CRP is proud to have partnered with the Peace Corps to develop two programs that offer M.R.P. students an opportunity to combine a Cornell learning experience with a hands-on Peace Corps community-building experience. Students who take advantage of the CRP/Peace Corps collaboration graduate with unique planning skills and techniques that are highly sought by employers in the nonprofit, governmental, and private sectors.
The flexible structure of Cornell’s M.R.P. degree program perfectly complements a variety of Peace Corps experiences. M.R.P. students take core courses in competencies that provide them with the building blocks of planning. Students then work with their advisers to custom-design a program of study that matches their research interests, including courses from throughout the university in their degree programs. The capstone experience of the M.R.P. program is an exit project in which students incorporate their newly learned skills into a research paper, a professional report, or a thesis.
Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program
The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program (formerly known as Fellows/USA) offers Returning Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) the opportunity to integrate two years of graduate study with a funded summer placement. This provides an opportunity for RPCVs to continue their service to those in need while completing a program of academic study.
RPCVs spend their first year in the M.R.P. classroom completing core course requirements and augmenting their skills with relevant elective courses. This includes a coursework in research methods and project design which helps prepare students for their summer internship.
Over the summer, Fellows program participants receive staff support identifying and generating diverse summer internships in fields and locations of their choice. These internships typically provide stipends of $3,750 to be awarded on a 50-50 basis, combining Cornell and employer matching funds.
At the end of of their summer internship, students return to campus to complete their second and final year of coursework. Upon completion of the 60 required units of coursework and submission of their independent writing requirement, Fellows program participants are eligible to receive their M.R.P. professional degree.
Master's International Program
Master's International offers M.R.P. students who have an international focus the opportunity to integrate their academic experience with time in the field gaining a hands-on practical understanding of international development. Master's International has three parts:
One year of coursework at Cornell:
You spend your initial two semesters in the classroom completing core course requirements and augmenting your newly learned skills with relevant specialized courses in international studies and planning. This first year prepares you for the upcoming field placement. It also allows you time to develop a comfortable working relationship with your committee chair and to benefit from the wide and deep range of faculty experience in the international development field.
Twenty-seven-month Peace Corps placement:
These months are, in many ways, the most powerful component of Master's International. You have the chance to put classroom skills to use in a real world setting and see how those skills can transform communities. Regular contact with the committee chair is done via email, and you are welcome to visit Cornell. M.R.P. students can earn 6 credits for this Peace Corps field placement; it fulfills the program’s workshop requirement.
Final year of coursework and completion of the final exit project:
You return to Cornell to complete your additional coursework and work with your committee chair to integrate your field experience into a final exit project.
Ideally, prospective students should apply to the
M.R.P. program in the fall before the desired enrollment date first and then apply to the Peace Corps. Already-enrolled M.R.P. students may participate in Masters International if they make their decision during their first semester at Cornell.
More information about these opportunities are available from Director of Graduate Studies John Forester.