Students & Recent Grads

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Opportunities for current students and recent graduates allow young people to explore Federal careers. Individuals may be eligible for noncompetitive appointment in the civil service through the following programs and hiring authorities:

Pathways

The Pathways Programs are developmental opportunities tailored to promote employment for students and recent graduates in the Federal workforce. It aims to improve recruiting efforts, offer clear paths to Federal opportunities for students and recent grads from high school to post-graduate school, and provide meaningful training and career development opportunities for new Federal employees. Pathways consists of three programs: Internships, Recent Graduates, and Presidential Management Fellows (PMF). 

  • Internships: Current students enrolled in an accredited high school or college; professional, technical, vocational, or trade schools; advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institutions, to pursue a qualifying degree or certificate
  • Recent Graduates: Individuals who have completed (within two years) a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational/technical degree from a qualifying educational institution. Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree, due to military service obligation, have up to six years after degree completion to apply.
  • Presidential Management Fellows: Individuals who have completed (within two years) a qualifying advanced degree may apply for the PMF Program more than once as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. This is a two-year program providing a fast-paced opportunity to gain experience and develop your talents.

Contact your Bureau Coordinator with questions.

National Service Programs

National service is a voluntary service that engages citizens, strengthens communities, and creates jobs. The Department of the Interior partners with national service members to provide special skills training and offer a path into Federal service. Individuals who meet specific requirements may be eligible for noncompetitive appointment to Federal jobs upon successful completion of the program.

  • Public Land Corps (PLC): A work and education program that engages the Nation's conservation and service corps on public lands. Read Personnel Bulletin 21-09 for more information.
  • Direct Hire Authority for Resource Assistant Internships (DHA-RAI): Rigorous internships in a career field necessary for the effective management of public lands and resources. See Personnel Bulletin 21-08 for more information.
  • AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps consists of three programs - Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), State & National, National Civilian Community Corps. Individuals who complete their service may be eligible for noncompetitive eligibility. Visit americorps.gov to learn about these programs and search for opportunities.
  • Peace Corps: Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level to create change that lasts long after their service. Former Peace Corps Volunteers who successfully complete their service may be eligible for 1 year of noncompetitive eligibility.
  • Knauss Fellowship: Fellows successfully completing the requirements of the one-year Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship can be non-competitively hired under internal merit staffing procedures without regard to Veteran’s preference. Candidates applying under this authority will be considered with other noncompetitive candidates. See Personnel Bulletin 21-10 for more information.

Additional Student and Recent Graduate Hiring Authorities

  • Post-Secondary Student hiring authority: The Post-Secondary Student hiring authority gives hiring managers another authority to hire students to paid positions in the Federal Government during their academic programs. These positions are limited to term and temporary appointments, however, if students meet a series of requirements upon completion of their degrees, hiring managers have flexibility to convert these former students to permanent positions. This hiring flexibility is intended to supplement existing student and post-education opportunities (e.g., Pathways).
  • College Graduates hiring authority: The College Graduates hiring authority allows hiring managers to hire individuals within two years of earning a baccalaureate or graduate degree from an institution of higher learning for positions at the GS-11 level or below in professional or administrative occupational series without regard to CTAP, ICTAP, or veterans' preference. This hiring flexibility is intended to supplement existing recent graduate hiring programs (e.g., Pathways).

Important Links

DOI Bureau Pathways Sites