Pathways Recent Graduates Program

Four Smiling PeopleThe Pathways Recent Graduates Program allows recent graduates to enter VA in career positions that emphasize long-term training and development. Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic developmental program with potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government. The program lasts for one year or more. USAJOBS offers additional information on the Pathways Recent Graduates Program.

Eligibility Requirements

Recent graduates who have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associate's, bachelor's, master's, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree, or certificate from a qualifying educational institution. Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree, due to military service obligation, have as many as six years after degree completion to apply.


Qualifications will vary by specific career field.

General Training and Developmental Experiences

The Pathways Recent Graduates program includes:

  • An orientation program for Recent Graduates hired into the program
  • Mentorship throughout the program
  • Individual Development Plan (IDP) to create and track Recent Graduates' career planning, professional development, and training activities
  • At least 40 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program
  • Opportunities for career advancement

Application Process

Positions in the Pathways Recent Graduates Program can be found on USAJOBS (keywords: “Pathways Recent Graduate”). The application processes may vary depending upon the position.

Program Information



Program Size: 
VA expects to hire more than 400 Recent Graduates in 2013.

Service Obligation: 
To be eligible for a permanent Federal career, Recent Graduates must successfully complete the program’s requirements.

Current Career Fields: 
All career fields are eligible for the Pathways Recent Graduates Program if positions in their career field are available. Individuals selected for the VA Pathways Recent Graduates Program will generally be appointed to positions up to the GS09 level (or equivalent) and placed in a two-year career development program, though certain career fields in science and technology may be eligible for appointment to the GS11 or GS12 level (or equivalent).

After Program Completion

After successful completion of the program requirements, the individual may, at the agency's discretion, be converted to a term or permanent appointment.