Peace Corps Prep Program

Teresa Rice Planting in Kanchanaburi with PC 1986
children dancing with peace corp student

Introduction Video

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 or to apply, please contact IDS Director Dr. Phyllis Ngai at

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. IDS minors will develop knowledge and skills appropriate for working in non-governmental organizations, international and bilateral government development organizations, and/or community-development associations. With strategic academic planning, students can complete both the PC Prep certificate and the IDS minor at the same time. The two overlap to a large extent and you can easily put both on your resume.

UM and The Peace Corps

In the 50 years since its inception in 1961 by executive order of President John F. Kennedy, over 800 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 stated, “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. Fill out the PCPP Exit Checklist to indicate successful completion of all requirements.
  2. Meet with IDS Director for approval and signature on the Exit Checklist.  
  3. Email the signed Checklist to

IDS Director will submit students' signed Checklists to the Peace Corps Headquarters, which will issue the PC Prep certificates. Students should contact IDS Director to find out when and where they can pick up their certificates. 

UM Contact

For more information, please contact the IDS Director.


Peace Corps Links


Other Links

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