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Peace Corps Prep Program

Program Curriculum

The Peace Corps Prep Program at Fontbonne University is the only prep program in the St. Louis area, and we’re thrilled to offer our students the support and tools needed to prepare for such a valuable commitment to global service.

At Fontbonne University, we believe that service to the world requires critical thinking and equitable inclusion. Since 1923, we have been committed to educating students as leaders who “think critically, act ethically and serve responsibly.” These ideals align with those of the Peace Corps, a government agency that since 1961 has immersed Americans into communities around the world, tackling long-term local and global challenges.

Participation in the Peace Corps Prep program does not guarantee your admission to the Peace Corps after graduation, but it helps to demonstrate to the Peace Corps that you have the cultural sensitivity, leadership experience, and key knowledge that would make you successful, whether in the Peace Corps or in other global initiatives.

Here, you’ll find information about the program, its requirements and benefits. If you have questions, please reach out! We look forward to working with you.

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Benefits of the Prep Program

  • Earn experience and training in a specific sector —education, health, environment, agriculture, youth in development, or community economic development — based on your interests and goals.
  • Combine academic coursework with practical field experience for a unique educational perspective.
  • Develop your leadership and career preparedness
  • Explore opportunities for service both nationally and internationally.
  • Have priority in application to international service trips.
  • Complete sector-specific site work collaboratively, depending on student interest and placement.

Benefits of Peace Corps Service

  • See the world. Serve in a country doing work that aligns with your specific interests.
  • Receive a stipend — You’ll be able to cover housing, food, travel, and incidentals within the community in which you work.
  • Enjoy vacation time — You’ll receive two days of vacation for each month of work.
  • Rest easy — You’ll have medical and dental care that covers all related expenses during service.
  • Qualify for Student Loan Assistance — Because volunteer service is considered “qualifying employment,” you may be eligible for student loan deferment or forgiveness.

Benefits After Peace Corps Service

  • Receive transition funds — A readjustment allowance will help you move back to life in the states.
  • Take advantage of graduate school benefits — Many grad schools recognize the value of your service experience.
  • Wield your professional skills — The skills you learned during your service will give you a leg up in the job market.
  • Work in the federal government — Returned Peace Corps volunteers receive non-competitive eligibility (NCE) for jobs in the federal government.
  • Transition your skills — The Peace Corps offers job search services to help you use your skills to find employment.

Program Details

The Peace Corps Prep program will prepare you for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service. To accomplish this, you’ll build four core competencies through interrelated coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development support. These four competencies are the following:

  1. Training and experience in a work sector
  2. Intercultural competence
  3. Professional and leadership development
  4. Foreign language skills (for those interested in serving in French- or Spanish-speaking countries)

Students in the Peace Corps Prep Program will work with the program coordinator to choose their service sector and design a plan for completing requirements.


Peace Corps Volunteers serve within six different sectors. Participation in the program requires students to complete at least three courses and 50 hours of related experience in their chosen service sector.

Download our Student Guide to learn more about program requirements by sector.


All undergraduate students in good standing are welcome to apply to the Peace Corps Prep Program.


Ready to apply? We look forward to helping you along the way! Meet with Jesse McClanahan Peace Corps Prep Coordinator, to map out your application.


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