American University Consistently Tops the List of Presidential Management Fellowship Finalists: Here's Why

If you aspire to be selected to participate in a Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF), American University's School of Public Affairs is the place to go to earn your Master of Public Administration and Policy. This year, American University ranked No. 4 in the nation for producing PMF finalists and has a 98-percent success rate of finalists becoming fellows.

THE PRESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT FELLOWSHIP: AN ELITE LEADERSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM

The Presidential Management Fellows Program was established in 1977 through an Executive Order from President Jimmy Carter. Fellows receive two-year appointments to full-time positions with federal government agencies. Starting salaries range from $53,435 to $92,145, depending on the position.1,2

The program is organized for Fellows who wish to eventually become government leaders; those who successfully complete the program are able to convert their two-year agency appointment into a permanent or term position with the government. For Fellows who decide not to pursue this route after completing the program, having this highly respected fellowship on their résumé "carries prestige anywhere you go," PMF organizers note.

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IS TOP-RANKED FOR PRODUCING FINALISTS

American University has produced more than 40 finalists each year since 2015. These numbers make American University one of the top-ranked universities in the nation in terms of the numbers of PMF finalists and semi-finalists it produces—both on campus and online. Read an article about two online MPAP students—Katie Eagan Schenck and Sarah Schroeder—and their experiences with the PMF.

HOW AMERICAN UNIVERSITY PREPARES STUDENTS FOR THE PMF APPLICATION PROCESS

American University actively encourages its top students—interested in a federal public service career—to apply for the PMF program by providing detailed online information sessions. After applying, candidates must take an online test, for which American University prepares students well, and submit a résumé and transcript. Top-performing, first-round candidates are named finalists and are eligible for an appointment as a Fellow with a participating federal agency.

While it's a challenging process, American University prepares its candidates for each stage. Here's how:

First step: The online test
The number of American University PMF candidates who passed the online exam in 2015 was nearly triple the national average—28 percent versus 10 percent. One secret to the school's success: American University has a Blackboard site set up with study guides and offers prep workshops for students who plan to take the three-hour test.

For finalists: Connections and networking
If selected, finalists have one year to apply for positions available only to Fellows. Last year, there were 550 finalists. American University connects its finalists with alumni through networking sessions in which finalists receive tips on applying for these positions. This dramatically improves their chances of success when applying. Because of the school's efforts and support, 98 percent of American University's finalists become Fellows.

REFERENCES

1GS-9, GS-13 Payscale. Salary Table 2016-DCB https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/salary-tables/pdf/2016/DCB.pdf
2 PMF. FAQ.https://www.pmf.gov/the-opportunity/faqs.aspx

If you are interested in learning more about public administration and policy careers and the opportunities afforded to students enrolled in American University's Master of Public Administration and Policy program, please request more information.