We take the time to consider your application as a whole. It is critical that you submit a complete application by the application deadline. There is no one component that weighs more heavily than another; being less strong in one area can be balanced out by another. Additionally, your personal statement is an opportunity to address any deficiencies in your application.
Successful applicants take the time to complete each piece of the application. They also ensure the entire package represents who they are as a student and how they envision using a master's degree from our program.
Applicants who submit all materials according to the posted instructions and by the posted deadlines and whose materials indicate potential for success in their chosen program will complete a required interview by phone or in person.
Select applied economics/ACED, political science/ACD, or sociology/ACED to indicate the appropriate master’s degree program sequence. (For Fellows only, we are currently working on expansion to new degree programs such as kinesiology and recreation, hydrogeology, and anthropology. If you are interested in these options, please contact us directly for more information.)
You may NOT apply to more than one program at a time.
Required attachments include:
The statement of purpose should describe why you would like to be in the Peace Corps Fellows Program in your chosen department at Illinois State University. A strong personal statement provides us with a sense of your trajectory as a student and professional. It helps us to understand where you have been and how this master's degree will help you achieve your future goals.
Applications are considered by both your department and the Stevenson Center. We want to understand why a degree in a given discipline is the best choice for you and how you plan to use your degree in the future. What will you gain from your work with your department, the Stevenson Center, and your fellow students, plus your time in the field? How will you contribute?
Samples should be at least five pages and reflect your best work as a student. Again, we understand some of our applicants have a significant time period between their last academic experience and application to our program. If you don't have an academic paper, you can choose another piece of work.
An ideal writing sample is one that you feel best demonstrates your ability to write well, think critically, and handle sources. The writing sample helps demonstrate your readiness to research and to write well at the graduate level. A grant application, project proposal, or professional report could serve this purpose. If you are concerned about the document that you choose to submit, you might consider having one or more of your references specifically address your writing and/or research skills.
Graduate Admissions Office
Illinois State University
Campus Box 2200
Normal, IL 61790-2200
The GRE General Test is required. The GRE Institution Code for Illinois State University is 1319. Be sure to take the GRE in plenty of time for your scores to ARRIVE at Illinois State University BEFORE March 1. You can find more information on the timing of score reporting on the GRE FAQ page.
Applicants must also submit contact information for a minimum of three references. This information can be entered directly into your online application, as well as a personal message if you choose. Your references will each then be contacted by the university to supply a letter of recommendation for you. You should have at least one letter from a former professor, preferably more, but we understand that applicants are often returning to school after a hiatus. Letters from supervisors, project partners, or others who have known you in a setting that is pertinent to your admission to the Stevenson Center are acceptable. You will be able, through the online application portal, to monitor the submission of recommendations, though you will not be able to read the letters.
You must first complete the Graduate School Application, which will provide you with a University ID number. Your academic department will access your completed Graduate Assistantship Application.
Current Peace Corps Volunteers may send an unofficial Description of Service (DOS) signed by your country director, to be replaced with the official DOS at Close of Service.
The DOS will be copied to your academic department.
Direct DOS to:
Beverly Beyer, Associate Director
Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development
Illinois State University
Campus Box 4200
Normal, IL 61790-4200