From real-world experience to real-world application, our student programs have the future in mind. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides talented high school seniors and college students with unique opportunities to leverage their innate skills while honing new ones for the 21st century. If you are looking for variety to meet your academic and professional goals, consider our summer and annual employment programs.
Our unpaid, volunteer USPTO Extern Program provides talented high school and college students with unique opportunities to gain valuable skills and professional experience. Through this program, externs learn more about various career paths at the USPTO, network with our employees and their peers, and hear first-hand from our leadership about their own career paths.
Although we generally run the extern program year-round, the summer season is when the majority of student volunteers take advantage of a full-time schedule to gain valuable tools and resources and support ongoing professional development and soft skills training.
We provide comprehensive, real-world connections to what students are learning in the classroom. The program duration can last a minimum 12 weeks, or up to a maximum of one year. We offer externships in a variety of business disciplines, including but not limited to:
- STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)
- Human resources
- International affairs
- Intellectual property
- Information technology
Some key program requirements:
- You must be a U.S. citizen or national.
- You must be a current high school or college student in good standing.
- You must be able to successfully pass all background checks and security clearance processes.
How to apply:
You may only apply to the extern program when a vacancy announcement is posted on https://uspto.usajobs.gov. When applying, you will typically need to submit the following documents:
- Your resume
- Your official college transcript(s)
- Proof of current enrollment or letter of admissions
Make sure you review the vacancy announcement closely because some additional documents may be required.
Feel free to contact us at Recruitment@uspto.gov if you have any questions.
Please note that we do not provide lodging or accommodations for this program.
Recruitment open house
We will host two recruitment open houses to meet top engineering prospects in Atlanta, Ga. and Alexandria, Va. The two-day session will be held on Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22 in Georgia, we bring the open house to the USPTO headquarters on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, February 29. This event is FREE and walk-ins are welcome!
Register now: www.uspto.gov/jobfair
We are always excited to meet the next generation of engineers, scientists, and software programmers, as well as administrative, finance, legal, and human resources professionals. Every year, we visit college campuses across the country to recruit graduating students to join us at our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, or in one of four regional offices in Dallas, Denver, Detroit, and San Jose.
The events are free, but only open to current students and alumni. Schedules are posted below. If you don't see location information provided below for the event you would like to attend, please contact your school for specific details:
• February 10, 2-6 p.m. CT | Auburn University Engineering and Technology Career Fair - Spring 2020
• February 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT | University of Alabama | Technical and Engineering Career Fair
• January 30, 4-7 p.m. ET | University of Georgia | UGA Engineering and Computer Science Career and Internship Fair 2020
• January 22, 9 a.m to 3 p.m. ET | University of Florida | Career Showcase (Technical)
• January 28, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET | Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University |2020 Spring STEM Expo | Information Session: January 28, 5-6 p.m. ET
• January 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET | University of Central FL | Spring 2020 Career Expo
• January 28, 2-3 p.m. CT | of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | Spring 2020 Engineering Career Fair
• January 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT | University of Michigan | Winter Engineering Career Fair
• January 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT | Wayne State University | Winter Career Fair
• February 18, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT | Michigan State University | MSU Engineering Expo 2020
• February 7, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET | University of Maryland, Baltimore County | Spring Career & Internship Fair
• February 18, 12-5 p.m. ET | University of Maryland, College Park | 2020 Spring Career & Internship Fair
• February 4, 12-4 p.m. ET | Rutgers University | Rutgers – New Brunswick Spring Career & Internship Mega Fair
• February 26, 12-4:30 p.m. ET | NJIT | NJIT Spring 2020 Career Fair
• January 28, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET | Clarkson University | Clarkson University Spring 2020 Career Fair
• February 5, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | CCPD Spring 2020 Career Fair
• March 26, 12-4 p.m. ET | The City College of NY (CCNY/CUNY) | All Career Spring Fair | Information Session: March 26, 4:30-5:30 p.m. ET
• February 5, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET | North Carolina | Spring 2020 NC State Engineering Career Fair | Information Session: February 5, 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET
• February 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET | North Carolina A&T State University | Spring Career Fair
• January 28, 6-8:30 p.m. ET | Penn State University | Engineering Networking Reception
• January 29, 1-6 p.m. ET | Penn State University | Engineering Career Fair
• February 4, 12-4 p.m. ET | Clemson University | Clemson University Spring Career Fair | Information Session: February 4, 9-10 a.m. ET
• February 18, 12-4 p.m. ET | University of South Carolina | Gamecocks Get Hired STEM Majors Career Fair
• February 4, 2-6 p.m. ET | University of Tennessee (Knoxville) | University of Tennessee-Knoxville Spring Job and Internship Fair
• January 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET | University of Virginia | Engineering and University- wide Career Fair | Information Session: January 29, 7-8 p.m. ET
• February 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET | Hampton University | 2020 Spring Career Fair
• February 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET | Virginia Commonwealth | Spring Internship & Career Fair
• February 19, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET | George Mason University | 2020 SPRING Career Fair
• February 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET | Virginia Tech | CAMEO CareerFest | Information Session: February 23, 6-7 p.m. ET
• March 24, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET | Old Dominion University | ODU Spring Career Fair 2020
• January 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET | STEM Career and Internship Fair
Connect with us! Meet us online via the following social media channels where we share the latest information about job opportunities at the agency, information about recruitment events and how to engage with us about jobs, USPTO's culture of diversity and inclusion through chats and live social media events.
Trademark Law Student Extern Program
The Trademark Law Student Extern Program is tailored for law students with an interest in trademark law and the U.S. trademark registration process. Some research may also touch upon international trademark law issues and related intellectual property issues. The program gives students an opportunity to experience work at the USPTO, interact with experts, explore opportunities, and develop or enhance their personal and professional skills. Students may work with attorneys in the Trademark Legal Policy and Petitions Office, Trademark Training and Quality Review Office, Office of the Solicitor, and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Under the program, students participate in an unpaid externship lasting up to 12 weeks during the summer. Students may arrange to receive academic credit through their law school for their work at the USPTO. Students should look for the announcement of the application period for the summer externship program on USAJOBS.gov toward the beginning of the year. Selections are generally made in the spring, and the program begins in the early summer.
Additional unpaid externship positions may also become available throughout the year. Announcements for externships during the school year will be submitted to local law schools for posting. For further information, please contact us at Recruitment@uspto.gov and include “Trademark Law Student Extern Program” in the subject line.
Ready to apply? Search for opportunities on USAJOBS.gov. Opportunities may not be available year round.
Helpful links and information:
How to Use USAJobs to Apply for a Position: Do you have questions about how to complete the federal job application process? This brochure can help you navigate the federal application system.
Patent Examiner Brochure: Read about the qualifications to become a patent examiner, what the job entails and the benefits and compensation of the position
Patent Examiner Profile: Rebecca is a patent examiner who joined the USPTO right out of college after receiving an electrical engineering degree. Find out what made her choose the USPTO, and why she is still with us today.
Extern Profiles Brochure: Would you like to know what it’s like to work at the USPTO over the summer? Read the stories of four college students who externed in different parts of the agency.
At the USPTO, the varied work and roles of our talented employees all play a part in introducing new inventions and discoveries to the world. Search for opportunities on www.USAJOBS.gov. Come join us!