Peace Core+ Physics Undergrad = ??? Grad school? So, I am two years younger than the rest of my undergraduate peers. I will graduate from undergrad at age 19, hopefully with a decent GPA and high GRE scores (I usually do well on standardized tests), as well as research experience starting from freshmen year. Now, that's my goal, so subtract a couple tiers worth of glory and you'll probably know what my record will look like when I graduate. So far, I can't imagine NOT doing Physics, but I also have a strong desire to at work on some underlying social justice issues; My family comes from a very poor background (International poor, not American poor) and I have been exposed to a lot of human suffering that pretty much demands that I do something about it. So, combining these dual urges, I'm pretty sure I will join the Peace Corps and teach Physics or Mathematics to kids who don't have all the opportunities my parents ended up being able to provide me. My question is, will Peace Corps service negatively affect my graduate school application?? I have been reading a lot about grad school and have come across the fact (many times) that grad schools primarily look for excellent research potential so their own departments can prosper from the work the grad student produces...so they want very very very focused applications, and that having too much variety (aka seeming distracted) can actually hurt. So, will grad schools consider Peace Corps service as another "distraction"? Or can it actually help? Is there any general policy of physics graduate programs towards returning PCVs? Especially if they taught Physics? Oh, and the Peace Corps would "use up" my "extra" two years. Is being two years younger considered impressive in grad school applications or not considered at all or maybe even considered negatively? How does this angle factor into the equation?