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Fellowship: Geography (Regional Planning)

Peace Corps Fellows, Western Illinois University, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs


August 31, 2013

School Location

Various Locations, Illinois

  • Western Illinois University's residential campus is located in Macomb, Illinois.
  • www.wiu.edu/about

About the Award

In two years, Fellows complete a Health Science degree and obtain specialized training and experience in community and economic development. Upon enrollment, Fellows take two semesters of classes, as well as core courses in community and economic development. Fellows gain experience working on a graduate assistantship with Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA; www.iira.org) staff on development projects on campus or in the Macomb community. They then serve in a paid internship in a rural Illinois community, learning and providing hands-on leadership and assistance to local community development projects. As part of the fellowship experience, Fellows have the opportunity to serve as AmeriCorps member for additional financial benefits. The program provides strong personal and professional support within a friendly team atmosphere.

The program is coordinated by the IIRA at Western Illinois University. The IIRA is composed of 40 professional staff members that work in community visioning, economic assistance, transportation assistance, small business development, value-added agriculture, health and housing outreach, and geographic information systems. Peace Corps Fellows work closely with IIRA staff, and have full access to their expertise and resources while on campus and while serving field internships.

Many Fellows have found job placements immediately after their internship.


  • RPCV.
  • Excellent academic standing.
  • Strong desire to gain knowledge and experience in rural community and economic development.

Award Amount

$40,000 + in benefits over two years

Application Instructions

There are two steps in becoming a Peace Corps Fellow.

  1. You must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School as well as the specific requirements of your chosen master's degree program.
  2. You must be awarded a Fellowship through the Peace Corps Fellows Program.

In general, you will be required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, three letters of recommendation and, personal essays and/or test scores from the GMAT or GRE. Please go to www.wiu.edu/graduate_studies for the online Graduate School application and details on Graduate School requirements.

You are also required to submit the following to the Peace Corps Fellows program for review:

  • Resume.
  • Signed Description Of Service (DOS).
  • Online WIU PCF program questionnaire.
  • Two page essay describing your interest and involvement in community and economic development.
  • Campus interview (possible reimbursement for travel expenses).



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