Peace Corps and its Master's International Program

UAB has recently expanded an existing partnership with the Peace Corps and its Master's International Program (MIP). UAB's newest MIP is housed in the School of Education (SOE). Through this MIP, students combine their stateside master's program with two years overseas teaching English or training English teachers.

MIP students pursue a Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). They complete 24 semester credit hours (8 courses) at UAB during the academic year immediately preceding their entry to the Peace Corps. They finish their MAEd/ESL degree overseas by taking 9 credit hours (3 courses) and doing projects that enhance their responsibilities as Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs). Upon completing their Peace Corps service, they receive their degree from UAB without having to return to Birmingham.

To learn more about the Peace Corps and its MIP partnership with the SOE, you should contact Dr. Susan Spezzini (205-934-8357, As Associate Professor of ESL Teacher Education and Program Director in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Spezzini directs the SOE's MIP. She served as a PCV in Paraguay ('76-79).

You may also wish to speak with two other returned PCVs associated with UAB's MAEd/ESL program—Dr. Sue Seay (205-975-6710, ) and Dr. Jennifer Greer (205-996-6355, ). Dr. Seay is Assistant Professor of ESL Teacher Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She served as a PCV in Antigua ('72-74) and is co-founder of the Greater Birmingham Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (GBRPCV). Dr. Greer graduated from UAB's MAEd/ESL program and teaches academic writing in UAB's Graduate School. She served as a PCV in Costa Rica ('88-90) and Peace Corps staff in Panama ('90-91) and is a member of the GBRPCV. For additional information about the Peace Corps and its Master's International Program, call 855-855-1961 x1812.

Prospective MIP students are encouraged to attend events for prospective PCVs and their families. Such events are organized by the GBRPCV  and co-hosted by UAB's School of Public Health and its Master's International Program  and by the School of Nursing and its Peace Corps Fellows Program. These GBRPCV events provide an excellent opportunity to meet former and prospective PCVs and also to make contact with regional Peace Corps recruiters.

If you are interested in becoming an MIP student, you must submit two applications—the first to UAB's Graduate School for admission to the MAEd/ESL program and the second to the Peace Corps for teaching English overseas as a PCV. You are also invited to submit an application to UAB's English Language Institute (ELI) for a competitive graduate assistantship through which you will be assisting ELI instructors and students 6 hours a week for 30 weeks. If you are selected as a graduate assistant and are not an Alabama resident, you will receive an out-of-state tuition waiver covering over 50% of your tuition.

Application Process (for Fall admission as MIP students)
May 15th – Submit degree-seeking application to UAB (July 1st is absolute deadline)
and Submit application to UAB's ELI for competitive graduate assistantship
Aug 20th – Submit application to Peace Corps (recommended deadline)

Fall Semester (mid August to early December)
EESL 610 Second Language Acquisition (professional learning communities- evenings)
EESL 617 Teaching English in a Global Context (fully online)
EESL 647 Instruction & Assessment: Reading/Writing (face-to-face evenings alternating online)
Co-teaching the English Conversation Classes in the SOE's Lab School
Competitive graduate assistantship in UAB's English Language Institute (ELI) with out-of-state tuition waiver

Spring Semester (early January to late April)
EESL 625 Phonology for ESL Teachers (six Saturdays)
EESL 637 Methods Teaching English as International Language (face-to-face weekly evenings)
EESL 657 Instruction and Assessment: Listening/Speaking (mainly online with some face-to-face)
Administrative internship, field trips, and visits to other IEPs
Competitive graduate assistantship in UAB's ELI with out-of-state tuition waiver

Summer Term (early May to late June)
EESL 615 Grammar for ESL Teachers (one-week daytime institute)
EESL 627 Teaching Adult Language Learners (fully online)
Seminars to prepare for teaching overseas (two Saturdays)
Comprehensive Examination (Saturday morning)

Overseas: Teaching English as a PCV (two years)
EESL 687 Practicum Seminar
EESL 697 ESL Practicum
EHS 692 Field Studies

Benefits of Peace Corps & Master's International
First career-related job
Substantive professional experience
Immediate use of MA skills
Cross-cultural, language, and technical training
Full medical/dental coverage
Overseas living allowance
Travel to and from the country of service
Vacation time
Student loan assistance
Global, cultural, and language competencies for resume
Transition funds after service with job search support
Advantages when seeking federal employment
No fee to participate

Peace Corps: Universities and Programs
In 1987, Peace Corps initiated the Master's International Program (MIP). UAB was among the first group of schools of public health to participate in the program. This MIP was expanded in 2013 to also include the School of Education. UAB is the only university in Alabama that partners with the Peace Corps by hosting the MIP.

Peace Corps' Master's International Program at UAB
Greater Birmingham Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (GBRPCV)
UAB School of Public Health - Peace Corps Master's International Program

Last updated: 6/01/2013