University of Missouri - Columbia - Geography

Why you should consider this program

The Department of Geography and Peace Corps share the mission of fostering global understanding through project-based research, teaching, and service collaborations with local peoples and places around the world. 

The Paul D. Coverdell Graduate Fellowship in Geography at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) is naturally synergistic with the perspectives and skill sets of returned Peace Corps volunteers, and our program will actively support your professional goals through advanced training in the geographical sciences. The faculty are well-equipped to support you in research, teaching, and service activities in all Peace Corps regions globally. 

Our department is a small but intellectually engaged group, which gives you a small school feel within a large research university. Mizzou Geography has a proven track record of success with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, including placing those graduates in employment in their field and in highly competitive PhD programs; and hundreds of organizations in the mid-Missouri area have demonstrated the willingness and capacity to work with Returned Peace Corps volunteers on service learning projects in coordination with the University of Missouri Office of Service Learning.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 15,060 $ 47,020 $ 0 + You receive additional benefits.
Out of state $ 37,564 $ 69,524 $ 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

100% tuition waiver plus 20-hour-per-week teaching assistantship, plus subsidized health care. Fellows are responsible for paying mandatory university fees amounting to a total estimate of $816 over two years of study.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

The Abe and Ida Komen Endowment Fund can be used to provide up to $2,000 of one-time supplementary fellowship support to Coverdell Fellows. The department and university offer travel and research funds awarded on a competitive basis.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 32,286

Application fee waived?



The internship requirement for Coverdell Fellows in Geography consists of ten hours per week with a local or regional community organization serving an underserved American community for the fifteen weeks of each semester (fall and spring) during the two years it takes to complete the Masters degree. 

Coverdell Fellows will be supported with a 9-month Department of Geography Third Goal Assistantship, renewable for a second year pending satisfactory performance and progress toward degree. Unlike standard Geography Teaching Assistantships which require 20 hours per week of teaching responsibilities, the Third Goal Assistantship offers a reduced teaching load coupled with 10 hours per week of stipend-supported service with local community organizations. The Third Goal Assistantship allocation of responsibilities is designed to create synergies between teaching, thesis research, and community service.

Jobs for program alumni

The Department of Geography was authorized to offer the Coverdell Fellowship as a standalone program at the University of Missouri beginning in fall semester of 2017. Prior to that time, Geography participated in the university wide Coverdell program, and hosted six Fellows over five years (2009-2014). Three of those Fellows were admitted to highly competitive PhD programs in Geography with full funding, and the other three found immediate employment working for the Minnesota Food Association, the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the King County Department of Parks & Natural Resources.

Other details

Program length

2 years

Application requirements

College transcripts, university application, departmental application (includes statement of purpose), three letters of reference

Admissions process

Full application instructions are available on the department's web page. Check the Coverdell Fellows box in the application to qualify for the application fee waiver. When we inform you of whether or not you've been admitted into the MA program, we will also inform you of whether you've been accepted as a Coverdell Fellow.

Program begins

Mid August

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Dr. Matt Foulkes, Associate Professor of Geography

Department of Geography
202 Stewart Hall
Columbia, MO 65211