Top Peace Corps Graduate Programs Recognized

June 18, 2008

High Enrollment Means Top Rankings for Masters International and Fellows/USA Schools

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18, 2008 - Peace Corps or Graduate Schoolwhy not do both? While the Peace Corps has long acknowledged its top Volunteer-producing colleges and universities, a separate ranking has just been released for students enrolled in Masters International and Fellows/USA, Peace Corps two official university partnership programs.

Through the Masters International (MI) program, Peace Corps partners with 54 colleges and universities around the country to allow students to earn a masters degree while serving in the Peace Corps. Of the MI partner schools, Michigan Technological University tops the rankings with 33 MI students currently serving in the Peace Corps. The University of Washington is ranked second with 19 MI students, and George Mason University and the University of Denver are tied for third with 13 MI students currently serving.

Through the Fellows/USA program, Peace Corps partners with 47 colleges and universities around the country to offer returned Peace Corps Volunteers graduate education at a reduced cost. In addition to the financial benefits, returned Volunteers complete internships in underserved U.S. communities and use the skills they acquire overseas to make a difference here at home. Of the Fellows/USA partners, Johns Hopkins University, tops the enrollment rankings with 56 Peace Corps Fellows currently enrolled in its program. Following closely behind are the Fellows/USA programs at the University of Arizona and the University of Denver, with 52 and 46 Fellows respectively.

The popularity of the Masters International and Fellows/USA programs points to an increased interest in international education on the part of universities and students. These programs offer a unique synergy of service, global competency, and academic knowledge to people who are comfortable leaving the beaten path, said Eileen Conoboy, director of university programs at the Peace Corps and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Mali. Its a great way to make a difference in the lives of others, gain international development experience, become fluent in a foreign language, and earn an advanced degree.

Started in 1987at Rutgers UniversityCamden, the Masters International program now has more than 500 students and is helping the Peace Corps meet the requests of countries seeking community development assistance. More information can be found at www.peacecorps.gov/masters.

The Fellows/USA program began in 1985 at Columbia UniversityTeachers College and now has more than 400 returned Peace Corps Volunteers participating. These Fellows work in communities around the country and help to fulfill a crucial part of the Peace Corps missionto bring the world back home. More details can be found at www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 47-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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