What steps do I take to do this program?
(photo: Madeleine Mader)
Step 1: Gather information about the PCMI program:
- Visit the Peace Corps web site peacecorps.gov (Go to Master's International)
- Contact the PSU Peace Corps Recruiter, Jesse Donner
email: firstname.lastname@example.org | tel: 503 725 3015
- Contact the PCMI Coordinator at Portland State University, Teresa Taylor
Step 2: Choose which Master's program you wish to apply to.
Portland State offers five master's degrees in the PCMI program.
Master's in TESOL
Master's in Environmental Management
Master's in Public Administration: Nonprofit Management Specialization
Master's in Social Work
Master's in Sociology
Click on the "PCMI Master's Programs" menu item on the bar above to learn more about these options. Pay close attention to the areas of faculty interest and expertise as you will need to present a clear relationship between your interests and faculty research for graduate projects. The most competitive applicants are those who have the required academic and practical background (if stated in the Master's program). Speak to the Department graduate student adviser and faculty members if you have questions concerning your master's application.
Step 3: Apply to the Master's program of your choice.
Click on "Applications" menu item for further details. Always check the Department deadlines!
Step 4: Once you are accepted into the graduate program, submit your application to the Peace Corps
You must have graduate student standing before applying to the Peace Corps for the PCMI program. The date when you will be available for Peace Corps service will depend upon the requirements of your degree program so be sure to speak with your academic advisor when filling out your Peace Corps application. Do not apply to Peace Corps Master's International track more than a year in advance of your departure date. The volunteer projects in global regions may not be posted before that time.
Step 5: Begin your graduate study
A PCMI student will normally complete between 1 and 2 years of graduate study on campus before going overseas. The length of pre-service study will depend upon the requirements of the degree program. These courses will provide theoretical grounding and experience in application of theory to practice prior to the Peace Corps Service. Students will work with their academic advisor to prepare for their academic work in the field. In preparation for the Peace Corps overseas experience, students will form a cohort on campus for a non-credit workshop facilitated by the PCMI Coordinator and RPCVs (Returned Peace Corps Volunteers)
Step 6: Work overseas as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) for 27 months
Geographical placement will be based on the area of study, when you are available to depart, language level and program availability. Participants will need to be flexible. Peace Corps provides training, language instruction, medical coverage and a stipend for participants in the field and an adjustment allowance upon return after satisfactory completion. (see Peace Corps web site for details). Specific assignments are developed by Peace Corps staff and are based on needs and requests of the Host countries. Within that context and complementary to it, your academic project will emerge out of the Peace Corps service.
Step 7: Return to campus to complete the academic project related to your Peace Corps service and any other outstanding work towards degree completion.
As RPCVs (Returning Peace Corps Volunteeers) PCMI students will have the opportunity to share their experience and insights with graduate classes and with new cohorts of prospective PCMI students.