Peace Corps Prep, Academics | Earlham College
COVID-19 news, plans and updates | READ MORE
Skip to Content

Overview   |   Training & Experience   |   Foreign Language   |   Intercultural   |   Leadership Development   |   Contact

North -lauren -pcp

The Peace Corps Prep program at Earlham College will prepare you for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service.

To accomplish this, as you work through your Earlham graduation requirements, you’ll build four core competencies through interrelated coursework, hands-on experience, and professional development support. These four competencies are the following:

This website explains each of these requirements in detail, so you can map out your Peace Corps Prep course of study. Also refer to this website when completing your PC Prep application, where you’ll need to document how you plan to fulfill each requirement. This website aligns point-by-point with each section of the application!

Training and Experience in a Specific Work Sector

Leveraging concrete knowledge and skills is central to on-the-ground international development work. Through Earlham’s PC Prep program, you will begin to build a professional specialty, which should serve your career well whether or not you become a Peace Corps Volunteer.

For PC Prep, you need to complete at least three courses that align with a specific work sector (they can but do not need to come from your academic major or minor). You also must accumulate a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer or work experience in that same sector, preferably in a teaching or outreach capacity.

If you intend to apply to the Peace Corps, the best way to assure that you will be a strong candidate is to explore Peace Corps’ openings and identify the type of assignments in which you’d like to serve, then review the positions’ required and desired qualifications and build them up accordingly. In the process, you should fulfill these PC Prep experiential requirements!

There are six sectors in which Peace Corps Volunteers serve:

Choose one sector to focus on then complete at least three courses plus 50 hours of related experience in that sector. Note: Actual Peace Corps assignments are based on local needs, and thus may or may not align seamlessly with your qualifications. Flexibility is central to the Peace Corps experience!

PCV-Arthur -Charfauros

Photo courtesy of Peace Corps

Foreign Language Skills

Working across cultures often entails verbal and nonverbal languages distinct from your own. Building foreign language skills is thus a second key component of the PC Prep curriculum.

Where would you like to serve?

PC Prep minimum course requirements align with those needed by applicants to the Peace Corps itself, which vary by linguistic region.

Language -2-pcp

  • Latin America: Individuals wanting to serve in Spanish-speaking countries must apply with strong intermediate proficiency. This typically means completing two 200-level courses.
  • West Africa: Individuals wanting to serve in French-speaking African countries should be proficient in French (or, in some cases, any Romance Language), usually through one 200-level course.
  • Everywhere else: The Peace Corps has no explicit language requirements for individuals applying to serve in most other countries. However, you will still likely learn and utilize another language during service, so it is only helpful to have taken at least one foreign language class.

Note: If you are a strong native speaker and hope to serve in a country that speaks your same language, you can skip this requirement!

Intercultural Competence

Engaging thoughtfully and fluidly across cultures begins with one’s own self awareness. With this learning objective, you will deepen your cultural agility through a mix of three introspective courses in which you learn about others while reflecting upon your own self in relation to others. The goal is for you to build your capacity to shift perspective and behavior around relevant cultural differences.

Inter -comp -pcp

Professional and Leadership Development

Peace Corps service and similar international development work opportunities are highly professional and selective. PC Prep requires three specific activities that will strengthen your candidacy for the Peace Corps (or any other professional endeavor):

  1. Have your resume critiqued by someone in the Center for Career and Community Engagement.
  2. Attend a workshop or class on interview skills at the Center for Career and Community Engagement.
  3. Develop at least one significant leadership experience and be prepared to discuss it thoughtfully. For example, organizing a campus event, leading a work or volunteer project, or serving on the executive board of a student organization.

For example, serving as a Co-Convener of any one of Earlham’s 70 Student Clubs, serving on Earlham Student Government, leadership in Earlham College Model United Nations, serving as a teaching assistant on an Outdoor Education program.

You will be able to track these experiences with your adviser and the Director of Peace Corps Prep in AdviseStream.

Pld -pcp


Jennifer Seely

Associate Professor of Politics

Campus Mail
Drawer 63



233 Landrum Bolling Center


Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.