Peace Corps Prep Program

Teresa Rice Planting in Kanchanaburi with PC 1986


The University of Montana, in partnership with the United States Peace Corps, has developed the Peace Corps Prep Program to give students an advantage in the competitive application process for Peace Corps service as well as with other international organizations. Students attending the University of Montana can earn a Peace Corps Prep certificate in the following special assignment areas: Environment; Health; Youth in Development; Community Development; Agriculture; and Education. Preparatory coursework aids in increasing volunteer effectiveness and better equips students for international service.

Apply Today

Apply for UM's Peace Corps Prep Certificate program today! To find out more about the program requirements click on SPECIALIZATIONS on the left-hand side of the screen then pick your specialization. To register visit the PC Prep Advisor for the specialization(s) of your choice. 

Students who registered for the PC Prep certificate prior to January 1, 2016 are eligible for the PC Prep generalist certificate by completing IDS minor requirements and meeting with the UM's PC Campus Recruiter. If you registered for any specialization prior to January 1. 2016 you are eligible to complete the program based on the requirements you registered under. See the graduation requirements for students who registered before January 1, 2016.

Images in the Peace Corps Prep area of the IDS website were provided by the Peace Corps.

UM Contacts


Kimber McKay Ph.D


Delyla Wilson Ph.D

International Development Studies and the Peace Corps Prep Program

The International Development Studies (IDS) minor is the home of the Peace Corps Prep program. The IDS minor, an interdisciplinary program of study, focuses on the interconnected processes of social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental change taking place in low-income countries and disadvantaged regions of wealthy countries. Coursework in the minor emphasizes global and practical perspectives on sustainable development as well as critical analysis of the role of internal and external influences on the development process. Students minoring in IDS will develop knowledge and skills appropriate for graduate study and for working in non-governmental organizations, international and bilateral government development organizations, and/or community-development associations. The IDS minor requirements are four core courses and three content courses including seven upper-division credits. Up to six credits of equivalent course work completed at a university other than The University of Montana can be counted toward the content requirements of the IDS minor upon approval by the IDS Program Director (see Courses for full IDS curriculum). With careful advising students can qualify for one or more PC Prep specialization certificate and the IDS minor. 

UM and The Peace Corps

In the 50 years since its inception in 1961 by executive order of President John F. Kennedy, 765 UM grads have served in the Peace Corps. Per capita, Missoula leads the nation among metropolitan areas for volunteers serving with the Peace Corps while the state of Montana ranks third in the country. Regional office manager Janet Allen at the Peace Corps Northwest Regional Office in Seattle reports that “We’re delighted to see the University of Montana leading the way with this new and innovative program. [This] university is already one of our top Peace Corps schools and a valued partner through our Peace Corps Master’s International Program. [The Peace Corps Prep program] provides another opportunity to showcase the commitment to service we continue to see from University of Montana students and alumni.”

Completion Instructions

Students preparing to graduate with a PCPP certificate must: 

  1. Meet with the Specialization Faculty Advisor to fill out the program exit interview and completion paperwork verifying the sucessful completion of call requirements. 
  2. Return the completion form signed by PC Prep Specialization Advisor to the IDS office SS 302.  

Once courses have been completed (or are in progress in the students final semester) and all paperwork has been submitted, the PC will issue students their PC Prep certificates. Students should recieve their certificates in late May or June of the academic year in which they graduate.