Frequently Asked Questions
Things you Need to Know
What is a Peace Corps Master’s International program?
Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) programs are partnerships combining Peace Corps service with a master’s degree.
How long does it take to complete a Peace Corps Master’s International degree?
The timeline can vary, but for Tech PCMI students, usually there are two semesters of course work on-campus, 27 months of Peace Corps service, and one additional semester back on-campus to complete the degree.
Is there financial assistance available for Tech PCMI students?
Yes. All PCMI students at Tech receive reduced tuition and are enrolled as full-time students during overseas Peace Corps service at no cost. For more information on costs and benefits click here.
How do I apply?
Apply to the specific PCMI program you are interested in. Then apply to Peace Corps. For more detailed information, see How to Apply.
When should I apply to Peace Corps?
If possible, start your application over the summer before beginning your first semester at Tech. You should start no later than the first month you’re on campus. We can assist you in communicating your skills to Peace Corps to help them find a good placement for you. How to Apply.
Will my Peace Corps assignment relate to my graduate training?
Your professional training is a prime factor when you’re placed. You do need to communicate your skills and experience clearly when applying to Peace Corps so they know what you can do; we’re here to help with that. The decision is ultimately up to the Peace Corps where you are placed, and we do see good matches between our students' skills and placements.
Are Tech's PCMI programs for non-science or engineering students?
Absolutely! While some of our programs are highly-focused on science and engineering, we also host programs in the humanities and in business. The Rhetoric, Theory and Culture program prepares students for teaching English as a second language or health education work. The Applied Natural Resource Economics program prepares students for work in market analysis, project evaluation, and economic development. Some of our departmental PCMI programs are open to students from a wide variety of undergraduate majors or professional backgrounds.
How do I choose a master’s research project?
Students generally know the research area they’re interested in before heading overseas, but typically they have not developed a specific research plan. Since there are many variables in conducting research at your placement site, it is best to stay in touch with your advisor periodically with your ideas and interests, working on your research plan together.
What if I get into Tech but not the Peace Corps?
Because master’s students have special skills desired by Peace Corps, we typically only see this happen when an individual’s medical or legal situation prevents them from serving in Peace Corps. In these rare events, we do our best to reorient the student’s graduate program to complete a master’s degree without Peace Corps service.
What happens if I have to leave my Peace Corps country early for medical or safety reasons and cannot complete my research?
These are handled on a case-by-case basis. Peace Corps volunteers may be reassigned to a new country if they are evacuated. In other cases, those students may remain in the US to complete graduate work without additional overseas service.
I have additional questions. What should I do?
Contact Tech’s PCMI director Kari Henquinet or one of the program coordinators. For a list of coordinators, visit http://www.mtu.edu/peacecorps/programs/offered/directory/.