Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University

Why you should consider this program

As a returned Peace Corps volunteer (RPCV), you bring a unique perspective and skillset to the study and application of public health. We view your experiences and service in the Peace Corp as the perfect complement to the Rollins School of Public Health’s mission of supporting excellence in service and training of leaders to promote health and prevent disease in global human populations.

Rollins grants $15,000 tuition scholarships ($7,500 per year) to enrolled, full-time MPH/MSPH RPCVs to encourage you to continue your development as a leader and promote continued community service.

In addition, Rollins offers opportunities through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship program. This program advances the third goal of Peace Corps. Coverdell Fellows are selected as merit scholars for their demonstrated leadership and ongoing commitment to service and receive a competitive award package:

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 84,484 $ 73,452 $ 11,032
Out of state $ 84,484 $ 73,452 $ 11,032
* 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% (approximately $35,840) tuition scholarship distributed over two years


Opportunity to earn up to $2,500 per semester of enrollment. REAL enables you to work with a member of the faculty or partner agency. REAL Program


$2,000 paid after the first semester of enrollment with a pre-approved practicum. RSPH Applied Practice Experience Program

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 10,404

Application fee waived?



Coverdell Fellows are members of the Emory Scholars in Action Program, which is the Rollins network of merit scholarship recipients. Coverdell Fellows are asked to give back to the Scholars in Action network, participate in professional development trainings, and volunteer in the greater Atlanta community with local community partners. This all occurs in collaboration with Scholars in Action, student organizations, and RSPH Student Services.

  • Complete 30 volunteer service hours each semester. Rollins recommends volunteering with local community partners and volunteer hours can be completed online or in-person.
  • Complete 10 Coverdell Project Hours each year. Choose from a “menu” of projects to work on! “Project menu items” include: Planning and hosting a student organization event, participating in a Scholars in Action Committee, hosting community-building events with Coverdell Fellows throughout Emory University, participating in the RSPH Community & Diversity Committee, the Recruitment Committee, and more!
  • Attend 6 Professional Development Sessions each year. Attend at least 6 professional development sessions offered by Scholars in Action. These professional development sessions will take place during monthly Scholars in Action Meetings and vary on topics teaching hard and soft skills for future professional development.
  • Participate in the Coverdell Recruitment Process each year. Collaborate with first- and second year Coverdell Fellows to select the incoming cohort of Coverdell Fellows. The selection process gives RSPH Returned Peace Corps Volunteers the opportunity to use their understanding, insight, and knowledge of their service and the Peace Corps organization to help select the next class of Coverdell Fellows.

Jobs for program alumni

Alumni have secured positions within various sectors of public health, including: 

  • World Health Organization 
  • Bills and Melinda Gates Foundation 
  • IMA World Health 
  • FHI 360 
  • Ministry of Health 
  • John Snow, Inc. 
  • Task Force for Global Health

Other details

Program length

2 Years

Application requirements

Applicants must have a completed and verified SOPHAS application in addition to the Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship supplemental application.

Admissions process

Fellows are selected as merit scholars for their demonstrated leadership and ongoing commitment to service. All applicants that submit completed applications to SOPHAS by the priority deadline of January 5 will be considered for the merit scholarship. 

RPCV applicants interested in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship are required to submit a supplemental application.

Program begins

Mid August

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Shannon Vassell, Assistant Director for Community-Engaged Learning & Cultural Humility

Rollins School of Public Health
Grace Crum Rollins Building, Suite 164 1518 Clifton Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30322