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Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Advising Students

Academic institutions are encouraged to help inform graduate students from all academic disciplines about the program and its requirements. The PMF Program Office has put together an “Academia Checklist” under the Resources section, which outlines strategies to ensure the successful application of its graduate students and alumni.

The Career Opportunity

Federal agencies partner with the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program Office to hire Fellows annually.  Fellows are placed in unique roles across the Federal government that require a diversity of academic disciplines and professional experiences. In addition to leadership potential, Federal agencies are interested in bringing on Fellows with backgrounds in public policy, foreign policy, business administration, science, technology, data analytics, and more. Graduate students in any academic discipline who are pursuing an advanced degree (Master’s, Professional, or PhD) are encouraged to apply.

To see the most current list of participating agencies, please refer to our list of Current Agency PMF Coordinators here:

Academic Disciplines

During the annual PMF application process, applicants are asked to select their graduate program(s) of study. A full list, along with the skills, competencies, and attributes, and languages criteria presented to applicants and available to participating Federal agencies when searching Finalists in the PMF TMS (Talent Management System), can be found via the "Application Criteria" document under the Resources section. This list should be consulted for any updates in advance of the launch of the annual PMF application.


Eligibility criteria can be found under the Become a PMF\Eligibility section.

Resources for Advising Graduate Students

The following are application tips and resources for academia to emphasize to their students:

  1. To prepare for the on-line assessment, applicants should review the annual “Assessment Preparation Guide” found on the Become a PMF/Assessment Process webpage.
  2. Applicants can use any format and style for their resume. See the “Resume” section on the Become a PMF\Application Process\Application Tips  webpage.
  3. Applicants must follow the transcript requirements as defined under the “Transcripts” section on the Become a PMF\Application Process\Application Tips webpage.
  4. Applicants are encouraged to apply using their personal email address versus their .edu address in case they lose access to their school’s email account or if the school’s servers block PMF emails.
  5. Applicants should add the following email addresses to their “safe list” to help prevent PMF emails going to SPAM:, and
  6. Applicants should avoid applying late; the entire application (including the on-line assessment) can take 3 to 4 hours to complete.

Selection Process

The selection process is straightforward and consists of four parts:

1. Application

Applicants will be able to apply to the PMF Program via an announcement on USAJOBS ( NOTE:  The announcement can only be found on USAJOBS when it is actually open. The announcement will contain a link for applicants to create an applicant user account on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS (Talent Management System). Applicants do not need a USAJOBS user account to apply. 

All applicants must submit a resume and an advanced degree transcript (and/or alternative). Additional information about resumes and transcripts (including an alternative) can be found under the Application Tips section. Academia should review the transcript (and/or alternative) instructions listed in this section.

2. Assessment

Applicants are directed to complete the on-line assessment during the application process. The on-line assessment is administered in an unproctored environment and consists of multiple batteries. Each battery is timed. The on-line assessment results are factored in the selection of Finalists.

An "Assessment Preparation Guide" is available under the Become A PMF\Assessment Process webpage, which includes instructions for the on-line assessment (including sample questions) and reasonable accommodations. The Guide will be posted prior to the launch of the application and removed shortly after the application closes.

3. Finalist Selection

Once the application has closed, the PMF Program Office reviews all applications. Finalists are chosen based on eligibility, complete applications, and the on-line assessment score. Eligibility ensures all outlined application requirements were met. Applicants who fail to meet all requirements will be deemed ineligible and their application will be removed from consideration.

All applicants are notified of their status via email. Applicants must log into their user account on the Apply Site to learn if they have been selected as a Finalist. Finalists are not guaranteed job placement.

Those applicants who apply based on a recent or current advanced degree from a foreign academic institution (outside of the United States) and are selected as Finalists will be required to utilize a credential evaluation service to determine if their degree and foreign institution are equivalent to U.S. standards. Go to the Education Completed Outside of the United States to learn more. 

A general timeline for Finalists is posted under the Become a PMF webpage.

4. Agency Placement as a Fellow

Finalists can apply to openings at specific Federal Agencies as a Presidential Management Fellow. Finalists who receive a job offer from an agency, subject to a background investigation and meeting qualifications, must be appointed within twelve months of the official announcement of their selection as a Finalist (otherwise referred to as the appointment eligibility period). Before onboarding, the Finalist must have completed all advanced degree requirements (including the successful completion/defense of any thesis/dissertation), not necessarily wait for graduation or confer their advanced degree. Advanced Degree means a professional or graduate degree (e.g., master's, Ph.D., J.D.).

NOTE:  If a current Finalist reapplies to the next class application, he/she forfeits their status upon initiating an application and the on-line assessment.  See the Become a PMF\Eligibility section on this website for more information.

Visit the next section on Publicizing PMF on Campus.

UPDATED:  09-08-2020