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Student Programs


Students & Recent Grads

CBP Pathways Program

Pathways programs are designed to attract students and recent graduates to internships and careers in the Federal service. Eligibility requires U.S. citizenship, a minimum age of 16 years, registration with the Selective Service, if required, and current enrollment in a qualifying educational institution from high school to graduate level. All participants must sign an agreement outlining the expectations and responsibilities of the intern and CBP.

Three distinct internships make up the opportunities available under the Pathways Programs, targeting individuals at different stages and levels of education:

Internship Program

Students in high school, vocational and technical, undergraduate, and graduate institutions or programs are selected for internships that provide them with opportunities to grow through developmental work experience and mentoring. Interns who complete the program are eligible to become part of a group of candidates who will be considered for permanent positions by way of conversion. CBP's Career Interns will be college-level juniors and seniors who are on time-limited appointments. The time allowed on a Career Intern appointment will vary depending on how much time is required for the intern to complete the requirements of the program. Each Career Intern will have input into his or her Individual Development Plan that will define the developmental activities and expectations agreed upon with his or her supervisor. Career or degree-related work experience totaling 640 hours and completion of educational requirements is required for students who wish to be considered for conversion to a permanent appointment. Temporary Interns hired for short periods of time for "summer jobs" or special projects will also be appointed under this program. These appointments may be converted to Career Intern appointments with credit for time served. Appointments may be made to any position for which the candidate is qualified. For more information, please check out the Internship Program Fact Sheet.

Recent Graduates Program

This program is for individuals who have completed all required coursework leading to a degree or certificate in a qualifying educational institution or program above the high school level in the two years preceding application to the program. Graduates who completed their required coursework after December 27, 2012 are eligible to apply within 2 full years from July 10, 2012. A flexible eligibility rule extends the window to apply to the program for eligible veterans who have been under military obligation and have completed all required coursework to the preceding six years. Graduates will participate in developmental experiences including a minimum of 40 hours per year of formal training and mentoring. The CBP Recent Graduates Program is designed to develop participants for placement into a permanent position within one year. If the training plan requires, up to one additional year may be granted for program completion. Initial appointments may be made to any position for which the applicant qualifies up to the GS-09 grade level. Appointment to the GS-11 or GS-12 grade levels may be made for candidates with a Master's or PhD degree, who applies for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) occupations.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

This Office of Personnel Management (OPM) program has been in place for over 30 years and is now one of the Pathways Programs. The reinvigorated program is designed for individuals who completed an advanced degree (professional or graduate degree, e.g. Master's, Ph.D., and J.D.) from a qualifying educational institution or program within the two years preceding the program announcement. Candidates go through a newly revised assessment process to become a finalist and candidate for selection by CBP. Fellows participate in a two-year program that includes mentoring, developmental assignments, formal interactive training, and may be appointed at the GS-09, GS-11, or GS-12 grade levels. Participants will complete at least 80 hours of formal training, one four to six month developmental assignment, and one 30-90 day rotation. For more information, please check out the Presidential Management Fellows Program Fact Sheet.

Current student program participants will be transitioned into the new program. Human Resources will provide additional information to hiring managers and participants on the transition process.

Pathways has generated a renewed interest in Federal internships. The Office of Human Resources Management, hiring officials, students, and recent graduates must work together to develop a pipeline of talent that will infuse our workforce with new ideas and keep CBP on track to becoming a model amongst the Department of Homeland Security components.

For more information on these programs, please take a look at the Pathways Program Fact Sheets, or you can always contact CBP by sending an e-mail to:

For CBP students and recent graduates job opportunity announcements you can visit the USA Jobs web site.

Student Volunteers (SV)

The Student Volunteer Program offers unpaid training opportunities to high school and college students. These opportunities provide work experience related to the students academic goals and provides them an opportunity to explore career options, develop their personal and professional skills all while earning school academic credit for their internship.

Student Volunteer service enriches the student's future by:

  • Allowing career exploration early in their academic studies,
  • Exposing them to new and emerging occupations,
  • Giving them academic credit for the work they perform (determined by their school.), and
  • Giving them experience which will enhance their ability to obtain paying jobs in the future.

Volunteer service is not creditable for leave accrual or any other employee benefit. Student Volunteers are not considered to be Federal employees for any purpose other than Federal Tort Claims provisions and compensation for injuries sustained during the performance of work assignments.

This program requires a tailored written agreement, signed by all parties, CBP, the school and the student.

CBP Explorer Program

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is committed to the partnership between law enforcement and America's youth. U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Explorer Program is the bridge to one of the most challenging and exciting missions in law enforcement today -the job of serving as the guardians of our Nation's borders, America's frontline.

CBP Explorers from Post 99 assist in sorting and loading toys for annual charity event.

The CBP Explorer Program is the Boy Scouts of America's highest division. It offers opportunities in character building, good citizenship, and fitness for young men and women ages 14 through 21. Some Explorer units offer training in specific areas, like nautical training and law enforcement. Law Enforcement Explorer posts offer programs in law enforcement and criminal justice, which provide Explorers with practical training and hands-on experience in those areas.

The CBP Explorer Program provides opportunities for Explorers to participate in federal enforcement-related activities within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.