The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps offers two excellent opportunities for students to serve their country while completing their education. If you are interested in a public health career, we encourage you to apply to the Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (JRCOSTEP) and the Senior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (SRCOSTEP). Both programs offer excellent benefits and are highly competitive. To apply, go to the electronic call to active duty (eCAD) site. The same application forms are used for general duty and COSTEP applicants. Be certain to indicate on the PHS-50 form, item #6, which program/type of duty to which you are applying.
If you have questions about COSTEP, contact the Office of Commissioned Corps Operations at 800–279–1605. Ask to speak to the Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program Coordinator.
Junior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (JRCOSTEP)
Are you looking for an opportunity to meet leaders in public health, gain valuable professional experience, and be paid for your work while you complete your health-related education? Consider the JRCOSTEP. JRCOSTEP training and extern positions are available to students who have completed at least 1 year of study in medical, dental, or veterinary school or at least 2 years of study in a professionally accredited baccalaureate program in specific health disciplines and meet other program requirements. JRCOSTEP participants work in the same exciting Federal agencies and programs as full Commissioned Corps officers do. Typical assignments in locations throughout the country vary from 31 to 120 days during official school breaks. Most JRCOSTEP participants are hired for the summer months (i.e., June, July, August). They are not obligated to serve in the Commissioned Corps after graduation, but may decide to serve an extended active-duty assignment after they complete their professional education. A complete JRCOSTEP application packet is available online. Click on JRCOSTEP testimonials to read a few firsthand accounts by program participants, and click on JRCOSTEP Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Applicants for JRCOSTEP who currently are in the next-to-last year of their professional education also may apply for SRCOSTEP. Eligible individuals may apply for both programs simultaneously via the eCAD system by checking both boxes in item 6 on the electronic form. Instructions for filling out the electronic form are provided at the eCAD site.
Senior Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (SRCOSTEP)
Are you looking for financial assistance to complete your education for a public health career? Consider the SRCOSTEP. SRCOSTEP training and extern positions are available to individuals who are enrolled as full-time students in certain accredited programs with at least 8 months of educational commitment remaining in the final year and who meet other program requirements. Current selection priorities are directed toward students in the following disciplines: dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, engineering, and physical and occupational therapy. In return for financial assistance, SRCOSTEP participants agree to work for the Commissioned Corps after graduation. The service obligation is equal to twice the time sponsored; that is, for 9 months of financial support, a SRCOSTEP participant commits to 18 months of employment with the division or organization that provided the support. A complete SRCOSTEP application packet is available online. Click on SRCOSTEP Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Commissioned Officer Student Training and Extern Program (COSTEP) Application
Both JRCOSTEP and SRCOSTEP applicants will apply to the Commissioned Corps via the electronic call to active duty (eCAD) system. Applicants who encounter problems with the eCAD system should contact the Division of Commissioned Corps Recruitment at 800–279–1605. Thank you for your interest in a program through which you can serve your country while also completing your education and earning valuable work experience.