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The Peace Corps announced the top five graduate schools in the nation in terms of participation in the Peace Corps Master’s International program on Wednesday, and the Monterey Institute of International Studies came in at number four, with 20 students enrolled in the program and serving overseas as of the ranking date of September 30, 2010.

Students in PCMI programs complete several semesters of academic work toward their master’s degree before serving a 27-month Peace Corps term of service. Upon their return from Peace Corps service, most students must complete a final semester of academic work to earn their master’s degrees from the Monterey Institute. PCMI students receive both academic credit and special scholarship support for the program.  PCMI students at the Monterey Institute can earn master’s degrees in four programs: teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), international business (MBA), public administration (MPA), and international environmental policy (IEP).

The top five graduate schools in this year’s Peace Corps Master’s International rankings include Michigan Technological University (32), Tulane University (28), University of Washington (26), the Monterey Institute (20), and four schools with15 students each — George Mason University, Illinois State University, SIT Graduate Institute, and the University of Denver.

“Every year, hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers pair meaningful service with graduate studies through Peace Corps’ Master’s International,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. “After completing Peace Corps service, volunteers return to the United States as global citizens, with leadership, cross-cultural understanding, language, and technical skills that position them well for all future endeavors.”  Williams will be the featured speaker at the Monterey Institute’s spring 2011 commencement ceremony on May 21.  This year marks the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir