Presidential Management Fellows

Pathways Presidential Management Fellows Program


For more than 30 years, the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program has been the federal government's premier leadership development program for advanced (master's or professional) degree candidates. Established by executive order in 1977, the PMF Program has gone through many changes over the years.


The Pathways Program is expanding the eligibility window for PMF applicants to align the program with academic calendars and to allow individuals who have received a qualifying advanced degree within the two preceding years to apply to the PMF program. Pathways Program modifications also include requiring the Office of Personnel Management to set minimum qualification standards for participation in PMF and redesigning the program to make the Fellows experience more robust.


The PMF Program was designed to attract to the federal service outstanding individuals from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who are committed to excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. By drawing graduate students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, the program provides a continuing source of trained individuals to meet the future challenges of public service.


In order to be eligible for the PMF Program, applicants must have completed within the last two years a qualifying advanced (master's or professional) degree. Individuals may apply for the PMF Program more than once, as long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements and have not been named finalists.


Program Administration


The PMF Program is centrally administered by the PMF Program Office within the Office of Personnel Management. OPM announces the opportunity to apply for the PMF Program (usually in the late summer or early fall), and applicants go through a rigorous assessment process to determine the finalists. OPM selects the finalists based upon an evaluation of the candidates' experience and accomplishments, and then OPM provides agencies with the list of finalists. Finalists who obtain an appointment as a Fellow serve in a two-year excepted service position.


To graduate from the program, Fellows must have:


  • attended a minimum of 160 hours of formal classroom training (80 hours per year);
  • completed at least one developmental assignment of four to six months in length;
  • created a performance plan and undergone an annual performance review with a minimum rating of "successful" each year of their fellowship;
  • created an Individual Development Plan (IDP), used to set goals for your time in the program; AND
  • received Executive Resource Board (ERB) or equivalent certification that they met all program requirements prior to conversion.


After successful program completion and job performance, Fellows may be converted to a permanent position in the competitive service.


Information on the Pathways Internship program.


Information on the Pathways Recent Graduates program.