SUNY - University at Albany - School of Public Health

Why you should consider this program

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program is a graduate fellowship program for returned Peace Corps Volunteers that represents a unique opportunity for Volunteers to complete their graduate studies while also fulfilling the third goal of the Peace Corps service: helping Americans learn more about and better understand the cultures of other countries around the world. 

Coverdell Fellows effectively leverage our School's partnership with the New York State Department of Health and the Wadsworth Center to create meaningful placements and internship assignments working on large-scale public health programs and related policy challenges. In addition our Fellows work closely with the School's Center for Global Health to remain engaged in global health issues and research, and to connect with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers at our school and in the New York State Capital Region. Fellows may also pursue a Graduate Certificate in Global Health Studies as an add-on to their Master of Public Health degree.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 26,000 $ 4,100 $ 21,900
Out of state $ 28,000 $ 4,900 $ 23,100
* 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

Waiver of up to 9 credit hours of internship credit based on Peace Corps Service as a Health Volunteer.

NOTE: The information above is for the Online Master of Public Health program.  The on campus program has an out of state total tuition and fees cost of $50,000.  After the $8,300 Coverdell Fellowship, out of state students net cost is $41,700.  For more information, please contact us. 

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

Fellows are provided opportunities to work with the leadership of the school on community engagement initiatives and are given priority for internship assignments.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 12,500

Application fee waived?



Our Coverdell Fellows must complete an approved Fellowship Placement designed to address the needs of a local undeserved and/or at-risk community. Through these assignments our Fellows are able to bring home, and expand upon, the skills they learned as Volunteers. This includes skills such as cultural awareness, adaptability, language skills and working in low resource settings. 

Fellows work with our School's Center for Global Health, as well as the Internship Program Director and their Faculty Advisor to network with and gain access to the leaders of local non-profit organizations and social agencies to create their Fellowship Placement assignments. Past Fellows have worked with regional food banks, Maternal and Child Health Services at the New York State Department of Health, and with the Capital Region's Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program which provides support and services to those with substance abuse issues.

Jobs for program alumni

Many of our School's graduates go on to work on large scale public health programs with the New York State Department of Health. In addition, nearly all of our School's recently Returned Peace Corps Volunteer/MPH students have effectively leveraged their noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status to obtain positions with a range of federal agencies working in public health (e.g. National Institutes of Health, Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency, USAID, etc.).

Other details

Program length

2 years

Application requirements

Please visit the School’s Admissions webpage for information on the applications process and related requirements. (

Admissions process

Prospective students can indicate their interest in applying for a Coverdell Fellowship as part of their application to the School of Public Health. They must then complete and submit our Coverdell Fellowship Program Application that can be downloaded from the Center for Global Health website (

Program begins

Early August - Fall admission for all programs / Mid-January - Spring admission for select programs only; see the School’s Admissions webpage for more information (

Non-traditional options

  • Online degree program
  • Option to pursue degree part time while receiving the Coverdell Fellowship

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who enroll in our School's Online MPH in Public Health Practice may also apply to our Coverdell Fellowship Program.

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



John Justino, Director - Center for Global Health

University at Albany School of Public Health
One University Place
Rensselaer, NY 12144