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Internship Program

The Internship Program replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). The Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of education institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies to explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service. Additional information about the Internship Program can be found online.

Key Aspects of the Internship Program:

  • The Internship Program is for current students. Students hired into this program will be known as "Interns."
  • Provides high school, college (includes 4-year colleges/universities, community and junior colleges), professional, vocational, and trade school, advanced degree programs valuable experience in the Federal workforce.
  • Paid position
  • May work on a part-time or full-time schedule
  • May work on a temporary basis for up to one year or for an indefinite period
  • Position should be related to the Intern's academic career goals or field of study.


  • Current students in an accredited high school, college (including 4-year colleges/universities, community colleges, and junior colleges); professional, technical, vocational, and trade school; advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.
  • Applicants must possess a grade point average (GPA) of a 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0.  Grade-point averages are to be rounded to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 will round to 3.0 and 2.94 will round to 2.9.

  • Must be enrolled in an accredited education institution at least half-time and pursuing a degree or certificate.
  • The minimum age allowed for Federal employment is 16.


  • Annual and sick leave
  • May be eligible for federal retirement system
  • May be eligible for federal life and health insurance
  • Program Completion and Conversion:
  • Interns may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program.

To be eligible for conversion, Interns must:

  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program
  • Complete their degree or certificate requirements
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted
  • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement, and
  • Perform their job successfully.
  • Agencies may waive up to 320 of the required 640 hours of work for Interns who demonstrate high potential as evidenced by outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance.
  • In addition, students working in agencies through third-party intern providers may count up to 320 of the hours they work toward the 640 hour requirement.
  • Time spent under previous Internship Program appointments may count towards required work experience hours.

How to Apply:

Interested student may apply to NIST Internship Opportunities at USAJobs Students and Recent Graduates Job Search or USAJOBS Home Page for NIST.

Created August 17, 2012, Updated March 7, 2024