University of Pittsburgh- School of Public Health

Why you should consider this program

Pitt Public Health invites Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to apply for the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, where your experiences in the field are recognized as an asset in the classroom. You'll also enjoy the advantages of living in an up and coming city with affordable living, cultural events, a growing restaurant scene, and more!

Coverdell Fellows receive a 40 percent tuition scholarship and semester fees for up to four academic terms of study at Pitt Public Health, plus direct work experience in local underserved communities. If you’re interested in pursuing a master’s degree and want to apply for a Coverdell Fellowship, simply check the “Peace Corps” box on your SOPHAS application when applying to Pitt Public Health.

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 60,900 $ 25,930 $ 34,970
Out of state $ 101,700 $ 42,250 $ 59,450
* 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

Benefits listed above include the following:

  • Guaranteed 40% tuition scholarship (up to 4 semesters) for fellows enrolled in participating masters programs;
  • Student fees charged by the University in each of those semesters; and
  • SOPHAS application fee.

Note: The online application system, SOPHAS, offers limited fee waivers for RPCVs. This fee waiver covers the first designation selected in SOPHAS; additional designations are $55. Pitt Public Health will refund the cost of applying to our MPH program for matriculating students in their first term.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)

Up to 8 new Fellowships per academic year.

Other benefits or opportunities

Coverdell Fellows are welcome to apply to other forms of financial aid, including university, school, and department aid. Learn more here .

It is possible to complete the MPH degree in 16 Months (3 terms) for specific programs that offer an accelerated option.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 25,000

Application fee waived?



Coverdell Fellows will complete at least 200 practicum hours with local organizations serving disadvantaged communities. The school provides guidance in identifying eligible organizations. While specific requirements vary across departments, practicum experiences can address many public health issues, including harm reduction housing, healthcare access, HIV/AIDS, health literacy, food access, and data analysis.

Jobs for program alumni

The following job titles were selected from Master of Public Health graduates specializing in behavioral and community health sciences, epidemiology, health policy and management, or infectious diseases:

  • Public Health Analyst, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Project Officer, Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Management & Program Analyst, U.S. Department of Education
  • Product Development Manager, National Committee of Quality Assurance
  • Program Manager, Jewish Healthcare Foundation
  • PREP Data Manager, Georgia Division of Families and Children
  • PHI/CDC Global Health Fellow, CDC, Divisions of Global HIV and TB
  • Policy Manager, The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care
  • Program and Policy Analyst, Nemours
  • Epidemiologist, CDC Miami Quarantine Station
  • International Agricultural Program Specialist, USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service
  • HIV Educator, Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education Training Center
  • International Relations Analyst, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Data Manager, Yale University, School of Medicine

Other details

Program length

20 Months/4 semesters

Application requirements

Application requirements vary by department. For more information about department-specific requirements visit here.

In general, the School of Public Health requires:

  • SOPHAS online application
  • 6 college credits in behavioral and social sciences with “C” or better
  • 3 college credits of algebra or statistical reasoning with “C” or better
  • Official transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume and Statement of Purpose
  • GRE*

* Please check with your program; in many cases, GRE scores are not required.

See our website, click here, for additional information.

No school application fee is required. The third party application website, SOPHAS, charges a fee, and applicants have the option to apply for a waiver, click here.

To start an application online go to:

Admissions process

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers apply through SOPHAS ( To be considered for the Coverdell Fellowship, applicants must indicate RPCV status by checking the “Peace Corps” box under “Additional Experiences.” Departments will review applications for admission to their masters program. Upon admission, RPCVs must provide a copy of the official Peace Corps “Description of Service” before their first term of study.

Program begins

Late August

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Dr. Cynthia Salter, Director, Center for Global Health

University of Pittsburgh/Center for Global Health
6315 Public Health 130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261