UW News

June 26, 2008

UW second in grad student Peace Corps volunteers

In a newly created ranking, the UW is listed second among 54 colleges and universities nationwide in the number of graduate students serving in the Peace Corps. It follows another high ranking in January, when the UW placed first among two dozen large colleges in producing Peace Corps volunteers.

Nineteen graduate students participate in the UW’s Master’s International Program, a partnership between the schools and the Peace Corps, which provides for the students to earn a master’s degree while serving abroad.

Michigan Technology University tops the rankings with 33 Master’s International students. The University of Denver and George Mason University tie for third, each with 13 students in the program.

Provost Phyllis Wise attributed the UW’s strong ranking to solid, challenging Master’s International programs in several units. “Our students are often attracted to the Peace Corps because of our longstanding focus on global learning experiences that both improve the lives of others and enrich their own.”

The Master’s International Program combines graduate studies with Peace Corps service — a 27-month commitment — providing academic preparation for work in international development. Started in 1987 at Rutgers University-Camden, the program now includes approximately 500 students around the country.

At the UW, Master’s International is offered in three units:

  • International health, in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, focuses on the developing world. The work leads to a master’s degree in public health.
  • International forestry, in the College of Forest Resources, stresses sustainable natural resource and forest product use in the developing world. The work leads to a master’s degree in forest resources.
  • International nongovernmental organization development, in the Evans School of Public Affairs, focuses on program evaluation, policy analysis, project management and development of nonprofit groups and public agencies. The work leads to a master’s degree in public administration.

Founded 47 years ago, the Peace Corps has approximately 8,000 volunteers abroad, a 37-year high.