Frequently Asked Questions
We are often asked these questions about the Mines Peace Corps Prep certificate program (and about the Peace Corps in general). Want to know more? Contact a Mines Peace Corps Prep advisor.
Is the Peace Corps hard to get into? Do I really need this program?
As many as 24,000 people apply for approximately 3,500 Peace Corps volunteer openings available each year. Because of their solid STEM skills, Mines students are generally quite competitive. But a Peace Corps Prep certificate will give you a major advantage over the competition — and a host of useful skills for living and working overseas — even if you choose not to apply to the Peace Corps directly after graduation. (The certificate is good for life.)
I have my eye on a Humanitarian Engineering minor, or maybe the McBride Honors Program. Can I still participate in the Peace Corps Prep program too?
Yes. All students in all degree programs are eligible. The Peace Corps Prep certificate is earned while simultaneously pursuing your chosen degree, minors, and other certificates. In fact, Peace Corps Prep is especially compatible with a Humanitarian Engineering minor (among others). While most Peace Corps Prep students are undergraduates, graduate students are also eligible for the program.
I'm a senior. Is it too late for me to earn a Peace Corps Prep certificate?
Possibly not. A Peace Corps Prep certificate requires you to complete (1) specific courses giving you experience in a particular work sector, (2) classes to build any needed foreign language skills, (3) classes dealing with intercultural competence, (4) professional and leadership development activities. If you can fulfill these requirements with previous courses and activities (or courses and activities you complete during your senior year), you can indeed earn a Peace Corps Prep certificate. That said, the earlier in your Mines career that you start fulfilling program requirements, the easier it will be to complete the program.
What if I sign up for the Peace Corps Prep program but don't complete it for some reason?
Peace Corps Prep is a voluntary program designed to make you a more competitive candidate for Peace Corps volunteer positions, and a better, more culturally aware, engineer. There is no penalty if you do not complete the program. But, of course, there are many advantages if you do.
I've successfully completed the Peace Corps Prep program at Mines. What's next?
After a final interview with a program coordinator to make sure all your paperwork is complete, we’ll submit it to the Peace Corps. They’ll issue your certificate of completion for the program noting your achievement (always of interest to potential employers). We’re also working to have this honor displayed in your graduation program and (still in progress) on your official Mines transcript as well. After that, may we suggest…
Here are the Peace Corps opportunities available today (they will change throughout the year): https://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/volunteer-openings
Did you know: Applicants who connect with a recruiter before applying are 55 percent more likely to become Peace Corps volunteers?! The Denver-area Peace Corps recruiter responsible for Mines is waiting to hear from you: