Peace Corps announces 2019 top volunteer-producing schools

March 20, 2019

WASHINGTON – The University of Wisconsin-Madison boasts the No. 1 spot for large schools on Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list, with 75 volunteers serving around the world. For the third consecutive year, Wisconsin holds the coveted top spot, but Badgers beware: the University of Virginia Cavaliers are closing the gap, jumping from No. 15 to No. 2 in just two years. With 74 UVA alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers, the school slides into a close second place on this year’s rankings.

“We have seen time and again that the colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers focus on cultivating global citizens in addition to promoting scholarship,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “I am proud that so many graduates of these esteemed institutions leverage their educations to make the world a better place. They bring critical skills to communities around the world and gain hands-on, life-changing experience along the way.”

The University of California – Berkeley comes in at No. 11 on the large school list, but has sent over 3,500 alumni to Peace Corps service since 1961, more than any other school. Meanwhile, Arizona State University and The University of Arizona continue to duke it out in the desert. Currently 44 Sun Devils and 46 Wildcats are working in communities around the world with the Peace Corps.

The George Washington University sent 54 alumni to the international volunteer agency, landing it first place among all medium-sized schools. American University takes second place on the medium schools list for the second year in a row, and although Western Washington University was unranked last year, this year it has shot up to the No. 5 spot.

Pacific Lutheran University leaped from No. 22 to No. 5 on the list for small schools, and St. Lawrence and Macalester hold first and second place, respectively. Over the past three years, Hobart and William Smith Colleges consistently ranks in the top five volunteer-producing schools and rolls in at No. 3 in the small colleges category in 2019.

Among graduate schools, New York University went from being unranked for over a decade to holding the No. 6 spot in 2019. Although Tulane ranks third for medium-sized schools for undergraduate students, it secured the first place position among graduate schools.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Below find the top five schools in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. View the complete 2019 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find 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 – 75

2) University of Virginia – 74

3) University of Minnesota – 70

4) University of Michigan - Ann Arbor – 63

5) Ohio State University - Columbus – 62

5) University of Washington – 62

5) University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill – 62

Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1) George Washington University – 54

2) American University – 51

3) Tulane University – 44

4) College of William and Mary – 40

5) Western Washington University – 32

Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Fewer than 5,000 undergraduates

1) St. Lawrence University – 20

2) Macalester College – 19

3) Hobart and William Smith Colleges – 16

4) University of Redlands – 15

5) Pacific Lutheran University – 14

Graduate Schools – Total Volunteers:

1) Tulane University – 20

2) University of Michigan - Ann Arbor – 18

3) University of South Florida – 16

4) American University –15

4) University of Denver – 15

6) George Washington University – 14

6) New York University – 14

Historical, Since 1961 – Total Volunteers:

1) University of California - Berkeley – 3,685

2) University of Wisconsin - Madison – 3,299

3) University of Washington – 3,041

4) University of Michigan - Ann Arbor – 2,734

5) University of Colorado - Boulder – 2,512

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2018 data as of September 30, 2018, 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 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.

For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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