Michigan Tech Remains the Nation's Top Peace Corps Master's International Graduate School

Michigan Tech Peace Corps Master's International well-building project in Mali.
Michigan Tech Peace Corps Master's International well-building project in Mali.

Michigan Technological University ranks as the No. 1 Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) university nationwide for the seventh consecutive year. With 31 PCMI graduate students currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, Michigan Tech has earned top spot in the 2012 rankings of Peace Corps’ Master’s International and Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate schools.

The Peace Corps’ Master’s International program allows students to incorporate Peace Corps service as credit toward their graduate degree. The Coverdell Fellows Program provides returned Peace Corps volunteers with scholarships, academic credit and stipends to earn an advanced degree after they complete their Peace Corps service.

"The heart of the program is the students we attract, not just in numbers, but in quality," said Professor Blair Orr (SFRES), PCMI director. "They bring an interest in the world at large and the desire to help others. They return from two years in a different country with stories of new friends, new ideas, a different perspective on how things do work and should work. They have succeeded professionally and personally in a different culture. Many of the skills and traits they acquire along the way are also the skills that employers are looking for."

Michigan Tech became a Master’s International partner in 1995. Offering eight distinct graduate programs affiliated with Peace Corps, Michigan Tech has the largest number of Peace Corps Master’s International programs in the country. PCMI programs at Michigan Tech include Applied Science Education, Geological and Mining Engineering Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Biological Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Applied Natural Resource Economics and Forestry.

Michigan Tech’s PCMI graduate students have served as Peace Corps volunteers in many countries, including Armenia, Belize, Bulgaria, Fiji, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Paraguay, Uganda and Zambia. There are also students enrolled in the program who are on campus fulfilling the academic portions of their master’s degree at Michigan Tech, including Megan Abbott who recently returned from service in Belize, and Colin Casey, who is back from Uganda.

Another PCMI participant is Evan Anderson, a graduate student in Forestry. Anderson served in El Salvador from 2008 to 2011. “Michigan Tech's PCMI program really prepared me mentally and academically for what I would encounter when integrating and carrying out research in a developing country,” said Anderson. “I feel that the PCMI program put me a step above the rest when expecting the unexpected.”

More than 190 Michigan Tech alumni have served in the Peace Corps overall.

Top five Peace Corps Master’s International institutions: (The number in parenthesis is the number of students enrolled in the program and serving overseas as of Sept. 30, 2011.)

Michigan Technological University (31)
Tulane University (27) 
University of Washington (26) 
Monterey Institute of International Studies (26)
University of South Florida (22)

About the Master’s International program: Peace Corps partners with more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide to enable students to earn a master’s degree while serving in the Peace Corps. Students begin their studies on campus, serve overseas with the Peace Corps for two years, then return to school to finish graduate work. As part of a Peace Corps volunteer’s service, the volunteer will work on projects related to his or her master’s studies. The program began at Rutgers University–Camden in 1987 and since then, more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers have completed the program. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov/masters.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.


Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, the University offers more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.