Secret Service Internship

Secret Service Internship: Opportunities and Eligibility

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When people think about the United States Secret Service, they probably think about movie characters like Jason Bourne or fictional organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D. Rest assured, the Secret Service Internship is an actual program. Like every other internship, it takes trainees and gives them a glimpse of working in such an environment.

By reading this article, you will gain some insight into what the Secret Service is about and what internship opportunities they make available. We will also explain what you need to qualify for any program and how to apply.

The United States Secret Service

Abraham Lincoln established The United States Secret Service (USSS) in 1865. It is a branch of the Department of Homeland Security with various responsibilities. The Secret Service’s primary task is to conduct high-profile criminal investigations and protect U.S. politicians, their families, and foreign politicians on official visits. They investigate high-level crimes like identity theft, financial crimes (such as money laundering), cyber-attacks on national infrastructure, etc.

To carry out these duties, the Secret Service needs diverse skills within its ranks, not just field agents. These include forensic scientists, data analysts, ethical hackers, etc. This professional diversity leaves room for many professions within the Secret Service workforce.

Secret Service Internship

The Secret Service internship is a general name for several programs the USSS provides for students and graduates who wish to gain experience. It is a unique opportunity that allows you, an American, to serve your country as a high school, undergraduate, graduate student, or any other level.

Secret Service Internship Opportunities

Due to the diverse set of skills and qualifications for the Secret Service internship, the opportunities available are in several categories. These are:

  • Pathways program
  • Recent graduate program
  • Presidential Management Fellows
  • Student Volunteer Program

Pathways Program

Pathways program is a Secret Service internship program that allows students in high school, college, or any other vocational educational institution to explore paid federal careers. It enables the interns to transition into permanent roles in the future. Interns who apply for the Secret Service internship Pathways Program are usually completing the requirements for an academic program. Hence, the job you take up must be related to your program of study. The internship could be part-time or full-time, and the duration could be one year or indefinite, depending on how long the study program requires.

Recent Graduates Program

As the name suggests, the Recent Graduates Program (R.G.P.) is for American citizens who have recently completed a degree or certificate from an educational institution. The program lasts one year (except in exceptional cases) and includes various forms of training. Successful applicants who also go on to complete the year-long program have the opportunity to convert into more permanent roles.

Presidential Management Fellows

One of the Secret Service internship programs for advanced degree holders is the Presidential Management Fellows program. This is an entry-level internship for students who have completed their Master’s degree no more than two years before application. However, applicants who will meet their program by August 31, following the end of the application, are also eligible.

Student Volunteer Program

The Student Volunteer Program is an unpaid internship program for students by the U.S. Secret Service. This program focuses on academic-related work and gives the interns assignments that help them explore various career options. It involves 12 hours of weekly volunteer work for at least one semester, two quarters, or a summer session.

Applications for the Student Volunteer Program are open twice yearly: in February and July. Applicants must submit a well-drafted resume, their most recent transcript, or an acceptance confirmation from their school. The school must be an accredited educational institution.

Eligibility Requirements for Secret Service Internship

The different U.S. Secret Service Internship programs have similar yet slightly varying audiences. Hence, they have somewhat different requirements for eligibility as well. Below are the eligibility requirements for the internship programs outlined in the previous section.

Eligibility Requirements for Pathways Program

The only requirement for the Pathways Program is to be a student of an accredited educational institution, high school, college, etc., in the United States of America.

To transition to permanent roles from the Pathways Program, however, the intern must meet the following:

  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience in the Pathways Program
  • Ensure they complete their certificate/degree requirements
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position they want to convert to.
  • Meet agency-specific needs (depending on the hiring agency)

This transition can occur within 120 days of completing the Secret Service internship pathways program.

Eligibility Requirements for Recent Graduates & President Management Fellows Programs

Only students who completed their degree/certificate program within the previous two (2) years qualify for the Secret Service Internship R.G.P. Veterans, however, can apply if they completed theirs within the last six (6) years. Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, Ph.D., Associate, etc., are all eligible. Some other requirements for this program are:

  • You must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Provide a drug test before selection and be ready for random drug tests during the program.
  • Maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA for Undergraduate students or 3.0 for Graduate students on a 4.0 scale.
  • You must provide proof of U.S. citizenship.
  • Obtain a Tier 5 Top Secret Clearance
  • Please certify that you are registered with or exempt from the Selective Service System.

If successful, you will also sign a Pathways Participant Agreement.

Eligibility Requirements for Student Volunteer Program

To qualify for the U.S. secret service internship student volunteer program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a student of an accredited educational institution.
  • Have permission from your school to participate in the volunteer program.
  • Be at least 16 years of age.
  • Possess proof that you are a U.S. citizen.
  • Have a C.G.P.A. of at least 2.5 on a 4-point scale.

Note: Children of U.S. Secret Service employees are not eligible for the Student Volunteer program.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Do I have to complete 640 hours in the Secret Service internship before transitioning to a permanent role?

Ordinarily, you must complete 640 hours in the secret service internship before transitioning to a permanent position. However, agencies may waive up to 320 hours for you as a reward for outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance during the internship. Also, your time under previous internship program appointments may count toward required work experience hours.

#2. Is it easy to get an internship with the Secret Service?

Getting an internship with the secret service cannot be considered easy. It involves a very competitive application process, many requirements, and sometimes, even background security checks. You can only join the agency after you’ve been cleared in these capacities.

#3. How do I know when applications for the Secret Service internship programs start?

It is advisable to watch U.S.A.J.O.B.S., the official online job board for Secret Service jobs. However, agencies could conduct outreach programs before posting them on the job board.

#4. Must the internship program I apply for be related to my field of study?

No, it mustn’t. You could apply for any programs related to your field of study or your career interests and projections.

#5. Are assessment tests a part of the recruitment process for Secret Service internships?

This depends entirely on the internship program. Specific internship programs require assessment tests to join. Others do not. You must understand the recruitment process for each internship before you start applying.


Applying for Secret Service Internships is a challenging task by any means. Hence, it helps to have the correct background information to help you with it, which we have provided in this article. Stay alert for news on internship openings, and keep your eyes on the job board. Good luck with your application.