How to Apply for the Presidential Management Fellowship Program

It’s almost time for the Presidential Management Fellowship Program (PMF) application to open. This year, the two-week application window is October 3-17, 2019.

This program is available to those who completed a graduate degree within the past two years, or who will complete their graduate degree in the spring or summer of 2020. This is an excellent opportunity for applicants to launch their federal career and put themselves on the track for leadership within the government.

The Presidential Management Fellowship Program is the premier leadership development program for the federal workforce for entry-level candidates at the master’s level. It is a highly competitive program for new and recent graduates because only the top candidates are selected as PMF finalists. For example, in 2018, more than 6,300 applicants applied to the program and only 417 were accepted as finalists.

The PMF Program is searching for candidates with key leadership potential. The application process, which requires three assessments and an essay, is designed to assess flexibility, integrity, interpersonal skills, public service motivation, problem-solving, and written communication skills.

Candidates selected as PMF finalists can apply for targeted leadership development positions across 140+ participating federal agencies. These positions are available to only PMF finalists and include opportunities like rotational assignments, additional training and support, mentorship within the agency and the PMF alumni community, and advanced potential for promotions and career ladders. Although official PMF participation lasts just two years, many alumni remain active and involved with the PMF community throughout their entire career.

To assist interested students and alumni prepare for this year’s application process, UMGC Career Advising Specialist Ann Martin recently conducted a webinar to review the application process. UMGC and PMF alumnus Ronald Jackson (UMGC ‘12, ‘15, ‘16, PMF ‘16) was a special guest who shared his experience about participating in the program to encourage potential applicants. Jackson received his MSM in Human Resource Management and is currently employed as a human resources specialist with the workforce programs branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

If you’re interested in learning more about the PMF program, you can watch the PMF 2019 Candidate Information Session webinar on demand and you can visit

Ann Martin is a career advising specialist at University of Maryland Global Campus where she has worked for more than five years. She holds a master’s in mental health counseling from Bowie State University. As a mid-life career changer, she feels uniquely qualified to assist adult students in transforming their lives and finding their place in the workforce.