UCSB Places in Top 10 on Peace Corps’ Top Colleges

Ranks No. 3 Among California Schools, No. 10 Nationally

The annual list recognizes the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities for small, medium, large and graduate institutions. There are currently 76 undergraduate alumni from UCSB serving overseas.

“Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “As a result of the top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well prepared for the challenge of international service. They become leaders in their host communities and carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return home.”

UCSB moves up six places from its No. 16 national ranking the previous year. This marks the first time in nine years that UCSB has ranked in the top 10 in Peace Corps’ ranking of large universities, and the 11th straight year that it has appeared in the top 25. Historically, UCSB has produced 1,595 Peace Corps volunteers, making it the 11th all-time top-producing university.

“Peace Corps announces Top Colleges annually to recognize the schools that contribute the most alumni who are making a difference overseas through volunteer service,” said Peace Corps West Coast Regional Manager Janet Allen. “We thank and congratulate the University of California, Santa Barbara, as one of the 23 universities from the West Coast producing globally-minded leaders who turn idealism into action as Peace Corps volunteers. It’s wonderful to see UCSB move up six spots this year.”

Collectively, the University of California (UC) system produced 489 currently-serving volunteers. In total, six UC campuses are ranked on the list of top 25 large universities, composing all top five volunteer-producing schools in California. The state’s top-producing colleges are ranked as follows:

Currently, more than 8,000 volunteers are working with communities in 76 host countries on projects related to agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development.

During Peace Corps service, college graduates make a difference in communities overseas. Volunteers return home as global citizens with cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that position them for advanced education and professional opportunities in today’s global job market. Ninety percent of volunteer positions require a bachelor’s degree. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply for service one year in advance of their target departure date. The next application deadline is February 28, 2013.

The Peace Corps ranks Top Colleges annually according to the size of the student body. Small schools have less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates. Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2012 data as of September 30, 2012 as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

The following are the top five colleges and universities in each undergraduate category and the number of undergraduate alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers:


1. University of Washington 107

1. University of Florida 107

3. University of Wisconsin-Madison 103

4. University of Colorado Boulder 93

4. University of Michigan 93


1. Western Washington University 73

2. American University 55

3. The George Washington University 53

4. Cornell University 40

5. The University of Vermont 37


1. Gonzaga University 24

2. St. Olaf College 22

3. University of Mary Washington 21

4. Oberlin College & Conservatory 20

5. Seattle University 19

Click here to download a full list of the Peace Corps 2013 Top Colleges.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.


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