Student Information

The Bureau offers various programs for students. Please read the overviews that follow.

Public Health Service

The Bureau, in conjunction with the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), offers well-qualified students an excellent employment opportunity through the Senior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (COSTEP). Through Senior COSTEP, students in select health-related fields of study are commissioned as Ensigns in PHS during the final year of academic study towards a qualifying degree or residency. Students receive full salary and benefits in exchange for an employment commitment at the sponsoring agency after graduation. For more information, call 202-353-4110.

Student Career Experience

This program is a work-study partnership between students, educational institutions, and various Federal agencies. It offers students valuable work experience directly related to their field of study and provides formal periods of work and study while they are attending school. After completion of academic and work requirements, students may be eligible for permanent employment.

Student Temporary Educational Program (STEP)

STEP provides temporary employment opportunities that can last for as long as the individual is a student. Employment does not need to be related to the student's academic field. These positions are in Central Office, located in Washington, DC.

For more information, call 202-307-3177.

Summer Employment

The Summer Employment Program creates training and work opportunities in a wide variety of positions for individuals who can work only during summer months. The work ranges from office support, trades, and labor occupations, to positions in professional fields. These begin about mid-May and end September 30. Applications are typically accepted from December through April 15.

For more information, call 202-307-3177.

Psychology Predoctoral Internship Program

Since the early 1970's, the Bureau has trained more than 1,000 doctoral-level psychologists, and each of our 13 Psychology Predoctoral Internship Programs continues this commitment to training by providing clinical and counseling graduate students with a well-rounded, high-quality experience. We seek the clinical or counseling psychology student whose personal career goals and objectives can be strengthened, reinforced, and expedited by the training experiences we provide. Namely, our training models seek to facilitate the growth of those who wish to become well trained generalists who can also function competently in a correctional environment. While individual training sites employ different training techniques and models to achieve this goal, all training sites have several common features.

Interns receive graduated exposure to the clinician role, practicing with greater independence as their skills increase, always with supervisors available for consultation. Training includes both individual and group supervision; assignment of challenging, culturally-diverse, therapeutic cases; and a sequence of didactic seminars designed to increase each intern's general knowledge, as well as his/her understanding of the contextual issues involved in the practice of correctional psychology. Practice in psychological assessment and opportunities to engage in research or other scholarly activities are also included during the internship year.

In addition, individual training sites may also provide interns with special training opportunities unique to that site. For example, some sites offer experience in such specialty areas as forensic assessment, substance abuse treatment, or behavioral medicine. Other sites may expose interns to special treatment populations, such as geriatric, female, HIV+, or violent offenders.

The Bureau relies heavily upon the internship program to provide the agency with uniquely-qualified, entry-level psychologists. Interns who have proven themselves to be competent clinicians and who are comfortable working within the correctional setting are often recruited by the Bureau at the end of their internship year. To be eligible for an entry-level psychology position with the Bureau, interns must have completed all doctoral degree requirements, be U.S. citizens, and not have reached their 37th birthday (in accordance with Public Law 100-238) at the time of initial appointment (age waivers may be granted up to the age of 40).

More information about the psychology predoctoral internship.

Summer Law Intern Program

Interns will work in one or more of the branches in the Office of General Counsel -- Commercial Law, Real Estate and Environmental Law, Litigation, Employment Law and Ethics, Legislative and Correctional Issues, and the Legal Administrative Branch (FOIA). Interns will also have opportunities to handle projects from branches outside of their own in order to broaden their legal experience and knowledge. Interns will conduct extensive legal research on novel issues and draft legal memoranda, opinions, and correspondence. Interns will have the opportunity to visit a Federal Correctional Institution, take tours of various law enforcement branches of the Federal Government, and also attend several brown bag lunches with Bureau of Prisons staff.

To be eligible for employment, students must have completed their first semester of law school. Volunteer, work-study, or compensated positions are available for summer and full-year internships.

The Department of Justice uses an online application process. Candidates may complete and submit an application electronically through the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management's website at

Listen to BOP attorneys and legal interns tell you about the opportunities available and what they enjoy most about practicing law at the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

From Bureau Attorneys (Click the photos below)
Yvonne Hinkson Craig Meyers
From Bureau Interns (Click the photos below)
Spencer Bassett Richard Hansford