Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University

Why you should consider this program

The Coverdell Fellows program at Michigan Tech is a great way to reenter the United States. Houghton is rural and remote, surrounded by forests and Lake Superior. Michigan Tech has an active Peace Corps community. Our Fellows program utilizes internships with VISTA through Conservation Legacy which has an active program working in underserved communities. Graduate classes are small and focused. The program is typically one year on campus, one year of an internship and one more academic semester to complete the research.

The Department of Social Sciences offers two distinct degree programs. The Environmental and Energy Policy program has a strong theoretical and applied program that can include community development if that is the student's area of interest. The Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology is a professional degree that prepares students for diverse careers in areas including curation and education at historic sites and within museums; heritage and cultural resources management; field archaeology; public history; preservation and planning; education; and community and government service.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 32,546 $ 18,873 $ 13,673
Out of state $ 32,546 $ 18,873 $ 13,673
* 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

1/3 tuition reduction based on RPCV status, 3 no-cost credits during VISTA service, $6195 Segal Education Award based upon one year of VISTA service.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

Other research and teaching assistantships and general graduate awards are available on a competitive basis.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 9,010

Application fee waived?



The year-long VISTA internships are conducted in coordination with Conservation Legacy. Fellows often work in communities that have been economically or environmentally damaged by prior mining activities. The communities have needs from stream and watershed restoration to historic preservation to economic development to broader community development programs.  Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) will enhance the program by bringing their experience with community development to the program.  It is a natural fit for RPCVs who want to continue to work in rural development and improve their skill set by obtaining a graduate education in the appropriate field of study.

Jobs for program alumni

For more information please contact Dr. Blair Orr at [email protected].

Other details

Program length

One year on campus, one year VISTA, one semester after VISTA

Application requirements

Applicants must be returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) and provide their signed Description of Service (DOS), GRE, transcripts from their undergraduate institution(s), letters of recommendation, letter of intent, and application (available on line). We recommend consulting with a faculty member prior to application. Details are on our website

Admissions process

List Peace Corps Fellows as an interest on the application and the application will be tracked separately. Other parts of the application process are the same. Talk to us.

Program begins

Fall and Spring semesters

Non-traditional options

A National Service Graduate Fellowship is also available to RPCVs.

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Blair Orr, Professor

Michigan Tech - FRES
1400 Townsend Dr.
Houghton, Michigan 49931