Post-Grad Service

A post-graduate service experience is a full-time stipend position for recent college graduates. Partner with local or global organizations and enhance your professional skills while supporting community development projects.

Build upon your high level of civic engagement at Nazareth through a full-time position with AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Rochester Youth Year, or Peace Corps, among others.

Short- & Long-Term Service FAQs

What are the benefits?
  • Gain professional experience while contributing and learning from your involvement in a particular community project.
  • Especially in a challenging job market, longer-duration service experience can boost your resume and provide you with a professional job within your field while benefiting your community.
  • Make new friends and gain insight into yourself and others.
  • Understand the world better.
  • Gain a cultural education.
  • Work for social justice.
  • Develop leadership skills.
  • Support community development projects.
  • Earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards ($5,815 to put towards your undergraduate or graduate school loans)
Time commitment?

Choose one week, 10 to 12 months, or more working in the field of your choice. If you are willing to pay for your experience, you can determine your length of stay in a domestic or international program.

  • Most programs are secular and range from one week to four months.
  • Long-term domestic programs are typically 10-12 months.
  • Most international programs are two years, but several faith-based programs offer one-year international options.
What expenses will most service organizations provide?
  • Housing and food
  • Stipend
  • Health insurance
  • Student loan deferment
  • Professional job
  • Professional training and development
  • AmeriCorps Education Awards for long-term commitments ($5,815 to put towards your undergraduate or graduate school loans)
Examples of service options?

You could work as a service provider in a nonprofit agency, as a teacher in a school, as an activities director in a shelter, or in other positions.

How do secular service and faith-based programs differ?

Typically, secular programs are run by government or private organization, and the service positions may vary greatly.

Faith-based programs range from programs that want applicants to be open to reflecting on their service in a spiritual context and welcome all faith traditions, to programs that specifically require applicants to be comfortable within a certain faith perspective. Most faith-based service programs will not cost you any money except perhaps a small fund-raising amount and fees for any vaccinations needed if traveling internationally.

Secular programs may cost you money because they are for-profit or have paid staff. That does not make these programs any less reputable.

What are the application deadlines for short-term and long-term service?

Short-term service programs: Most have a rolling deadline based on your desired date of departure.

Long-term service programs: Most have an application deadline in February, March, or early April of your senior year. So consider applying in January or February of your senior year. In a tight economy, more recent college grads apply, so the earlier the better.

Peace Corps: Apply during the summer between your junior and senior year to depart the summer after you graduate.

Grad school: For a post-graduate service program that involves a master's degree or graduate school credits, the application deadline may be in December or January of your senior year.

Peace Corps

Mission and goals?

Founded in 1961 by president John F. Kennedy, the Peace Corps' mission has three simple goals:

  1. Helping people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained people.
  2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
How competitive is the Peace Corps?

Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer is prestigious and the application process is very competitive. More than 15,000 applications are received each year for approximately 4,000 volunteer spots.

How do you qualify?

Ninety percent of volunteer positions require a bachelor's degree. While the type of degree can help an applicant qualify for service, the Peace Corps also considers work, hobbies, and volunteer experiences that align with the skills it seeks.

If you have a degree in humanities or social sciences, you'll likely to be placed in health education, teaching English, community development, or agricultural programs. The best way for liberal arts majors to qualify for the Peace Corps is by gaining 30 hours or 3 months of tutoring or volunteer experience.

What is the application process like?

The Peace Corps accepts applications on a rolling basis. You can expect to hear from a Peace Corps recruiter within two to three weeks.

But the entire application process — from completion of your application to departure for service — takes an average of 9 months. We encourage you to apply 9-12 months before you will be ready to begin your service.

Rochester Youth Year

What is Rochester Youth Year?

Rochester Youth Year is an opportunity to serve in Rochester for 12 months while strengthening your connection to Nazareth College.

Rochester Youth Year (RYY) is an AmeriCorps VISTA-supported program for recent college graduates, placing students with local community-based organizations. RYY recruits talented recent graduates to create or expand initiatives that address the various challenges facing youth and families in Rochester.

RYY is a consortium of seven local colleges: The College at Brockport, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher College, SUNY Geneseo, and the University of Rochester.  

RYY Fellows work to develop measurable, sustainable services and programs that address the self-identified needs of Rochester's youth and build on strengths and assets. As part of the program, RYY fellows work with local colleges including Nazareth to connect college resources with the needs of the host sites.

The Goals:

Alleviating the Effects of Poverty on Youth:
RYY Fellows work with their host organization and necessary stakeholders to develop measurable, sustainable services and programs that address the self-identified needs of Rochester's youth and aim to build on their strengths and assets.

Strengthening Communities:
RYY Fellows work to build the capacity of their host organizations to develop and/or enhance programs that engage youth and families in positive and productive activities and initiatives. Equally important, RYY Fellows work to empower youth and families to take an active role in improving their own neighborhoods.

Promoting Civic Engagement and Community-Centered Leadership:
RYY Fellows create lasting partnerships between the community, their host organizations, and their alma mater. Serving as role models and liaisons, they engage college communities in substantial opportunities to contribute to the life of the Rochester community.

For more information contact Adam Lewandowski through the Center for Civic Engagement at Find more information on the Rochester Youth Year website.

Find the right post-grad service opportunity for you


Nazareth's Center for Spirituality can also provide guidance on faith-based post-grad experiences.

Learn more about options for post-grad experiences: