Email Print Share

Students and Recent Graduates

Pathways provides students and recent graduates with programs structured to recruit the next generation of the best and brightest to the federal workforce.

Through NSF's Pathways Program, current students can find internships in a variety of different fields, graduate students can work in a two-year program, and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program provides a path to a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs.

Internship Program

The Internship Program is for current students. The Internship Program provides students in high schools, colleges, trade schools and other qualifying educational institutions with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore federal careers while completing their education.


Current students in an accredited high school, college (including 4-year colleges/universities, community colleges, and junior colleges); professional, technical, vocational, and trade school; advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.

Program Administration

  • Agencies may hire Interns on a temporary basis for up to one year for an initial period, or for an indefinite period, to complete the educational requirement.
  • Interns may work either part or full-time.
  • Each agency must sign a Participant Agreement with the Intern that sets forth the expectations for the internship.

Program Completion and Conversion

Interns may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program. To be eligible for conversion, Interns must:

  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program.
  • Complete their degree or certificate requirements.
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted.
  • Meet any agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement.

Recent Graduates Program

The Recent Graduates Program provides developmental experiences in the Federal Government. It is intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who, within the previous two years, graduated from qualifying educational institutions with an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from qualifying educational institutions.


  • Recent graduates who have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.
  • Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree, due to military service obligation, have as much as six years after degree completion to apply.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

For more than three decades, the PMF Program has been the Federal Government's premier leadership development program for advanced degree (e.g., masters or professional degree) candidates. Executive Order 13562 expands the eligibility window for applicants, making it more "student friendly" by aligning it with academic calendars and allowing those who have received a qualifying advanced degree within the preceding two years to participate.

It also directs OPM to set eligibility requirements and minimum qualification standards, and to make the PMF experience more robust and substantive for participants.


  • The PMF Program is designed to attract outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines who have a clear interest in a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs.
  • Fellowships are for two years, during which time fellows participate in a variety of activities to enhance their leadership and management skills and to prepare them to qualify for a career position upon graduation from the program.
  • Fellows maybe appointed at grade GS-9, GS-11, or GS-12 level. At the completion of the two years, interns are permanently placed in or promoted to a career position.


  • Candidate must be enrolled in a graduate, law or doctoral-level course of study at a qualifying college or university.
  • Candidate must receive the nomination of the dean or academic program director.
  • Candidate must pass the OPM administered screening process.
  • OPM has additional information on the PMF program at