Students & Recent Grads Welcome


The Pathways Program is structured to recruit the next generation of the best and brightest to the federal workforce. Through NSF's Pathways Program, current students can find internships in a variety of different fields, recent graduates can work in a variety of fields, and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program provides a path to a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs.

The Internship Program is for current students in high schools, colleges, trade schools, and other qualifying educational institutions. The program provides students with paid opportunities to explore federal careers while completing their education.


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 certificate.

Program Administration

  • Agencies may hire Interns on a temporary basis for up to one year for an initial period, or for an indefinite period, to complete their educational requirements for graduation.
  • Interns may work either part or full-time.
  • Each agency must sign a Participant Agreement with the Intern that sets forth the expectations for the internship.

Program Completion and Conversion

Interns on indefinite appointments may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program. However, conversion is not guaranteed. To be eligible for conversion, Interns must:

  • Complete at least 640* hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program.
  • Complete their degree or certificate requirements.
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted.
  • Meet any agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement.
  • Perform their job successfully

* up to 320 of the hours may be waived

The Recent Graduates Program provides developmental experiences in the Federal Government. to individuals who have graduated from qualifying educational institutions within the last two years.


  • Recent graduates who have completed a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution within the last two years.
  • 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.

For more than three decades, the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program has been the Federal Government's premier leadership development program for advanced degree (e.g., masters or professional degree) candidates. The PMF Program is designed to attract outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines who have a clear interest in a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs.  PMFs fill positions at NSF, such as Program and Management Analysts or a variety of other mid- to entry-level positions that require a scientific degree.


  • Fellowships are for two years, during which time fellows participate in a variety of activities to enhance their leadership and management skills and to prepare them to qualify for a career position upon graduation from the program.
  • Fellows maybe appointed at grade GS-9, GS-11, or GS-12 level. At the completion of the two years, interns are permanently placed in or promoted to a career position.