Peace Corps Announces 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Schools

February 21, 2018

For the second straight year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Washington, and the University of Minnesota hold the top three spots respectively on the Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill ascends to No. 4 this year, while the University of Florida holds steady at No. 5.

There are 85 Badgers serving in the Peace Corps, bringing the all-time count of volunteers from the University of Wisconsin to 3,279. Wisconsin has appeared in the top 5 of the Peace Corps’ rankings for the past three years.

Making big jumps on this year’s large college list, the University of Texas moved from No. 25 to No. 8 and the University of Virginia moved from No. 15 to No. 6. The Texas Longhorns have 61 currently serving Peace Corps volunteers, while 62 hail from UVA.

“Peace Corps service is a profound expression of the idealism and civic engagement that colleges and universities across the country inspire in their alumni,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. “As Peace Corps volunteers, recent graduates foster local capacity and self-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities around the world. They return to the United States with highly sought-after skills and an enterprising spirit—leveraging their education, global experience, and confidence into their communities and careers back home.”

Among medium-sized schools, institutions with between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates, George Washington University has reclaimed the top spot with 50 volunteers. GW is followed by American University, the College of William and Mary, the University of Montana, and Tulane University in the medium-sized school rankings.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland leads the rankings for small colleges with 17 current Peace Corps volunteers. Macalester College and St. Lawrence University are tied for second with 15 volunteers each. Also making a significant jump this year, Spelman College climbed from No. 7 into a crowded tie for fourth (see rankings below).

Among graduate schools, Tulane University moved into the No. 1 spot with 27 volunteers. American University, the University of South Florida, and George Washington University hold the second, third, and fourth spots, respectively. Graduate schools at the University of Michigan, Columbia University, and the University of Denver tie for fifth.

Below find complete lists of the top schools in each category and the number of alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers. View the complete 2018 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category and an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving here:

Large Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

More than 15,000 Undergraduates

1. University of Wisconsin-Madison – 85

2. University of Washington – 74

3. University of Minnesota – 72

4. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – 70

5. University of Florida – 68

Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1. George Washington University – 50

2. American University – 49

3. College of William and Mary – 35

4. University of Montana – 34

5. Tulane University – 33

Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Fewer than 5,000 undergraduates

1. St. Mary’s College of Maryland – 17

2. Macalester College – 15

2. St. Lawrence University – 15

4. University of Redlands – 14

4. University of Mary Washington – 14 

4. Evergreen State College – 14

4. Hobart and William Smith Colleges – 14

4. Whitworth University – 14

4. Spelman College – 14

Graduate Schools – Total Volunteers:

1. Tulane University – 27

2. American University – 19

3. University of South Florida – 16

4. George Washington University – 15

5. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – 14

5. Columbia University – 14

5. University of Denver – 14

Historical, Since 1961 – Total Volunteers:

1. University of California, Berkeley 3,671

2. University of Wisconsin–Madison 3,279

3. University of Washington 3,027

4. University of Michigan 2,720

5. University of Colorado Boulder 2,504

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2017 data as of September 30, 2017, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 230,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.

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