Pathways Programs for Students and Recent Graduates


The Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) values the contributions made by students and recent graduates of all backgrounds. We continually benefit from a diverse workforce that includes students and recent graduates who infuse the workplace with their enthusiasm, talents, and unique perspectives. The Pathways Programs include three separate tiers, the Internship program, the Recent Graduates Program, and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program. CMS also uses the Student Volunteer Program to fill non-paid internship positions.  A full description of each program may be found below.

Recent Graduates Program 

The Recent Graduates Program affords participants developmental experiences at CMS intended to promote possible careers to individuals who have recently graduated within the previous two years from qualifying educational institutions. This one-year program is designed to provide an opportunity to those individuals who lack experience to participate in Federal government jobs, enabling them to develop on the job as they establish their career. Successful candidates are placed in a developmental program with the potential to lead to permanent employment at CMS.


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

CMS Recent Graduate Opportunities 

CMS sometimes recruits for the Recent Graduates Program as an agency-wide effort around the normal graduation timeframes.  Additionally, managers may request to recruit for individual Recent Graduates at any time throughout the year.  All Recent Graduates are assigned a mentor and required to complete at least 40 hours of formal, interactive training during the program.  

Please follow the instructions below to apply.

How to Apply

Recruitment for the CMS Recent Graduates Program will take place through vacancy announcements posted on  When available, the announcements may be found by performing a keyword search of “CMS Recent Graduate” on the USAJobs website.  A full description of the program, qualification, and application requirements will be found in the vacancy announcements, so please read carefully. Candidates must submit a complete application online through the appropriate vacancy announcement(s) for consideration by the closing date.  Pay close attention to the qualification requirements, as students who are nearing graduation may be eligible to apply.

This section will be updated when vacancy announcements are open.

Internship Program 

The Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service.


Current students in an accredited 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.

CMS Internship Opportunities - Summer Intern Program

CMS utilizes the Pathways Internship Program through our Annual Summer Intern Program.

The 2021 CMS Summer Intern Program will be announced via vacancy announcements posted to in January 2021.  Candidates must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment for the Summer semester or following Fall semester for the year in which they are applying in order to qualify for the program.  To be considered, students must have applied online through one or more of the USAJobs vacancy announcements within the open period. 

The 12-week internship is designed for current students with an unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. The purpose of the Summer Intern Program is to enhance students' knowledge about CMS programs, mission, vision and goals; and seeks to familiarize participants about Federal, State, and local health care programs. 

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

The Presidential Management Fellows Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry-level for advanced degree candidates. Created more than three decades ago, 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 two years, a qualifying advanced degree (e.g., masters or professional degree) or who will meet advanced degree requirements by August 31 of the year following the annual application announcement.
  • 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.

How to Apply

Please visit for program information and application procedures.

Student Volunteer Program

The Student Volunteer Program provides for a supervised, structured educational program that integrates classroom learning with productive work experience in a field related to the student’s academic majors or career goals.  This non-paid internship program allows students to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of theories taught in the classroom.


The student must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be at least 16 years of age;
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in a high school, vocational technical school, an accredited educational institution of higher learning (college/university), or a certificate program.

How to Apply

Students may send an email with a resume (including anticipated graduation date) and unofficial transcript to  The subject line of the email should read "CMS Student Volunteer Program", and the body of the email should include the preferred geographic location.  

Page Last Modified:
05/21/2020 03:15 PM