Grader inspecting fruit

Opportunities For Students and Recent Graduates

Pathways Programs

Every year, through the USDA Pathways Programs, AMS provides students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions and recent graduates with opportunities to explore USDA careers. 

The three programs within the USDA Pathways Programs are: 

  1. USDA Pathways Internship Program which provides paid work experience to students currently enrolled in high school or an accredited college or university.  Interns may work during the summer, fall, spring, or year round. 
  2. USDA Pathways Recent Graduates Program which offers opportunities for individuals who have completed, within the past two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate program (Veterans unable to apply within two year of receiving their degree due to military obligation have six years upon degree completion to apply).
  3. USDA Pathways Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program which offers opportunities for individuals who recently completed a graduate degree program with academic distinction and who pass an online and in-person assessment.  The PMF is a highly competitive program managed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management which includes leadership development support for those accepted into the program.  Fellows are provided with a two year appointment that may lead to conversion to a permanent appointment.

As part of the USDA Pathways Programs, students and recent graduates are encouraged to engage in professional development through networking, mentoring, training and career planning.  The Academy for Interns and Scholars Program has additional information on the training available to interns and recent graduates through the Pathways Programs. 

For more information, see USDA Pathways Programsthe Students Employment Opportunities Booklet and Pathways Questions and Answers.

For internships and recent graduate positions that may currently be available, view Current AMS Positions and Instructions to Search and Apply for Pathways positions.

Specialty Crops Inspection High School Intern Program

In addition to supporting student employment nationwide through the USDA Pathways Programs, AMS supports the employment of high school students through the Specialty Crops Inspection (SCI) High School Student Intern Program.  The SCI High School Student Intern Program is available to students in select high schools in New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; and Houston, Texas.  For more information, visit Specialty Crops Inspection High School Student Intern Program.

Other Internship Programs

For information on Third Party Internships, Internships for Students with Disabilities, Internships for Student Veterans and Non-Paid Internships (Volunteer Programs), visit USDA Student Employment Opportunities.

Scholarships and Assistantships

Scholarships and Assistantships may also be available through various USDA programs depending on availability of funding.  

Volunteer Resources

Visit the Volunteer Resources page for more opportunities with USDA.

Additional Resources