The Pathways Program is an initiative introduced in 2010 to provide inroads for students and recent graduates to internships and jobs within the Federal government. Through the program, students and recent graduates can explore Federal careers while gaining valuable work experience and training while in a paid position. Pathways participants who successfully complete the program can potentially convert to a permanent, career position within the Federal government.
Types of Pathways Positions
The Internship Program provides students enrolled in accredited educational institutions paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore different Federal careers while still in school. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent or term position in their hosting institution (if a conversion is not possible, interns will have 120 days of non-competitive status to compete for a position elsewhere).
- Current students enrolled in an accredited educational institution (including high school, college, professional, technical, trade or vocational school, advanced degree program or other qualifying educational institution).
Internship Program Details
- The Internship Program is administered by the hiring agency and each agency must sign a Participation Agreement with the intern to set program expectations
- Internships may be temporary (up to one year) or for an indefinite period to complete the educational requirement
- The intern’s work will be related to their academic career goals or field of study
- Work may be full- or part-time
- Internship positions and application information are posted on USAJobs.
The Recent Graduates Program offers recent graduates developmental and training opportunities with the potential of a civil service career in the Federal government. The program lasts for one year, unless the training requirements of the position require a longer training program.
- Recent graduates who have completed in the previous two years their qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate
- Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree due to military service obligations have up to six years to apply
Recent Graduates Program Details
- The Recent Graduates Program is administered by the hiring agency and each agency must sign a Participation Agreement with the intern to set program expectations
- Successful applicants receive orientation, mentoring, an Individual Development Plan to track professional development and training, 40 hours of formal training and the opportunity for career advancement
- Upon completion of the program, Recent Graduates may be converted to a permanent or term position, provided they complete at least 1 year of continuous service, demonstrate successful job performance and meet the qualifications of the conversion position
- Recent Graduates positions and application information are posted on USAJobs.
Presidential Management Fellows
The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is a two-year leadership development program designed for advanced degree candidates.
- Individuals who have completed a qualifying advanced degree (e.g., masters or professional degree) within the past two years or who meet advanced degree requirements by August 31 of the year following the application announcement
PMF Program Details
- The PMF Program is centrally administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
- OPM announces the application period (usually in late summer or early fall) on the PMF and USAJobs websites.
- OPM selects finalists after a rigorous assessment and evaluation of each candidate’s experience and accomplishments. Agencies provide OPM with their PMF opportunities and post appointment opportunities on the PMF website. Finalists can also find opportunities via an annual job fair.
- Appointees receive orientation, training, senior-level mentoring, an Individual Development Plan to track professional development and training, developmental opportunities and up to 80 hours of formal training each year of the program.
- After successful program completion and job performance, the PMF may be converted to a permanent or term position.
- Office of Personnel Manamement (OPM) Hiring Information: Students and Recent Graduates
- Pathways Frequently Asked Questions
- Pathways Reference Materials
Supervisors and Human Resource Professionals
- Pathways Toolkit for Hiring Managers and Supervisors
- Pathways Program Handbook
- Pathways Flexibilities Chart for Program Officers and Human Resource Professionals
- Pathways Flexibilities Chart – Internship Program
- Pathways Flexibilities Chart – Recent Graduates Program
- Pathways Flexibilities Chart – Presidential Management Fellows Program
- Pathways Frequently Asked Questions – Human Resource Professionals
- Pathways Fact Sheets, Checklists and Participant Agreement Forms
- Federal Register – Pathways Program, Final Rules
- Personnel Bulletin 13-04: Department of the Interior Pathways Program
- Converting a Pathways Intern NTE to a Career or Term Appointment
Students and Applicants
- The National Park Service provides additional youth programs to expose youth and young adults to employment and educational opportunities in public land management and to develop the next generation of conservation leaders.