Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, April 14, 2011

U-M ranked a top Peace Corps Fellows/USA graduate school

U-M ranks No. 6 in the nation as a Peace Corps Fellows/USA school in the 2011 rankings of top Peace Corps Master's International and Fellows/USA graduate schools. U-M has 25 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers currently enrolled in the Fellows/USA graduate program.

Click here to view the top 10 ranking of Master's International and Fellows/USA universities and colleges.

The Fellows/USA program provides returned Peace Corps volunteers with scholarships, academic credit, and stipends to earn an advanced degree after they complete their Peace Corps service, and the Peace Corps' Master's International program allows students to earn their graduate degree while serving in the Peace Corps.

"Michigan's strong connection to Peace Corps is what brings so many returned volunteers to campus for graduate studies," said Alexis Guild, Peace Corps campus coordinator at U-M. "The Fellows/USA programs at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and School of Natural Resources and Environment reflect the commitment of returned volunteers to continue their public service.

"As a fellow myself at the Ford School, it has been a tremendous honor to be a part of this program. The number of fellows enrolled, with our new Michigan programs, demonstrates the university's commitment to continue the legacy of Peace Corps that began here 50 years ago."

The Peace Corps Fellows/USA program at U-M has been in place since 2007, offering graduate degrees in public policy and natural resources and environment. U-M is the only school in the state of Michigan with the Peace Corps Fellows/USA program. Additionally, U-M also is a Peace Corps Master's International school, and offers programs in social work, education, and natural resources and environment.

"Every year, hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers pair meaningful service with graduate studies through Peace Corps' Master's International and Fellows/USA programs," said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. "After completing Peace Corps service, volunteers return to the United States as global citizens, with leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and language and technical skills that position them well for a successful graduate school experience."

U-M's 25 Fellows/USA graduate students have served as Peace Corps volunteers in different locations around the world including South Africa, Western Samoa and Paraguay. There also are Peace Corps Master's International students currently on campus working to fulfill the academic portions of their master's degree before departing for Peace Corps service. These graduate programs attract top-notch students to U-M, and help Peace Corps meet the worldwide demand for highly skilled professionals by providing countries in need with qualified Volunteers. 

U-M saw the birth of the Peace Corps in 1961. Since then, 2,409 U-M alumni have served in the Peace Corps, making it the No. 4 all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers in the nation. Currently, 94 U-M alumni are serving as Peace Corps volunteers in communities overseas, ranking U-M at No. 3 on the Peace Corps list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the U.S. for 2011. 

Michigan ranks among the top states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers. Currently, 326 Peace Corps volunteers call Michigan home, making it the ninth-highest volunteer-producing state nationwide. Overall, more than 6,560 Michigan residents have served in the Peace Corps since President John F. Kennedy established the agency in 1961.