Peace Corp Masters International Program and Master of Public Health

Program Contacts Milken Institute School of Public Health, Office of Recruitment and Admissions

The Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) collaborates with the Peace Corps as one of 90 institutions in the United States participating in this prestigious academic partnership. The program is designed to help address the shortage of prepared public health professionals that the organization has identified. Students in the program earn a degree in any one of the Milken Institute SPH's M.P.H. programs, which provides the academic base and professional skills. They then have priority placement for the two-year public health service assignment with the Peace Corps in a developing country, which provides on-the-ground training. 

Students in the program complete M.P.H. course work on the GW campus and then enter the Peace Corps and begin their service in the assigned country. As Peace Corps volunteers, M.P.H. students complete three months of intensive language, technical, and cross-cultural training followed by two years of service as public health workers. The Peace Corps experience serves as the practicum required for the M.P.H. degree, and generally provides the basis for the program's required culminating experience. Upon satisfactory completion of the two-year Peace Corps service and completion of the practicum, students return to GW and enroll in the culminating experience. The degree is awarded once all requirements for the M.P.H. have been fulfilled. 

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be accepted by both the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the Peace Corps through separate application processes. Prospective applicants should apply to both programs simultaneously to allow sufficient time for the Peace Corps’ medical and suitability clearances to be processed. While it is best to apply simultaneously to both programs, it may be possible to apply and be accepted to the Peace Corps after having begun the M.P.H. degree program. The review of applications is independent and admission to one program does not guarantee admission to the other.

Peace Corps

To join the Peace Corps, applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old, and in good physical health. Call or write for additional information regarding eligibility criteria and benefits package (including field practicum tuition waiver, language and cultural training, living/ housing expenses in the field, medical/dental coverage, deferment of student-loan repayment, transportation expenses to and from one's assigned country, vacation time and allowances, financial readjustment allowance, and employment assistance post-service). Master’s International students should be willing to serve at any location assigned by the Peace Corps. Visit the Peace Corps website for more information.

Milken Institute School of Public Health

To join the SPH M.P.H. program follow the application process described on the SPH Admissions website. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree and submit all relevant documents by the stated application deadlines. Special M.P.H. program requirements are detailed in the application.

Program Format

  1. Apply to the Milken Institute SPH M.P.H. program and the Peace Corps simultaneously, and gain acceptance to both programs.
  2. Successfully complete all on-campus course work for the M.P.H. (expect one and one-half to two years of study), with the exception of the practicum and culminating experience.
  3. Begin Peace Corps in-service training program.
  4. Deploy to service site.
  5. Early in the deployment, submit a practicum proposal to the SPH practicum director for approval. (This step may be undertaken earlier in the process);
  6. Complete the practicum and maintain communication with the SPH practicum director on at minimum a quarterly basis, or as directed by the director) while completing the Peace Corps assignment.
  7. Complete the Peace Corps assignment and return to GW to complete the culminating experience and graduate.

Visit the Milken Institute School of Public Health website for more information.