Student Programs

Student Programs

William F. Helms Internship Program: Interested in a career in agriculture, botany, plant pathology, entomology, or other biological sciences?  We are currently accepting applications for the William F. Helms Internship program. This program provides university and college-level students with the opportunity to plan and coordinate pest surveys, participate in Federal regulatory functions, and assist with PPQ’s domestic programs and activities. Learn more.

Pathways programs: the Department of Agriculture offers different pathway opportunities—including tuition assistance—for students and recent graduates to work in the agricultural, science, technology, math, environmental, management, business and many other fields.  Several opportunities with APHIS are available through this program. 

AgDiscovery program:  APHIS partners with 17 universities and colleges to help teenagers learn about careers in animal and plant science, wildlife management, and agribusiness.  The 2-4 week program allows student to live on a college campus and experience hands-on labs, workshops, and field trips.  

Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS):  Each summer, American University in Washington, DC, hosts a 6-credit summer Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS) program specifically designed for Native American students.  The class consists of discussion and research on topics important to Native communities and individuals across America. Interns also work for a government agency for 2 months.  APHIS always sponsors several WINS interns. To find out more about this program, visit

Safeguarding Natural Heritage: This program is an annual educational outreach program co-sponsored by APHIS and a Tribal college. The 2-week program, open to students 14 to 17 years of age, is designed to enhance youths’ exposure to agriculture, natural resources, and wildlife biology, through activities within the environs of a Tribal community. For more information, please contact APHIS National Tribal Liaison Terry Clark at (301) 440-4388 or; or National Program Manager-Tribal Liaison Carl Etsitty at (970) 494-7573 or

APHIS’ Summer Intern program offers paid summer internships involving substantive work assignments to college students/high school graduates who have been accepted by a college or university.  Students are recruited into the program using the regular vacancy announcement system.  For additional information, please contact APHIS Pathways Coordinator John Morris at (202) 799-7076 or

APHIS’ Animal Care (AC) program provides externships to students to gain unpaid work experience from 1-4 weeks in the fall, spring, and summer.  Opportunities may be available throughout the United States, depending on a student’s area of interest and the availability of AC personnel.   View the AC externship brochure for more details and learn how to apply.

VS National Recruitment Program:  The Veterinary Services (VS) Executive Team is committed to recruitment and outreach activities that target a diverse and highly qualified pool of applicants. The VS National Recruitment Program provides consulting and support services to management, recruiters, civil rights committees, and applicants on all aspects of recruitment, hiring, and outreach. Additionally, we are actively involved in the workforce and succession planning process, and the furtherance of diversity in VS has been the focus of many of our initiatives.