Duke University - Duke Global Health Institute

Why you should consider this program

DGHI will continue to accept applications from RPCVs impacted by COVID-19 on a space-available basis.  Please contact Sarah Martin ([email protected]) to discuss your individual situation.

Opportunities within the field of global health are expanding as the world becomes more interconnected. Recognizing that many global health problems stem from economic, social, environmental, political, and health care inequalities, the Master of Science in Global Health (MSc-GH) program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Collaboration with peers, a field-based research experience, and mentorship from expert faculty are critical components of the education students receive as Duke prepares students and graduates to positively impact global health and reduce health disparities domestically and abroad. 

As a Coverdell Fellow in the MSc-GH, your experiences abroad become a valuable part of your education at Duke. With Duke's focus on interdisciplinary learning and applied research methods and concepts, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your service abroad in connection with the larger context of global health. Through the core curriculum focused on research skills, ethics, and health systems, you will gain broad knowledge that can then be tailored to your individual interests and goals with elective coursework across Duke University. Access to comprehensive Duke resources for professional development, leadership training, and community engagement will help you combine your Peace Corps experience with robust academic training to move into your career.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 135,430 $ 83,711 $ 51,719
Out of state $ 135,430 $ 83,711 $ 51,719
* 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

50% tuition scholarship commitment to selected Coverdell Fellows in first three terms; 100% tuition scholarship in fourth term committed to all students, including Coverdell Fellows. All students additionally receive summer research and professional development grants.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

Coverdell Fellows will be guaranteed a paid assistantship, with an expectation of approximately 8-12 hours of work weekly during the first academic year, giving them additional resources (est. $5,000.00) towards living expenses. Assistantships may focus on research or projects internationally or of benefit to underserved populations in the United States. 

If the paid assistantship does not focus on underserved populations within the US, Coverdell Fellows will be connected to volunteer opportunities with local impact through DGHI and Duke connections. 

Coverdell Fellows are also extended a field research grant ($7,500.00) and professional development grant ($500.00). These grants are awarded to all students.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 25,606

Application fee waived?



The MSC-GH program has an established structure through which students are connected with paid research assistantships leading to thesis opportunities in the first year of the program. Placements typically occur within the first month following orientation, and last throughout the academic year. Several opportunities are available annually to work on projects focused on underserved communities and populations facing health disparity within North Carolina and the United States. 

We will utilize our assistantship structure to connect Coverdell Fellows with a defined list of project opportunities with local impact - specifically local or NC-based opportunities through Duke's Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, the Duke Department of Community and Family Medicine, and with local NGOs and service organizations. If Coverdell Fellows do not match to projects with local impact through the assistantship process, we will work with DGHI and Duke structures to connect them to volunteer and community service opportunities with underserved populations in Durham and our surrounding communities, with an expectation of significant, continued engagement with a single organization throughout the academic year.

Jobs for program alumni

The combination of extended international experience and solid academic training creates highly competitive applicants for job placements and other opportunities in the field of global health. Duke Master of Science in Global Health graduates have landed positions in academic research units, NGOs focused on research, health, and development, in local health departments, and in the private sector. Many go on to further education or training in PhD or MD programs, or through graduate medical residency or fellowship. As an interdisciplinary program, our graduates bring different skills, experiences, and interests to the program, and career outcomes reflect this diversity of career outcomes. 

Duke offers career advising and professional development resources to all graduate students, and DGHI complements those offered at the university-level with specific workshops and networking opportunities aligned with the field of global health.

Other details

Program length

2 years

Application requirements

College transcripts, two essays, three academic or professional recommendations (at least one must be academic), Description of Service (DOS) or confirmation of current service, with DOS to be submitted before matriculation.

Admissions process

Apply as usual through the Duke Graduate School, indicating that you would like to be considered for the Coverdell Fellowship. When Duke informs you of your admission to the program, we will also inform you of whether or not you have been selected as a Coverdell Fellow.

Program begins

Late August

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Lysa MacKeen, Senior Associate Director for Experiential Learning and Graduate Admissions

Duke Global Health Institute
Box 90519
Durham, NC 27708