Master's International Program

After completing a bachelor’s degree, many students view two of their options as "join the Peace Corps" or "earn a graduate degree."  That need not be a decision any longer - do both! Since 2011, the University of Colorado Boulder has participated in the Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) program which encourages students to combine

  • graduate study leading directly to a CU master’s degree with
  • a joint appointment for service in the Peace Corps.

Students may pursue this program at CU Boulder under the auspices of three established graduate degree programs:


  1. Gain admission to one of four, qualifying CU Boulder graduate programs.
  2. Begin admission process to the Peace Corps Master's International program.
  3. Conduct initial course work at CU Boulder, generally one year.
  4. Conduct 27 months of Peace Corps (PC) service (three months of superior in-country training and a 24-month placement). Peace Corps assignments are based on the needs and requests of host countries, primarily. The student’s graduate area expertise will be used by the Peace Corps when they offer an invitation for service.
  5. Return to CU Boulder to complete the academic work required to earn the degree. This may include a thesis or final project. Ideally, the master’s academic focus and the Peace Corps service focus will be mutually complementary and connected.


The Master’s International program provides students with the unparalleled opportunity to complete a master’s degree and two full years of challenging work experience related to their fields of interest. Students earn more than a degree: they earn two years of Peace Corps experience.  They will have opportunities to apply theory to practice, to attain outstanding skill sets, to gain a vital world view perspective and the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the global community.

Additionally, the Peace Corps provides a variety of other benefits, including:

  • Approximately three months of intensive language, cross-cultural, and technical training in the host country prior to service
  • A payment of approximately $7,000 (pre-tax after you complete your 27 months of service)
  • A monthly living allowance for food, housing and other incidentals to permit maintenance at the level of the host country counterpart
  • Free medical care and dental care
  • Free transportation to and from the country of service
  • Deferment of national direct student loans, depending on the length of service. Available by arrangement with the volunteer’s loan agencies. Some Volunteers with Perkins loans are eligible for a partial cancellation benefit.
  • Volunteers receive two vacation days per month of service, a total of 48 days over two years.

More information can be found on the Peace Corps website: click here!

"You wouldn't expect to meet an old friend, a classmate, or a family member living in a rural village, thousands of miles from home.  But that's what I saw; not in the literal sense - because they weren't actually there - but in a sense of similarity.  The Peace Corps taught me to see things - even those foreign and furthest from my youth - as familiar.  I saw old friends with different faces.  And, in that, I understood...if the world is a stage, the story is the same around the world.  All that changes is the scenery.  Such things aren't witnessed through the lens of convention.  It takes a willingness to cross into the unknown and uncertain.  But, for me, the Peace Corps has proven that such jaunts are entirely worthwhile."

-- Kevin P. Shimokawa, RPCV and former CU Peace Corps Recruiter


- CU Boulder

  • Admission to a participating graduate degree program
  • Additional requirements specified by the department

- Peace Corps

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must be in good health or be able to serve with a medical accommodation: click here

Master's International Information:

For General Information and Questions, please contact:

Peter Simons, 303-492-1962, 
Cedar Wolf, 303-492-8454,