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Advising Students

Two individuals sitting in front of a desktop computer. One is a professor and they are advising the student.

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 graduate students and alumni are well prepared to submit successful applications.

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, public health, international affairs, business administration, STEM, data science/analytics, and more. Graduate students in any academic discipline who are pursuing an advanced degree (Master’s, Ph.D., J.D.) are encouraged to apply.

To see the most current list of participating agencies, including  Agency PMF Coordinators, go to

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, 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 reviewed 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. The PMF Applicant Handbook is released annually ahead of the application launch, and is one of the most important resources for potential applicants. The Handbook details the annual application process, explains eligibility requirements, required documentation, and provides an overview of the assessment process. It can be found under the Become a PMF/Resources and Academia/Resources webpages, once posted.
  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. In addition, we have prepared a PMF Program Required Application Documents and Alternative Letter document that outlines the details on documents required for the PMF application. It also includes a sample of the alternative letter for applicants to obtain from academic institutions. A copy of this document is also posted under the Academia/Resources webpage. Applicants may also upload a copy of their undergraduate degree transcript; this is optional and has no bearing on the selection of Finalists.
  4. Applicants are encouraged to apply using their personal email address instead of their .edu address in case they lose access to their school’s email account or in case 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:,,,
  6. Applicants should apply as early as possible once the application opens; the entire application (including the on-line assessment) can take 2 to 3 hours to complete.
  7. The PMF Program has an active presence on Handshake. If your academic institution utilizes Handshake, you may encourage your students to visit our page by searching “Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program.”

Selection of Finalists

Shortly after the application closes, the PMF Program Office reviews applications for eligibility, completeness, academic institution accreditation, claims for veterans’ preference, and assessment results; this is referred to as the adjudication process. Based on the adjudication process and assessment score results, the PMF Program Office will identify Semi-Finalists. Semi-Finalists will be invited to participate in a structured interview process.

Finalists are chosen based on: (1) ability to meet eligibility requirements, (2) complete application, (3) online assessment results, (4) structured interview results, and (5) the total number of Finalists authorized for each year.

Applicants using an advanced degree from a non-U.S. academic institution who are selected as Finalists will be required to utilize a credential evaluation service (see additional information under Become a PMF/Eligibility/Education Outside U.S.).

Applicants can monitor their results from their applicant user account on the Apply Site of the PMF TMS (Talent Management System). All applicants will be sent an email when Finalists are announced.

Appointment Process for Finalists

Those who are selected as Finalists and have provided consent to have their name and college/university listed publicly will be included in the public list of Finalists (as well as any subsequent appointment status). The public list of Finalists can be found on the Apply Site once available. Providing consent to share this information publicly is optional and does not affect whether an applicant is selected as a Finalist. Applicants and Semi-Finalists are NOT publicly listed.

From the date of selection, Finalists have 12 months to secure a PMF appointment; referred to as the appointment eligibility period. Finalists can search for appointment opportunities from their user account under the Apply Site where they will find an updated User Dashboard reflecting their status as a Finalist. Finalists are not guaranteed a PMF appointment and positions/grade levels are dependent on agency needs.

Those who are not selected as Finalists may reapply the following year if they remain eligible. Please note there is no appeal process, and we are not able to provide assessment scores. Those who are not selected may also be interested in other Federal opportunities and can find them by searching USAJOBS.

Visit the next section on Publicizing PMF on Campus.

UPDATED:  08-01-2022