Internships and Fellowships

Student Conservation Association interns at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine prepare to post signs on the beach to inform visitors not to disturb nesting piping plovers.

Collectively, the following programs are designed to provide current students and recent graduates with practical hands-on job experiences that can lead to established careers within government service.

Many internships involve work in wildlife- or visitor services-related fields that include monitoring and assessing threatened or endangered species and habitats, conducting urban conservation outreach programs, general maintenance and management or cultural/historical resource management.  

Our internships fall into two categories: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service federal internships and internships offered through nongovernmental partner organizations.


Find Partner InternshipS AND FELLOWSHIPs

Federal Pathways Program for Students and Recent Graduates 

The Pathways Program offers federal internship, fellowship and employment opportunities found on The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service appoints interns or fellows through the three Pathways Program components. 

Student Conservation Association interns hold a young alligator at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.
  • The Internship Program targets current students enrolled in high school, college or technical school at least half time. 
  • The Recent Graduates Program targets individuals who apply within two years of graduation (longer for veterans).  
  • The Presidential Management Fellowship Program (PMF) is for students and recent graduates with an advanced degree (e.g., a master's, Ph.D. or J.D.).

Explore more information on Pathways. Candidates become non-permanent employees through all three of these Pathways Programs with the opportunity to be converted to a permanent, term or temporary employee at the end of the program.  

Partner Internships for Students and Recent Graduates

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also partners with nongovernmental organizations to provide internship or fellowship opportunities for students and graduates. The partners help us promote and build a robust and diverse applicant pool for our conservation positions. Some partner internships can earn Public Land Corps (PLC) hiring authority if candidates meet certain eligibility and the internship fulfills PLC requirements.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service interns work alongside staff to gain valuable experience while advancing our mission of conserving, protecting, and enhancing, fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Here an intern helps a staff member band wood ducks at Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee.
  • Our Career Discovery Internship Program opportunities are designed for college freshman and sophomores to introduce them to conservation careers and prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals.  Read more.
  • The Directorate Fellows Program (DFP) is our direct-hire program to increase diversity by recruiting females, people of color and other students from underrepresented populations among our staff. Candidates receive direct-hire authority for 2 years after students successfully complete a rigorous 11-week paid fellowship and their related college or graduate degree requirements. Fellowship opportunities are available in biological science, natural resource management, outreach and urban conservation, information technology, conservation law enforcement and related fields. DFP will be put on hold for recruitment for the Summer 2025 cohort and will resume for Summer 2026. During that time, we will focus on converting and hiring our former fellows and evaluating the program to ensure that it continues to provide rigorous and equitable opportunities for students from all backgrounds, including women, minorities, and other underrepresented populations to our workforce. In the meantime, consider our other Service internship opportunities available including the Pathways Student internships, Public Land Corps, and other partner internships. For information about the Directorate Fellows Program, please email us
  • The Public Lands Transportation Fellows (PLTF) Program opportunities advance the transportation workforce by attracting our next generation of public stewards to the field of transportation— through facilitating transportation planning or implementation projects for transportation solutions that preserve valuable resources and enhance the visitor experience. Read more.
  • These programs and many other individual internship opportunities are recruited for and hired by our collaborating partners. You can search for partner internships below.


Questions about our internships, fellowships or the application process? Email us at