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Global Youth Development

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GYD - A Peace Corps Master's International Program Partner

Check out our Key Insights to the Program


The University of Montana is proud to offer an innovative master's degree in Global Youth Development (GYD).  The GYD degree is designed for students who wish to engage in culturally-relevant volunteer work or paid employment in the realm of child and family assistance. This unique degree program offers students graduate instruction in human development from a psychological and counseling perspective, and is intended to prepare students to engage in cross-cultural volunteer work or paid employment with young people and/or families.  The program is affiliated with the United States Peace Corps as a partner school for their Master’s International Program.  However, admission into this graduate program does not imply or guarantee acceptance into the Peace Corps. 
Program requirements include one year of full-time instruction at the University of Montana, a significant period of time engaging in faculty-approved internship work, and a final portfolio, professional project, or thesis.  Internships will typically be 1-2 years in length and must involve working with cultures other than one’s own.  Finding and arranging this internship is the student’s responsibility. 
Students are expected to emerge from the program with the following background and skills:

  • important interculturally informed helping skills for working with children, youth, families, and communities in cultures other than their own;
  • a solid background in issues, concerns, and critiques regarding assistance and interventions across cultures, both historically and currently;
  • participation in a significant field experience, working with an established helping agency in another culture or country.

This exciting cross-disciplinary degree program is based on a cohort learning model, and acceptance into the program is competitive.  GRE scores, previous academic performance, personal statement, professional and academic background, and letters of reference are all given serious consideration in the selection process.

Please also see the GYD Student Handbook to learn more about this program.

Master's International Program with US Peace Corps

The Global Youth Development program at the University of Montana is pleased to be a partner school with the United States Peace Corps through their Master's International program.  This partnership allows for qualified applicants to apply separately and simultaneously to the University of Montana and to the Peace Corps, and, if accepted by both, fulfill the Program internship requirements through the 27-month Peace Corps service.  For more information on this partnership, please see the Peace Corps Masters International Program web site.

Press and Student Blogs

2014 Missoula Peace Corp Fact Sheet

Missoula Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Metropolitan Areas in 2013

Montana Ranks Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2013

AimieLisa Hook Cohort IX

Maureen Bjerke Cohort IX

TJ Lessing Cohort IX

Elizabeth Strong