A universe of opportunity

In partnership with JPL's world-renowned scientists, engineers, and subject matter experts, students and postdocs embark on roles and research in support of robotic exploration of the solar system.

Student Programs

JPL offers two types of student programs: one where students are hired as employees through JPL's Human Resources office, and one where students are brought to the Lab as affiliates through JPL's Education Office, in partnership with Caltech. Each program has a different application process, but both share the same exciting and rewarding experiences. Students interested in either program must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program from an accredited university.

All of the program opportunities noted below work closely to ensure that students have the same stellar experience at JPL, with opportunities to network, participate in tours, attend lectures, seek career advice, and ready themselves for a bright future—regardless of their program.

On this website, you can apply to be hired as a student employee, onboarded by the JPL Human Resources office. These student programs are:

Academic part-time internship (APX)

The APX internship program is for students from local colleges and universities. Students can continue to attend school while gaining valuable working experience.

Co-op internship (Co-op)

Co-ops are for students seeking a full-time internship opportunity. Students take a leave of absence for one semester/quarter from their academic institution to complete a full-time, 6-month internship with JPL. 

Summer internship (SUM)

The summer internship program is a full-time internship opportunity during the summer months for undergraduate, and graduate students. Summer interns gain practical work experience they can apply to their studies when they return to school in the fall. 

Postdoctoral Programs

JPL offers postdoctoral research opportunities to Ph.D. holders who wish to engage in a temporary, defined period of mentored training in research and technology through employment and non-employment programs. JPL seeks to employ scientists and engineers who are passionate about lifelong learning and excited to both contribute to and lead team efforts. We emphasize the importance of partnering across discipline boundaries and creating a friendly, constructive work environment to overcome space exploration's challenges. 

The Postdoctoral scholars at JPL benefit from an informal mentoring network, an annual conference showcasing their results, a dedicated seminar series, exposure to diverse career paths, and social connections across the JPL and Caltech community for advice on housing, childcare, and other aspects of living in southern California. 

JPL Postdoctoral Program (JPLPD)

The JPL Postdoctoral Program (JPLPD) allows postdoctoral scholars to work directly with a JPL advisor on a research topic of mutual interest. Applications are accepted year-round and evaluated by the advisor and their team. Appointments are for one year, renewable up to a maximum duration of three years.

NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP)

The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) provides new and senior Ph.D.'s with opportunities to participate in NASA mission-related activities as guests at NASA Centers, Headquarters, and other NASA-approved sites, such as JPL. Application deadlines are November 1, March 1, and July 1, annually. The application process involves the advisor's recommendation as well as evaluation through an independently appointed review panel. Appointments are for one year, but renewable up to a maximum duration of three years.

Other Fellowship Programs

JPL offers research opportunities for Caltech Postdocs, Visiting Postdocs, NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP) Postdocs, and UCLA Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (JIFRESSE) Postdocs. Please review the Postdoc Program Guidelines for more information on the Postdoctoral Programs Office website.

Join us and do something out of this world.

Student & Postdoc Benefits

These will vary depending on program, so be sure to discuss with your recruiter. 

NASA missions

Work on projects straight out of sci-fi movies. Childhood space exploration dreams are realized at JPL.


Learn and grow from a diverse, talented group of engineers, scientists, technologists and more. 

Paid + paid time-off 

JPL student employees are paid. Depending on the program you may also qualify for paid time off. 

Fun + social + events

Participate in a summer (or year) full of talks and presentations from the experts. And we also have fun events planned :) 

Workplace flexibility

At JPL, depending on your role, you may have the option of a '9/80' schedule, which translates to every other Friday off! 

Subsidized housing

Housing and travel allowances may be available based on the type of internship and internship location.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gabriella Rudy
"Interning at JPL has been incredible because it’s allowed me to combine two of my biggest passions into one position. As an aspiring journalist with a deep love of all things space, this experience has already taught me key lessons in both fields that I can apply to a variety of different disciplines."
Gabriella Rudy
Mars Public Engagement Journalism Intern
Kalliopi Koutantou
"What I enjoy the most at the JPL is that we are all doing our passion here. You walk in the campus and people around you are working on projects and missions that change the understanding of the world!"
Kalliopi Koutantou
Earth Science Visiting PhD Student Intern
Kruti Bhingradiya
“My experience at JPL working on an actuation system for steering robotic micro-swimmers for ocean world exploration has been very exciting. I am learning how to optimize small robotic actuators by modeling physics principles and conducting trade studies for various electrical components we are developing.”
Kruti Bhingradiya
Extreme Environment Robotics Intern
Taking a picture at a JPL event
Career events
Our JPL recruiters and technical representatives participate in many career fairs and conferences throughout the year. They do interviews, talks, and on-the-spot offers, so if you’re interested in a career at JPL, don’t miss out, and register today for an event near you.
Taking a picture at a JPL event

Join our talent community
Not ready to apply? Join our talent community to receive personalized email notifications for future career opportunities that match your interests.

Partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions

One of JPL's core values is inclusion. We actively partner with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to recruit and mentor students. Check our career events to see if JPL recruiters are coming to your area.
Virtual Tour


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