Qualified Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) bring their world experience to campus and receive a scholarship and guaranteed internship.

Academic Programs for Peace Corps Fellows

In today's job market, many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) find they need an advanced degree to supplement the field-based experience they received in Peace Corps. Fellows may earn a master's degree in the fields of international development, human rights, conflict resolution, environmental policy, sustainable development, international trade, international business, or language teaching.

The following degree programs are offered to Peace Corps Fellows:

Scholarships Available to Peace Corps Fellows

Peace Corps Fellows at the Monterey Institute are guaranteed a minimum annual scholarship of $12,000, which is renewable for second year of study. The Fellows scholarship will replace any merit scholarship previously awarded by the Monterey Institute.

Internship Component for Peace Corps Fellows

Peace Corps Fellows work closely with the Center for Advising and Career Services to secure a professional internship with an underserved American community. Internship hours required for Fellows depend on the length of the degree program:

  • 400 hours for a 2-3 year program
  • 350 hours for a three semester program and
  • 300 hours for a two semester (one year) program

As a school dedicated to service, the Monterey Institute has partnered with over 40 local organizations. These local partnerships allow Fellows to integrate a professional internship into their degree, enhancing their academic experience while serving the community.  Some examples of local internships that past Peace Corps Fellows have pursued include:

  • Idaho Conservation League—Community Conservation Intern
  • Community Caring of Monterey Peninsula—Social Media Program Assistant
  • YWCA—Grant Analysis Intern
  • Health Records for Everyone—Global Health Intern
  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation—Finance and Project Management Intern
  • Monterey Institute of International Studies—Peace Corps Programs Graduate Assistant
  • Monterey Institute of International Studies—Graduate Assistant Veteran’s Services

In most cases, you will not be able to fulfill the internship component through an international internship. With few exceptions the internship requirement as it relates to the Third Goal is as follows:

“The Third Goal of the Peace Corps aims to help Americans understand the people and cultures of other countries. It is one of the three goals that support the mission of the Peace Corps to promote world peace and friendship…All Peace Corps Fellows are required to complete an internship in an underserved American community. Generally, an "American Community" is defined as being within the 50 states.”

The exceptions (Commonwealth and U.S. Territories) are noted on the Department of the Interior website for the Office of Insular Affairs.

RPCV Student Life

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers find themselves at home on the diverse Monterey Institute campus, where Peace Corps experience is highly valued. Returned volunteers may even discover that a classmate hails from the country of their Peace Corps service. Many RPCVs join the Peace Corps Club and are active in the local community. Many Monterey Institute faculty and staff are RPCVs, including the founder of the Peace Corps Fellows program, Dr. Beryl Levinger.

Eligibility Requirements

All RPCVs who have satisfactorily completed their service have lifetime eligibility. Satisfactory completion indicates that the volunteer completed the service through one of the following:

  • Completed the full two-year tour of Peace Corps service, or the full tour minus up to 90 days if returned home on an emergency leave.
  • Granted "Early Close of Service" or "Interrupted Service" status due to circumstances beyond volunteer's control.
  • Medically separated as a Volunteer.

Application and Selection Process

The Fellows program is a competitive award with a limited number of scholarships available to qualified RPCVs. Applications are accepted on a rolling admissions cycle. Candidates may apply between December 1 and March 1 for fall admission and by October 1 for spring admission by completing the Monterey Institute application. To be considered for the Fellows program, there are two requirements in addition to the program requirements:

  • In Statement of Purpose, candidate must express desire to be part of the Fellows program.
  • Candidate must submit Peace Corps Description of Service (DOS).

Application fee waivers are available to RPCVs. However, these waivers can only be granted when using our paper application.

Fellows are selected based on the quality of their application and the availability of Fellowships.  Qualified applicants will be awarded on a first come first serve basis and if space is unavailable, a waitlist will be kept.

Please contact the Enrollment Manager, Danielle Steer, for more information.

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