Peace Corps Announces Top College and University Rankings

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 4, 2010 The Peace Corps announces its annual rankings of the top Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges and universities. This year, University of Washington holds the top rank for large schools with 101 currently serving Peace Corps volunteer undergraduate alumni. This is the fourth year in a row that the University of Washington has taken the top spot. In the medium school category, The George Washington University ranks number one for the second year in a row with 53 undergraduate alumni serving. For small schools, St. Olaf ranks highest, with 26 currently serving undergraduate alumni volunteers. This is the first time that St. Olaf has topped the small school category since the Peace Corps began ranking the schools based on the three tier enrollment system in 2003.

Historically, University of California, Berkeley maintains the number one all-time rank, with 3,412 Peace Corps total volunteer alumni.

Peace Corps Top Colleges BannerMagnifying glass iconFor nearly 50 years, enthusiastic college alumni have contributed to the success of Peace Corps programs and our mission to promote world peace and friendship in host communities around the world, said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. Peace Corps service is a life changing leadership opportunity and a great career foundation in almost every field, ranging from international development, education, public health, engineering, agriculture, and law, to name a few. I am proud of our historic relationship with over 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States and look forward to recruiting and training the next generation of Peace Corps volunteers.

The following are the top five colleges and universities in each undergraduate category:

  • University of Washington (101 currently serving Peace Corps volunteer undergraduate alumni), University of Colorado at Boulder (95), University of California, Berkeley (89), Michigan State University (86), and University of Florida (79) top this years large school undergraduate rankings.

  • The George Washington University (53), American University (51), Cornell University (46), Miami University (43), and The College of William & Mary (40) lead the medium school undergraduate rankings.

  • The greatest number of Peace Corps volunteers from small schools came from St. Olaf College (26), University of Mary Washington (23), Middlebury College (21), University of Portland (20), University of Puget Sound (20) and Williams College (20).

You can view the entire top 25 rankings for each school size category, as well as all-time and graduate school rankings here.

This year, several schools entered the undergraduate top 25, either as new members or as schools with increased enrollment from previous years. The University of California, Santa Cruz entered the top 25 large school rankings. The University of Chicago; University of Miami; Emory University; University of Nevada, Reno; and the University of North Carolina Wilmington all entered the top 25 medium school rankings. The University of Portland, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and The Evergreen State College all entered the top 25 small schools.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing schools annually according to the size of the student body. Small schools have less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates. The rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2009 data as of September 30, 2009 as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

Currently, there are 7,671 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 76 host countries around the world. A college degree is not mandatory for service. Relevant experience in areas such as education, health, business, IT, environment, and agriculture, however, is required. In 2009, the Peace Corps received over 15,000 applications, an 18 percent increase over 2008. This is the largest number of applications since the agency began electronically recording applications in 1998.

The Peace Corps provides both tangible benefits and a life-defining leadership experience. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens and receive support from the Peace Corps in the form of career services, graduate school opportunities, advantages in federal employment, readjustment allowances, and loan deferment and cancellation opportunities.

Peace Corps nine regional recruiting offices across the United States work to recruit and provide information and guidance to prospective Peace Corps volunteers. Peace Corps recruiters work locally throughout each region and many are responsible for specific college and university campuses. Potential applicants can connect with a local recruiter and locate their local regional recruiting office by visiting the Peace Corps website here.

As the Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world. 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. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit our website:

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