University of San Diego Among Peace Corps’ 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges & Universities

LOS ANGELES, February 21, 2018 – Today, the Peace Corps announced that University of San Diego (USD) ranked No. 16 among medium schools on the agency’s 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 18 Toreros currently volunteering worldwide.

USD has ranked as a top volunteer-producing school for three consecutive years, and a total of 224 alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

“Peace Corps service is a profound expression of the idealism and civic engagement that colleges and universities across the country inspire in their alumni,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. “As Peace Corps volunteers, recent college and university graduates foster capacity and self-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities around the world. When they return to the United States, they have new, highly sought-after skills and an enterprising spirit that further leverages their education and strengthens their communities back home.”

"We are honored to be included in the 2018 ranking recognizing the many USD Changemakers choosing to transform lives and communities around the globe for the better through the Peace Corps," said USD President James T. Harris.

Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961. USD is one of seven California universities making this year’s list. In 2017, California ranked No. 1 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers, with 873 volunteers serving worldwide.

Rani Kumar, a 2016 USD graduate, serves as an environmental education volunteer in Nicaragua, where she supports primary school science teachers with student-centered teaching methods. She credits USD for preparing her for Peace Corps service.

“Social justice and community service have always been a huge part of my life and attending a school which reflected that was very important,” Kumar said. “All the leadership opportunities offered by USD as well helped me to feel confident entering a new job as a community leader, not only in a new community, but in a new country, school, culture, family, and language. I also benefited greatly from the wonderful environmental and Spanish programs offered, which prepared me well for the work I do now.”

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Below find the top five schools in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. 

View the complete 2018 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving here.


Large Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

More than 15,000 Undergraduates

  1. University of Wisconsin-Madison – 85
  2. University of Washington – 74
  3. University of Minnesota – 72
  4. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – 70
  5. University of Florida – 68

Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

  1. George Washington University – 50
  2. American University – 49
  3. College of William and Mary – 35
  4. University of Montana – 34
  5. Tulane University – 33

Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Fewer than 5,000 undergraduates

  1. St. Mary’s College of Maryland – 17
  2. Macalester College – 15
  3. St. Lawrence University – 15
  4. University of Redlands – 14
  5. University of Mary Washington – 14.
  6. Evergreen State College – 14
  7. Hobart and William Smith Colleges – 14
  8. Whitworth University – 14
  9. Spelman College – 14
  10. Willamette University – 13
  11. Denison University – 13
  12. Agnes Scott College – 13
  13. Carleton College – 12
  14. Bucknell University – 12
  15. Eckerd College – 12 

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2017 data as of September 30, 2017, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 230,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.