University of Maryland - Baltimore County - College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

Why you should consider this program

Founded by the Shriver family, The Peaceworker Program is a direct legacy of Sargent Shriver and President Kennedy's vision of the impact of Peace Corps Volunteers returning home ready to apply the lessons and experience they gained abroad.

Each year the Peaceworker Program invites 6-10 RPCVs for a rigorous, two year social change leadership program integrating three key components:

  • Full-time graduate study. Peaceworkers study in any of UMBCs graduate programs or select Consortium programs.
  • Part-time placement (20hrs/wk). Community placements range from positions engaged in direct service to others serving indirectly through research or evaluation. We partner with organizations small and large focused upon meeting needs including: literacy and education, youth services, public health, homelessness and poverty, immigrant services, and more.
  • Ethical reflection seminars and retreats designed to enable Peaceworkers to integrate the practical, theoretical and moral dimensions of their experience.

Over the course of two years, Peaceworkers develop the knowledge, skills, and reflection tools needed to understand deep-rooted social problems and discern authentic solutions.

We are looking for RPCVs who are passionate about making a difference, interested in translating their service abroad into engaged experiences here in Baltimore, and ready to join a community of aspiring social change leaders.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 30,000 $ 60,000 $ 0 + You receive additional benefits.
Out of state $ 45,000 $ 75,000 $ 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

The Peaceworker Fellowship covers annually 20 credits of tuition (40 credits over 2 years, which covers most Masters programs), a living stipend of $15,000 ($30,000 over 2 years), and health insurance coverage (year around for 2 years). This package is connected with a 20hr/wk placement requirement with a community partner organization. Because the Peaceworker program accepts applications from many graduate programs at multiple institutions, the benefits are not exactly the same for every program. The benefits are as described for UMBC, but for consortium fellows, the tuition benefit functions as a scholarship in the amount of 10 credits of in-state tuition at UMBC, which in some cases does not cover full tuition at other institutions. The living stipend and insurance are as described for all fellows.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)

6 to 8

Other benefits or opportunities

Peaceworker Fellows are supported to participate in all program related seminars, events, and retreats. Fellows have a number of opportunities to meet and network with alumni of the program.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 16,928

Application fee waived?



Each Peaceworker Fellow works in a part-time (20 hrs./wk.) community based position focused as closely as possible on the area of social concern to which they are drawn. Peaceworker community service placements are diverse, ranging from positions engaged in direct service (leading afterschool youth programs or neighborhood services programs, for example) to others serving indirectly (researching best practices and policies, or conducting evaluations for a partner organization).

We partner with organizations small and large focused upon meeting diverse social needs including: literacy and education, youth services, public health, homelessness and poverty, inter-cultural/international services, and community development. Fellows work in these placements serves not only the Greater Baltimore community but also constitutes an opportunity for experiential learning, allowing Fellows to develop practical and professional skills and gain first hand knowledge of the complex social problems confronting the United States and its cities today.

Service placements are required for the full two years and are correlated with the Peaceworkers graduate study. Integration of community service and academic learning in the form of traditional topic research, program evaluation, and participatory action research are highly encouraged.

Jobs for program alumni

Peaceworker Alums are all continuing in lives and careers of service and civic engagement. As an interdisciplinary group with diverse areas of passion and training they are working across sectors and issue areas. Peaceworker Alums hold positions in public agencies at local, state, and federal levels; they are teaching in public schools, leading programs for small and large nonprofits serving vulnerable populations; they are staff or faculty in higher education, they are social entrepreneurs starting innovative programs, and more. Peaceworker Alums are also part of an engaged social and professional community that grows with each graduating class!

Other details

Program length

2 years

Application requirements

Peaceworker requires: Application Form; Personal Statement; 2 References; Transcripts; Peace Corps DOS; GRE only if required by academic program

Admissions process

RPCVs apply separately to Graduate Program (please follow their requirements and timeline) and to the Shriver Peaceworker Fellows Program (please follow our requirements and timeline listed here):

Fellowships are awarded in early April and require admission to a participating graduate program.

Program begins

Late July

Non-traditional options

  • None

Most classes are offered in the evening. All students must be enrolled fulltime each semester for Fellowship.

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Charlotte Keniston, Associate Director

Shriver Center at UMBC
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250