How to apply to HHS as a recent graduate

If you recently graduated from a qualifying educational institution or program, there are many opportunities available under the Pathways Recent Graduates ProgramThe one-year program offers developmental experiences in the federal government in an effort to promote possible careers in civil service.

If you have an Associate's degree or equivalent, you will generally be considered at the GS-4 level, with a Bachelor's degree at the Grade 5 (GS-7 with superior academic achievement), with a Master's degree at the GS-9, and a PhD at the GS-11. See the Qualifying Education or Training table for details.

You may qualify for a large number of administrative jobs with a degree in any academic major. To help you choose the right career field, the Office of Personnel Management has prepared a table that groups Federal jobs that are often filled by college graduates with appropriate academic majors. See Federal Jobs by College Major table for details.

Additional information about the Pathways programs can be found on the OPM Students and Recent Graduates including the Pathways FAQs.


  • 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 completion to apply.

Program Administration

  • The Recent Graduates Program is administered primarily by each hiring agency.
  • Each agency must sign a Participant Agreement with the Recent Graduate that sets forth the expectations for the program.
  • Agencies provide OPM with information regarding their opportunities and post information publicly on USAJOBS about how to apply for specific positions.

Training and Development

  • Orientation program for Recent Graduates hired for the program.
  • Mentorship throughout the program.
  • Individual Development Plan to create and track Recent Graduates' career planning, professional development, and training activities.
  • At least 40 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program.
  • Positions offer opportunity for career advancement.

After Program Completion

  • Recent Graduates may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, a term appointment lasting 1-4 years).
  • To be eligible for conversion, recent graduates must have:
    • Successfully completed at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program.
    • Demonstrated successful job performance.
    • Met the qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.

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