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Student Programs


The Federal government uses Pathways Programs to hire individuals who are generally in the early stages of their careers. These programs are authorized by the president through Executive Order (E.O.) 13562. 

Individuals who successfully complete a Pathways Program may be eligible for noncompetitive conversion to a term or permanent job in the Federal civil service.

There are 3 pathways programs:

  • Internship: Provides high school, undergraduate, and graduate students with opportunities for paid work in agencies and to explore Federal careers. Applicants must be enrolled at least part-time in school or an educational program (including Registered Apprenticeship Programs and certain volunteer service programs). Interns must complete a minimum of 480 internship hours (320 hours if they receive a waiver) to be eligible for conversion.


  • Recent Graduates: Provides recent graduates with one to two-year developmental experiences in Federal agencies. Applicants must have graduated from a qualifying educational institution or career or technical education program within the previous two years. (Veterans unable to apply due to service obligations have up to six years after degree completion to apply).


  • Presidential Management Fellows (PMFs): Provides advanced degree candidates and graduates the opportunity to participate in the Federal government’s premier two-year leadership development program. Individuals must apply within two years of completing an advanced degree defined as a masters, professional (for example, law), or doctorate. PMFs are assigned a mentor, participate in professional development, and complete at least 160 hours of formal, interactive training, an Individual Development Plan, and at least one developmental, rotational assignment.






Presidential Management Fellows Program PMF

BECOME A Presidential Management Fellow (PMF)


The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Each year, candidates apply to the program in efforts to be selected as Finalists. Finalists are then eligible for appointment as Presidential Management Fellows (Fellows; PMFs) at a participating Federal agency. The PMF Program is an opportunity for advanced degree holders across all academic disciplines and from all segments of society.

To become a PMF, you must participate in a rigorous application and assessment process. It takes patience and endurance, but also gives you a chance to demonstrate your leadership ability and potential. As a PMF, you will have earned your place in the program, and the opportunity to grow professionally, serve your country, and make a difference on behalf of the American people!

The very first step in successfully becoming a PMF is paying attention to the details of the annual application and assessment process. For detailed eligibility requirements, check out the Eligibility webpage. Once the application period opens, it will appear on USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov) by searching for "Presidential Management Fellows". Review the Application Process to learn about all the steps to apply.

This “Become A PMF” section outlines major components of the application and assessment process. Applicants should review each component, including Resources and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which may be updated throughout the process.

Once available, potential applicants should also be sure to review the “PMF Applicant Handbook,” which details the annual application process, explains eligibility requirements, required documentation, and provides an overview of the assessment process. The Handbook can be found under Resources.

In addition, please review The Opportunity section, which includes general information about the PMF Program; compensation (including pay and promotions, benefits, and student loans); partnerships; alumni; and, FAQs.

Visit the next section to view information on Eligibility.


PMFP History and Overview

Bearing the Presidential Seal, the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is the Federal Government's premier leadership development program for advanced degree holders across all academic disciplines. Since 1977. the PMF Program has matched outstanding graduate students with exciting Federal opportunities. It has gone through several changes over its 40+ year history, but its essential mission remains the same:  to recruit and develop a cadre of future government leaders from all segments of society. The PMF Program creates a lasting bond among Fellows and Alumni, and instills a spirit of public service, which, for Fellows who complete the program successfully, can ultimately encourage and lead to a career in government.

For Future Leaders

The PMF Program is a unique leadership training ground. You'll perform valuable service to the American people while jump-starting your career, whatever you envision that to be. The 2-year fellowship comes with full salary and benefits, challenging assignments, training and development, mentoring, plus an opportunity to make government work better. Find out more.

For Federal Agencies

Agencies can hire competitive, qualified, and diverse individuals with a variety of academic backgrounds that have been selected as Finalists. Finalists are pre-qualified at the GS-9 level, although agencies may initially appoint at the GS-9, GS-11, GS-12, or equivalent. Find out more.


The PMF Program continues to recruit and develop a cadre of future government leaders from all segments of society. OPM continues to engage in robust recruitment and outreach efforts to increase awareness about the PMF Program, particularly among underrepresented groups.


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Students and Recent Graduates 

USA Jobs Unique Hiring Paths

If you're a current student or recent graduate, you may be eligible for federal internships and job opportunities through the Pathways and other student programs.

The Pathways Program offers federal internship and employment opportunities for current students, recent graduates and those with an advanced degree. There are three different paths available.

New changes are coming soon that will expand opportunities to participants in "qualifying career or technical education programs" (which may include Registered Apprenticeship Programs, Job Corps, Climate Corps, AmeriCorps, and Peace Corps)

  • Internship Program
  • Recent Graduates Program
  • Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)


Additional hiring options

  • Post-Secondary Student Hiring Authority
  • College Graduate Hiring Authority

Other student programs and opportunities

There are several other opportunities available to students, including:


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