Pathways Internships at JSC
NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) is known throughout the world as ‘Mission Control’ and has served as the command center for human spaceflight since 1965. JSC leads at the frontier of human space exploration. We strategically and tactically implement complex human space programs that span multiple agencies and the commercial and academic communities.
We’re creating an exciting future developing capabilities for the next generation to explore space, partnering with industry to expand commercial access to space for crew and cargo, and are involved in many other missions exploring earth, the solar system and the universe beyond.
At JSC, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to our continued work of building a new NASA vehicle to enable human deep space exploration, work on the operation and development of the International Space Station in cooperation with our Internal Partners, and work with industry to help foster the commercial space sector. Home to a diverse and innovative workforce of over 3,000 Federal employees, JSC is located about 25 miles southeast of downtown Houston.
As an intern with NASA you will benefit from several unique aspects of our program including:
Real work that matters: Each time you come for a work rotation you’ll be assigned a mentor who will work side-by-side with you to make sure that you have a meaningful project and the tools/knowledge to complete it. Not only will you get hands on work experience, you’ll be paid for it.
Explore different career paths.: Each work tour you will rotate into a different functional area, this allows you to try out different career paths while you are still in school and decide what you want to do after graduation.
On the job training: School is great but nothing can quite prepare you for the work you’ll be doing at NASA — so we make sure that each work tour you have the opportunity to learn the new skills required by your position.
Tour and Lectures: You’ll have the opportunity to meet astronauts, engineers, business managers, scientists, and NASA Officials. You’ll also get behind-the-scenes tours of JSC’s cutting-edge facilities.
Performance reviews: You’ll receive ongoing feedback on your performance throughout your work tour and a formal performance review before you leave for school.
Education and community outreach opportunities: You will have opportunities to encourage younger students to attend college and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Our students also organize opportunities to volunteer in the local community.
Social activities: These events, planned by the students themselves, provide an opportunity to develop a close network of friends outside of the work environment. Regular activities include night and weekend activities, lunches, intramural sports teams and more.
JSC’s Pathways Intern Program offers multi-semester experiences with various organizations throughout your internship. Although the minimum requirement is 640 hours (or approximately one semester of full-time work), most of our students work at least 2-3 semesters with us so they can rotate to different areas. This structure not only helps broaden your perspective of the NASA mission, but also helps you decide what you want to do after graduation.
The following JSC center-specific guidelines will help you to make the most of your Pathways Intern experience and ensure you’re a strong full-time hiring candidate:
The rotational aspect is a major advantage and unique attribute of JSC’s Pathways Intern Program! In fact, our Center management strongly supports and encourages rotations for our Pathways Interns so that you’ll gain exposure to different JSC hiring managers and organizations:
- Undergraduate Technical Interns: We recommend you complete at least one work tour each in the Engineering Directorate and Flight Operations Directorate.
- Undergraduate/Graduate Business Interns: We recommend you complete at least one work tour each in the Office of Procurement and Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
- Graduate Technical Interns: JSC Graduate Pathways Interns are not required to rotate outside their specific area.
Work Tour Schedule Guidelines
Our office will work with you to set up your schedule of school and work tour rotations. Please keep in mind that you may need to extend your graduation date so that you can complete additional work tours beyond the minimum 640 hours. Completing additional work tours will allow you to explore multiple career fields so that you can find your dream job!
- Deepening on the start date listed on the announcement, your first work tour will be either a Spring or Fall semester
- Spring and Fall work tours are 14-16 weeks in length
- Spring work tours are mid-January through mid-May
- Fall work tours are mid-August through mid-December
- Summer work tours are 10-12 weeks in length
- Summer work tours are mid-May through mid-August
- Completing three consecutive work tours and/or back-to-back Fall and Spring work tours are not permitted to minimize disruption to your academic schedule
- You’ll need to complete all work tours no later than the end of the summer semester before you complete your degree requirements
- A maximum credit for one work tour will be granted if you who have completed one NASA sponsored internship
- For examples of possible work tour schedules, please refer to the JSC Pathways Schedule Scenarios.
A Pathways Intern must sign a NASA/JSC Pathways Intern Participant Agreement which includes:
- Description of duties
- Work schedule
- Length of appointment and termination date
- Mentorship opportunities
- Training requirements
- Performance evaluation
- Requirements for continuation in and successful completion of the program
- Minimum requirements for non-competitive conversion to term or permanent employment
A Pathways Intern must show proof that he/she is maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 2.9 (3.0 preferred) by providing the JSC Pathways Program Office with official transcripts prior to the start of each work tour.
This policy is intended to be a supplement to the NASA Implementation Guide to the NASA Pathways Program regulations found in 5 CFR 362.
Exceptions to this policy will be handled on a case by case basis by the JSC Pathways Program Office.
NASA JSC provides for equal employment opportunity in the Pathways Programs without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other non-merit-based factor.
* Tour schedules for students on the quarter system will be worked on a case-by-case basis, following the semester requirements as closely as possible.
** A work tour is a period of time where a student works full-time, on-site at either JSC or the White Sands Test Facility.
- Semester work tours are 14-16 weeks long
- Typically mid-January through mid-May for Spring and mid-August through mid-December for Fall
- Summer work tours are 10-12 weeks long
- Typically mid-May through mid-August