Master's International Program
Master's International (MI) has made the truly unique opportunity of complementing a master's degree with overseas service available in a variety of fields at over 50 academic institutions nationwide. Established in 1987, Master's International addresses the first goal of the Peace Corps: to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women. Master's International students serve in over 70 different countries and participate in every aspect of life overseas.
As a prospective student, you will apply simultaneously to both the Peace Corps and the participating graduate school(s) of your choice. After being accepted by both, you will complete a year to two years of graduate course work at your respective university while continuing to prepare for work overseas. Each MI Program is autonomous. Your academic institution will have its own requirements and will award credit for Peace Corps service accordingly.
After completing your initial course work and receiving your Peace Corps placement, you will travel to your respective site and begin training. Once overseas, you are given an assignment according to the needs and requests of your host country. Participating faculty recognize that while overseas, your primary responsibility is the project and community to which you have been assigned. Rather than determining a research topic in advance, you will allow your volunteer assignment to shape your academic requirement.
Depending on the institution, that assignment may be a thesis, professional paper, or other culminating project, under the direction of your faculty and with the approval of Peace Corps overseas staff. You must be flexible and, in some cases, creative when transforming your volunteer service into your graduate work. Other possibilities offered are graduate credits for Peace Corps service and tuition or fee waivers.
After completing your Peace Corps service, you will return to either finish your graduate course work or begin your career. Now, you have the advantage of actually having implemented some of your ideas and applied theory to practice, while living overseas. You will have returned with a world view and the skills and education to change that world.
Become a Student
Becoming a Master's International (MI) student requires a combination of focus, flexibility, and dedication. As an MI Student, you will spend one to two academic years on campus completing your coursework. Upon receiving your overseas assignment and traveling to your host country, you will serve for twenty-seven months, three of which will be the language, cross-cultural, and technical training period. After completing training you will receive your Peace Corps assignment. Peace Corps assignments are strategically developed by in-country staff based upon the needs and requests of the country.
While overseas you will be a Peace Corps Volunteer first. Your Peace Corps assignment will shape your academic project, allowing you to apply what you have learned to benefit the community you live in. Following service, you may be required to return to campus to complete your academic project or any other outstanding work required for your degree. After finishing your academic work, you will have obtained a master's degree in your respective field with two years of significant international work experience.
As a Master's International Student, you have an unparalleled opportunity to live and work overseas while completing a Master's Degree in your field of interest. You will earn more than your degree, returning with feelings of independence, confidence, and accomplishment. The benefits of the Master's International Program can be countless and comprehensive. The extent of benefits, both professional and personal, depend upon your experience and intent while completing your coursework and serving as a Volunteer.
Many of the partner schools offer research or teaching assistantships, scholarships, or tuition waivers to alleviate the cost of credits earned while serving in the Peace Corps. The schools also offer dedicated faculty and staff, who serve as ongoing resources throughout your academic and overseas experiences, as well as later in your professional careers.
Some other benefits include:
- language, cross-cultural, and technical training
- transportation costs to and from the country of service
- living and housing expenses during overseas service
- medical and dental coverage
- vacation time and allowance
- cancellation or deferment of certain government education loans
- readjustment allowance upon completion of service
- career counseling and job search facilities available to former Peace Corps Volunteers
Master's International Program Official US Peace Corps Website