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Maryland Becomes “Peace Corps Prep” Partner Institution

The SPH's Global Health Initiative and Department of Behavioral and Community Health will administer the program that is open to all UMD students

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Diverse group of UMD students standing outside in a community in Sierra Leone
Peace Corps logo with blue back ground and white dove

The University of Maryland is one of the latest institutions to partner with the Peace Corps to offer an undergraduate certificate program called Peace Corps Prep. Combining targeted coursework with hands-on experience, the new program will prepare undergraduate students with the skills needed to become a successful Peace Corps volunteer. 

“Today’s students understand the immense challenges of our era and are energetic advocates for change,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn. “Through the Peace Corps Prep program at University of Maryland, students can develop the transferable skills necessary to influence change, advance global equity, and be an effective Peace Corps volunteer.”

Peace Corps Prep will be structured as an interdisciplinary certificate program housed in the university’s School of Public Health. It will be administered by the SPH’s Global Health Initiative and its Department of Behavioral and Community Health.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Peace Corps,” said Dr. Tracy Zeeger, clinical associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. “Through this program, our diverse UMD students can explore opportunities and prepare to make a difference in addressing the world’s grand challenges through the Peace Corps.”

As the School of Public Health grows and expands its Global Health Initiative, the Peace Corps prep program was a natural fit.  

“This program will be an important part of providing our students with the tools they need to not only be successful in the Peace Corps, but to enter the global health workforce as culturally competent leaders,” said Dr. Dina Borzekowski, research professor and director of the Global Health Initiative.

“Peace Corps Prep is an opportunity for undergraduate students to develop competencies that will fortify their aspirations to serve abroad,” said La’Teashia Sykes, Peace Corps Director of University Programs. “Congratulations to the University of Maryland on joining the Peace Corps family. We are thrilled to work together to spark students’ interest in Peace Corps service.”

The global coronavirus pandemic, the epidemic of racism and the already dire impacts of climate change all provide an urgent call to action for students from many disciplines and backgrounds to engage in global service. 

"Peace Corps Prep will play a significant role in our ongoing efforts to provide global learning to all students at the University of Maryland,” said Dr. Ross Lewin, Associate Vice President for International Affairs, Office of International Affairs. “Its mission to prepare students to address global inequities and challenges imperiling our world perfectly aligns with the values and priorities of our institution."

Peace Corps works with more than 150 partner institutions nationwide to deliver programming that underscores a commitment to global citizenship, intercultural competencies and a sense of service among students. Despite the global evacuation of all Peace Corps volunteers in March 2020 due to COVID-19, more than 700 undergraduate students completed the Peace Corps Prep program in the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Find additional information about Peace Corps Prep program at the University of Maryland or contact Dr. Tracy M. Zeeger via email:

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a lifelong commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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