"It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobiles one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank that counts. These mean nothing. It is simple service that measures success."
Michigan Tech is proud to offer graduate students the opportunity to combine education and service through the VISTA and AmeriCorps Master’s Programs. Since 2012, Tech students have worked with VISTA teams across the nation to make a lasting impact on the environment while working towards their graduate degree. Program participants come from many different backgrounds, but are united by their passion for service and their desire to gain field and research experience that will aid them in their future career.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers may also be interested in the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows program.
For a full list of eligible graduate programs, see below.
Service That Matters
VISTA and AmeriCorps Master’s students are a special group with a special purpose: to serve the public interest and their personal interest at the same time. Program participants do not only seek an excellent education; they are dedicated to sharing their talents and skills with the world. During their off-campus experience, students are assigned projects by Conservation Legacy or the Great Basin Institute designed to conserve and enhance the natural world.
As a VISTA or AmeriCorps volunteer, students apply their coursework knowledge to practical field experience in their area of career interest. Following graduation, past VISTA and AmeriCorps Master’s Program students have gone on to work with government agencies and in the private sector. A VISTA or AmeriCorps Master’s equips students with the boost they need to be competitive in today’s job market, and provides them with the experience to be successful in their chosen field.
"I was able to use my skills and knowledge from Michigan Tech and other skills through AmeriCorps VISTA. If you have any doubts about the Michigan Tech VISTA program ... it absolutely works."
How It Works
At Michigan Tech, we work with you to develop meaningful community service through AmeriCorps and VISTA placements and a set of professional knowledge and skills through courses and research. Students typically spend one year on campus, serve a six-month or one-year assignment with VISTA or Americorps, followed by a semester or year to finish the degree. This timeline can be modified to meet the needs of students.
Michigan Tech grants VISTA tuition status to students in the VISTA and AmeriCorps Graduate Programs. Students pay a reduced tuition rate while attending Michigan Tech. In addition each semester that you serve as a VISTA or AmeriCorps service member your practicum credit will be paid by the Graduate School.
VISTA and AmeriCorps service members receive the Segal Education Award. The Award in Fiscal 2020 is $6195 for a full year of service (1700 hours) and the award is prorated for shorter terms of service.
How to Apply
VISTA and AmeriCorps Master’s applicants apply using Michigan Tech’s free online application. Applicants must specify their interest in the VISTA/AmeriCorps program on their application. Students are admitted to their academic department and then are enrolled in the Coverdell Fellows Program. Academic admission requirements vary by department. While the departments have a rolling deadline we recommend that you complete an application for Fall Semester by January 1. For a full list of eligible graduate programs, see below. Michigan Tech staff guide students through the VISTA application process once they are on campus.
AmeriCorps/VISTA requires members to be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident alien. Students must meet this requirement to apply for VISTA/AmeriCorps program.
College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
The College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science offers Applied Ecology, Forest Ecology and Management, Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, and Foresty programs to VISTA or Fellows students. Students interested in the VISTA or Fellows Forestry program can pursue either a Master of Science or Master of Forestry degree.
Core courses required for the degree prior to VISTA service will be determined with the approval of the student's faculty advisor. Students have the option of pursuing their degree through the Thesis Option, Report Option, or Course work Option.
Students interested in pursuing the VISTA or Fellows Biological Sciences program can elect to complete their MS degree through either a Thesis Option or Report Option. The Thesis Option is intended for students who plan to conduct original scientific research in the course of their VISTA or Fellows program.
Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
Students interested in pursuing the VISTA or Fellows Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering program can elect to complete their MS degree through either a Thesis Option or Report Option. The Thesis Option is intended for students who plan to conduct original scientific research in the course of their VISTA or Fellows program.
Environmental and Energy Policy
Students interested in pursuing the VISTA or Fellows Environmental and Energy Policy program can elect to complete their MS degree through either a Thesis Option or Report Option. The student's faculty advisor will determine core courses required prior to VISTA service.
Students interested in pursuing the VISTA or Fellows Geology program can elect to complete their MS degree through either a Thesis Option or Report Option. The Thesis Option is intended for students who plan to conduct original scientific research in the course of their VISTA or Fellows program.
For more information about the VISTA or Fellows Geology program please contact John Gierke.
The VISTA or Fellows Industrial Archaeology program requires a minimum of 38 credit hours. Students can choose to pursue the degree through either a Thesis Option or Report Option.
For more information about the VISTA or Fellows Industrial Archaeology program please contact: Timothy Scarlett