Master's International Program in Fisheries and Mariculture with the Peace Corps
Point of Contact
Dr. Jennifer Pollack
Fisheries and Mariculture Program Coordinator/
MI Program Coordinator
Founded: August 2010
Master's International (MI) is a joint program between the Peace Corps and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC). Students in this program participate in Peace Corps volunteer service while earning a Master of Science in Fisheries and Mariculture. Students first apply and are accepted to TAMUCC and then apply to the Peace Corps to participate in the MI program. The M.S. in Fisheries and Mariculture comprises a total of 36 semester hours of coursework: 14 hours of core courses and 22 hours in a specific emphasis area (fisheries or mariculture). A total of 8 hours of research or internship credit are earned during Peace Corps service, during which project updates are submitted from the field. At the onset of their program, each student develops an appropriate Degree Plan with their graduate committee in order to customize their curriculum.
Students complete their required coursework during two semesters prior to Peace Corps service and one semester following Peace Corps service. After their service, students return to campus and enroll in Thesis or Professional Paper Submission, Graduate Defense Seminar, and final electives or research hours. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will adapt to the needs of students who are unable to complete their Peace Corps service.
Persons seeking admission to the Fisheries and Mariculture Program should apply through the University Office of Graduate Studies and Research. In addition to the TAMUCC Graduate Studies admission requirements, include a letter of intent explaining educational and career goals, three letters of evaluation from people familiar with their potential for graduate studies, transcripts of all previous undergraduate/ graduate work, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores that are not more than 5 years old. Applicants must indicate the TAMUCC faculty members whom they have contacted concerning mentorship prior to application submission. Although most faculty members in the Department of Life Sciences can mentor a FAMA student, the FAMA coordinator can provide a current list of faculty actively involved in the FAMA program and a description of their research. Additional requirements apply for international students, including TOEFL scores from ETS taken within the last two years for students from countries where English is not the native language, and a course by course foreign transcript evaluation through an approved service. A campus visit including personal interviews with prospective faculty mentors is highly recommended.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is the MI Program?
Master's International (MI) is a joint program between the Peace Corps and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC). The program involves taking a year (2 long semesters) of coursework in the Master of Science in Fisheries and Mariculture program at TAMUCC, serving for 27 months overseas within the Peace Corps, and then returning to TAMUCC to take a final 9 semester credit hours of coursework.
How does the MI Program fit into my Degree Plan?
During the 27 months of Peace Corps service, students enroll in a total of 8 semester credit hours. For students in the non-thesis track, this includes 6 hours of Internship (FAMA 5398) and 2 hours of Project Research (5940). Thesis track students enroll in 3 hours of Thesis Proposal (FAMA 5392), 3 hours of Thesis Research (FAMA 5393), and 2 hours of Project Research (FAMA 5940).
How does the program work?
Interested students should first apply to the MS program in Fisheries and Mariculture at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Once accepted, candidates then apply directly to the Peace Corps. Once enrolled in the program, students are required to complete 20-22 semester credit hours of coursework (depending on Degree Plan) prior to Peace Corps service.
What are the benefits of the MI program?
There are multiple options for financial support, including teaching assistantships, waiving out-of-state tuition (if applicable), and application to intra- and extramural scholarships.
There is a great need for technical assistance with fisheries and mariculture activities in developing nations throughout the world. Involvement with the Peace Corps is a leadership and service experience that you will draw on for the rest of your life. The most important achievement will be the impact you have in improving the lives of others.
In addition to advanced training in Fisheries and Mariculture at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the Peace Corps provides additional training in foreign language, technical skills, and cross-cultural understanding. Students who complete the 27 months of Peace Corps service receive special hiring consideration for federal government positions. This consideration, called non-competitive eligibility (NCE), means that you can be appointed to positions without competing with the general public.
Videos about the Master's International Program and the Peace Corps