University of Colorado - Denver - School of Public Affairs

Why you should consider this program

U.S. News & World Report ranks the CU Denver School of Public Affairs as the top public affairs school in Colorado, and among the best in the nation. We combine world-class faculty with an urban setting that creates opportunities for experiential learning, rigorous programs, and flexible schedules. Since 2007, the CU Denver School of Public Affairs has helped advance the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program. The School of Public Affairs at CU Denver offers a competitive fellowship to graduate students who have successfully served in the Peace Corps. Fellows may choose among our Master in Public Administration, Master in Public Policy, Master of Criminal Justice, or Public Affairs programs. The master degree programs offer a number of concentrations (such as emergency management, education policy, environmental policy, gender-based violence, local government, social equity, nonprofit management, and public policy analysis) and dual degrees (such as with economics, urban and regional planning, applied geography and geospatial sciences, public health, and law).

Our commitment to selected students is to provide up to two years of tuition assistance as well as a paid internship with a community agency. Our Coverdell Fellows Alumni can be found in diverse public service professions. They are making an impact as federal employees in land management, emergency management, and in accountability offices. They are making a difference at the state level in areas such as public health, regulatory affairs, and education policy. On the local level, they are nonprofit directors, urban planners, city managers, and human services professionals. Internationally they are working with progressive NGOs as program administrators, advocates, and ultimately as change agents.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 25,000 $ 6,250 $ 18,750
Out of state $ 54,000 $ 6,250 $ 47,750
* 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

Funding comes from a $6,250 tuition scholarship and placement in a paid internship that amounts to approximately $4,700.

The biggest value for Coverdell Fellows is with our 1-year accelerated MPA program (AMPA). The program offers a flat tuition rate ($25,000) and fees (approximately $3,000), regardless of residency status.

Tuition + fees: $27,600
Value of Coverdell Fellowship: $ 6,250
Net cost: $ 21,350

Regarding the traditional Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy programs, students who demonstrate residency in a WRGP state may be eligible for in-state tuition. Please contact spa.a[email protected] for questions regarding tuition and fees.

For more information on the Coverdell Fellowship and the application link, please visit our website at

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

Advanced consideration for part-time office assistant positions at the School of Public Affairs. We also offer support for professional development, a full-day Emergenetics Workshop, and support for career management.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 20,000

Application fee waived?



Fellows are offered significant assistance in a securing part time, paid internship based on the Fellows’ interests, goals, and qualifications. Fellows complete an internship for a minimum of 32 weeks at a minimum of 10 hours per week. Fellows earn a minimum of $4,700 each year. Fellows have served in internships in variety of areas including but not limited to the following:

  • Education policy and access
  • Human services
  • Environmental policy
  • Food safety
  • Housing
  • Social justice
  • Civil rights

Recent Fellow hosts have included the following:

  • Warren Village, Denver (providing services for low income single family homes)
  • Home Builders Foundation Denver (providing accessibility solutions and home modifications for individuals with disabilities and financial)
  • Generation Schools Network (a nonprofit that takes a cost conscious and sustainable approach to transform public school performance)

Jobs for program alumni

  • Social Insurance Specialist, Social Security Administration (Denver, CO)
  • Presidential Management Fellow, FEMA (Washington DC)
  • Support Services Specialist, U.S. Forest Service (Denver, CO)
  • Disaster Program Manager, Red Cross (Mohawk Valley, NY)
  • Town Planner, Town of Avon (Avon, CO)
  • Senior Manager for Social Responsibility, Newmont Mining Corporation (Denver, CO)
  • Evaluation Specialist, The Evaluation Center (Denver, CO)
  • Mentoring Program Facilitator, Goodwill Industries of Denver (Denver, CO)

Other details

Program length

1 -3 years.

Application requirements

Official transcripts from all institutions attended, three letters of recommendation, resume, personal statement, demonstration of analytical writing ability, demonstration of quantitative competency, test scores (GRE, LSAT, GMAT) are optional but welcome for quicker processing.

Admissions process

Coverdell Fellows webpage and application link are at Select to pay application fee 'by check.' Follow up with an email to [email protected] with a copy of your service record and request the application fee waiver. Submit application materials as they become available. Admissions are rolling with decisions delivered approximately 14 business days after all materials are received. Apply for scholarships by March 15 for fall award consideration.

Program begins

Late August, Late January, Early June

Non-traditional options

  • Online degree program
  • Low residency or distance learning
  • Option to pursue degree part time while receiving the Coverdell Fellowship

Classes are available for Peace Corps Fellows to complete on campus during the early evening; online; or through day time intensive course delivery through our accelerated MPA program.

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Christine Martell, Professor

1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 500
Denver, CO 80217