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Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program a flagship leadership development program at the entry-level for advanced degree candidates. Created more than three decades ago by Executive Order, the program attracts and selects from among the best candidates and is designed to develop a cadre of potential federal government leaders. Many past Presidential Management Fellows have continued in federal service while many others have gone on to illustrious careers in the private sector, academia and the non-profit world.

Listed below are several key provisions of the PMF Program.


  • Individuals who have completed a qualifying advanced degree (e.g., master’s or professional degree) within the past two years or who will meet advanced degree requirements by August 31 of the year following the annual application announcement.
  • An individual may apply for the PMF Program more than once as long as they meets the eligibility criteria. However, if an individual becomes a finalist and subsequently applies for the PMF Program during the next open announcement, the individual will forfeit their status as a finalist (admitted to the program).

The PMF Program is centrally administered by the PMF program office within OPM.

  • OPM announces the opportunity to apply for the PMF Program (usually in the late summer or early fall) on the PMF and USAJOBS websites.
  • Applicants go through a rigorous assessment process to determine finalists.
  • OPM selects finalists based on an evaluation of each applicant's experience and accomplishments according to his/her application and results of the assessments.
  • OPM publishes and provides agencies with the list of finalists.
  • Agencies provide OPM with information about their PMF opportunities and can post PMF appointment opportunities for those who are finalists on the PMF website year-round. In addition, a job fair is typically held for finalists each year.

Finalists who obtain an appointment as a PMF serve in a two-year excepted service position.

Those selected for the Presidential Management Fellows Program must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be at least 16 years or older;
  • Maintain a 2.5 GPA (undergraduate) or 3.0 GPA (graduate) on a 4.0 scale;
  • Obtain and maintain a Tier 5 Top Secret clearance (for more information visit OPM Mythbuster Page);
  • Submit to a drug test prior to your appointment and random drug testing while you occupy the position;
  • Certify having registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so (if you are a male Applicant born after December 31, 1959 or a female); and
  • Upon onboarding, you must sign a Pathways Participant Agreement.

Participants in the Pathways Presidential Management Fellows Program receive training and support during their tenure, including:

  • Newly hired PMFs have the opportunity to participate in the PMF Program Office’s orientation and training program;
  • Senior-level mentorship throughout the program;
  • An individual development plan to create and track a PMF's career planning, professional development, and training activities;
  • Developmental opportunities in the occupation or functional discipline the PMF would most likely be placed;
  • At least 80 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program, for a total of 160 hours; and
  • PMFs are placed on a performance plan and must obtain a successful rating each year.

  • After successful program completion and job performance, the PMF may convert to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, a term appointment lasting one to four years) in competitive service.