Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer Producing Schools

January 16, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 14, 2008 - The Peace Corps announces their top colleges and universities on their annual list of "Top Peace Corps Volunteer Producing Colleges and Universities."

While the top three universities in the large school category maintain their positions this year, the schools in the small and medium-sized categories have seen change both up and down in the rankings as they continue to vie for their top spots. All together, these top schools have helped contribute to a 37-year high for Peace Corps Volunteers currently serving in the field.

In the large schools category, the University of Washington continues to rank first, with 113 undergraduate alumni serving as Volunteers. University of Wisconsin-Madison holds on to second place with 99 undergraduate alumni Volunteers, and the University of Colorado at Boulder follows closely behind with 94 Volunteers.

University of Virginia takes the lead in the medium school category with 72 undergraduate alumni Volunteers, beating out The George Washington University, which has 66 alumni Volunteers this year. Among the small schools, the University of Chicago comes out on top with 34 undergraduate alumni Volunteers, closely followed by Gonzaga University with 32 Volunteers.

University of Washington also leads the pack in the third annual graduate school rankings, with 17 graduate school alumni serving.

"The Peace Corps provides a unique opportunity for graduates to use their education and skills, and apply them in the real world," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. "I am proud that there are 1,192 institutions of higher learning currently represented by Peace Corps Volunteers serving in 74 countries overseas. These institutions can be proud of the contributions that their graduates are making in the lives of others around the globe."

Overall, the University of California, Berkeley has produced the most Peace Corps Volunteers since 1961 with an all-time total of 3,326. This year, five other universities are also reported to have reached a historical Volunteer contribution of over 2,000 graduates. These schools are: the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Washington, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The highest new entries this year include Purdue University at No. 23 on the large schools list, The University of Vermont at No. 15 on the medium schools list, and Colgate University at No. 16 on the small schools list. The most impressive movers this year include Indiana University, which moved up 13 spots to re-enter the top 25 at No. 14 on the large schools list. On the medium-sized school list both Truman State University and The University of Vermont debuted by moving up 23 spots each. Colgate University also jumps this year from No. 34 to No. 16 on the small schools list.

Please click on the following link to view the entire Top Peace Corps Universities and Colleges 2008 list.

Other schools debuting or reentering this year's list include the University of Florida, which returned to the large schools list after a two-year absence at No. 17, along with Virginia Tech and Texas A&M University, both of which moved into the rankings at No. 25. On the medium schools list, Brandeis University moved into the No. 21 spot after a five year absence, and Binghamton University debuted at No. 22, joining Yale University, which also ranked No. 22 in the medium schools category.

The small school list saw many new entries this year with Reed College debuting at No. 21, and Bowdoin College, Hamline University, Hope College, Johns Hopkins University, Trinity University, Wesleyan University and Wheaton College debuting in a seven-way tie for No. 24. Tufts University also makes an appearance on the small school list at No. 16, moving up significantly this yeaersity also makes an appearance on the small school list at No. 16, moving up significantly this year from their ranking last year in the medium school category.

Schools are ranked according to the size of the student body. Small schools are those with less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,001 to 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools more than 15,000 undergraduates.

Although it is not a requirement for service, the majority of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since its founding 46 years ago have been college graduates. Currently, 95 percent of Volunteers have at least an undergraduate degree, with 11 percent of those also possessing a graduate level degree.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Currently there are more than 8,000 Volunteers abroad, a 37-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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