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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Student Volunteer Service Program (SVP)

SVSP are unpaid volunteers and remain separate from paid interns serving under the Pathways Program. The student’s time is unpaid, but their academic institution may honor the time as credit hours towards completion of their degree/certificate. Students can only volunteer for 6 months per a year.

  • Students must be enrolled at least part-time in an education program including:
  • High School / GED (can be young as 16 years old)
  • Home-school curriculum
  • Vocational
  • Technical
  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate

A fingerprint check with favorable results must be completed before a start date can be established if obtaining government equipment. Security costs are incurred by ASPR; estimated cost is $2,000 per student.

Internship Program

This program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and 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 at USAJOBS . Here are some key provisions of the Internship Program.


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.

Program Administration

  • The Internship Program is primarily administered by each hiring agency.
  • Agencies may hire Interns on a temporary basis for up to one year for an initial period, or for an indefinite period, to complete the educational requirement.
  • Interns may work either part- or full-time.
  • Each agency must sign a Participant Agreement with the Intern that sets forth the expectations for the internship.
  • Intern's job will be related to the Intern's academic career goals or field of study.
  • Agencies provide OPM with information regarding their internship opportunities and post information publicly on USAJOBS about how to apply for specific positions.

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.

  • This page last reviewed: November 19, 2021