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Eligibility and Admissions

All returned Peace Corps Volunteers who satisfactorily complete their service have lifetime eligibility for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program. Most returned Volunteers fall into this category. If you are unsure of your status, the following guidelines may help.

Satisfactory completion means you

  • completed the full two-year tour of Peace Corps service, or a full tour minus up to 90 days of emergency leave;
  • were granted "early close of service";
  • were granted "interrupted service" status as a result of circumstances beyond your control; or
  • were medically separated as a Volunteer.

If you still have questions about your status, please contact the Coverdell Fellows Program office at 855.855.1961, ext. 1440 or 202.692.1440, or email fellows@peacecorps.gov .

  • Application Process

    Partner universities, not the Peace Corps, handle all applications for the Coverdell Fellows Program. The number of fellowships awarded by each school depends on many factors, including available funds, employment opportunities, and enrollment capacities. Use our interactive list of participating universities to get more details.

    “Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program applicants follow the same process that all other applicants do, and admission to our program (as with all others) is primarily based on the applicant's creative writing manuscript submission.”

    Martin LammonGeorgia College and State University

  • Tips for Applying

    • Contact the program coordinators at the universities that interest you to request program and application information.
    • Follow each university’s application instructions and deadlines. In many cases you can even apply online from overseas.
    • Apply to each university separately.

  • When to Apply

    Deadlines for programs vary, so be sure to check the application due dates for each school to which you are applying.

  • Standardized Tests

    Most programs require applicants take a standardized test, such as

    • the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
    • the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT); or
    • the National Teacher Examination (NTE).

    If you are considering applying to a Coverdell Fellows Program partnership during or shortly after volunteering, you may want to take required standardized tests before returning to the United States. There may also be the option of taking the exam prior to your service. Check with the appropriate testing service to learn more about test locations, schedules, costs, and to determine how long test scores will be valid.

  • Description of Service

    Be sure to retain a signed copy of your Description of Service (DOS) as this is an official record of your Peace Corps activities. Some schools offer academic credit for completion of Peace Corps service and may require a copy of the DOS as confirmation.

    If you lose your DOS, you may request a copy from Volunteer and PSC Financial Services via email at certifications@peacecorps.gov, or call 855.855.1961, ext. 1770.

Last updated May 03 2016

Graduate School
Program Overview

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the Paul D. Coverdell
Fellows Program


Contact the Coverdell Fellows Program manager at:
Peace Corps
1111 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20526

Phone: 202.692.2608

Email: fellows@peacecorps.gov

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