Higher Education Institution – Student Volunteer Program (HEISIP)

This program was established to formalize the relationship between USDA and various colleges and universities across the nation to provide training and work experience to undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in , science, technology, , , and other administrative career fields. The HEISIP is a non-paid internship opportunity. This program gives students an insight into considering a future career with USDA. Annually, USDA works with students volunteers nationwide throughout our 7 Mission Areas, 19 agencies and 16 Administrative Offices.


  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, some international students may qualify,
  • Must be enrolled in high school or pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an accredited institution (community colleges) or be a career professional,
  • Sign a participant agreement,
  • Must meet the qualification standards of the non-pay position, and
  • Must meet security clearance.

Generally, volunteers/interns will be placed in non-paid position at the GS- 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 grade levels. The grade level is determined by the academic level of the volunteer.

Student volunteer work may be performed during the school year and/or during summer or school vacation periods. The nature of your volunteer assignment as well as your weekly work schedule should be part of your work agreement. Volunteer work assignments typically have duration of 3 – 4 months.

To apply:

  • Check with your college/university to earn credit, seek stipend payment and/or travel/housing assistance, if needed.
  • Search www.USDA.USAJOBS.gov for a USDA Volunteer non-paid internship vacancy announcements or click here to contact Mission Area Student Coordinator.

For general questions, contact: USDA.Internships@dm.usda.gov

Deadlines to apply: Year-round

Website: http://www.dm.usda.gov/employ/student/index.htm

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