Peace Corps

Peace Corps or Grad School? Why not both!
Bard CEP graduates work in sustainable development and international environmental policy across the world-- on food security, water and sanitation, protected area management and environmental education, and climate adaptation and clean energy. Many of these CEP alums gained critical professional experience through Peace Corps service. Bard CEP offers the opportunity to directly integrate the Peace Corps into the M.S. degree, along with dedicated financial support for Peace Corps volunteers and returned volunteers, through the Coverdell Fellows progam.

Assignments for past  Bard Peace Corps students have included:

• Coastal-resource management
• Protected-areas management
• Ecotourism and economic development
• Agroforestry
• Biodiversity conservation
• Sustainable development
• Environmental education

International Service Option

Students interested in international service through the Peace Corps begin this option by completing the first-year curriculum from one of the Bard CEP degree programs. They then meet with their Bard CEP academic adviser in the spring of their first year to outline a communication plan for the 27-month period of service, and commence their Peace Corps service in the summer or fall. Upon starting their assignment, students work with their adviser to develop a Master’s Project topic and plan the necessary field research. Upon completion of their service, students return for the second year of course work at Bard and complete the Master’s Project. 

Sample Schedule

Year 1: First-year courses in chosen M.S. degree
Years 2 and 3: Peace Corps (27 months): Academic requirements include one blog post per semester and coordination with Bard CEP
Year 4: Finish Peace Corps assignment and return home. Enroll in second year of M.S. program and complete the degree requirements.
Internship: International Service students receive 10 internship credits for their time overseas, and are eligible for a minimum Bard CEP fellowship of $10,500 in the second year; a signed copy of the Description of Service is required to guarantee this fellowship.

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program  

Fellows students begin the program after having fully completed a Peace Corps assignment. Fellows students enroll in either of the M.S. degree programs and continue through the program as a normal M.S. student. The M.S. sequence is a year of course work, followed by a four-to six-month internship, and a final semester at Bard working on the Master’s Project and remaining course requirements. The only specific Fellows requirement is that the student, in practicing the third goal of Peace Corps, carries out his or her internship in an underserved U.S. community OR completes a service project an underserved U.S. community in his or her first year of the CEP program. Fellows enjoy the full benefits of Bard’s unique curricular structure, while receiving academic credit and financial assistance. 

Fellows students receive a minimum Bard CEP fellowship in the first year worth 33 percent of tuition, receive 10 credits for their Peace Corps service while benefiting from the internship component of the degree program, and are eligible for a minimum Bard CEP fellowship of $10,500 in the second year; a signed copy of the Description of Service is required to guarantee these fellowships.