College of Science and Engineering/ Department of Life Sciences/Fisheries and Mariculture Program at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Why you should consider this program

Keep the feeling you enjoyed while assisting others during your Peace Corps tenure. Earn your Master of Science degree in Fisheries and Mariculture while gaining the skills necessary for public or private positions in fisheries management or mariculture production.  Help preserve and sustainably utilize our ocean’s natural resources.  

Eligible returned Peace Corps, Peace Corps Response, and Global Health Service Partnership Volunteers have an opportunity to continue their education and obtain a Master of Science degree in the Fisheries and Mariculture (FAMA) Program through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program.  FAMA offers $1000 per academic year Coverdell Fellowships, which also allows out-of-state Fellows to qualify for in-state tuition. Other financial support may include teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and scholarships. Our students enjoy a low student-faculty ratio.  FAMA prepares you for a career in either the private or public sector in fisheries, mariculture or aquaculture through a rigorous core curriculum combined with an intensive hands-on research or internship project.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 12,830 $ 2,000 $ 10,830
Out of state $ 28,910 $ 18,080 $ 10,830
* 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

Coverdell Fellows will receive:
a) a Coverdell $1000/academic year tuition scholarship,

b) Teaching Assistantship (20 hr/wk; currently $10,800/academic year),

c) out-of-state tuition waiver (currently $4,021/semester saving), or

d) a combination of these.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

Coverdell Fellows will receive a Coverdell $1000/ academic year tuition scholarship, Teaching Assistantship (20 hr/wk; currently $10,800/academic year), out-of-state tuition waiver (if needed, currently $4,021/semester saving), or a combination of these.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 18,148

Application fee waived?



During the first academic year the Coverdell Fellows program coordinator will assist the student with identifying internship opportunities or even creating a new opportunity.  After establishing an internship, the Fellow is required to submit a proposal to their committee that will outline the project and its goal.  The project may take many forms, from policy to basic research, depending on the career goal of the Fellow, which is why the mentor match is crucial at the beginning.  Fellows will spend 20-40 hrs/wk from 6-12 months in their internship before presenting their Professional Paper or Thesis Research to their committee for review and defense.

Jobs for program alumni

TAMUCC Fisheries and Mariculture MS students have graduated with immediate employment as technicians for private research companies (e.g., Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Qualitas-Health, Skretting North America) and state institutions (e.g., Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Agrilife Research).

Other details

Program length

2 years

Application requirements

Instructions for the graduate applicant will request that Coverdell Fellows self-identify in their Fisheries and Mariculture (FAMA) program application essay. Completed applications must be received by the College of Graduate Studies by the specified priority deadline or final application deadline. Incomplete applications are not considered. The applicant will be notified of acceptance or rejection by letter or e-mail.

Admissions process

To qualify for the Coverdell Fellowship, students must be enrolled fulltime.

Program begins

Fall admission start date is late August. Spring admission start date is late January.

Non-traditional options

  • Minority-serving institution

To qualify for the Coverdell Fellowship, students must be enrolled fulltime.

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



John Scarpa, Associate Professor of Aquaculture, Peace Corps Coverdell Program Coordinator

Department of Life Sciences
6300 Ocean Drive (Unit 5800)
Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5800