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CASNR launches new Peace Corps Master’s International program

image image The Peace Corps has announced that Texas Tech University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is their newest partner in its Master’s International program. The program is the first in Texas to allow Red Raiders to earn graduate degrees in agriculture and natural resources while serving abroad as Peace Corps volunteers.

“I can’t imagine a better program for broadening our students’ understanding of other countries and the breadth and complexity of afflictions faced by those who are less fortunate,” said Kent Hance, chancellor of Texas Tech University System.

Field Assignment. Master’s International students will enroll in degree programs in CASNR or Tech’s College of Education, combining their academic knowledge with a practical, international field assignment. More than 360 Texas Tech alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers since the organization’s creation in 1960.

According to Peace Corps officials, volunteers help farmers improve local diets and increase income through farming techniques consistent with environmental conservation. Among the organization’s agricultural initiatives are agroforestry, applied agriculture, farm management/agribusiness, and animal husbandry.

36-Hour Program. Peace Corps Master’s International students have the option of choosing courses at Tech under a general heading of “Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources,” and includes courses from agricultural and applied economics, agricultural education and communications, animal and food sciences, landscape architecture, plant and soil sciences, and natural resources management. It’s being offered as a 36-hour program, which includes six hours of credit for Peace Corps service.

Students will register for 12 hours during the regular semesters, and then take six hours during the summer, officials said. This allows students to complete their master’s degree course work before leaving and it will give the Peace Corps fully trained individuals.

Scholarships Available. “In order to assist students interested in this program, the college will offer $6,000 scholarships to help offset tuition and other costs associated with the student’s one year of coursework,” said Norman Hopper, CASNR’s Associate Dean for Academic and Student Programs.  

Tech students will receive six hours of credit for their Peace Corps service after completing the two-year program. Participants will have to return to Tech after their service to take part in a seminar course that lasts two weeks.

First-Hand Insight. Since 1987, Master’s International has expanded to include partnerships at more than 50 universities throughout the U.S. These graduate programs provide opportunities for volunteers to fill specialized assignment areas that require advanced education.

“Our students will have the best opportunity available for learning new languages and cultures while gaining first-hand insight into global development challenges,” said Jon Whitmore, president of Texas Tech.

‘Phenomenal Program’ The program will be managed by the university’s Office of International Affairs with Ambassador Tibor Nagy, vice provost for International Affairs, serving as coordinator. During his 25 years as a U.S. diplomat in Africa, Nagy said he consistently found two groups of people with uniformly positive views of America:

• Those who had contact with Peace Corps volunteers in their own countries; and
• Those who came to the U.S. to study.

“Peace Corps Master’s International,” Nagy said, “is a phenomenal program for preparing students to be even more effective Peace Corps volunteers while overseas and to be high performers in their selected professions once they return.”

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Tibor Nagy, vice provost for International Affairs, (806) 742-3667,

Editor’s Note. For more information, contact:
CASNR, Norman W. Hopper, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Programs, at, (806)742-2808
• Texas Tech Study Abroad; Sandra Crosier Program director, (806)742-3667
• Peace Corps’ Master’s International Program; Paul D. Coverdell, Peace Corps Headquarters, (202) 692-1812
• Peace Corps Web site is at 

Admission to the Master’s International requires students to apply both to the Peace Corps and to Texas Tech University.  Students must meet with the University Coordinator at the International Cultural Center before starting their application process.


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