Peace Corps Master’s International Programs at Wheelock

Meet Our Masters International Students

PCMI Student Karissa Hultgren
See a world map featuring Wheelock students and their placement sites.

Contact Us

For general questions, contact:
Brian Minchello
Director of Graduate Admissions

For specific questions about the Peace Corps and MI program, contact:
Dr. Stephanie Cox Suarez
Associate Professor
Special Education Dept.

Already a Peace Corps Alum?

Wheelock's Coverdell Fellows scholarship program offers paid teaching internships and other benefits to Peace Corps alums.

Learn about the Coverdell Fellows program

Peace Corps MI Program

Sample Curriculum

(Master of Science in Educational Studies)
Total Credits: 30

Core Courses:
Human Development Elective (3 credits)
Research Elective (3 credits)                                                    

Core Education Courses:
EDU 505 Racial & Cultural Identities (3 credits)
EDU Capstone Portfolio for Peace Corps MI (1 credit)              

Peace Corps Service:
EDU  Field Study Project Year 1 (4 credits)
EDU Field Study Project Year 2 (4 credits)

Program Courses:
Select from area of specialization with support from advisor (12 credits).
Courses can be taken from the various programs such as: Language and Literacy, Integrated Elementary and Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Child Life, Social Work, and Organizational Leadership.

This program has been discontinued by the Peace Corps, so the Fall 2016 class will be the last we will be enrolling.

We will continue to enroll students in the Coverdell Fellows Partnership Program for Peace Corps alums.

Program Options

  • MS. in Educational Studies
  • M.S. in Integrated Elementary and Special Education (leads to educator licensure)

Wheelock College is proud to partner with the Peace Corps to offer two Master's International Programs. Both programs enable passionate, idealistic people to earn a Master of Science while also fulfilling their Peace Corps service.

Peace Corps logo

Students may decide between an M.S. in Educational Studies, which allows several areas of specialization working with children, youth and families, or an M.S. in Integrated Elementary and Special Education, which prepares students to be teachers and leads to two Massachusetts Educator Licenses: Elementary Education (grades 1-6) and Teacher of Student with Moderate Disability (PreK-grade 8).

Why Wheelock?

  • Peace Corps service is an integral part of your academic program.
  • Wheelock's mission to improve the lives of children and families is in close alignment with the Peace Corps mission.
  • Wheelock is engaged in a variety of international initiatives, including service learning trips, a Master's program where students teach in Greece or China for a year, and an international visiting scholars program.
  • Tuition for courses completed while in your Peace Corps service (8 credits over 2 years) is waived.

Who Should Apply?

The programs are intended for individuals who are passionate about working with children, youth and families in a variety of settings, as well as those interested in being prepared as teachers. Settings include:

  • Schools and afterschool programs
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • International agencies
  • Community agencies
  • Publishing companies
  • Advocacy agencies
  • Museums
  • Government offices

Program Overviews

PCMI in Educational Studies

The PCMI program in Educational Studies consists of 30 credits. Prior to their Peace Corps service, students will complete 21 credits (about one year) of coursework at Wheelock in Boston. Courses in human development, multiculturalism, and research will help prepare students for their service. In a 12-credit elective area of focus, students will prepare for a field study project that will address both the needs of their Peace Corps host country and what the student would like to learn while abroad. Courses may be drawn from a variety of Wheelock departments, including Language and Literacy, Elementary and Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Child Life, Nonprofit Leadership, Parenting Education, and Social Work.

Peace Corps posterDuring their Peace Corps service, students will earn eight credits (over two years) for completing the field study project they have designed. Examples of potential projects include a women's literacy program, a youth sports program, or a girls' reading club.

After their Peace Corps service, students will return to Wheelock for a one-credit capstone. In this course, students will reflect upon their experience and create a portfolio that they will present to the Wheelock and Peace Corps communities.

The program welcomes students who are interested in learning more about education, or wish to enter the education field, as well as those interested in working with children, youth and families in a variety of roles and settings. This program does not lead to educator licensure.

PCMI in Integrated Elementary and Special Education (IESE) 

Depending on the academic background of the student and whether he or she already has an educator licensure, this program consists of 44-53 credits. Prior to their Peace Corps service, students will complete most courses at Wheelock in Boston, including a year-long teaching internship in an inclusive elementary education classroom in one of Wheelock's partner school districts. The courses students will complete are those of the regular IESE program, which are required in order to obtain two teaching licenses: Elementary Education (grades 1-6) and Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-grade 8).

During their two years of Peace Corps service, students will complete eight credits tuition-free though the following courses: Racial and Cultural Identities Development, Research Methods, and a Field Study. These courses will require the students to identify a need in their host communities, design a project that addresses that need, and then implement it and evaluate it.

Upon completion of their Peace Corps Service, students will return to Wheelock to complete their program, including a one-credit portfolio and a presentation to the Wheelock and Peace Corps communities.

Application Information

Interested candidates must apply separately to both Wheelock College and to the Peace Corps, as each institution makes its acceptance decisions independently.


Priority application deadline is March 1 for students beginning the program during the Summer semester and May 1 for students beginning the program during the Fall semester. Students will be notified within 4-6 weeks of their admission to the program. As a prospective student and volunteer, you should apply first to Wheelock College. Once you have been accepted, submit your Peace Corps application. You should apply to the Peace Corps nine months to one year prior to your desired departure date.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed Wheelock Application Form - To apply online, fill out our online application form and check the Peace Corps Masters International box.
  2. Essay - Applicants' 3-5 page essay should describe their interest in attending Wheelock and pursuing Peace Corps service. This description should include your professional goals when you finish your Peace Corps service and how the Peace Corps Masters International program will help you realize your goals.
  3. Three letters of Reference - One letter should be of an academic nature from a faculty member familiar with the applicant's academic work (e.g., a former professor or instructor of the applicant). The second reference should be from an individual who can discuss the applicant's work or relevant experience. The third letter may be either academic or professional at the applicant's discretion. References from family members and/or friends are not acceptable. Please note that additional letters of reference may be requested at the discretion of the Admission Committee. Download the reference form here.
  4. Academic Records (transcripts) - Students applying for admission to a graduate program at Wheelock must hold a Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited institution. Degree-seeking applicants must present official transcripts from each college or university at which the applicant was granted a degree.
  5. Resume - Work experience and career progression are important and will be considered by the Admissions Committee. Resumes should be submitted in professional format and include: contact information, educational background, work experience, and skills.
  6. Interview - Candidates may be invited for on-campus interviews.

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