It is a good time to explore opportunities and prepare for the 2024 Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) Program announcement. This program assists federal agencies to meet their workforce and succession planning needs by attracting outstanding master’s, law, and doctoral-level students to federal service. Students can use this two-year fellowship to attain a leadership position in the Federal Government.

Presidential Management Fellow Program Overview

The PMF Program is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and candidates apply to be selected as Finalists. Finalists are then eligible for appointment as Presidential Management Fellows at a participating Federal agency. The PMF Program is an opportunity for advanced degree holders across all academic disciplines and from all segments of society.

PMF applicants must participate in an arduous application and assessment process. It provides those willing to approach the process diligently a chance to demonstrate their potential and leadership ability. If you make the cut, you will have the opportunity to grow professionally and serve your country.

When the application becomes available this fall, review the 2024 “PMF Applicant Handbook.” Last year’s PMF announcement ran from September 13, to October 7, 2022. This is a short window of opportunity, the earlier you apply, the more time you will have to prepare a professional package.

The new handbook will present a detailed overview for the 2024 program, eligibility requirements, and required documentation. Download the 2024 handbook when it becomes available.

The Handbook will be found under resources this fall. Currently, you can review the 2023 handbook to get a feel for what to expect.


You may be eligible to apply to the PMF Program if:

You are a current graduate presently attending a qualifying college or university and expecting to complete your advanced degree requirements (including the completion or successful defense of any required thesis or dissertation) by August 31st of the year following the annual application.

– OR –

You are a recent graduate who has completed an advanced degree from a qualifying college or university during the two years preceding the opening date of the PMF Program’s annual application.

The First Step

To become a PMF finalist, applicants must pay attention to the application’s details, assessment process, and eligibility requirements. When the application period opens this fall, you will find it on USAJOBS. Search for “Presidential Management Fellows.” Review the Application and ensure you follow all of the steps methodically or your application may be rejected.

Application Process

PMF applications are accepted annually; you can find details for submitting an application in the USAJOBS announcement by going to the “How to Apply” section. Within the announcement, click on the Apply link that takes you to the PMF Talent Management System (TMS).

You aren’t required to have a USAJOBS account to access the application. However, setting one up will help you prepare your application and to apply for other federal job opportunities. It also provides access to a resume builder that you can use when applying.

Applications must complete two online assessments and submit documents, including a resume and advanced degree transcript. If you claim veterans’ preference and/or a reasonable accommodation for the assessment process, you will be instructed to submit supporting documentation.

Expect to spend between 2 to 3 hours to complete the application. You aren’t required to complete the application and assessment all at once. You can take your time and stop and return while the announcement is open to complete it.  However, once you start a part of the online assessment, you must complete it at that time.

Review the detailed directions to confirm your eligibility before applying and complete the application while the announcement is open, otherwise it will be rejected. OPM highly encourages applicants to complete and submit their application early.


The assessment process consists of three parts:

(1) the Fellows Behavioral Assessment Tool (FBAT),

(2) the Fellows Situational Assessment Tool (FSAT), and

(3) the Fellows Structured Interview (FSI).

The assessment process is administered in two stages: (1) the Online Assessment stage (which includes the FBAT and FSAT), and (2) the Semi-Finalist stage (which includes the FSI). Semi-Finalists will be determined based on eligibility, completeness of application, and results from the Online Assessment stage.

The assessment process is designed to measure the following competencies that are critical to success in the PMF role:

  • Attention to Detail
  • Flexibility
  • Integrity/Honesty
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Oral communication
  • Reasoning
  • Self-Management
  • Supporting Diversity

The online assessment is un-proctored and includes the Fellows Behavioral Assessment Tool (FBAT) and the Fellows Situational Assessment Tool (FSAT). The FBAT asks applicants about behaviors related to competencies critical for PMF roles. The FSAT asks applicants to evaluate various courses of action in response to PMF work-related situations.

Each part of the online assessment is timed. Across both assessment parts, the approximate amount of time to complete is anticipated to be no more than 2 hours. Sample questions for each part will be published in the 2024 PMF Applicant Handbook prior to the launch of the application. No special training or experience is required to answer the questions in the online assessment.

Once you begin either of the parts, you must complete that part unless there is an emergency. Applicants may complete each of the online assessment parts at different times or all at once, as long as the applicant completes the entire online assessment and submits the application by the closing date of the announcement.

The Selection Process

After the application closes, they are reviewed to confirm eligibility, applications are complete, and their assessment results. The assessment process is in two stages.  The application period and the second during a Semi-Finalist stage after reviewing all of the applicant’s results.

Applicants are notified of their status and whether they reached the Semi-Finalist stage, following the close of the application. Semi-Finalists are notified of their status following the completion of that stage.

The top scoring applicants are selected as Finalists and have 12 months of appointment eligibility to apply for an appointment as a Fellow with a participating Federal agency. The two-year fellowship begins once a PMF secures a position with a participating Federal agency and are brought onboard.

Prepare to Apply Early

Now is the time to explore fellows’ options in the federal government. Mark your calendar for early September to search for the announcement and prepare your 2024 PMF application. This is an ideal opportunity to apply for and explore leadership opportunities in the federal government. The fellows’ program is a stepping stone to a life-long high paying, benefit loaded, government career.

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Dennis V. Damp, the creator of and, is a retired federal manager, business owner, career counselor and veteran. Damp is the author of 28 books, his books were featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times and U.S. News & World Report.