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Opportunities for Students and College Graduates

Whether you are on a career track, or in the process of determining which career you would like to pursue, the CDC has numerous internship, training, and volunteer opportunities for students of all academic disciplines and levels. Many of these opportunities provide invaluable experiences and potentially offer clear cut paths to exciting careers with CDC.

Pathways Program for Students and Recent Graduates
Public Health Training Opportunities
Federal Work Study Program
Emory Rollins Earn and Learn Program
Student (Volunteer) Worksite Experience Program
Thurgood Marshall College Foundation/Student Ambassador Program


Pathways Programs for Students and Recent Graduates

Great news! If you are a student or a recent college graduate, and are looking for rewarding work experience to supplement your education, then the Pathways Program is just for you. The Pathways program is made up of three main components: the Internship Program which offers internship and summer employment opportunities to students; the Recent Graduates Program where recent college graduates can obtain enriching developmental work experience in public health and related support occupations; and the Presidential Management Fellows Program that offers leadership development opportunities to students who in the process of completing their master’s, law, or doctoral-level degree within the academic year.  See the information below for more details.

Internship Program
The Internship Program is for high school or college student in search of an internship or other opportunity to gain work experience while in school. The program is designed to provide students who are enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service. Browse available internship opportunities today!

Student Summer Employment – Pathways Interns

The Student Summer Employment provides training and work experience for individuals during summer months. The work ranges from office support to trades and labor occupations to positions in professional fields.

Students must meet the following eligibility requirements to participate in the Student Summer Employment:

  • Enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a diploma, certificate, or degree-seeking student. Verification showing enrollment status is required from the school.
  • Meet the minimum age required by federal, state, or local laws and standards governing the employment of minors.
  • Taking or scheduled to take a course load at least half-time in an accredited high school, technical or vocational school, 2-year or 4-year college or university, graduate or professional school.

Pay and Benefits
Students in the Pathways receive a competitive salary, but are not eligible for federal benefits.

How to Apply
Student summer employment opportunities are announced January through March of each year at Visit the website beginning in January for more information on applying for summer employment with CDC. Detailed instructions on how to apply for student summer employment opportunities are provided during the announcement period.

Required Documentation

Recent Graduate Program

Have you recently graduated from a qualifying educational institution or program? If yes, then explore the many opportunities available under the new Pathways Recent Graduates Program (RGP). The recent graduates program offers developmental experiences in the Federal Government in an effort to promote possible careers in civil service. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation. Veterans have up to six years after degree completion to apply. Additional information about the Recent Graduates Program can be found at


Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)
Will you complete your master’s, law, or doctoral-level degree during this academic year? If yes, we invite you to explore a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity through the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program. The PMF Program is a two-year, paid program designed to develop future leaders committed to excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. The program is highly competitive and candidates must be nominated by their graduate program’s dean, director, or chair. Upon successful completion of the program, fellows may be eligible for permanent placement within a federal agency. Click here for more information on the PMF Program.

Visit the OPM Pathways Program Website for more general information on the new Pathways program, or begin your job search today.

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Public Health Training Opportunities

We are looking for smart, ambitious people for a variety of public health training programs. If you are in college, have recently graduated or are currently working in public health, we have a place for you. Click here for more information about Public Health Training Opportunities.

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Federal Work Study Program

The CDC Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program offers students work experience in various occupations during the academic year and/or summer months. FWS at CDC exposes students to a wide arrange of opportunities, including public health careers. To qualify, students must be enrolled in an accredited college and awarded FWS packaging through their respective Financial Aid Office.

Students must apply for and be awarded federally-sponsored college work-study through their academic institution to be eligible for the work study program.

Pay and Benefits
Students receive a stipend through their school based on their year in school. Students are not eligible for federal benefits.

More Information
Students should contact their financial aid office for more information on available CDC/ATSDR work study opportunities.

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Emory Rollins Earn and Learn Program (REAL)

Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Heath Earn and Learn Program (REAL) is a program that offers MPH and MSPH students valuable opportunities to earn while they learn. The program provides funding for master’s level public health graduate students to support their academic interests with applied public health experiences in federal, state, and county agencies, as well as non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout Atlanta.

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Student Worksite Experience Program - Volunteer Service

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers unpaid, educationally-related opportunities to students in high school and college through the Student Worksite Experience Program. The Student Worksite Experience Program allows students to explore career options and gain valuable and rewarding work experience while pursuing their educational goals. Many educational institutions grant academic credit for the work performed. Contact your educational institution for more information on crediting volunteer experience.
To participate in the Worksite Experience Program, students must:

  • receive written permission from their school;
  • provide proof of enrollment in an accredited educational institution (e.g., transcript, current student identification card, etc.);
  • be at least 16 years old;
  • be enrolled, at least half-time in:
    • a high school or trade school;
    • a technical or vocational school;
    • a junior or community college;
    • a four-year college or university; or
    • any other accredited educational institution including home-school. [Students who are home-schooled must be participating in either an accredited home-school, or a home-school curriculum approved by the State.]
  • provide proof of health insurance if volunteering in the research and study laboratories and facilities.
  • pass a background investigation conducted by CDC; and
  • meet VISA requirements for non-citizens

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Thurgood Marshall College Foundation/ CDC Student Ambassador Program and Internship

The Thurgood Marshall College Foundation/CDC Ambassador and Internship Program is designed to increase interest in public health careers among minority students, and to increase minority representation in mission critical occupations at CDC and the public health workforce. The program seeks to promote CDC as a preferred employer. Student ambassadors work at their campuses and in their communities to actively promote public service and public health among their peers as a means of making a positive difference. The ambassadors promote public health initiatives on campus and in the community, and build relationships between faculty and student groups.

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