Michigan Tech Ranks #1 in Peace Corps Master's Degree Programs
by Jennifer Donovan, public relations director
Michigan Tech is the nation's top Peace Corps Master's International program school, with 33 graduate students currently serving two-year stints in the Peace Corps. The University of Washington ranks second, with 19 Peace Corps master's degree students currently serving overseas.
Students in the program can earn an MS in conjunction with the US Peace Corps, combining academic study with supervised, practical field experience and research. After completing on-campus academic work, participating students serve two years with the US Peace Corps. They then return to campus for one additional semester following their Peace Corps tour, to complete their degree requirements.
Michigan Tech joined the Peace Corps master's program in 1997. The University offers Peace Corps master's degrees in forestry, civil and environmental engineering, applied science education, mitigation of natural geological hazards, and rhetoric and technical communication. A new Peace Corps master's program is being developed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.
Forestry and the environment are the fastest-growing fields in the Peace Corps, placing more volunteers in environmental work than any other group in the world. The Peace Corps master's program in Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science prepares students for work in a wide range of environmental fields after their Peace Corps service. Students earn either a Master of Science in Forestry or a Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management.
Michigan Tech's civil and environmental engineering Peace Corps master's program is the only one in the nation. The skills of civil and environmental engineers are and will continue to be in great demand as the world moves toward a sustainable future, one in which human and industrial systems support an enhanced quality of life.
Natural geological hazards include all earth or water-related threats to people or their property. The Peace Corps master's program in natural geological hazards addresses both disaster preparedness and response after a disaster. It also is the only one of its kind in the US.
Preparing science teachers to work with diverse cultures in the US and around the world is the goal of the Peace Corps master's program in science education. Unique to Michigan Tech, the program combines courses taught by engineering, science and education faculty to help teachers improve their knowledge and application of science in the classroom.
Developing nations have pressing needs for communicators of all kinds. Run by the humanities department, the Peace Corps master's program in rhetoric and technical communication prepares students to teach English as a second language, both at the secondary and college levels, to train English teachers abroad, and to do health and HIV/AIDS public education.
Through its Master's International program, the Peace Corps partners with 54 colleges and universities around the country to allow students to earn a master's degree while serving in the Peace Corps.