Thinking about serving in the Peace Corps after you graduate? Hoping to work in international development? Interested in community service and intercultural understanding? Consider earning Cal Poly Humboldt's Peace Corps Prep Certificate!

The Peace Corps Prep Certificate program is an official partnership between the Peace Corps and Cal Poly Humboldt. As a Peace Corps Prep student, you will gain specialized training and experience, foreign language skills, intercultural competence, and leadership skills, preparing you for international service opportunities. Undergraduates from any major are encouraged to apply!  You may not need to take any additional courses to earn the Peace Corps Certificate, because courses that you have taken or are already planning to take may satisfy all the requirements. 


What is the Peace Corps?

Changing lives the world over.

The Peace Corps is a service opportunity for motivated changemakers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation.

The Peace Corps Mission

To promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Learn more about Peace Corps volunteer opportunities


What is the Peace Corps Prep Certificate?

Peace Corps Prep is a certificate program for undergraduates that centers on one empowering question: How can you prepare yourself to be the best Peace Corps Volunteer you can be?

There is no one right answer to that question, but the Peace Corps has identified four core competencies that are critical to the intercultural fieldwork Peace Corps Volunteers do:

  1. Sector-specific skills
  2. Foreign language proficiency
  3. Intercultural competence
  4. Professional savvy and leadership


The Peace Corps Prep Certificate Program

The Peace Corps Prep Certificate program creates frameworks for you to build these four competencies, integrating coursework with hands-on experience and professional development.

Upon completion of the program, you will receive a certificate from the Peace Corps—and a competitive edge when applying for Peace Corps service.

The Peace Corps Prep Certificate corresponds with the Peace Corps’ new application process, which lets you choose where you want to go and what you want to do. You can first explore and discover the Peace Corps opportunities that excite you, and what skills you will need to be a competitive applicant for those positions.

Your academic plan may already have you on a path to earn the Peace Corps Prep Certificate or you can then shape your curriculum around these requirements!

Please note: Receiving a Peace Corps Prep Certificate does not guarantee acceptance into the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps Prep Step-by-Step Video

Download the Peace Corps Prep Certificate Student Handbook and Application

Contact our Peace Corps Representative: Kerry Carmichael (he/him), Senior Recruiter,


Peace Corps Work Sectors


Lead grassroots efforts to fight hunger in a changing world. Agricultural Volunteers work with small-scale farmers and families to increase food security and production and adapt to climate change while promoting environmental conservation practices. They introduce farmers to techniques that prevent soil erosion, reduce the use of harmful pesticides, and replenish the soil. They work alongside farmers on integrated projects that often combine vegetable gardening, livestock management, agroforestry, and nutrition education. 

More about the Agriculture sector.

Community Economic Development

Harness 21st-century tools to help communities lift themselves. Volunteers work with development banks, nongovernmental organizations, and municipalities to strengthen infrastructure and encourage economic opportunities in communities. They frequently teach in classroom settings and work with entrepreneurs and business owners to develop and market their products. Some Volunteers also teach basic computer skills and help communities take advantage of technologies such as e-commerce, distance learning, and more. 

More about Community Economic Development.


Teach lessons that last a lifetime. Education is the Peace Corp’s largest program area. Volunteers play an important role in creating links among schools, parents, and communities by working in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools as math, science, conversational English, and resource teachers or as early grade reading and literacy teacher trainers. Volunteers also develop libraries and technology resource centers. 

More about Education.


Help forge a global movement to protect our planet. Volunteers lead grassroots efforts in their communities to protect the environment and strengthen understanding of environmental issues. They teach environmental awareness in elementary and secondary schools and to youth groups and community organizations, empowering communities to make their own decisions about how to protect and conserve the local environment. Volunteers also address environmental degradation by promoting sustainable use of natural resources.

More about Environment.


Serve on the front lines of global health. Health Volunteers work within their communities to promote important topics such as nutrition, maternal and child health, basic hygiene, and water sanitation. Volunteers also work in HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs to train youth as peer educators, develop appropriate education strategies, provide support to children orphaned by the pandemic, and create programs that provide emotional and financial support to families and communities affected by the disease.

More about Health.

Youth in Development

Empower the next generation of changemakers. Volunteers work with youth in communities on projects that promote engagement and active citizenship, including gender awareness, employability, health and HIV/AIDS education, environmental awareness, sporting programs, and info technology.

More about Youth in Development.


How To Get Started

  1. Attend an information session
  2. Meet with the Peace Corps Prep Certificate Advisor, Mateo Dean
  3. Complete the Peace Corps Prep Certificate Application
  4. Complete coursework and other requirements
  5. Complete the exit checklist
  6. Receive your official certificate from the Peace Corps!


Information Sessions and Events

The Peace Corps Prep Certificate Program is open to all undergraduate students in good standing. The program integrates coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development opportunities to prepare students for international development fieldwork and service in the Peace Corps upon graduation.

Upon completion, students will receive a certificate from the Peace Corps. While students are encouraged to apply for Peace Corps service, they are not obligated to serve nor guaranteed acceptance.

In addition to learning more about the Peace Corps, the Peace Corps Prep Certificate Program, and the benefits of both, you’ll have an opportunity to meet with a Peace Corps recruiter and program advisors. Questions? Contact Mateo Dean.