USF World News

2021 Peace Corps Prep Rankings Released

USF is #1 Peace Corps Prep Partner in Florida and #2 in the Nation  

Sept. 30, 2021 (Washington, D.C.) – The Peace Corps announced today that the University of South Florida (USF) ranked No. 2 among schools on the agency’s list of top Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing partners in 2021. USF issued 58 Peace Corps Prep certificates to the graduating class of 2021. There were 250 students enrolled in USF’s Peace Corps Prep program during the 2020–21 academic year.  

“At this pivotal time in our history, young people have a crucial role to play,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn. “Through the Peace Corps Prep program, these schools have equipped students with the skills and understanding necessary to help communities near and far recover from the multidimensional and global shocks of the pandemic.”

Established in 2007, Peace Corps Prep aims to meet the demand for Peace Corps volunteers with broad and relevant areas of expertise and to support schools’ efforts to provide substantive, globally focused experiences for their students. Through the program, students learn about leadership, intercultural competencies, foreign language, and a professional sector of their choice like education, health, or the environment. While having a Peace Corps Prep certificate does not guarantee acceptance into the international service agency, enrolling in the program helps them be more competitive during the selection process.

Peace Corps works with more than 150 partner institutions nationwide to deliver programming that underscores a commitment to global citizenship, intercultural competencies and a sense of service among students. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing a global evacuation of Peace Corps volunteers, more than 700 undergraduate students completed the Peace Corps Prep program in the 2020–21 academic year. 

“Peace Corps Prep is an opportunity for all undergraduate students to develop competencies that will fortify their aspirations to serve abroad,” said La’Teashia Sykes, Peace Corps director of University Programs. “Congratulations to the top ten Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing schools and a special thanks to all of our partner institutions for cultivating students’ interest in Peace Corps service.”

More than 500 graduates of the University of South Florida have served with the Peace Corps, and the university is consistently recognized as a top volunteer-producing college for the Peace Corps. The university’s mission includes a deep commitment to addressing the greatest challenges facing communities locally, nationally, and across the world through impactful research and a dedication to student learning that prioritizes intercultural awareness and global literacy. The Peace Corps Prep program aligns with the strategic goals of the university and its efforts to provide students with high-quality global experiences.

“We are thrilled to be recognized among the top 10 Peace Corps Prep certificate-issuing institutions in the nation. At USF, the Peace Corps Prep program is aligned with the Global Citizens Project, a university-wide initiative aimed at preparing our undergraduates to succeed in today's interconnected world. Global citizenship is fundamental to academic and campus life at USF,” said Kiki Caruson, Ph.D., interim vice president of USF World at the University of South Florida.

Top Ten 2020–2021 Peace Corps Prep Certificate-Issuing Partners 
Rankings Certificates Issued
1. Virginia Commonwealth University 114
2. University of South Florida 58
3. University of Florida 37
4. Mercer University 33
5. Monmouth University 26
6. University of California Education Abroad Program 21
7. Elon University 20
8. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor 19
9. Walsh University 18
10. Pacific Lutheran University 14

For more information about the Peace Corps Prep program at the University of South Florida, contact Lauren Strange at or (813) 974-6148.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a lifelong commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.