Federal Programs


The federal government offers students and recent graduates several programs to engage in public service.

To schedule an appointment with Sandy Brown, MA (Career Services Center Certified Federal Advisor) contact the Career Services Center at (360) 650-3240 or visit our office in Old Main 280.


Pathways Internship Programs

  • Paid opportunities for students to intern at federal agencies
  • Agencies may convert eligible participants to full-time employment after successful program completion

There is a difference between a ‘regular’ internship and a ‘Pathways’ internship.

  • A Pathways internship-After successfully completing 640 hours you are eligible for full-time conversion in any agency non-competitively and without submitting an application! Pathways internships are always paid!
  • A regular internship-If after finishing the internship you want to return to work at the same agency, you need to apply and be in the competitive pool like everyone else. Regular internships are not necessarily paid. For example, The Department of State internships are nonpaid, however, they do have Pathways internships that are paid.

Rule of thumb: The agency has control over what kind of internships they want to promote. Always check with the agency website for their individual internship programs.


Federal Pathways Internship Program

This program provides enrolled students experience in the federal government. Learn more by reviewing the Pathways Fact Sheet.


The Recent Graduate Program

The Recent Graduate Program is designed for new graduates within the past two years. Learn more by reviewing the Recent Graduate Program Fact Sheet.


The Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Presidential Management Fellows Program, also known as the PMF, is a leadership development program for entry-level advanced degree candidates. Learn more by reviewing the PMF Fact Sheet.

This webinar addresses how to submit a strong application. You will hear from new fellows, as well as PMF recruiters from various agencies. This is an opportunity to learn tips and strategies on the application process.


Finding a Federal Internship

Students looking for federal internships should visit USA Jobs Pathways for opportunities for students and recent grads. The Pathways site features frequently asked questions with detailed information about types of opportunities and the application process.

Go Government: This site will give you a glimpse into the federal government and will guide you through the application process from beginning to end.

Federal agencies also list internship opportunities on their own Web sites. List of federal agency Web sites.


Internships, Fellowships, and Other Work Experience Opportunities in the Federal Government

(CRS)Congressional Research Service
This report describes Internet resources on major internship, fellowship, and work experience programs within the federal government. It is intended as a selective guide for students of all levels: undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate.


Other Helpful Resources

Informative Skype session with Foreign Officer Kathy Guerra discussing her career path and steps to becoming a Foreign Officer for the Department of State

Federal resume sample

Optimal Resume

Getting Started on Optimal Resume



U.S. Department of State Careers



Intelligence Careers

Federal Assistance for People with Disabilities

Federal Occupations by College Majors

Guide to Public Service:
FireScience.org created the following guide on public service careers to help prospective employees explore the different types of career paths available; learn about employment opportunities, internships, and volunteer work; get insight from public service experts; and find a list of additional resources for navigating the public service sector.



Page Updated 11.22.2017