Peace Corps Announces New Peace Corps Prep Program at Humboldt State University

The Peace Corps announced the launch of Peace Corps Prep, an undergraduate certificate program, today at Humboldt State University. Scheduled to launch this November, the program will combine targeted coursework with hands-on experience, building the competencies needed for students to become Peace Corps volunteers or other intercultural fieldworkers. HSU is one of 11 new university partnerships.

“Today’s students understand the immense challenges of our era and are energetic advocates for change,” Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn said. “Through the Peace Corps Prep program at Humboldt State University, students can develop the transferable skills necessary to influence change, advance global equity, and be an effective Peace Corps volunteer.”


Peace Corps Prep will be structured as an interdisciplinary certificate program housed in the Department of Geography, Environment & Spatial Analysis.

“Peace Corps Prep is an opportunity for 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 Humboldt State University on joining the Peace Corps family. We are thrilled to work together to spark students’ interest in Peace Corps service.”

In 2020, Humboldt State University ranked No. 16 among medium schools on the agency’s list of top Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges and universities. HSU has been a top school for over 10 years. Since the agency’s founding in 1961, around 880 alumni from HSU have served abroad as Peace Corps volunteers.

“Humboldt State University is honored to have been selected as a Peace Corps Prep campus,” said Matthew Derrick, professor of Geography and program coordinator for HSU’s Peace Corps Prep program who also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Estonia from 1999–2001. “Our selection is a recognition of our longstanding commitment to global engagement and our commitment to the international dimensions of social and environmental justice. We look forward to building an even stronger relationship with the Peace Corps.”

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 global evacuation of all Peace Corps volunteers in March 2020 due to COVID-19, more than 700 undergraduate students completed the Peace Corps Prep program in the 2020–21 academic year.

For additional information about the Peace Corps Prep program at Humboldt State University, contact Matthew Derrick, program leader in the Department of Geography, Environment & Spatial Analysis (GESA), at

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.

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