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Office of Personnel Management Launches "Pathways Programs"

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announces the launch of the “Pathways Programs” to streamline pathways to Federal internships and careers in Federal service for students and recent graduates.

President Obama believes that the Federal Government benefits from a diverse workforce. This includes “students and recent graduates, who infuse the workplace with their enthusiasm, talents, and unique perspectives.” In this spirit, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is proud to announce the launch of the “Pathways Programs” to streamline pathways to Federal internships and careers in Federal service for students and recent graduates.  

The Pathways Program is broken down into three distinct programs: the Internship Program, Recent Graduates Program, and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program.

Internship Program: The Internship Program is open to students enrolled at least half-time in a variety of qualifying accredited educational programs at the high-school through professional levels. This Program provides students with paid opportunities to work and explore Federal careers while still in school. To find out more about the Internship Program, go to the Program Fact Sheets webpage.

Recent Graduates Program: This new program is open to applicants who have completed a qualifying post-high school educational program (e.g., technical or vocational school; two-or-four year college or university; graduate or professional school) within the preceding two years. Certain veterans who are precluded by military service from applying during their two-year window will have up to 6 years to apply. To find out more about the Recent Graduates Program, go to the Program Fact Sheets webpage.  For more information about Federal employment information for veterans, go to OPM's Feds Hire Vets website.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program: For more than 30 years, the PMF Program has been the Federal Government’s premier leadership development program for graduate and professional degree candidates.  Recent regulations increase the PMF Program’s flexibility by expanding the eligibility window for applicants, allowing individuals to self-nominate, and aligning the application timeframes with academic calendars to make the program more “student friendly.” To find out more about the changes to the PMF Program, go to the Program Fact Sheets webpage.

The Pathways Programs are a great way for students and recent graduates of every age and community to get started in the Federal government. Moving forward, agencies will post information about their internship and recent graduate opportunities on the website for Federal job-seekers,, where everyone can see them.

OPM is committed to  furthering President Obama’s vision for diversity and inclusion in the Federal workforce: “We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.”

The new regulations went into effect on July 10, 2012. For more information, visit OPM's website. And if you are interested in joining the Federal workforce, please visit

John Berry is the Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management.