University of South Florida - Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Why you should consider this program

The fields of Civil and Environmental Engineering have long been known for their breadth and ability to adapt to the new technological, societal, and global problems facing society and the environment. Coverdell Fellows in our program should want to merge their graduate education with interdisciplinary training and issues of community participation, 21st century infrastructure, sustainable development and global engagement. Graduates of the programs are prepared for careers with governmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGO's), academia, or private industry and firms involved in planning, design, research and development, or policy. Fellows can integrate a graduate concentration in Engineering for International Development or a graduate certificate in Water, Health, and Sustainability into their degree program. Directors and affiliated faculty have extensive experience in education, research, and service related to developing and assessing innovative technology, community participation, sustainable infrastructure, humanitarian assistance, and global engagement. We can accommodate a wide variety of COS dates because we admit students throughout the year.  

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 6,410 $ 4,000 $ 2,410
Out of state $ 25,986 $ 19,580 $ 6,406
* 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

All Coverdell Fellows have received a Dean’s Discretionary Fellowship that provides $2,000 and most importantly, makes them eligible to receive a tuition waiver which covers approximately 80% of in-state tuition/fees which results in significant savings on tuition/fees. The above calculations of Fellow benefits assumed a residence of 1.5 years and a student only received the Dean’s Discretionary Fellowship.

Experience shows Coverdell Fellows routinely receive a graduate teaching or research assistantship, we pay: 80% tuition waiver per year, $1,990 per year health insurance, 10- or 20-hour-per-week graduate assistantship for M.S. / 20-hour-per-week graduate assistantship for Ph.D (20 hours is considered full time). Assistantships include health insurance.

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

The Director will make Fellows aware of College and Professional Society scholarships specific to engineering.

In addition to benefits received through the Coverdell Fellows program at USF, fellows will also be considered for numerous graduate teaching and research assistantships and fellowships. This applies to both Master’s and PhD students.

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 14,500

Application fee waived?



Fellows will complete a domestic internship anywhere in the U.S.  Outside of Florida, fellow internships with the Indian Health Services can be applied for. There are many opportunities locally in the Tampa Bay region in underserved communities related to transportation, water resources, and environmental engineering. Many faculty in the Department of Civil & Environmental at USF have local research projects in or partnerships with underserved communities, and routinely facilitate research or service-learning experiences in these settings. In addition, USF maintains an Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships, which facilitates local internships for students in underserved communities.

Other details

Program length

1 year of coursework followed by 6 credit research thesis (for M.S.); a 1-year coursework Master’s is also available; 4 years for the Ph.D.

Application requirements

You must complete the application, upload the following information, submit and pay your graduate application fee:  More information on the admissions process is provided here:

Specific items include:

Statement of Purpose

Current resume

Contact information for 2-3 references who will be requested to send letters of recommendation. We recommend that at least 2 of the letters come from faculty members who are familiar with you.

University transcripts

GRE scores (Master's applicants may substitute verification that they have passed the FE exam)

Program begins

Late August (Fall); early January (Spring)

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



James R. Mihelcic, Samuel L. and Julia M. Flom Endowed Professor, Director of Engineering for International Development Program

4202 E. Fowler Ave, ENG 030
Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620