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Illinois State Among Top Peace Corps Master’s International Schools


Contact:Beverly Beyer, (309) 438-8685,

Illinois State University is once again ranked as one of the top Peace Corps Master’s International schools nationwide. Illinois State is ninth in the nation in the rankings of Peace Corps Master’s International and Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate schools. Illinois State was ranked among the top 10 nationwide in 2013 and 2011.

Since Illinois State became a Master’s International partner in 1997, 49 graduates have earned degrees in applied economics, political science and sociology, each with an interdisciplinary sequence in applied community and economic development. The University currently has 13 Master’s International students serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

The program is housed within the Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development and is managed by Beverly Beyer, the center’s associate director, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria. James Porter, a Master’s International alumnus who served in Micronesia, assists with program operations.  

The Master’s International program allows students to incorporate Peace Corps service as credit into their graduate degree, and the Coverdell Fellows Program provides returned Peace Corps volunteers with scholarships, internships in underserved American communities and stipends to earn an advanced degree after they complete their Peace Corps service.

Illinois State is the only university in the state to offer both Peace Corps graduate programs – the Master’s International program for currently serving volunteers and the Coverdell Fellows program open to returned volunteers who have completed their service. More than 514 Illinois State alumni have served as Peace Corps Volunteers over the agency’s history. Illinois is also among the top-producing states for volunteers , with 300 Illinois residents currently serving in the Peace Corps. Overall, 8,302 Illinois residents have served since the agency was created in 1961.

“The Stevenson Center is home to the first Master’s International program in applied economics and sociology, and the oldest in political science,” said Beyer. “Students learn about and then experience development issues in a variety of contexts—domestic and international, urban and rural, government and nonprofit. Each year, our local community benefits from their service and research, and then they use those experiences to work in developing countries from Albania to Panama to Zambia.”


Top 10 Master’s International universities and colleges:

(The number in parenthesis represents the number of students enrolled in the program and serving overseas as of September 30, 2013.)

1. Michigan Technological University (32)

2. Monterey Institute of International Studies (25)

3. Tulane University (24)

4. University of Denver (22)

5. University of South Florida (21)

6. University of Washington (20)

7. George Mason University (16)

8. University of Montana (15)

9. Illinois State University (13)

10. American University (12)

10. Indiana University Bloomington (12)

10. SIT Graduate Institute (12)


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