Opportunities for Youth
Northeast Region
Pathways Program

Pathways Program Requirements

NOTE:  Details for the Pathways Program may be found here.

Internship Program

The Pathways Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled from high school through graduate level, with opportunities to work in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the USFWS or other federal agencies.  

To be eligible for the Pathways Internship Program, you must:

  • be 16 years of age.
  • be a current student in an accredited high school, college (including 4-year colleges/universities, community colleges, and junior colleges); professional, technical, vocational, or trade school; advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.
  • be a U.S. citizen. Lawfully admitted resident aliens may be considered absent qualified citizens; however, students accepted into the program as trainees must be U.S. citizens if and when they are converted to permanent appointments after graduation.
  • be taking at least a half-time course load as defined by the school. An exception to this requirement is permitted when a student is in the final period before graduation and needs to complete less than a half-time course load.

How the Program is administered:

  • There are two types of Pathways Interns.  Interns may be hired on a temporary basis (Definite Interns) for up to 1 year for an initial period, or for an indefinite period (Indefinite Interns). 
    • Indefinite Interns do not have a "not to exceed" (NTE) date.
    • Definite Interns have a NTE date. These positions are generally intended for summer work, projects, etc.
  • Interns may work either part- or full-time.
  • Interns sign a Participant Agreement with the Intern that sets forth the expectations for the internship.

Recent Graduates Program

The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. To be eligible, applicants must apply within 2 years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who will have up to 6 years after degree completion to apply). Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic, developmental program with the potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government. The program lasts for 1 year (unless the training requirements of the position warrant a longer and more structured training program). Here are some key provisions of the Recent Graduates Program.


  • Recent graduates who have completed, within the previous 2 years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.
  • Veterans unable to apply within 2 years of receiving their degree, due to military service obligation, have as much as 6 years after degree completion to apply.

After Program Completion

  • Recent Graduates may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances a term appointment lasting 1-4 years).
  • To be eligible for conversion, Recent Graduates must have:
    • Successfully completed at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program.
    • Demonstrated successful job performance.
    • Met the qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.

Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry-level for advanced degree candidates.  The Program attracts and selects from among the best candidates and is designed to develop a cadre of potential Federal Government leaders. Here are some key provisions of the PMF Program.


  • Individuals who have completed within the past 2 years, a qualifying advanced degree (e.g., masters or professional degree).
  • An individual may apply for the PMF Program more than once as long as he or she meets the eligibility criteria. However, if an individual becomes a Finalist and subsequently applies for the PMF Program during the next open announcement, the individual will forfeit his or her status as a Finalist.

Program Administration

  • The PMF Program is centrally administered by the PMF Program Office within OPM.
  • OPM announces the opportunity to apply for the PMF Program (usually in the late summer or early fall).
  • Applicants go through a rigorous assessment process to determine Finalists.
  • OPM selects Finalists based on an evaluation of each candidate's experience and accomplishments according to his or her application and results of the assessments.
  • OPM publishes and provides agencies with the list of Finalists.
  • Agencies provide OPM with information about their PMF opportunities and can post PMF appointment opportunities for those who are Finalists on the PMF website year-round. In addition, a job fair is typically held for Finalists each year.
  • Finalists who obtain an appointment as a PMF serve in a 2-year excepted service position.

After Program Completion

  • After successful Program completion and job performance, the PMF may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances a term appointment lasting 1-4 years) in the competitive service.

Last updated: April 3, 2017