Florida Institute of Technology was the first university to develop a program with the Peace Corps that focuses on the environment. Florida Tech’s Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program began in 1999 and was originally called the Graduate Environmental Fellows Program (GEFP).
With the expansion of the program and the addition of graduate degree programs in education in 2004, the program became the Graduate Environmental and Teacher Education Fellows Program (GETEFP). While Florida Tech does not distinguish between the programs for admission purposes, the Peace Corps website includes the original Environmental degree programs (GEFP) and newly added Teacher Education degree programs (GTEFP) as two separate Fellows/USA Programs. In 2007, Florida Tech added an M.S. in Meteorology to our program offerings. As the program continues to develop, we hope to expand the number and type of degrees offered.
Florida Tech’s Graduate Environmental and Teacher Education Fellows/USA Program is a two-year (minimum) program designed for returning Peace Corps volunteers with bachelor’s course work and Peace Corps experience in an environmental and/or education-related area. This program offers degrees in four environmental areas (i.e., science, engineering, management and education), as well as five areas of education (i.e., science, mathematics, environmental education and computer/instructional technology education, and teaching). This program combines course work in a selected Master’s. or advanced graduate degree program and related internship experience with a partnering institution in the region. Regional partners include federal, state, regional and county environmental agencies; county school districts; private scientific and educational institutions; and conservation organizations. The end-of-program requirement (i.e., M.S.: Thesis, Non-thesis Project, Capstone Design Project, or Internship; Ph.D.: Dissertation) may be completed with a cooperating partner.
All of the master’s degree programs available through the fellowship program require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, with a GPA of 3.0 or above. Most of the Ph.D. programs require a master’s degree in a related field, with a GPA of 3.2 or above, however, the Ph.D. in biology allows students to enter with only a bachelor’s degree. Applicants are required to submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Admissions: a completed application form, official transcripts for all college/university course work, a résumé, a description of service (DOS) from the Peace Corps, a statement of objectives and three letters of recommendation. Most master’s and doctoral degree programs also require GRE scores; although none of the education degree programs require this. Admission is competitive.
Past participants have interned with St. Johns River Water Management District, Marine Resources Council, Brevard Zoo, Brevard County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and Brevard County Public Schools.
Once you have chosen your degree program, the next step in this process is completing an application for admission. The Office of Graduate Admissions handles all applications. While completing the online application, please select Peace Corps under the “How did you hear about Florida Tech” drop-down menu.
Both fall and spring admission is available to graduate fellows with the exclusion of the biology program, which has a fall start date.