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Human Resources and Administration/Operations, Security, and Preparedness (HRA/OSP)


Pathways Recent Graduates Program

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The Pathways Recent Graduates Program allows recent graduates to enter VA in career positions that emphasize long-term training and development. Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic developmental program with potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government. The program lasts for one year or more. You can find more information about specific opportunities with the Pathways Recent Graduates Program on USAJOBS Jobs.  If you are a current Pathways Recent Graduate, visit Pathways at VA for more information and resources that can help you throughout your program.

Eligibility Requirements

The Pathways Recent Graduates Program is open to recent graduates who are legally permitted to work in the U.S. To be eligible, you must have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associate's, bachelor's, master's, 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 many as six years after degree completion to apply.


Qualifications will vary by specific career field. Specific qualifications can be found on each Pathways opening on USAJOBS Student Jobs. Each opening should also include information about whether there is an opportunity to advance after you complete the program.

General Training and Developmental Experiences

The Pathways Recent Graduates Program provides recent graduates with valuable training, hands-on work experience, and professional development opportunities. Participants have the opportunity to gain marketable skills and competencies, receive a mentor and a supervisor for dedicated guidance and support, and contribute to the larger mission of VA in a meaningful way. Those who successfully complete program requirements may also be eligible for conversion to a full-time position. For a complete list of program and conversion requirements, review the VA Pathways Program Requirements.

Application Process

You can find openings in the Pathways Recent Graduates Program on USAJOBS. The application processes may vary, depending on the position.

Program Information

OPM Website

The Pathways Program Management Office provides resources for supervisors and administrators. For more information, contact the PPMO.


Program Size:

As of December 2020, there were 391 VA Pathways Interns.

Service Obligation:

To be eligible for a permanent Federal career, Recent Graduates must successfully complete the program’s requirements within one year.

Current Career Fields:

All career fields are eligible for the Pathways Recent Graduates Program if positions in their career field are available. Individuals selected for the VA Pathways Recent Graduates Program will generally be appointed to positions up to the GS-9 level (or equivalent) and placed in a one-year career development program, though certain career fields in science and technology may be eligible for appointment to the GS-11 or GS-12 level (or equivalent).

After Program Completion

After successful completion of the program requirements, the individual may, at the agency's discretion, be converted to a term or permanent appointment.

Pathways Programs Resource Center

Current VA Pathways Programs participants can visit the Pathways Participant Resource Center to find information and resources that will guide them throughout their program experience.

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