College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > School of Public Service > Student Resources > Graduate > Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship

Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship

​​​The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program partnership between Peace Corps and DePaul University will provide expanded educational and service opportunities to Americans interested in making a difference abroad and at home. The Coverdell Fellows program offers graduate school scholarships and degree-related internships in under-served American communities to returned Peace Corps volunteers.

Fellows will be eligible to enroll in one of five degree programs in the School of Public Service: Public Service Management, International Public Service, Master of Public Policy, Nonprofit Management, or Public Administration.

This partnership enables returned Peace Corps volunteers to continue their work in public service through meaningful internships in under-served American communities. Experience overseas and graduate studies position Peace Corps Fellows to launch a career by combining coursework with service.​

Fellows will receive a scholarship comprising a 25% tuition waiver per academic year and an internship, coordinated either through working with our Internship Coordinator or the Vincent on Leadership – The Hay Project, allowing returned volunteers to bring the skills they acquired during service back home to make an impact in the United States. In addition, students will gain valuable experience and networking connections at nonprofits and governmental organizations. The Coverdell Scholarship cannot be combined with the School of Public Service Graduate Award, Double Demon Scholarship, Catholic Institution Scholarship, or Graduate Assistantship.

Application Process: 

​​​Applicants for the Fellowship program must first be admitted into the School of Public Service and then will need to complete the Coverdell Fellows application. The School of Public Service will award two Coverdell Fellowships per year. Only new SPS students will be accepted who will begin the program in the autumn quarter.


Coverdell Fellows will be provided aid in the form of a scholarship (25% tuition waiver) and an application fee waiver.

Fellows must be active full-time (two courses per quarter) in SPS.​ Time frame is dependent on the number of quarters it takes for the Fellow to complete the degree program. Degree completion typically takes six to seven quarter when carrying a full time course load (2 courses per quarter).

Coverdell Fellows are eligible for aid in these other forms: SPS scholarships; Adult Student Service scholarships; and research grants. Fellows cannot use funds towards participation in joint degree programs.


Coverdell Fellows must complete an internship in support of an impoverished and/or socially disadvantaged community in the United States, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as volunteers. An impoverished and/or socially disadvantaged community is defined as individuals who live within the United States (including U.S. territories) who are living under the federal poverty line and/or who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identities as members of groups and without regard to their individual qualities. The social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control.

The internship should connect to the student’s prospective degree, deepening their educational experience. Fellows can, but do not need to, use their internship to fulfill the MPS 601 internship/professional development course or MPS 610 Internship Capstone for their degree program. Internships may be ongoing through the program or may be condensed into an intensive quarter or summer experience. Although the Peace Corps has not set a firm minimum number of hours that Fellows must complete, internships should be substantive, generally lasting at least a cumulative 150-300 hours.

Coverdell Fellows have:
  • Worked with disadvantaged communities to secure employment opportunities
  • Coordinated their university’s transition programs for disadvantaged middle school and high school students
  • Advocated for affordable housing for low income households
  • Assisted refugee communities with access to affordable healthcare
For more information contact:​​