How to Strengthen Your Application
You must meet the minimum education and experience qualifications for an assignment. In order to increase chances of qualifying, applicants should continue to gain relevant experience as they move through the application process. This strengthens skills and demonstrates a continued commitment to Peace Corps. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible so we can match your skills to openings as they become available. Plan ahead and apply one year in advance of your target departure date. To be eligible for Peace Corps service, you must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen.
The following skill sets help to strengthen your qualifications for Peace Corps service:
If you have one of the skill combinations above, or would like more information on requirements or ideas on how to strengthen your application for Peace Corps service, call 855.855.1961 to talk with a recruiter.
What are the minimum requirements for the following programs?
If you do not have a specialized degree, you may qualify with a bachelor's degree in any discipline paired with the experience listed below:
- If you are interested in:
- You will need:
- 3–6 months of full-time experience with a large-scale commercial or family-run business involving vegetable gardening, farming, nursery work, tree planting and care, urban forestry, or fisheries work.
- English Teaching
3–6 months of English or foreign language tutoring in a structured program that provides training. Your student(s) must be at least 12 years old, and you must complete at least 10 hours of tutoring each month. Many opportunities in this area do not require a foreign language.
All education positions require a minimum GPA of 2.5.
- Health Extension
- 3–6 months of volunteer work experience in health education, specifically educating youth, high-risk groups, peers, or the general public in healthy lifestyle promotion and/or disease prevention. The most in-demand experience is with HIV/AIDS, family planning, and nutrition. Public health departments and local community health organizations are the best resources for finding volunteer opportunities.
Ways to Become More Competitive
Highly competitive candidates have a college degree in agriculture, forestry, or environment, paired with Spanish or French language skills. Ninety percent of Volunteer positions require a bachelor's degree. Competitive nondegree candidates can qualify for agriculture and forestry extension with more than one year of full-time work experience in agriculture or environment. The Peace Corps also considers work, hobbies, and volunteer experiences that align with the skills it is seeking.
The Peace Corps is partnering with minority education institutions to increase access to higher education. Learn more.
There is no second language requirement to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer; however, some regions, including Central and South America and parts of Africa, require Volunteers to know Spanish or French prior to arrival. To minimally qualify, candidates should have at least two semesters of Spanish or French at the university level or have completed four years of a romance language in high school within the last eight years. If you have learned a language informally, the Peace Corps may consider the CLEP and ACTFL exam results for placement. Applicants are encouraged to build upon their existing foreign language skills through coursework or self-study.
Leadership and Community Service
The Peace Corps seeks applicants with leadership skills and community service. Leadership in your community, school, faith-based group, or service organization – particularly in planning activities, organizing, and motivating groups of people, and project supervision – will strengthen your application. Qualifying volunteer experiences are supervised, structured assignments that meet specific community needs with expected outcomes.
Your recruiter can advise you on the best type of volunteer work to complete according to your skills and interests. Peace Corps is partnering with organizations who provide volunteering and service opportunities that can strengthen your Peace Corps application and prepare you to support community projects around the world. Learn more.
Professional Skills and Experience
Demonstrating motivation and commitment, work skills and knowledge, social sensitivity, and emotional maturity will help any applicant. Establishing a good track record of employment and successfully achieving job competence may help demonstrate your productivity.
The more flexible you are in terms of your Peace Corps geographic location, your assignment area, and your desired departure date, the greater your chance of being nominated and possibly invited to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Your flexibility allows placement staff to find the most appropriate matches for your skills and education.
Last updated Jan 30 2014
Becoming a More Competitive Candidate
Volunteering and Service Partners
Do you want to be a part of Peace Corps' global effort but you need more experience to be competitive? The Peace Corps is partnering with organizations in the U.S. to prepare Volunteers to support projects domestically and around the world.