International Studies & Programs

MSU partners with Peace Corps on volunteer prep program

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Published: Wednesday, 13 Oct 2021 Author: Veronica Gracia-Wing

Peace Corps logo

Michigan State University has partnered with the Peace Corps to offer Peace Corps Prep, a certificate program for undergraduates that centers on one empowering question: How can you prepare yourself to be the best Peace Corps Volunteer you can be? 

While there is no one right answer to that question, the Peace Corps has identified four core competencies that are critical to the intercultural fieldwork Peace Corps Volunteers do:

  • Sector-specific skills
  • Foreign language proficiency
  • Intercultural competence
  • Professional savvy and leadership

MSU's Peace Corps Prep program empowers participants to build these four competencies, integrating coursework with hands-on experience and professional development. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate from the Peace Corps—and a competitive edge when applying for potential Peace Corps service.

“The Peace Corps Prep program furthers our opportunity to globalize MSU’s campus and helps create global citizens,” said Ashley Green, International Studies and Programs assistant dean for administration and director for diversity, equity & inclusion. “This diversity-focused program enhances students’ undergraduate experience by preparing them for international development work and potential Peace Corps service.” 

A Peace Corps volunteer walks with a group of Cambodian students
A Peace Corps volunteer walks with Cambodian students. (Photo courtesy of Peace Corps)

Peace Corps Prep programs correspond with the Peace Corps' application process, which allows volunteers to choose the world region they hope to serve in, as well as the specific sector in which they hope to work—such as agriculture, education or health. Participants can first explore and discover the Peace Corps Prep opportunities that excite them, and what skills they will need to be a competitive applicant for those positions. Enrollees in a Peace Corps Prep program can shape their curriculum around those requirements. 

While receiving a Peace Corps Prep certificate does not guarantee acceptance into the Peace Corps, the Peace Corps Prep program works closely with MSU’s Peace Corps recruiting office to ensure a seamless transition to the application phase as students prepare to graduate. 

“MSU is consistently ranked among the top-producing schools for volunteers,” said Joy Campbell, Peace Corps Prep program manager. “We look forward to linking this program with our long-time success in sending out volunteers who leverage their education to make the world a better place.”

The Peace Corps Prep program began in 2007 and is currently offered at over 150 colleges and universities nationwide. The Peace Corps was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, with more than 240,000 Americans having served in over 140 countries since. 

For more information, visit or email pcprep(at)