Pitt Rises in Peace Corps’ Ranking of Schools Producing Volunteers

Issue Date: 
January 22, 2008

The University of Pittsburgh moved up two places on the Peace Corps’ annual list of large schools nationwide producing Peace Corps volunteers. Pitt has 54 alumni currently serving as volunteers, making it number 13 among large universities across the country. It also ranked first among large schools in Pennsylvania, for the second straight year. Since the Peace Corps’ inception, 564 Pitt alumni have joined its ranks.

Pitt placed ahead of such other institutions of higher learning as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University, and the University of California at Los Angeles in this category.

In the Peace Corps ranking of graduate schools, Pitt was ranked number 10 for the second straight year, with 11 alumni with advanced degrees currently serving as volunteers.

“The Peace Corps provides a unique opportunity for graduates to use their education and skills, and apply them in the real world,” said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. “There are 1,192 institutions of higher learning represented by volunteers serving in 74 countries overseas,” he added, “and these volunteers can be proud of the contributions they are making in the lives of others.”

Schools are ranked according to the size of the student body. Small schools are those with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-size schools have between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools are those with more than 15,000 undergraduates.

Although it is not a requirement for service, the majority of individuals who have volunteered in the Peace Corps since its founding in 1961 have been college graduates. Currently, 95 percent of the volunteers serving the 27-month commitment have at least an undergraduate degree.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad. It has more than 8,000 volunteers overseas. To view the entire Peace Corps Top Colleges 2008 list, visit www.peacecorps.gov/news/resources/stats/pdf/schools2008.pdf.