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Recent Graduates

  Recent Graduates - Pathways Program

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The Navy and Marine Corps have exciting civilian employment opportunities for high school and college students, recent college graduates, and others who want to build new skills or change careers.

On 10 July 2012, Pathways – the Federal government program for students and recent graduates –began. The Recent Graduates and Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Programs allow recent graduates to enter Department of the Navy (DON) career positions which provide developmental growth and have the potential to lead to a civilian service career in the Federal government.

 Recent Graduate Program Eligibility

DON Pathways Recent Graduate opportunities are open to individuals who obtained a qualifying associates, bachelor’s, master’s, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree (or certificate) within the previous two (2) years and are seeking employment.

For many positions, your major does not need to be directly related to the position. However for some positions, such as Engineer, your major should be directly related to the positions. The USAJOBS Job Opportunities Announcement (JOA) will provide specific guidance related to academic career goals or field of study.

 Recent Graduates Who Enlist in the Military Program Eligibility Extension

For those recent graduates who enlist in active duty service within the two-year eligibility period after graduation may have the eligibility extended. The eligibility date is extended by the remainder of the two-year period but cannot exceed more than a 6-year extension total period.

Example: If one completes their degree in May 2011, joins the military in May 2012 for two years, until May 2014. Having joined the military one year after graduating before joining the military and were in the military for 2 years, eligibility would be extended until May 2015 (allowing for the 2-year window from graduation, plus 2 year extension for military service).

 Presidential Management Fellows Program Eligibility

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) PMF opportunities are open to individuals who obtained an advanced degree (master’s law or doctoral program) within the previous two (2) years and are seeking employment as a change leader. Applicants go through a rigorous assessment and selection process.

 Qualifying Education Institution

Qualifying education institutions include accredited:

  • High School: A high school, whose curriculum has been approved by a State or local governing body, including home school.
  • Technical or Vocational School: An accredited technical, vocational, and trade schools.
  • College: 2-year or 4-ear colleges/universities, community colleges, junior colleges, advanced graduate degree, and professional school.

 Program Requirements

Recent Graduate and PMF requirements differ for each program but the JOA found at will list the level and type of education and other requirements that may be necessary for the job depending on which program it falls.

Basic requirements for conversion to the competitive (permanent) service include:

  • Completing at least 40 hours (80 hours for PMF) of formal training per year to advance the goals and competencies of the individual. Training may include classroom, on-line, or projects and other developmental assignments.
  • Completing requirements specified in the DON Pathways (or PMF) Participant Agreement, and
  • Performing your job successfully

 Program Appointment Information

All accepted Recent Graduates are appointed for an initial one-year, entry-level, developmental position, PMFs are appointed for an initial two-year, mid-level, developmental position. At the end of the year(s) the individual can be converted to a permanent position upon successful completion of program requirements.

Note: Pursuant the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between OPM and Department of the Defense (DoD), Recent Graduate appointments in Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) programs, engineering (08xx) and computer science (1550) series may be two-year programs.

 Benefits Information

All Pathways Recent Graduate and PMF participants are eligible for benefits, including leave (all Federal holidays and 4 hours of annual and 4 hours of sick level a pay period). For more on benefits visit the Benefits page.

 Recent Graduate Program Application Process

DON posts all Recent Graduate JOA’s on website as they become available. Additionally, applicant should check with their school or college about established partnerships with local Navy and Marine Corps commands.

To begin your job search, access , or USAJOBS Students And Grads. While guidance varies by Agency, there are several parameters applicants should use when searching for DON Pathways JOA’s. Key Search Terms include: Pathways or Pathways Recent Graduate.

To apply to a DON Pathways Recent Graduate JOA, you will need to create a USAJOBS account and “Apply Online.” See “How to Apply” tab at the top of this page for applicant instructions, resources, and tips.

Applicants MUST include a transcript or proof of graduation to verify eligibility for the program. Applicants may apply up to nine (9) months prior to graduation; however an unofficial transcript must still be included to determine eligibility. Additionally, Veteran’s preference applies to all positions. Upload all applicable veteran documentation (e.g., DD214, SF15, VA letter) to your USAJOBS account and submit them when you apply to support your veterans’ preference.

 PMF Application Process

PMF opportunities are administered and managed by OPM and listed annually, in the fall, on For more information on PMF visit