high-security environment, applicants need to undergo a psychological assessment. This helps Defence know if candidates have the cognitive and interpersonal skills required.

Psychological assessments are mandatory for all potential employees in: 

  • Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation
  • Australian Signals Directorate
  • Defence Intelligence Organisation.

For security reasons, applicants won't receive feedback about their psychological assessment.

Privacy and access to personal information

Defence is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act) for the collection, storage, access, alteration, use and disclosure of personal information. These obligations are set out in Section 14 of the Privacy Act as the Information Privacy Principles.