University of Michigan Among Peace Corps’ 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges & Universities

University also ranks No.4 among graduate schools


DALLAS – Today, the Peace Corps announced that the University of Michigan ranked No. 4 among large schools on the agency’s 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 60 Wolverines currently volunteering worldwide. The University of Michigan is also a top graduate school, ranking No. 4 with 15 alumni currently volunteering.

This is the third year that the University of Michigan has ranked among the top ten large schools. In 2016, the school ranked No. 6.

“Peace Corps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables college and university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills they developed in school to make an impact in communities around the world,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said. “Many college graduates view Peace Corps as a launching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with the cultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.”

Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 2,684 alumni from the University of Michigan have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers, placing the university No. 4 among the top five all-time producers of Peace Corps volunteers. Three Michigan schools rank as Top Colleges this year, earning the state the unique distinction of being among only 11 states and the District of Columbia with three or more ranked schools. In 2016, the state of Michigan also ranked No. 10 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers with 239 volunteers currently serving worldwide.

Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to a community overseas and make a lasting difference in the lives of others.

Jackson McCauley, a graduate of the University of Michigan and an Ann Arbor native, is currently serving in Ecuador as an education volunteer. He credits the study abroad program at U-M for giving him the tools and skills to serve in the Peace Corps.

“Aside from the theoretical work on international development and language, that formed parts of my two majors, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain for one year through a U-M program,” said McCauley. “It was well run, and I returned home fluent in Spanish and ready for more international experience.”

In Ecuador, McCauley works alongside nine other teachers at a local high school, teaching English to students between the ages of 14 and 18 years old.

“The idea is not to have my own class for two years, but rather to plan with the teachers individually and co-teach different classes,” said McCauley. “In this way, we get to implement new strategies and activities, improve the general level of English teaching, and reach the greatest number of students.”

For McCauley, a highlight in service has been building lifelong friendships with fellow volunteers and community members in Ecuador. After he completes his service next year, he hopes to continue his education and eventually teach political science at the university level.

This year’s rankings follow the launch of a refreshed brand platform that underscores the agency’s commitment to putting the user experience first and makes the Peace Corps more accessible to audiences through the platforms they already use. A simple and personal Peace Corps application process can be completed online in about one hour. Applicants can learn more about service opportunities by assignment area, country and departure date by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Below, find the top five schools in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. View the complete 2017 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving here.

Peace Corps Ecuador
The University of Michigan inspired Jackson McCauley to serve in Peace Corps Ecuador.
As an education volunteer, McCauley uses the skills he gained in a study abroad program at U-M
to train local teachers and improve the quality of education within his community.


Large Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

More than 15,000 undergraduates

1. University of Wisconsin–Madison 87
2. University of Washington 73
3. University of Minnesota 70
4. University of Michigan 60
5. University of Florida 58

Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1. American University 54
2. Western Washington University 48
3. The George Washington University 45
4. The College of William & Mary 36
5. Humboldt State University 33

Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Less than 5,000 undergraduates

1. Denison University 16
2. University of Mary Washington 13
2. University of Puget Sound 13
4. St. Mary's College of Maryland 12
4. Whitworth University 12
4. Hobart and William Smith Colleges 12

Graduate Schools – Total Volunteers:

1. American University 20
1. Tulane University 20
3. University of South Florida 18
4. University of Michigan 15
4. Boston University 15

Historical, Since 1961 – Total Volunteers:

1. University of California, Berkeley 3,640
2. University of Wisconsin–Madison 3,239
3. University of Washington 2,981
4. University of Michigan 2,684
5. University of Colorado Boulder 2,468

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2016 data as of September 30, 2016, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.


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, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long 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 225,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.