Students complete the first year of the MCP program but instead of a summer internship, serve two years in the Peace Corps. Upon their return they complete the second year of the MCP program and are awarded an MCP degree. Thus, the purpose of the program is to work in collaboration with the US Peace Corps to prepare students for the hands-on community planning experience they will receive while assigned to the Peace Corps. In addition, students will earn a master's degree from an accredited graduate planning program at one of the largest schools of planning in the country, which will position them to pursue a career in either domestic or international urban planning.
Benefits of the Program
The Peace Corp's Master's International program is integrated with the International Development Planning certificate of the MCP program at University of Cincinnati. Students work with a faculty that has extensive overseas experience, including two RPCV's (Returned Volunteers), before and after their overseas experience with the US Peace Corps.
Admission requirements for the MCP program include a completed undergraduate degree. There are no minimum requirements for grade point average (GPA) or GRE scores, but admission and financial aid rewards are based on these scores and, when applicable, an applicant's work or volunteer background. The process is competitive. While all normal admissions requirements for the MCP degree at the University of Cincinnati must be satisfied for acceptance into the Master's International (MI) program, additional requirements must also be met. That is, to participate in the MI program, all applicants must be American citizens and satisfy admission criteria for both the School of Planning and the Peace Corps. Applicants should also write a short essay on why they wish to pursue the MCP/MI program, if not addressed in their MCP application materials. Applicants will also be interviewed by the SOP Peace Corps coordinator. Students accepted into the MCP program who do not receive Peace Corps service assignments are eligible to continue their MCP degree like any other graduate student.
Financial Aid Opportunities
Students are encouraged to apply by March 1 for consideration for financial assistance at the University of Cincinnati. Financial assistance is in the form of University Graduate Scholarships and Graduate Assistantships. Many MCP students are also financed through assignments with local planning agencies arranged by the School of Planning.
Students interested in pursuing the program are required to apply to the Peace Corps and the MCP program separately. Interested students should contact the School of Planning's MCP/MIP Coordinator to discuss admission to the university and to a Recruiter to initiate the Peace Corps application process.
In addition to the MCP program application requirements, applicants to the MCP/MI program must also submit an essay on interest in MCP/MI program.
Applicants must also be prepared to tell the Peace Corps Recruiter that:
- The Master's International school to which they are applying is the University of Cincinnati
- The degree they wish to pursue is the MCP (Master of Community Planning)
- The estimated time of availability required for Peace Corps service is 27 months, based on the University's program of study and Peace Corps regulations
Before departure, students in the MCP/MI Program must complete the program for first year studies, including Planning Issues in Developing Nations and International Development Planning Policy, as well as the following methods courses: Social Science Research Methods, Economic Analysis for Planners and Planning Methods and Techniques. Upon their return, they will complete a policy course and remaining specialization electives. Students may receive up to four credits for their Peace Corps experience.
International Development Certificate
View the certificate listings for course requirements.
About the Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is a voluntary organization of the United States government founded by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Since then, more than 150,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers, including two current professors in the School of Planning. For many, it has served as the introduction to a rewarding international development career. The mission of the Peace Corps is: to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.