Peace Corps Master's International

Michigan Tech partnered with the U.S. Peace Corps for 20 years to offer Peace Corps Master’s International Programs (PCMI) across campus. PCMI students combined a master’s degree with Peace Corps service. From 2005 until Peace Corps retired the program in 2016, Michigan Tech was the nation's largest Master's International campus. Our students have served in 52 countries around the world.

While Michigan Tech can no longer admit new students to the program, students now enrolled in the program are able to finish their studies and service as planned with no interruptions. Current students can see the Graduate program guidelines below. 

After completing a program of on-campus academic work, our current students serve two years with the US Peace Corps. While participating in Peace Corps field work, students enroll in one of these courses to maintain full-time student status. Students return to campus to complete their degree requirements.

Michigan Tech is continuing to partner with Peace Corp in two other programs: Peace Corps Prep for undergraduates interested in Peace Corps and community-engaged learning, and Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows programs for Returned Peace Corps Volunteer graduate students to work and do research in underserved U.S. communities.

Graduate School Policies

I. Peace Corps Status

Graduate students entering any of the Peace Corps Master’s International Programs on campus receive Peace Corps status and are eligible for the Peace Corps tuition rates and support from the Graduate School for tuition while serving in Peace Corps.

  1. Any student who enters their Peace Corps country of service after successfully completing Peace Corps staging maintains Peace Corps status unless they are administratively separated or early terminate their service (as defined by Peace Corps).

    Students who are administratively separated or early terminate may appeal to maintain Peace Corps status. The appeal is made to a committee composed of the Program Directors of the Michigan Technological University Peace Corps Master’s International Programs. Appeals are approved at a meeting of the coordinators where a majority of the coordinators constitutes a quorum. Meetings may be held in person or electronically. Appeals to reinstate Peace Corps status must receive approval by a majority of the coordinators who are present. If the student is not satisfied with the decision of the committee, the student may appeal to the dean of the Graduate School. The decision of the dean of the Graduate School is final. Appeals may be made at any time prior to graduation; however decisions are not retroactive. Therefore, it is in the student’s best interest to appeal promptly if the student wishes to maintain Peace Corps enrollment status.

    Students who are granted Interrupted Service by the Peace Corps to leave a country of service early will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis at a meeting of the coordinators where a majority of the coordinators constitutes a quorum. Meetings may be held in person or electronically. The student’s case will be reviewed by the coordinators to confirm that the early dismissal from Peace Corps was due to circumstances beyond the student’s control. If this is the case, the student maintains Peace Corps status. If the reason for early dismissal appears to be similar to administrative separation or early termination, the student will lose Peace Corps status but be allowed to appeal as above.

    Students who are evacuated by the Peace Corps from a country of service for medical or safety reasons and cannot complete Peace Corps service (as determined by Peace Corps) will maintain Peace Corps status.
  2. Any student who is declined by Peace Corps maintains Peace Corps status.
  3. Students who do not enter a country of service, except those declined by Peace Corps, lose Peace Corps status. This group of students includes those students who voluntarily choose to change programs.
  4. Any who loses Peace Corps status may need to develop a new graduate committee and find a new advisor. This responsibility lies with the student and not the department or college, although the department or college is required to make a good-faith effort to accommodate the student in transition. Students and committee members who agreed to advise a Peace Corps Master’s International student are not required to advise the same student if the student is no longer affiliated with the Peace Corps Master’s International program. If there are no faculty members willing to advise the research for a student who has changed status, the student can continue as a coursework-only student (if such option is available) and be advised by the appropriate Graduate Program Director. Students who are not able to find an advisor and are not able or willing to pursue a coursework-only degree will be considered to be unable to make continual good progress toward their degree and will therefore be subject to academic sanctions that may include probation, suspension, and dismissal. Students who make changes in the advisor, committee, and or degree plans will be required to file a new set of forms with the Graduate School.

This policy is effective for all students who entered a Peace Corps Master’s International Program in the 2016-2017 academic year or in subsequent years. Students who entered before the 2016-2017 academic year are covered by the previous policy.

II. Language Credit

Up to 2 credits of 1000 or 2000 level language credits may be counted as 3000-4000 degree credit towards the completion of Peace Corps Masters International degree.  These credits may only be used if the student's home department or college approves of the use of these credits towards a graduate degree.

III. Thesis Research Credit

Students pursuing thesis option MS degrees may count up to 4 of their "in-country" PCMI courses as thesis research credits if they conducted research while serving in the Peace Corps.

IV. UN5951

Peace Corps Master’s International students can enroll in UN5951 if their program is inactive. This includes students who have completed their coursework prior to entering Peace Corps but have not been given a country assignment by Peace Corps or have been given a late departure date for their assignment.

V. Enrollment in Overseas Peace Corps Credit

  1. Each student should send a copy of his or her Volunteer Assignment Description to the Director of Peace Corps Programs to start the overseas course enrollment.
  2. Since the university has no control over when Peace Corps starts people in their assignments or when Peace Corps closes their service, if a student is serving in Peace Corps for any part of a semester the student can be enrolled for the overseas credit for that entire semester. If a student chooses, he or she may opt to be an on-campus student during a semester that is at the beginning or end of Peace Corps service. In this case the student pays the tuition since it is for on-campus credit.
  3. If a student is enrolled for the one overseas Peace Corps credit the student cannot be enrolled in any other credits during that semester.
  4. The Peace Corps course should not be used as a placeholder for students who have finished on-campus coursework prior to Peace Corps but have not been placed by Peace Corps. This happens most frequently for students with some kind of medical hold from Peace Corps, but there have been other reasons Peace Corps has delayed placement. These students can request enrollment in UN5951.
  5. Students can finish their degree while overseas and enrolled in the Peace Corps credit.
  6. Students not enrolled in the overseas Peace Corps credit must follow general university regulations regarding health insurance. Students in Peace Corps are covered by the Peace Corps for health insurance.