Master's International and Fellows/USA Programs Allow Peace Corps Volunteers to Choose Both Service and Graduate School

May 20, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20, 2010 This year, over 750 currently-serving and returned Peace Corps volunteers participated in Master's International and Fellows/USA, Peace Corps two graduate school programs. Master's International and Fellows/USA participants incorporate their Peace Corps experience with graduate studies at institutes of higher learning across the United States. Many of these partner schools also offer volunteers financial benefits such as scholarships, reduced tuition and university credit.

The Masters International and Fellows/USA programs provide Peace Corps volunteers unique opportunities to apply the grassroots, hands on experience they developed abroad toward a graduate degree, said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. In addition to benefits such as reduced tuition and academic credit, these programs give returned Peace Corps volunteers the tools they need to succeed in their careers and be leaders in their communities.

Sixty-four Fellows/USA students studied at the University of Denver this year. The University of Arizona (57 students); Johns Hopkins University (48); Columbia University, Teachers College (36); and the University of Michigan (26) followed the University of Denver to complete the top five Fellows/USA institutes of higher learning. Thirty-seven Masters International participants served as Peace Corps volunteers from Michigan Technological University. Tulane University (21); the University of Washington (18); the Monterey Institute of International Studies (16); and the SIT Graduate Institute (14) make up the remaining top five Masters International institutes of higher learning.* Several of these schools were also ranked in Peace Corps annual undergraduate rankings of the top Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges and universities.

Participants in Peace Corps 61 Masters International programs typically finish one year of graduate school in the U.S. before earning additional academic credit while serving as Peace Corps volunteers abroad. Upon their return, Masters International participants complete any remaining academic degree requirements at their school. Further information on Master's International is available at www.peacecorps.gov/masters.

The Fellows/USA program offers returned Peace Corps volunteers opportunities in advanced degree programs at 52 participating institutes of higher learning. In addition to their academic studies, Fellows/USA participants apply the experience they acquired as volunteers abroad to programs that benefit underserved U.S. communities. Peace Corps Fellows/USA program started in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. More details can be found at www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.

As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 77 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

*Note: The Fellows/USA and Masters International rankings are calculated based on partner school-reported data and the number of Masters International participants serving as Peace Corps volunteers overseas as of September 30, 2009, respectively.

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