Background Image


In this Section

CU MI students spend a year on campus taking coursework for their degree programs and in preparation for their Peace Corps volunteer service. The students then spend two years serving in the Peace Corps, earning 6 credits of coursework or thesis credit while they are away. If needed, students may return to campus following their service to complete their thesis and coursework. A total of 30 credits are required to complete the CU MI program.

Typical schedule:

YEAR 1 at CU:

1st semester: complete four 3-credit courses plus a one 1-credit seminars at CU (13 credits)

2nd semester: complete three 3-credit courses plus one 1-credit seminars at CU (10 credits) and participate in local service learning activity/outreach training with CU partner (if desired)

YEAR 2: Peace Corps service (3 credits – tuition and fees waived by CU)

YEAR 3: register for 3 credits at CU (3 credits – tuition and fees waived by CU)

½ YEAR 4 (if needed):

1st semester: complete thesis at CU (1 credit)

The required courses for the CU MI students depends on the degree program (see links below). CU MI students also participate in an initial orientation when they arrive on campus, a monthly seminar series, a workshop series, one required course (EV530) taught in the spring on Health, Wealth, Inequality and the Environment, and, if needed, a language class.

CU MI students may earn a degree in one of two programs:


Students will participate in a separate orientation session at the beginning of their term that will introduce students to each other, their advisor, and other faculty affiliated with the program. Orientation staff will review the program information, cover all general student orientation information, and offer an open question and answer session. Students will learn details on their partial tuition fellowships from the university, structure of the MI program, and how the MI program requirements align with their core program requirements. Students will also learn about the Peace Corps application process and how their research will be integrated into their degree program and Peace Corps Volunteer experience. Additional information sessions will be offered at key points in the program (e.g., prior to application deadlines) to effectively guide students and manage their expectations through the program.

Seminar Series

The MI program will offer a monthly seminar by professionals, former PCVs, faculty, and students conducting relevant activities.

Workshop Series

A workshop series will be hosted by the Office of Educational Partnerships and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.  The objective of the workshops will be to provide the MI students with the necessary skills for a successful Peace Corps deployment.  MI students will also participate in a K-12 education or community extension activity and develop/deliver a lesson in EV530.

Required Course

EV 530: Health, Wealth, Inequality and the Environment, examines how social inequality affects relationships of people to their environment and physical well-being. Students learn how social and political structures perpetuate conditions of injustice for low-income communities and communities of color. Students read sociological, epidemiological, public health, and environmental health literature, critique policies that affect health and environmental justice, and discuss global development programs including why some organizations succeed and others fail. Health and safety experts, public health experts, and Peace Corps volunteers provide seminars.


Students without foreign language proficiency will be required to take course(s) to bring their language skills to the level of completing two semesters of college-level foreign language. The students may take a foreign language course(s) at St. Lawrence University or SUNY Potsdam, both within 15-minutes of the Clarkson campus. Languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swahili. The Associated Colleges (Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton) agreement allows graduate and undergraduate students to enroll in one course each semester at an affiliated college as part of their Clarkson tuition. 

Sample of Other Relevant Courses at CU

  • CE534 Sustainable Development Engineering
  • EV530 Health, Wealth, Inequality and the Environment
  • EHS416 Principles of Toxicology and Epidemiology
  • EV535 Groundwater Hydrology and Geochemistry
  • EV536 Global Climate Change: Science, Engineering & Policy
  • BIO610 Ecological Statistics and Experimental Design
  • BIO525 Biological Systems and Environmental Change
  • BIO528 Conservation Biology
  • POL550 International Development
  • POL570 Environmental Policy
  • POL571 Energy Policy
  • POL572 Biofuel & Farm Policy
Dr. Tom Langen in Burkina