Peace Corps Prep

Peace Corps Prep is a certificate program for undergraduates that centers on one empowering question: How can you prepare yourself to be the best Peace Corps Volunteer you can be?

There is no one right answer to that question, but the Peace Corps has identified four core competencies that are critical to the intercultural fieldwork Peace Corps Volunteers do:

  1. Sector-specific skills
  2. Foreign language proficiency
  3. Intercultural competence
  4. Professional savvy and leadership

View list of partner schools

Peace Corps Prep programs create frameworks for you to build these four competencies, integrating coursework with hands-on experience and professional development. Upon completion of the program, you will receive a certificate from the Peace Corps—and a competitive edge when applying for Peace Corps service.

Peace Corps Prep programs correspond with the Peace Corps’ new application process, which lets you choose where you want to go and what you want to do. You can first explore and discover the Peace Corps Prep opportunities that excite you, and what skills you will need to be a competitive applicant for those positions. If you are enrolled in a Peace Corps Prep program, you can then shape your curriculum around those requirements!

Please note: Peace Corps Prep programs are created by colleges and universities in collaboration with the Peace Corps, and are available to students only at participating partner schools. Receiving a Peace Corps Prep certificate does not guarantee acceptance into the Peace Corps.

A program like this is a professor's dream for excited, engaged students in the classroom. Numbers, theories, research papers all take on a new meaning. Students are no longer thinking about passing an exam or getting a grade, but rather how their new knowledge might come to help them on the ground in a completely different setting.

Robin Ragan, Associate Professor Knox College

Become a partner school

The Peace Corps Prep program gives colleges and universities the opportunity to globalize their campuses through a partnership with the Peace Corps. The program enhances students’ undergraduate experience by preparing them for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service.

Starting a Peace Corps Prep program does not require creating any new courses, offices, or notations on students’ transcripts, and does not need to be formalized through the campus registrar. The Peace Corps issues a certificate to students who complete the program, and has created a streamlined model focused on integrating a school’s relevant curricular and extracurricular offerings. Using the invitation to participate and template proposal as guides, prospective partners map out how their students can develop the program’s four core competencies.

Current Peace Corps Prep partner institutions have used their programs to recruit curious, motivated, high-achieving students, and have won major awards for campus internationalization.

How colleges and universities apply

The Peace Corps holds one Peace Corps Prep proposal cycle per year, with the following dates:

  • September 1: Proposal cycle opens with new proposal template
  • December 1: Proposal deadline
  • February 15: Notification of final proposal status

The proposal includes five pages of background information and program details in addition to other template program documents.

The Peace Corps refreshes the proposal materials in advance of each proposal cycle. Prior to the release of the updated materials, you can begin your proposal based on the previous year’s template, then paste them into the new format in September.

Proposal materials

For more information, contact Peace Corps Prep at pcprep@peacecorps.gov.