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U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Student Internships

The Pathways Student Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled in educational institutions opportunities to work in Federal agencies and explore careers while still in school. This program is designed for students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from technical degrees to graduate school.

For more detailed information about eligibility, see the OPM website. Be sure to check out the list of answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.

For more general information about working for the US Forest Service see our Jobs website.

Available Positions for Current Students (undergraduates and graduate students)

  • Student Trainee - Natural Resource Specialist
  • Student Trainee - Forester

Alexandra Houston Lewis measuring the DBH of a pine tree. Student intern, Alexandra Houston Lewis measuring DBH. Photo by US Forest Service.

See what a student intern had to say about the program…

What You Need to Apply

All applications must be submitted on Below is information on what you will need to submit an application:

  • Cover letter. This is optional but should be one page maximum.
  • Resume. It must include the following information: 1) contact information; 2) completed coursework; 3) education/GPA; 4) work/volunteer experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade, if applicable; 5) supervisor’s name, phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) at least 3 professional references.
  • Transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to appointment. Transcripts MUST include the student’s full name, name of the school, current GPA/academic standing, past and current coursework, and degree program. If your school does not provide transcripts or the transcripts does not provide all the necessary information listed above, you should include additional academic documentation from the school that meets the requirements above. This additional documentation may include a letter from the school’s registrar’s office or official enrollment verification.
  • Acceptance letter. Students who have recently graduated or are expected to graduate in the fall/winter term must also include an official acceptance letter along with their transcripts to verify they are continuing their education.
  • Veteran’s Preference documentation. If claiming veteran's preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran's preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran's preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted. If claiming 10-point veteran's preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans' Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information about veterans' preference, see the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Government-wide Veterans Employment Website.

Note: Students who have attended multiple educational institutions or have multiple degrees should include documentation from all sources when submitting their application. All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criterion, see the Database of Accredited Programs and Institutions.

Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For more information please see Recognition of Foreign Qualifications.