The Peace Corps Prep program prepares undergraduates for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service. Students admitted to the program build four core competencies through interrelated coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development support.
Four Core Competencies
3 courses + 50 hours related experience
- Complete three courses that align with one of the following specific work sectors: Education, Health, Environment, Agriculture, Youth in Development, and Community Economic Development.
- Accumulate 50 hours of related field experience through work or volunteer activities in the same sector
- View a full description of specific work sector requirements.
Requirements Vary by Region of Interest
Most students must hone their capacity to interact professionally using a non-English language. Minimum course requirements vary by desired placement region.
- Latin America: Students indicating an intention to serve in Spanish-speaking countries must build strong intermediate proficiency, having completed two 200-level courses or learned Spanish through another medium.
- West Africa: Students indicating an intention to serve in French-speaking African countries must build proficiency in French or another Romance language, having completed one 200-level course or learned the language through another medium.
- Everywhere else: Students indicating an intention to serve anywhere else do not have explicit language requirements to complete the Program, but they should still be encouraged to study a foreign language.
Note: If you are a strong native speaker and hope to serve in a country that speaks your same language, you can skip this requirement!
3 Approved Courses or 1-2 courses + substantive intercultural experience
Engaging thoughtfully and fluidly across cultures begins with one’s own self-awareness. With this learning objective, you will deepen your cultural agility through a mix of three introspective courses in which you learn about others while reflecting upon your own self in relation to others. The goal is for you to build your capacity to shift perspective and behavior around relevant cultural differences. Some example courses:
You'll take at least one of these core courses:
- ANTH 1003
- ANTH 2051
- INTL 3001
- SOCL 3401
- SOCL 4551
And choose two additional electives from the above list or these below:
- AAAS 2000
- ANTH 2050
- HIST 2023
- HIST 4064
- ANTH 3060
- WGS 2500
- WGS 2900
Completing a longer experience abroad, such as studying or volunteering abroad, could not only fulfill the intercultural competence requirement, but it is also an opportunity to complete one’s sector courses if applicable. Students wishing to study abroad should meet with Dr. Schafer to discuss what courses they plan to take, how to add this to their application, and if any additional assignments should be done upon completion of the study abroad experience, specifically for Peace Corps Prep.
- For a comprehensive list of LSU’s study abroad opportunities, please geaux to LSU’s Academic Programs Abroad website. This site contains a comprehensive list of LSU faculty-led study abroad opportunities, the national and international institutions students can exchange to, the subjects supported at these institutions, and the financial aid available to students.
- The Academic Programs Abroad office is housed in 103 Hatcher Hall, and it is directed by Dr. Harald Leder, who is always hoping to get more students studying abroad.
Prolonged intercultural experiences—such as studying or volunteering abroad, supporting new immigrants or refugees acculturate to the United States, or volunteering in diverse schools—would also strengthen your Peace Corps candidacy significantly.
Resume and Interview Support + Leadership Experience
Peace Corps service and similar international development work opportunities are highly professional and selective. PC Prep requires three specific activities that will strengthen your candidacy for the Peace Corps (or any other professional endeavor):
- Have your resume critiqued by someone in the Olinde Career Center.
- Attend a workshop or class on interview skills at the Olinde Career Center.
- Develop at least one significant leadership experience and be prepared to discuss it thoughtfully. For example, organizing a campus event, leading a work or volunteer project, or serving on the executive board of a student organization.
- Complete the LSU’s Leadership Development minor or complete the initial 4-course sequence
of the Leadership development minor.
- The 4-course sequence consists of HRE 2723, 3723, 4723, and 4808. The minor includes and additional 6 credit hours of electives.
The courses and extracurricular programs listed above are recommended and are not the comprehensive list of courses identified for each sector. If a course you are interested in is not listed above, please refer to LSU’s Peace Corps Preparatory website for a comprehensive list of courses. If the course is still not listed but you believe it would be beneficial to your Peace Corps Preparatory experience, please contact Dr. Schafer and he will verify the course and its association with your chosen sector. Additionally, if you are seeking related field experience with a program not listed above, please let Dr. Schafer know so the program can be verified and the program can be added to your application.
Completing the Peace Corps Prep Program
- Submit a completed Exit Checklist to the Peace Corps Prep Program Advisor when you have completed all program requirements.
- Note: Peace Corps Prep students who apply for Peace Corps service should scan and attach the signed Exit Checklist to their Peace Corps application with the name “PC Prep Checklist.” If you apply to Peace Corps before completing a requirement, you should still submit a signed Exit Checklist - write: “[Activity]: planned [month/year]” for any incomplete requirement.