WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 9, 2010) – Peace Corps welcomes a new University of Minnesota graduate program to Master’s International. The program will be housed in the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology (soon to be called the College of Science and Engineering) and will offer Peace Corps Master’s International students the opportunity to combine graduate studies with Peace Corps service abroad to earn a master’s degree in civil engineering.
The University of Minnesota offers an additional Peace Corps Master’s International program – introduced in 1994 – in natural resources science and management within the university’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.
“Peace Corps is excited to build upon our already-strong partnership with the University of Minnesota,” said Eric Goldman, Peace Corps program manager for Master’s International. “The new civil engineering program will enable Peace Corps Master’s International students to put their University of Minnesota education to work in communities worldwide and earn credit for their service abroad.”
Participants in more than 60 Peace Corps Master’s International programs typically finish one year of graduate school in the U.S. before earning additional academic credit while serving as Peace Corps volunteers abroad. Upon their return, Master’s International students complete any remaining academic degree requirements. Many Master’s International partner schools also offer volunteers financial benefits such as scholarships and reduced tuition.
“We are thrilled to offer this new program,” said Julian Marshall, a University of Minnesota civil engineering assistant professor and McKnight Land-Grant professor of urban sustainability. “More and more, students want not only to learn skills, but also to apply those skills to real-world problems.”
The University of Minnesota is one of the top Peace Corps volunteer-producing schools in the country, and has consistently been in the top 25 of Peace Corps’ Top College annual ranking for the last 10 years. Altogether, 1,269 University of Minnesota alumni have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding by president John F. Kennedy in 1961.
As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 77 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.