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UM News
April 15, 2011


Thirteen students from The University of Montana currently are earning their master’s degrees while serving in the Peace Corps, making UM one of the top-ranked colleges in the nation with such a high enrollment in the special program.

UM claims the No. 9 spot as a Peace Corps Master’s International school in the 2011 rankings of Peace Corps Master’s International programs. The University became a PCMI partner in 1989, with programs in the College of Forestry and Conservation and the Intercultural Youth and Family Development Program in the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences.

This isn’t the first Peace Corps list on which the University received high ranking. Earlier this year, the Peace Corps announced its top-college rankings for undergraduate alumni serving in the organization and places UM No. 14 among medium-sized universities. The University has long been a prolific Peace Corps contributor, maintaining a top ranking for at least the last decade.

UM President Royce Engstrom said the rankings reflect the quality of students the University produces.

“We are proud of the faculty members at UM who provide the programs and mentoring that encourage so many students to enter the Peace Corps,” Engstrom said. “This recognition speaks to the commitment of our students to put their education to work improving conditions for people around the world.”

During the past 50 years, 765 UM alumni have served in the Peace Corps, including 33 alumni currently serving.

On the most recent ranking for the master’s program, Michigan Technological University tops the list with 32 students, followed by No. 2 Tulane University with 28. The only schools located in the West and ranked besides UM are No. 3 University of Washington and the University of Denver, which is tied with three others at No. 5 with 15 students. UM outranked universities such as Johns Hopkins, Texas A&M and Michigan State.

UM is among more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide that partner with the Peace Corps to enable students to earn a master’s degree while serving in the organization. Students begin their studies on campus, serve overseas with the Peace Corps for two years, then return to their school to finish their graduate work. As part of a Peace Corps volunteer’s service, participants work on projects related to their master’s studies.

The program began at Rutgers University-Camden in 1987, and since then more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers have completed it.

The UM Peace Corps representative is housed in the Office of Career Services. For more information call 406-243-2839, email or visit


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Contact: Janet Allen or Tenly Snow, UM Peace Corps representatives, 406-243-2839,