New Peace Corps Graduate Program launches at U-M

November 12, 2007
Contact: Jared Wadley

ANN ARBOR—Peace Corps volunteers across the country can apply to the new University of Michigan Peace Corps Fellows/USA program to earn a master’s degree at any point following their Peace Corps service.

The U-M fellows program provides tuition assistance and an opportunity to apply their studies in the community.

The Peace Corps Fellows/USA program is offered at only a handful of universities nationwide, and U-M is the first Michigan school to add it to its curriculum. U-M is also the school that hosted the famous John F. Kennedy speech launching the idea of a Peace Corps in 1960, and today is a top-ranked university for Peace Corps volunteers with 82 graduates currently serving across the globe.

“We are pleased to partner with the Peace Corps in offering this program,” said Teresa Sullivan, U-M provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We look forward to the contributions the fellows will make to the intellectual life of the university and, through their internships, to communities throughout southeast Michigan.”

As part of the U-M fellows program, returned Peace Corps volunteers will have the option of applying to the School of Natural Resources and Environment or the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. SNRE Peace Corps Fellows will receive a master’s of science in natural resources and environment or a master’s in landscape architecture. Their internships will be served as part of their integrated capstone/opus projects, which will give fellows real-world environmental problem-solving experience that benefits underserved populations.

Peace Corps Fellows at the Ford School will earn a master’s of public policy. As part of the required internship component, fellows can work in a variety of local, state and federal governmental agencies, as well as a wide array of non-profit organizations.

Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing community service projects organized in part by the U-M Ginsberg Center for Community Service.

The history of the Peace Corps can be traced back to U-M when at 2 a.m. Oct. 14, 1960, Sen. John F. Kennedy addressed students on the steps of the Michigan Union. In his speech, he challenged the students to give two years of their lives to help people in countries of the developing world. Since then, more than 2,100 U-M alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers.

There are more than 8,000 volunteers abroad, a 37-year high for volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where volunteers have served. Returned Peace Corps volunteers’ commitment to service often continues back home in their communities and around the globe.

For more information on the U-M Peace Corps, visit:

For more on the Ford School:

More on the School of Natural Resources and Environment:

U-M Peace CorpsFord SchoolSchool of Natural Resources and Environment