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Peace Corps Prep
​The UCEAP Peace Corps Prep is a certificate program that can help you develop the skills and experience to become a highly competitive applicant for the Peace Corps and prepare for a career in international development, public service, NGO sector, or diplomacy. Regardless of whether you are Peace Corps bound, the program helps prepare you for life after college.

How it works
Build four core competencies through interrelated coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development support.

  • Training and experience in a specific work sector: education, health, environment, agriculture, youth development or community economic development
  • Foreign language proficiency
  • Intercultural competence
  • Leadership and professional development
Past, current, and future UCEAP participants from any campus and major can apply. Studying abroad with UCEAP can satisfy many Peace Corps Prep program requirements. You can fulfill the other requirements at your home campus. When you complete the program, you receive a certificate from the Peace Corps and helpful insights on applying for Peace Corps service. Completing the program does not guarantee that you will be accepted for Peace Corps, but your chances of acceptance are significantly increased.

While the Peace Corps Prep program is open to all UC undergrads, please note that only US citizens can serve in the Peace Corps.

If you have questions about UCEAP's Peace Corps Prep program, email the program coordinator at

Check out 9 Ways Study Abroad Prepares You for the Peace Corps on The Californian Abroad.
​1. Attend an informational webinar. The program coordinator hosts an informational webinar a month before the fall and spring program application deadlines to provide an overview of the program and the application process as well as to answer any questions. Interested students are strongly encouraged to attend and can register here for the next webinar on March 19, 2019 at 4:00pm PT. If unable to attend, students should still register and a recording of the webinar will be emailed to them.

2. Apply to the program. Submit a Peace Corps Prep application, which identifies all of the courses and extracurricular activities you plan to undertake in fulfillment of program requirements. Please consult the student guide for your campus in the How to Apply tab for details. Once submitted, the application will be reviewed by the program coordinator and approved (if modifications are necessary, you can revise and resubmit). Please note that changes to an approved plan will have to resubmitted for approval. The Fall application cycle opens October 15 and closes on November 15 at 5:00pm PDT. The Spring application cycle opens March 16 and closes on April 16 at 5:00pm PDT. Application decisions will be sent out by the beginning of the winter quarter/spring semester for fall applicants and by the beginning of the fall term for spring applicants.

3. Complete the requirements. Complete the approved work sector, foreign language, intercultural competence, and professional and leadership development requirements at your own pace at your campus or while abroad.

4. Submit support documents and exit checklist by the spring or summer deadline.
This includes your unofficial university transcripts, resume, reflection essays, e-portfolio or LinkedIn link, exit checklist form, and release of information form. All documentation will be reviewed by UCEAP staff to verify successful completion of the program requirements. Submission deadlines are August 1 (for fall graduation) and April 1 (for spring graduation).

5. Congratulations! Once the materials are approved, you will be notified and a certificate from the Peace Corps will be sent to you. You also will receive UCEAP-Peace Corps Prep graduation cords to recognize your completion of the program.
​​Complete and submit an online application during one of the two application cycles (a link will be posted onthis page during hte application cycles). The fall cycle opens October 15 and closes on November 15 at 5:00pm PT and spring cycle opens March 16 and closes on April 16 at 5:00pm PT. In the application, you will map out how you plan to fulfil the program’s requirements. Please consult the student guide for your campus when filling out your application.

UC Berkeley student guide​
UC Davis student guide
UC Irvine student guide
UC Merced student guide
UCLA student guide
UC Riverside student guide
UC San Diego student guide
UC Santa Barbara student guide
UC Santa Cruz student guide

For those who are interested in Peace Corps service after graduation, we also advise you to explore the Peace Corps website and identify volunteer posts that are of interest to you. Knowing the desired and required skills of the post you want can inform your Peace Corps Prep plan and better prepare you for Peace Corps service.

Peace Corp locations​​

Countries with active Peace Corps projects where students can study abroad with UCEAP.
Peace Corps Prep Program participants are not required to study abroad in these locations.

​For over five decades, Peace Corps Volunteers have served their country by living and working in communities across the globe. In an ever-changing world, the agency has become a dynamic, forward-leaning champion for international service defined by its innovation and compassion. Although times have changed since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, the agency’s mission has not—to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

     1. help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women
     2. help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served
     3. help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans

Peace Corps service is people-to-people public service and citizen diplomacy at the grassroots level. Volunteers work to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, and youth development. Through their service, Volunteers return home as global citizens with new perspectives. They have cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that give them a competitive edge for advanced education and job opportunities in today’s global economy.

Considering serving in the Peace Corps after graduation? Here are some resources to learn more:

  • Each UC campus has a Peace Corps recruiter—find yours here and set up an appointment! The recruiter for your campus may be able to read over Peace Corps Prep materials and provide feedback. They can also answer any questions you may have about becoming a volunteer.
  • There are a number of benefits to being a Peace Corps volunteer, both during service and after. This includes student loan assistance, financial assistance for graduate school, and advantages in federal employment. Read more about the benefits of service here.