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Peace Corps Master’s International

Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) at the State University of New York
The State University of New York and the Peace Corps have established a partnership which allows students completing master’s degree programs at SUNY institutions the possibility of embedding a Peace Corps service experience into their graduate education program, marking the first ever such alliance between the Peace Corps and a university system. With nearly 1,200 master’s programs on 28 of SUNY’s 64 campuses, SUNY offers a unique breadth of programs, many of which can provide students with the opportunity to serve their country while learning and gaining valuable professional experience through service to needy communities outside the United States.  

In September of 2013, the University at Albany celebrated the 5th year of its Peace Corps Master's International program. This program offers a unique opportunity for students to meet their Master of Public Health (MPH) internship requirements while fulfilling their dream of serving in the Peace Corps (and gaining two years of overseas work experience – a minimum requirement when competing for many international positions - in the process).

The fifth anniversary of UAlbany's Masters International program
Photo: Carol Whittaker, Director, Center for Global Health and Assistant Dean of the School of Public Health, University at Albany (center); John Justino, Deputy Director, Center for Global Health, University at Albany (right); Douglas Miller, New York Regional Recruiter, Peace Corps (left)

 

How will PCMI work at SUNY?
Departments with a strong interest in attracting PCMI candidates will establish a sequence of coursework and experiential learning, including academic credit for Peace Corps overseas placement, which will lead to a pre-approved Peace Corps Master’s International SUNY degree. Other departments will be able to offer the PCMI on a case-by-case basis to interested students.

Please download the Submission Guidelines and Instructions document for further information.

Questions should be directed to the Office of International Programs at (518) 320 1410. 

 

What benefits will PCMI bring to SUNY campuses and departments?
The distinctive PCMI offering will be attractive not only to NYS students, but to students from throughout the U.S. who wish to combine Peace Corps service with high quality graduate education at an affordable price.   The PCMI program attracts highly motivated individuals committed to national and local public service, who are willing to challenge themselves personally and intellectually.   Students who pursue PCMI degree programs gain two years of significant international work experience in their chosen profession, which serves as a strong credential and career pathway upon completion. The presence of these students will enrich departmental and campus environments. While students are abroad during their Peace Corps placement, faculty will provide ongoing consultation on technical issues. Connections with Peace Corps volunteers during their service offer extensive possibilities for research and curricular enhancement. Returned Peace Corps volunteers who come back to campus to finish their degree requirements (where applicable) will bring significant experience to share with the campus and local community; they will serve as natural role models and promoters for PCMI on campus.

 

What benefits will SUNY bring to the Peace Corps?
Communities overseas will benefit from the service provided by highly trained SUNY students. In addition, as those students maintain their close alliance with their university department, the richness of the university faculty can be made available for assistance with specific projects and technical issues as they arise. The Peace Corps will benefit from the knowledge and technical skills of the students and the campuses. In addition, with a streamlined approval process, SUNY will be able to bring programs on-board to PCMI quickly in response to shifts in demand for specific discipline areas. While the majority of PCMI programs approved are in the technical areas identified in the Peace Corps strategy (currently they are Education, Health, Community Economic Development, Agriculture, Environment, and Youth in Development), the Peace Corps often has a need for generalists. With this system-wide SUNY PCMI program, the Peace Corps will benefit by being able to incorporate more PCMI students with a high level of education in the humanities and social sciences, who can adapt to multiple geographic and professional placement settings.

Information on existing Peace Corps Master’s International programs can be found at www.peacecorps.gov/masters


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