Portland State University among Peace Corps’ 2015 top volunteer-producing graduate schools
Author: Peace Corps
Posted: February 18, 2015

WASHINGTON, February 18, 2015– The Peace Corps today announced its 2015 rankings of the top volunteer-producing Graduate Schools across the country. This year, Portland State University ranked No. 4, with 13 alumni currently volunteering worldwide.

“The Peace Corps provides an indispensable opportunity for young people out of college to gain work experience, learn a foreign language, and develop intercultural skills,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “International service helps volunteers refine qualities that can be difficult to measure, but are critical to long-term success, all while impacting the lives of people around the world.” 

Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961, including 734 alumni from PSU.

“Every year the Peace Corps unveils the upper echelon of colleges and universities that have distinguished themselves at the top of its volunteer producing schools,” said Peace Corps West Coast Regional Manager Erin Carlson. “We take enormous pride in recognizing the graduate school at Portland State University as one of the 23 universities from the West Coast producing dedicated individuals who personify the Peace Corps mission of promoting world peace and friendship. We congratulate Portland State University for joining the list of top schools this year.”

This year’s rankings follow historic reforms to Peace Corps’ application and selection process, led by Hessler-Radelet, that resulted in a 22-year application high for the agency in 2014. Applicants will now find a simplified, more personal application process, and can learn more by reaching out to the West Coast regional recruitment office by clicking here.

Below find the top five colleges and universities in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. View the complete 2015 rankings of the top 25 schools in each undergraduate category here.

Large Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
More than 15,000 undergraduates

1. University of Washington (72)
2. University of Wisconsin–Madison (69)
3. University of Florida (66)
4. The Ohio State University (64)
5. University of Minnesota Twin Cities (63)

Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1. Western Washington University (47)
2. American University (41)
3. George Washington University (36)
3. University of Virginia (36)
5. Cornell University (33) 

Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:
Less than 5,000 undergraduates

1. Gonzaga University (20)
2. Carleton College (17)
3. Middlebury College (16)
3. University of Puget Sound (16)
5. Macalester College (15)

Graduate Schools – Total Volunteers:

1. University of Denver (18)

1. Tulane University (18)
3. University of Minnesota Twin Cities (14)
4. Portland State University (13)
5. University of Michigan (12)
5. Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (12)

Historical, Since 1961 – Total Volunteers:

1. University of California, Berkeley (3,598)
2. University of Wisconsin–Madison (3,145)
3. University of Washington (2,888)
4. University of Michigan (2,596)
5. University of Colorado Boulder (2,411)

 *Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2014 data as of September 30, 2014, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. See the 2014 Top Colleges and Universities here. 

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.