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Students and Recent Graduates

USGS Pathways Programs

Internship ♦ Recent Graduates ♦ Presidential Management Fellows Program

Internship Program

This Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed.


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 certification.


  • The Internship Program has two types of Internship appointments: (1) appoint a student on a temporary basis, not to exceed 1 year, to complete temporary or short-term projects; or (2) appoint a student for an initial period expected to last more than 1 year and may lead to permanent employment. Interns may work part- or full-time.
  • USGS and the Intern must sign a Participant Agreement that sets forth the expectations for the internship.

For additional information about USGS’ Internship Program visit: Student Internship Program or visit U.S. Office of Personnel Management Internship Program Fact Sheet.


Recent Graduates Program

This Program affords developmental Federal experiences intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. Recent Graduates who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent (or, in some limited circumstances a term appointment lasting 1-4 years) job in the civil service.


The Recent Graduates Program is for individuals who have completed a qualifying associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate educational program within the preceding 2 years (with exceptions for certain 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.)


  • Orientation program for Recent Graduates hired for the program and mentorship throughout the program.
  • USGS and Recent Graduate must sign a Participant Agreement that sets forth the expectations for their program.
  • Individual Development Plan (IDP) to create and track Recent Graduates' career planning, professional development, and training activities.
  • At least 40 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program.
  • Positions offer opportunity for career advancement.

For additional information about USGS’ Recent Graduates Program visit: Graduates Web page or visit U.S. Office of Personnel Management Recent Graduates Program Fact Sheet.


Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

PDF Version

The Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) Program is a flagship 2-year leadership development program administrated by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to recruit and attract entry-level candidates with advanced degrees.  The PMF Program was established by Executive Order in 1977 to attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths, that have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs.  By drawing graduate students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, the PMF Program provides a continuing source of trained men and women to meet the future challenges of public service. 

Every year in early Fall, OPM recruits and pre-screens qualified candidates with Master’s level or higher degrees with validated leadership potential through a rigorous assessment process.  The PMF opportunity is posted on USAJOBS and applicants must meet the requirements of the PMF program to receive consideration.  Applicants participate in a rigorous, multi-hurdle process to make it onto the list of program finalists. 

Each year, OPM receives thousands of applications from which typically a few hundred are selected as finalists.  The list of finalists is usually released mid-November.  Eligibility for the finalists is good for 1-year. For a list of current finalists go to:

PMF Program Requirements

  • Fellows are hired into a 2-year excepted appointment at the GS-9, 11, or 12 level depending on the position and their qualifications. PMFs are eligible for promotion during their appointment without regard to time-in-grade, provided the qualification requirements of the higher graded position are met. Upon successful completion of all program requirements, PMFs may be non-competitively converted to a permanent or term appointment. If a PMF is converted to a term appointment, she or he may be subsequently non-competitively converted to a permanent appointment without further competition. This conversion must take effect prior to the expiration of the term appointment.
  • Since OPM does the recruitment and provides the list of eligible candidates for agencies, they charge a fee of $8,000 per Fellow. The reimbursement helps cover OPM 's program costs such as recruitment, assessment, selection, and leadership development of Fellows. The fee is paid for by the hiring office (e.g. Science Center). There is no central funding for PMF hires within USGS.
  • As part of the program, Fellows are required to complete 80 hours of formal interactive training each year and participate in a 4 to 6 month developmental rotational assignment during the 2-year appointment.

Hiring Process

If you have a potential PMF opportunity, please contact Alicia Gomez, USGS PMF Coordinator at to discuss how to get started.  Alicia can help you search finalists resumes and will provide assistance working closely with you and your servicing HR Specialist on the recruitment, onboarding, and conversion process.  Finalists may also email hiring managers directly regarding potential opportunities. Please contact Alicia or your servicing HR Specialist with any questions about the process.

Don’t have an appointment opportunity?  The USGS can also host a PMF for a 4-6 month Rotational Assignment.

For additional information about the PMF program visit:


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