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Thinking About Graduate School? Let Your Peace Corps Experience Take You to New Places.

Peace Corps

The Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program is a distinction offered to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) at The School of Public Affairs who intend to continue their dedication to community service while pursuing a master’s degree. Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows at SPA contribute to the civic and service needs of the Washington, D.C. as well as surrounding Maryland and Virginia communities through substantive internships concurrent to their academic training. SPA Coverdell Fellows are prime examples of leaders for the next generation who are committed to pursuing professions of purpose.


Returned Peace Corps Volunteers should indicate their status on the electronic application when prompted. Coverdell Fellows are then selected after they are admitted on a competitive basis during the merit-aid review process. Decisions are based upon the candidate’s academic record, letters of reference, personal statement and resume.

To be considered for the program, submit your application for admission and requested materials by the priority deadlines posted for either the fall or spring term. Once designated as a Coverdell Fellow, students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 grade point average, maintain full-time enrollment, meet academic criteria, and adhere to all program guidelines.


The greatest benefit of the Coverdell Fellows Program is the opportunity to further develop professional skills that are supported by SPA’s rigorous academic training in any of the School’s six traditional, master’s degree programs. Additionally, Coverdell Fellows help to promote Peace Corps’ Third Goal by organizing and participating in events in the School and on the AU campus focused on diversity and inclusion, particularly, the promotion of cultural awareness as well as by supporting SPA’s community service initiatives. As a Coverdell Fellow, you also make valuable contributions to the greater Washington, D.C. area through your service while expanding your professional network in support of your career pursuits.

Financial Award

SPA Coverdell Fellows receive an attractive financial package that includes partial tuition remission that totals $7,500 a semester for four successive terms of the Fellow's master's degree program. This amounts to nearly half tuition coverage of the total degree. This level of award requires full time enrollment (9 credit hours a semester) and solid academic performance and progress. Coverdell Fellows are also eligible for consideration for supplemental, donor-funded scholarships and/or cash awards.

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