Peace Corps Master’s International Program
The School of Public and Environmental Affairs’ (SPEA) Master’s International (MI) Program enables students to incorporate both the practical, in-country experience of Peace Corps and the academic training that SPEA’s master’s degree programs provide. The MI candidate may seek admission to any of SPEA’s master’s degree programs: Master of Public Affairs (MPA); Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES); or the distinctive dual MPA-MSES. If the MI candidate is admitted to the master’s programs, he/she is encouraged by the design of SPEA’s MI program to pursue one or more of SPEA’s concentrations in energy, environmental policy and natural resource management, or sustainable development
Candidates designated by SPEA and nominated by Peace Corps to participate in the SPEA MI Program should submit all SPEA application materials by February 1 to be eligible for admission consideration. Application to Peace Corps must be made after admission to SPEA. Both SPEA admission and nomination to MI as well as Peace Corps nomination are required before SPEA and Peace Corps can offer the official designation as an “MI.” Upon matriculation at SPEA, the MI candidate must complete the following requirements in order:
- One year (24 credit hours) of graduate study at SPEA. During this time, the MI works with a SPEA faculty advisor(s) to develop a research assignment/field project.
- Two years (plus three months of training) of a Peace Corps in-country assignment. The student will conduct their SPEA research/project while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The MI will receive 5 credit hours of fee remission spread over their in-country service to help support the research assignment/field project.
- One semester (12 credit hours) for MPA or MSES students or two semesters (24 credit hours) for MPA-MSES students of coursework at SPEA. Concurrently, the MI will finalize and present their research as determined in consultation with their faculty advisor(s). As well, upon return the MI will be offered the final credit hour (1) of research credit.
Therefore, the total classroom requirements are 36 credit hours for the MPA or MSES programs or 48 for the MPA-MSES program. The total credit hours are derived by adding actual classroom credit hours (36/48), research credit hours (6) and the volunteer waiver (6).
The greatest benefit of the MI program is the opportunity to gain valuable field experience while pursuing academic training in SPEA’s nationally recognized master’s program(s). In addition, SPEA offers financial benefits to MI participants. Namely, all MI candidates are offered 6 credit hours of fee remission for their research assignment/field project. Also, in recognition of volunteer service through Peace Corps, the SPEA Master’s Programs extend a 6 credit hour “volunteer waiver.” In addition, the internship component which is a part of the academic design of the master’s degree programs is waived. In sum, the financial benefits may total around $11,000 based upon residency and degree program.
If you would like to find out more about any of the material outlined above, please contact Jennifer Forney. To contact the Peace Corps directly, please visit the Peace Corps’ Master's International website.