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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the eligibility requirements?

Candidates must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Be a full-time student (high school through graduate-level) or a part-time college-level student enrolled in a minimum of 6 semester hours.
  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age at the time of application (no exceptions).
  • Undergraduate and graduate students must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at a U.S. Department of Education accredited college or university with a course of study aligned to NASA’s needs. Educators are also eligible to apply.

I have completed my undergraduate degree and am transitioning to graduate school. Am I eligible during this gap period?

If you have completed your undergraduate degree and are enrolled in graduate school the following semester, you are eligible for an internship during the gap period.

When do internships take place?

There are three internship sessions:

SessionDurationTypical Start an End Date
Spring16 weeksMid-January – Early May
Summer10 weeksLate May/Early June – August
Fall16 weeksLate August/Early September – Mid-December

What types of projects are available?

Projects vary at every center each session. Once you complete an application, you will be able to view the available projects for the specified session. You can use filters to locate specific projects that meet your desired geographic location and skill sets.

Are selections made for every project?

Selections are contingent upon many factors, so some projects may remain unfilled.

Are letters of recommendation required?

Letters of recommendation are not required as part of the NASA Office of STEM Engagement Internships application.

Will I be asked to conduct an application interview?

Many project mentors like to conduct phone or video interviews with potential candidates prior to internship selection; however, this is not a requirement. Regardless, make sure that you are checking your phone and email regularly once you have applied to ensure you do not miss a great opportunity!

When will I hear if I am selected?

Selections may occur any time after you submit your application. You will be contacted if you are considered for a project and will receive an official offer letter via email if selected.

Where will I live while interning? Will I need a car?

Interns are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. This includes locating their own housing options and paying for their housing. While NASA does not provide housing, we will provide you sufficient time and options to locate housing. Interns will have the opportunity to work at one of NASA’s centers located around the country. Many centers will provide resources, such as online forums, where you can connect with other employees to find affordable housing options in the area.

Your center location and housing options will determine if you need a car. At most centers, unless you find housing within walking distance, you will most likely need a car. However, there are ample public transportation options at some centers.

Are internships paid?

The majority of interns received a stipend award, which is based on academic level and session duration.

Pathways Intern

Eligibility and Application Questions

What are the eligibility requirements for Pathways?

Candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen.
  2. Be at least 16 years of age.
  3. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis in an accredited educational institution and maintain enrollment at least half time as defined by the institution.
  4. Be pursuing a degree or certificate.
  5. Currently have and maintain a cumulative 2.9 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
  6. Be able to complete at least 640 hours of work prior to completing degree/certificate requirements.
  7. Meet any other requirements described in the announcement, such as specific educational requirements.

Where and when are Pathways opportunities announced?

All of our job postings can be found on Application windows for the Pathways Intern Program open in the spring and fall each year. Our application windows open two times per year—typically around February and September. In order to be ready to apply, you can visit to create your profile, build your resume, and set up a notification that will alert you when our positions open.

How should I write my resume when applying to a Pathways Internship?

NASA wants to get to know you and see your story – so be clear and concise, but elaborate! Your resume is your best opportunity to demonstrate what sets you apart from other applicants. Write your USAJobs resume in a narrative format, where you highlight your accomplishments by using the CAR method (Challenge/Action/Result). Here are some additional tips for building your NASA resume.

Can I use ChatGPT or other artificial intelligence tools to assist in drafting application and assessment responses?

NASA prohibits candidates from plagiarizing any portion of their employment application to include responses to questions in which you must provide a narrative response. You must create your own responses originally and not copy or adapt them from other sources. While NASA encourages you to create your narratives with great care, including correct use of grammar and style, you are prohibited from using any artificial intelligence (AI) or AI-assisted tool, to include but not limited to ChatGPT.  Any information you provide during the application process is subject to verification. NASA will discontinue your candidacy if we find you have violated this prohibition on use of AI tools in the application process.

What type of student is NASA looking for?

Our commonalities unite us as a team, and our differences strengthen our capabilities as an organization. For our Pathways Intern positions, we’re looking for students who are not only captivated with the NASA Vision & Mission, but who are also well-rounded with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences. If you enjoy working on teams and have a willingness to learn new things, we’re looking for you!

I’m not a science or engineering student. Can I still get an internship at NASA?

Yes, approximately 25% of Pathways Interns are non-STEM majors. These interns may support a variety of business and program management work, including human resources, administration and program analysis, accounting and budget, communication and public relations, procurement and contracts, information technology, security, and education. No matter your academic major, you’ll find that NASA is a place where you’ll belong to a supportive community that values your background, perspective, and life experiences.

Internship Details

Are Pathways interns paid?

Yes. The starting pay for Pathways interns varies depending on academic hours completed, position location and grade level(s) of the position being filled. Pathways interns are promoted on the basis of academic hours completed and performance ratings.

In addition to pay and valuable work experience, you may receive the same benefits as a permanent employee. This includes health, life, dental and vision insurance, retirement plan, paid leave, holidays and more. More information on NASA benefits is available here.

How long does the intern appointment last?

Pathways internship appointments are designed to last for multiple semesters until graduation and expire 120 days after you complete your degree requirements.

Conversion Questions

What happens when I complete my degree?

A Pathways internship may be converted to a full-time civil service position (or, in some circumstances, a term position lasting 1-6 years) within 120 days of successful completion of degree requirements. To be eligible for conversion, an intern must:

  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.9 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience in the Pathways Intern Program before completing degree requirements.
  • Successfully complete all required training and development assignments.
  • Meet the qualification requirements for the position to which the intern will be converted.
  • Receive a favorable recommendation for conversion from the supervisor.
  • Meet all other requirements for the position (e.g., drug testing, security clearance, etc.).

Life at NASA

What is the NASA work environment like?

As a Pathways Intern, we invest in you by offering a tailored work experience—assigning you with challenging, meaningful work aligned with your academic or career interests, providing you with life-long learning and growth opportunities, and cultivating a supportive community that offers you a home away from home.

International Intern

Which countries currently have agreements to participate in the I2 program?

A full list of participating countries and contacts may be found at If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed and are interested in applying to one of the available research opportunities, please contact the entity in your country currently participating in this program.

Are there any additional requirements?

Candidates must:

  • Currently be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) in a field relevant to NASA’s mission priorities.
  • Maintain high academic standing.
  • Demonstrate an active interest in the U.S. space program.
  • Communicate proficiently in English.

When do International Internship opportunities take place?

Internships are offered in three sessions during the calendar year: spring, summer, and fall.

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