Student Programs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office

“From real-world experience to real-world application, our student programs are designed with the future in mind.  They provide talented high school seniors and college students with unique opportunities to leverage their innate skills while honing new ones for the 21st century.

Paid internships and unpaid externships here can range from eight weeks to one year.  Most positions we offer have a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) or intellectual property-related leaning.  But, we also have opportunities in human resources, legal, information technology, finance, communications, international affairs, policy, administration, and procurement.  All provide comprehensive, real-world connections to what students are learning in the classroom.

If you are a student who is open to a variety of programs to meet your academic and professional goals, consider our summer and annual employment programs.  Class is officially in session!

Patent Experience Extern Program

Students learn about our mission, as well as the responsibilities of various patent practices, including a practical working knowledge of patent decision-making processes. Students experience what it is like to be a patent examiner, while interacting with experts in various disciplines and developing personal and professional skills.

Most students participate in the program during the summer. Spring and fall opportunities are available, but they are limited and usually based on university recommendations, per an existing agreement with the USPTO. Please contact your university’s externship coordinator for available opportunities, or feel free to contact us at

Please note that we do not provide lodging or accommodations for this program.

Student Volunteer Program

Similar to our Patent Experience Extern Program, unpaid externships are also available through our eight-week Student Volunteer Program, which allows students to gain valuable experience in their field of study. Externs experience first-hand what it’s like to work here, and they have the opportunity to interact with experts in several disciplines, while exploring various opportunities and enhancing their personal and professional skills.  

Volunteer positions are available throughout the year, pending a signed student volunteer agreement between the USPTO, the student and the student’s college or university. For more information about these opportunities, please contact us at 

Please note that we do not provide lodging or accommodations for this program.

Search for additional opportunities on Opportunities may not be available year round.”


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