MISSOULA – The University of Montana ranks No. 7 on the Peace Corps’ 2013 list of top Master’s International programs. There are now 17 UM Master’s International students making a difference overseas through Peace Corps service.
Established in 1992, the UM Master’s International program allows students to earn their graduate degrees while serving in the Peace Corps. Since 1992, 49 UM students have completed the program.
“We couldn’t be more proud of this ranking,” said Brad Haas, UM’s Peace Corps campus representative. “It shows many students take advantage of a great program that enhances their graduate education while allowing them to make a difference in the world.”
UM offers students two fields in which to pursue graduate-level work through the Master’s International program. Through the Intercultural Youth and Family Development program and the College of Forestry and Conservation, students are given unique opportunities to work toward their degree while working abroad.
Alyse Butler is a UM student who serves as a community youth development volunteer in Mongolia. She said, “I was prepared for development work in general by reading about and discussing development agencies, what they do, and how they do it, and I was prepared for youth work in particular by learning about the best practices for working with youth both in my culture and in others.”
UM also ranked No. 12 on the Peace Corps’ 2013 list of top colleges. Since 1961, 798 UM alumni have served in the Peace Corps, with 27 currently serving overseas. The University also has a Peace Corps Prep program, which offers students a way to gain a competitive advantage by taking part in a curriculum that meets both the needs of their degree while teaching them skills valuable to service in the Peace Corps.
“Every year, hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers make a difference by combining meaningful service with graduate studies through Peace Corps’ Master’s International and Coverdell Fellows programs,” said Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “After completing Peace Corps service, volunteers return to the United States as global citizens, with leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and language and technical skills that position them for success in today’s global job market.”
The Coverdell Fellows program provides returned Peace Corps volunteers with scholarships, academic credit and stipends to earn an advanced degree after they complete their service.
“The University of Montana has established excellent opportunities through its Master’s International programs,” said Peace Corps West Coast Regional Manager Janet Allen. “The world benefits from those who have chosen to include Peace Corps volunteer service as part of their graduate studies at the University of Montana.”
The following are the top 10 Master’s International programs. The number in parentheses represents the number of students enrolled in the program and serving overseas as of Sept. 30, 2012.
1. Michigan Technological University (35)
2. Tulane University (29)
3. Monterey Institute of International Studies (26)
4. University of Denver (25)
5. University of South Florida (24)
6. University of Washington (22)
7. University of Montana (17)
8. Illinois State University (15)
9. George Mason University (14)
10. Florida State University (13)