The PCMI Program
|Michael Wagner, PhD|
Earning a Master's Degree While Volunteering with the Peace Corps
The Peace Corps Master’s International Program (PCMI) at Northern Arizona University offers the unique opportunity to combine the life-changing experience of Peace Corps service with a graduate degree from the nationally ranked NAU School of Forestry.
After completing this coursework, students begin their Peace Corps volunteer experience abroad with three months of language, culture, and technical training in their host country. This is followed by two years of Peace Corps volunteer service. Students then return to NAU for one semester to complete their capstone professional paper and receive a Master’s of Forestry degree.
Beginning this spring, NAU implemented a new pilot program that gives students the opportunity to pair with either Mexico or Ghana host countries while still in their first year of graduate studies. Matching students with their future host country early in the academic process allows them to tailor their graduate work to forestry and environmental topics specific to their host country and to begin their language study in advance. The School of Forestry has a long history of working with both Mexico and Ghana in a variety of research projects.
PCMI students also have the opportunity to be placed in host countries other than Ghana and Mexico according to their interests and qualifications. See “ ‘Anyways’: An African Experience” by PCMI student Bob Sather to read about his ongoing service in Zambia. In the future, students could serve in any of approximately 150 countries.
For more information, see the Peace Corps website and the NAU program description. I encourage interested students to contact me at Mike.Wagner@nau.edu or to speak with NAU Peace Corps recruiter Stephanie Rayburn at firstname.lastname@example.org.