Program Requirements

The Peace Corps Prep program is designed to prepare undergraduate students for international service in a program such as the Peace Corps. In order to successfully prepare for such work, students are required to fulfill requirements of four different competencies: work sector, language, intercultural competence, and leadership. See below for an overview of the requirements, or consult the student guide for more detailed information.

1. Work Sector Experience: This competency involves both coursework and fieldwork experience, related to one of the six following Peace Corps work sectors: Education, Health, Environment, Agriculture, Youth in Development, or Community Economic Development.

As the work sectors vary greatly, there are different requirements for each.  See below for more information on how to fulfill the requirements of your chosen work sector:


  • Take three courses from one of the following areas:
    • Elementary, Secondary or Special Education: Any EDUC courses
    • English: Any ENGLISH courses
    • Linguistics: Any LING courses
    • Math: Any MATH courses
    • Computer Science: Any EECS courses
    • Astronomy: Any ASTRO courses
    • Biology: Any BIOLOGY courses
    • Biophysics: Any BIOPHYS courses
    • Chemistry: Any CHEM courses
    • Geography: Any GEOG courses
    • Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology: Any MCDB courses
    • Microbiology: Any MICRBIOL courses
    • Physics: Any PHYSICS courses
    • ELI 390: Community-Engaged Learning in ESL Teaching Contexts
    • ELI 391: Topics in ESL: Fundamentals in Teaching English as a Second Language Internationally
  • Build a minimum of 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as teaching in a classroom, with a community outreach organization, or in a formal tutoring capacity. The subject of the teaching may be English as a Foreign/Second Language, special education, drama, or a STEM subject. You may consider the following opportunities:
    • There are several volunteer opportunities available through the Ginsberg Center on campus. In collaboration with schools, community centers and other partners, you are able to support literacy development through America Reads, a program that provides paid opportunities for U-M students to tutor students in Detroit and Ypsilanti through the work-study program.
    • rEDesign is a group of University of Michigan students who design and implement innovative projects, programs, and events to better the public education system.
    • Volunteer to be a facilitator with Conversation Circles, which are weekly, one-hour meetings run through the English Language Institute (ELI).
    • EDUC 390: Community Engaged Learning in ESL Teaching Contexts: This course is an opportunity to receive training and supervision in teaching English as a Second Language and then assist in a local ESL classroom or tutoring program for at least four hours per week or 48 hours during the academic term.


  • Take three related courses from one of the following areas:
    • Nursing: Any NURS courses
    • Anatomy and Cell Biology: Any ANAT courses
    • Biology: Any BIOLOGY courses
    • Environmental Sciences and Engineering: Any ENSCEN courses
    • Health and Fitness: Any HF courses
    • Health Sciences: Any HS courses
    • Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology: Any MCDB courses
    • Movement Science: Any MOVESCI courses
    • Physiology: Any PHYSIOL courses
    • Public Health: Any PUBHLTH courses
    • Psychology: Any PSYCH courses
  • Build a minimum of 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as: volunteer or work experience in such areas as HIV/AIDS outreach, hospice, family planning counseling, emergency medical technician (EMT) or CPR teaching/certification, maternal health, and hands-on caregiving in a hospital, clinic, or lab technician setting; counseling or teaching in health subjects; working as a resident advisor in a dormitory, as a peer nutritionist, or as a sexually transmitted infections counselor; significant experience in mechanical repairs, construction, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, hydrology, or set design.  You may wish to consider the following opportunities:



Youth in Development

Community Economic Development

  • Obtain a Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) minor, or, take three related courses from one of the following areas:
    • Accounting: Any ACC courses
    • Art and Design: Any ARTDES courses
    • Business Administration: Any BA courses
    • Business Communication: Any BCOM courses
    • Business Economics and Public Policy: Any BE courses
    • Business Law: Any BL courses
    • Business Abroad: Any BUSABRD courses
    • Computer Science: Any EECS courses
    • Communication Studies: Any COMM courses
    • Economics: Any ECON courses
    • Entrepreneurial Studies: Any ES courses
    • Finance: Any FIN courses
    • Management and Organizations: Any MO courses
    • Organizational Studies: Any ORGSTUDY courses
    • Information: Any SI courses
    • Technical Communication: Any TCHNCLCM 215 courses
    • Technology and Operations: Any TO courses
  • Build a minimum of 50 hours of related field experience through an activity such as working with businesses or organizations in accounting, finance, management, budgeting or marketing; starting and running your own entrepreneurial activity; training others in computer literacy; website design; or working in publishing. You may consider the following opportunities:


