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Prospective Pathways Students

This page is meant for any current college students who are considering applying for a Pathways internship. This is NOT the page to apply; all applications are posted on USAJobs.gov only.

The brochures and flyers are here, but this page will summarize and main points to keep in mind when considering applying.

Pathways Brochure

Pathways Flyer

Preference in filling vacancies is given to qualified Indian candidates in accordance with the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (Title 25, USC, Section 472). Verification Form BIA-4432 must be submitted with the application if claiming Indian Preference. Indian Preference eligibles not currently employed in Federal service may be appointed under the Excepted Service Appointment Authority Schedule A, 213.3112(a)(7).

How to Apply

We are continuously recruiting to fill internships. The duty stations for the positions are located nationwide. We post ALL job opportunities for Pathways Internships on USAJOBS.



All work assignments will be related to your college major, but you'll likely gain experience in job areas not strictly related to your major - just like any federal employee. Work assignments and job placement can happen with certain tribal programs, so you will have many job locations and opportunities to serve in a developmental role to gain experience by working with higher graded employees/specialists in support of the mission of the BIA and will receive both formal and on-the-job training to develop the required knowledge and skill to successfully perform the duties of the position pertaining to the functions and operations of the organization and the specialty area, with an emphasis on the oversight, protection, management and utilization of federal Indian trust or restricted lands.

The OTS programs offers paid internships for emerging leaders who are seeking degrees in natural resources management, forestry and other related environmental and biological science fields. This Program not only offers students paid employment, while they continue their education, but also gives them valuable and unique work experiences. We offer rotational summer assignments within different programs and work environments, where students can train and job shadow with industry professionals.

  • Paid internships while they continue their education
  • Students can intern with the BIA, Tribe or a Tribal related program
  • No prior experience required
  • Holiday and sick pay, as well as flexible schedules and more
  • Rotational summer assignments within different programs and work environments, where students can train and job shadow with industry professionals
  • Potential for non-competitive placement after graduation into a permanent professional entrylevel BIA or tribal position

We understand that some students have not yet declared or are enrolled in an unrelated degree program area and are thinking about changing.

To widen the pathways for careers pertaining to the Stewardship of Trust assets and tribal resources, we hire students on a contingent basis and place them on a work assignment in an area unrelated to their degree program. This gives them the opportunity to experience a program area before making up their minds for a career choice, and at the same time allows the BIA to attract and retain students who possess significant untapped potential.

However, their continued employment is contingent upon meeting the educational degree program eligibility requirements listed below within a prescribed timeframe.


● Be at least 18 years of age ● Must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable (www.sss.gov) ● Show they are eligible for Indian Preference by using Form BIA - 4432 Exp Date: 03/31/2021 ● Must be enrolled full-time or accepted for enrollment full-time in an accredited institution ● Good academic standing (cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher) ● Seeking a Bachelor's degree related to program/position hired for ● Complete the 640-hour service requirement

Note documentation of student enrollment status: For first year students who do not have a copy of your transcripts, a copy of your degree plan/curriculum and any other acceptable proof to verify currently accepted or enrolled. Examples of acceptable proof are enrollment course schedule or plan, registration of current course work, advisor approved degree checklist, or letter of acceptance that is on college or university official letter head.


In addition to the above requirements to enter, staying in the program also requires the following: • Compliance with the terms and conditions of the Pathways Internship Program, • Continued suitability for Federal employment, • Remaining a student in good academic standing, • Working well with your host agency to receive a positive recommendation and/or evaluation, • Passing physical, medical, or driving exams if required by the work assignment placement, and • Adhering to all requirements of a federal employee and with the Pathways Internship Program.


Degree program areas include natural resources management, geography, agricultural engineering, agricultural economics, animal husbandry, animal science, horticulture, rangeland management, soil conservation or science, environmental sciences, fisheries and wildlife biology, forestry and other related biological sciences.


Some of the positions we target are for full-time professional entry level positions include the following job titles: • Natural Resource Specialist • Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialist • Cartographer • Range Management Specialist or Range Technician • Soil Scientist or Soil Conservation Specialist • Wildlife & Fisheries Biologist • Forester or Forestry Technician • Archeology • Realty Specialist • Legal Instruments Examiner • Fire Management Specialist • Agricultural Engineer • Civil Engineer • Petroleum Engineer • Environmental Protection Specialist (NEPA) • Water Rights Specialist • Hydrologist • Irrigation System Operator


While we encourage all interested students to apply, we also want you to be aware that the program is a commitment. Not all work locations are ideal and some are remote. Before accepting a work assignment in a rural area you must ask yourself if you are willing and able to sacrifice some comforts for the sake of the mission.


To be eligible for non-competitive conversion into a full-time position within the BIA, students must: • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program, • Complete their degree or certificate requirements, • Meet the OPM qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted, • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement, • Received a “Fully Successful” or above Performance Rating of Record, • Received favorable evaluation and recommendation from host supervisor for non-competitive conversion “appointment”, • Accept job placement offer and relocate if necessary, and • Some job titles have specific position requirements in addition to the bachelor's degree requirement or require a Medical exam, Drug Testing, and a Driver License.


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