University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education

Why you should consider this program

The International Educational Development Program (IEDP) at PennGSE provides students builds on Peace Corps experiences by preparing students with the distinctive skills required for working in the field of education in the developing world both through academic coursework and hands-on experiences. We provide students with an enhanced understanding of the interplay of local, national and international research, policy and practice as they relate to education in developing countries.  Students draw on the program’s strong interdisciplinary course and practicum offerings that support expertise including, but not limited to: basic education, learning, literacy, language planning, non-profit management, poverty, curriculum development, public health, human rights, teacher preparation, refugee rights and humanitarian aid in international contexts.  

Although based in the School for Education, IEDP students have the opportunity to take electives from across the university, including for example, courses in International Human Rights Law (offered by the Law School), Issues in Global Health (offered by the Medical School and Public Health) and Nonprofits in a Changing World (offered by the School for Social Policy and Practice).  This unique flexibility combined with tightly knit cohort, and our acclaimed, graduate-level, international field experiences make IEDP an exceptional place to pursue studies in the field.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 73,964 $ 18,500 $ 55,464
Out of state $ 73,964 $ 18,500 $ 55,464
* 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% is grants.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)

Typically, between one and three.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 28,810

Application fee waived?



IEDP offers two internship experiences: First, Coverdell Fellows work about 5 hours/week over about 16 weeks, during their coursework as IEDP Master’s students.  This work takes place in the Philadelphia area, typically with disadvantaged children and families through community organizations and partners.  This service requirement is flexibly built around academic schedules, as coursework is intended to remain the primary concern for students.

Second, all IEDP students also are required to undertake an international field experience (arranged and supported by Penn) that is typically a 2-3 month field experience usually offered in the summer, after two semesters of coursework in preparation.  See the IEDP website for further details on countries and partnership placements.

The IEDP alumni network is quickly growing, and includes professionals working with major international NGO’s all over the world.  Alumni positions include ‎Head of International Development Department (SEAMEO, Vietnam); Consultant (World Bank Group, South Asia Global Practice); Senior Associate, Global Early Childhood Development (RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund); Consultant (UNESCO International Bureau of Education); Early Childhood Development Specialist (Save the Children); International Associate - Middle East & Africa (Clinton Global Initiative); Gender Equality Junior Program Specialist (UNESCO); and many more.  Please visit here for more about our alumni and their paths.

Other details

Program length

1 to 1 ½ Years

Application requirements

Statement of Purpose aligning with and highlighting relevant experience to the mission of the program, three letters of recommendation, all post-secondary transcripts, Resume.

Admissions process

Candidates who have Peace Corps experience will automatically be considered for the Coverdell Fellowship program.  Although not required, candidates may highlight their interest in the Coverdell Fellowship in their Statement of Purpose.  Fellowships will be awarded at admission to strong candidates.

Program begins

Late August

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Lauren Scicluna, Program Manager

3700 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104