American University - School of International Service

Why you should consider this program

SIS is a top-10 school of international affairs located in Washington, D.C. Since 1957, we have answered President Eisenhower's call to prepare students to wage peace.” We believe the world needs leaders ready to serve. Students who come to SIS know that service is not a moment; it's a mindset.

RPCVs connect with our world-renowned faculty leading political scientists, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, demographers, geographers, historians, and experts in international development, global health, communications, energy, and the environment. Together they produce transformational research and prepare for global careers in government, nonprofits, and business.

Thoughtful and aspirational, with wide-ranging backgrounds and experience, our students take advantage of Washington's wealth of resources and professional opportunities and an active international network of more than 20,000 alumni. They graduate prepared to combine knowledge and practice and to serve the global community as emerging leaders, waging peace and building understanding in our world.

SIS features a comprehensive professional education in international affairs for master's students, and a multidisciplinary program for doctoral student's. We offer a range of academic options to meet our students needs and interests: dual degrees, graduate certificates, online programs, executive degrees, practicum programs for career preparation, and extensive study-abroad opportunities.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 70,000 $ 20,000 $ 50,000
Out of state $ 70,000 $ 20,000 $ 50,000
* Net cost is equal to tuition/fees minus fellowship value. For some universities, the fellowship value includes non-tuition/fee benefits such as health insurance or housing—see the first point below for more details.

Where the cost savings value of the Coverdell Fellowship comes from

Fellows receive approximately 10 credits of tuition scholarship dispersed evenly over two years. A minimum of 25% of all tuition and mandatory fees is guaranteed as the benefit to all recipients of the Coverdell Fellowship.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

Further merit awards are available per the recommendation of the faculty review committee based on the holistic review of an applicant's file. RPCVs are generally very competitive candidates for SIS admission and merit funding.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 30,300

Application fee waived?



After serving as Peace Corps Volunteers, SIS students bring home valuable experience and skills in education, program development, youth development, and cultural understanding. The Coverdell Fellows program is designed to extend these skills and experience to serve needs in our local Washington D.C. communities or wherever our online students may live.

The SIS mission of public service, environmental stewardship, human rights, and social justice align naturally with the Peace Corps ideals of promoting world peace and friendship. SIS Returned Peace Corps Volunteers partner with local community partners and schools to apply the experience and skills they gained in the Peace Corps to serve the local D.C. community.

Students serve at least 200 hours over the course of their MA program (or 100 hours per year). Location and breadth of service internship is flexible, and have included some of the following sites:

DC Bilingual

Yu Ying





Outward Bound

Dreaming Outloud

Kenilworth Gardens




Community Good Farm





The DC Center


Jobs for program alumni

  • U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • World Bank
  • PATH
  • The Washington Post
  • PeaceTech Lab
  • Embassy of France
  • Amigos de las Americas
  • Booz Allen
  • Hamilton Chemonics
  • Education Development Center, Inc.
  • Engility Corporation
  • Eurasia Foundation
  • FHI 360 FINCA International Haley House, Inc.
  • Inter-American Development Bank International
  • Monetary Fund International
  • Rescue Committee
  • IREX
  • La Clinica Pueblo Management Systems International
  • Pact
  • Peace Corps
  • Polaris Project Relief International
  • Social Impact
  • The Global Fund for Children
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Village Enterprise World Bank 3ie

Other details

Program length

Two years full time with flexible part time options

Application requirements

Applicants must submit the following: ŠOnline Application ŠTranscripts ŠResume/CV ŠStatement of Purpose ŠLetters of Recommendation ŠDOS (as addendum) ŠTest Scores (if applicable).

Admissions process

All RPCVs will be considered for Peace Corps Fellows funding. No additional steps or forms are required. By selecting the RPCV box on the application, candidates will automatically be considered. A waiver code will also be generated to be used for the application fee waiver.

Program begins

Late August, Early Jan

Non-traditional options

  • Online degree program
  • Low residency or distance learning
  • Option to pursue degree part time while receiving the Coverdell Fellowship

Over 75% of courses are scheduled in the evening, allowing students to pursue fulltime work or part time internships during the work day.

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Matthew Forrester, Graduate Admissions Coordinator

4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016