2. Foreign language skills: This competency requires the completion of at least two language courses.  The following considerations must be made in fulfilling this competency:

  • For those who wish to serve in Latin America: In order to be a competitive applicant for Spanish-speaking countries, take at least two 200-level courses in Spanish
  • For those who wish to serve in French-speaking West Africa: Take at least one 200-level course in French
  • For those not planning to serve in a Spanish or French speaking country: Any two foreign language courses may be used to fulfill this requirement!


3. Intercultural competence: For this competency, students must take three courses related to intercultural competence.

  • At least one course must be from the core course list:
    • AAS 268: Community Collaborations: Race, Social Justice and Engaged Learning
    • AMCULT 321/PSYCH 325: Practicum in the Multicultural Community
    • ENGR 260: Engineering Across Cultures
    • PSYCH 122/ SOC 122/ ALA 122: Intergroup Dialogues
    • PSYCH 211: Project Outreach
    • PSYCH 310/UC 320/ SOC 320/ ALA 320: Processes of Intergroup Dialogues Facilitation
    • PSYCH 311/SOC 321/ ALA 321: Practicum in Facilitating Intergroup Dialogue
    • SOC 218/ UC 218/ ALA 220: Foundations of Intergroup Relations
    • SOC 325: Sociology of Service Learning
    • UC 178: Global Understanding
    • UC 275: UC Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates
    • UC 285: Introduction to Intercultural Study
    • UC 286: Engaged Learning Abroad
    • UC 287: Integrative Intercultural Study
    • WOMENSTD 350: Nonprofit Management, Community Engagement, and Feminist Practice
    • ALA 221: Addressing Critical Global Issues
    • ALA 228/SOC 375: Intergroup Conflict and Coexistence
    • ALA 276: Student Leadership in Global Contexts
    • ALA 326: IGR Global Course Connection
    • ELI 390/EDUC 390/LING 390/RCSSCI 390: Community-Engaged Learning in ESL Teaching Contexts
    • NURSING 421: Perspectives in Global Health
    • AMCULT 361/EDUC 395/ELI 395/LATINOAM 361/LING 391/RCSSCI 395: Principles and Practices of Teaching ESL in Migrant Communities
    • ANTHRCUL 222: The Comparative Study of Cultures
    • WOMENSTD 250: Race, Gender, and the Nation
    • ARTDES 200: Social Spaces: the role of artists, designers, and citizens
    • SOC 303/AAS 303: Race and Ethnic Relations
    • SOC 225: Practicum in Sociology: Project Community
    • SOC 105/UC 151: Social Justice, Identity, Diversity, and Community
    • CGIS: International Development and French Language in Dakar, Senegal (contact Peace Corps Prep staff for approval)
    • Community Engagement: Collaborating for Change (non-credit online course, contact Peace Corps Prep staff for details and approval)
  • Take two other courses from our list of over 140 approved courses

The Minor in Intergroup Relations Education, with a globally-focused LSA elective course, will also fulfill the Intercultural Competence Requirement.


4. Leadership: For this requirement, students must complete the following:

  • Have your resume critiqued by someone at the University Career Center or a PC Recruiter. Students may also work within the career centers in the individual schools and colleges across campus.
    • You will need to have documentation signed by an advisor once your resume has been reviewed.
  • Attend a workshop or class on interview skills at the University Career Center. The University Career Center has a number of online resources available through their website.
  • Develop at least one significant leadership experience and be prepared to discuss it thoughtfully. For example, organizing a campus event, leading a work or volunteer project, serving on an advisory board or committee within a specific school or college, or serving on the executive board of a student organization would fulfill this requirement. Some opportunities include:
  • Check out the new M-Lead website, which aims to centralize information about leadership opportunities and programs offered to students at U-M.