Illinois State University - Applied Economics

Why you should consider this program

Adaptability, creativity, project development, how to do more with less Peace Corps taught you a lot. The Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development is here to help you leverage that learning.  Earn a master’s degree in anthropology, applied economics, kinesiology and recreation, political science, or sociology, with:

  • Generous financial support for every student:  A full tuition waiver, a graduate assistantship with stipend, and a paid internship, totaling at least $45,300 and up to $64,200.  
  • A truly interdisciplinary classroom:  Our students benefit from their peers’ and faculty’s range of expertise and diverse backgrounds.  
  • Service/Work/Internship Opportunities: Fellows apply their knowledge through an 11-month paid internship with organizations across the U.S.—a great platform for the next career move. Host organizations are as varied as the Fellows.
  • Individual attention:  Illinois State has the resources of a large university with the feel of a small school. The Stevenson Center is also small by design, with seminar-sized classes and strong faculty and staff support.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 18,954 $ 45,309 $ 0 + You receive additional benefits.
Out of state $ 33,710 $ 60,065 $ 0 + You receive additional benefits.
* 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

100% tuition waiver; graduate assistantship in fall and spring followed by 11-month paid professional internship; student health insurance reimbursement every Fall and Spring.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)

ALL admitted Stevenson Center students (up to 12 Fellows per year)

Other benefits or opportunities

The Stevenson Center may offer AmeriCorps Member status and benefits to some students in their first year or their second-year Fellowship. One benefit of AmeriCorps service is a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of up to $6,195.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 16,272

Application fee waived?



After one year on campus, Fellows work for 11 months (35 hours/week) with organizations as varied as our students (in content, in location, and in host organization profile).  See Professional Practice.  Our Fellows engage deeply—these are not part-time or one-semester experiences. Fellows graduate with substantial field experience.  For example:

  • Managing Communications and Data:  Fellows have a key role in messaging and resource sharing with organizations like Credit Builders Alliance in Washington, DC, and the Illinois Department of Human Rights, where Fair Housing Month Proclamations quadrupled during a Fellow’s placement.
  • Designing and Implementing Assessment Plans:  One Fellow established benchmarks and an information management structure, as well as a performance-based reporting system for the Bloomington Fire Department.
  • Conducting Research:  Examples include an in-depth study of poverty issues like the one completed for the Fremont Area Community Foundation in Michigan, and an analysis of best practices for the Land O’ Lakes dairy cooperatives program in Minnesota.
  • Securing Funding:  A Fellow helped Habitat for Humanity of Indiana obtain a $700,000 grant.

Jobs for program alumni

The skills applied and high level of responsibility during
the internships prepare Fellows to pursue development work both in the U.S. and overseas.  Alumni have started with
positions like these and advanced from there!

  • Associate Director, La Casa de Esperanza
  • Associate Director of Development, Mikva Challenge
  • Community Impact Manager, United Way of McLean County
  • Development Specialist, Invest Aurora
  • Economist, TANGO International, Inc.
  • Foreign Service Officer, U.S. State Department
  • International Data Management Specialist, University of Illinois
  • Program Coordinator, Rotary International
  • Regional Recruiter, Peace Corps
  • Renewal Community Director/Program Specialist, City of New Orleans
  • Research Associate, Center for Governmental Studies
  • Senior Associate, Rolf C. Campbell & Associates

Learn more and connect with our alumni!

Other details

Program length

1 year of coursework, plus 11-month practicum (2 years)

Application requirements

Please see

Admissions process

Please see

Program begins

Mid August

Non-traditional options

Fellows relocate to Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, to become part of a community of like-minded students for the year on campus. Only a train ride away from downtown Chicago and St. Louis, and within driving distance of Milwaukee and Indianapolis, Illinois State University’s campus in Normal, IL, blends the comfort of the Midwest with easy access to adventure. Normal and its sister city Bloomington are up-and-coming:

  • In 2017, Bloomington-Normal was named one of the Best College Towns in America by the American Institute for Economic Research. That includes a #2 ranking in the “Arts and Entertainment” category!
  • In 2016, Huffington Post named Bloomington one of the “11 Amazing Cities You’ve Never Thought To Live In, But Should.”
  • In 2015, the Town of Normal was ranked #3 on the list of Best Small College Towns in America by College Values Online.

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Dane Myers, Coordinator

Campus Box 4200
Normal, IL 61790-4200