Graduate College

Peace Corps Volunteer with two young boys

ASU Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program at ASU assists Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) in obtaining an affordable or nearly free master’s degree in several programs.

Fourteen fellowships are available per year. Apply now for the fall 2017 semester.

If chosen as a Coverdell Fellow:

  • You will receive tuition assistance, depending on the degree program you choose.
  • A master’s degree that will enhance your earning power and marketability with employers
  • You will provide much-needed assistance to underserved American communities

Explore the other tabs on this web page to find complete requirements, how to apply, and the programs you can apply for at ASU.

Apply now for fall 2017 semester

  • Consult your program's website to determine when applications are due
  • MARCH 1: FAFSA application deadline. Need to know more about FAFSA?
  • Coverdell Fellowship applications must be submitted by the application deadline for the graduate program. 
  • Deadlines to apply to ASU programs are set by academic departments. 

Questions? Please email the Coverdell Coordinator.  Discover more about the Peace Corps at ASU and the Coverdell Fellows Program on the Peace Corps site.

For academic program questions, contact the graduate admissions coordinator or other graduate contact listed on each department’s website.

Tuition Assistance

ASU’s Coverdell Fellows receive a graduate tuition scholarship, varying depending on the academic unit, applied to the standard (base) graduate tuition. Tuition is set by the Arizona Board of Regents each spring. The tuition scholarship does not include departmental differential tuition or program fees, additional fees, health insurance, or books. Tuition support is renewable for each year of study based on progress to degree and completion of Fellows' obligations.

Graduate tuition support may be affected by other support, including departmental or external scholarship or fellowship support and graduate assistantships.  Fellows are encouraged to seek additional support from the academic unit or from extramural funding sources.

Needs-Based Scholarship

ASU’s Coverdell Fellows in participating academic programs will be eligible to receive a needs-based scholarship from Graduate Education up to $5,000. Financial need is determined by submitting a FAFSA. 

Application Waiver

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are eligible to have their application fee waived. Complete the form or send your Description of Service documentation to the Coverdell Coordinator.

Professional Development

The core expectation of U.S. Peace Corps is that Coverdell Fellows provide service or benefit to an underserved domestic community. This is a minimum of 320 hours per academic year. Each academic program will have expectations for how this will be completed. The service opportunity can be designed to provide practical professional experience and supplement your academic studies. If your academic unit requires an internship as part of your degree program, those hours may dually satisfy your Coverdell service requirement.

Please consult the academic program and Coverdell Coordinator if you have further questions.

ASU Peace Corps Community

ASU’s Coverdell Fellows will be required to participate in one major Peace Corps event per semester. A calendar of Peace Corps events will be made available to all Coverdell Fellows by the Coverdell Coordinator each semester. The event will be determined by the Fellow coordinating with the ASU STRAT and with the consultation of the Coverdell Coordinator.

We primarily support master's degree students. Limited support is provided to students pursuing a PhD, generally after completing a master's. Requirements and contacts for academic programs or admissions questions can be found in graduate degrees.

When applying, be sure to observe the deadlines of the academic program and submit all paperwork by the academic deadline or March 1, whichever comes first. 

Below are the departments which partner with ASU Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program:

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Thunderbird School of Global Management

W. P. Carey School of Business


Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow eligibility

All Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who satisfactorily complete their service have lifetime eligibility for Coverdell Fellows Program.

"Satisfactorily Completed" means the volunteer:

  • completed the full two-year tour of Peace Corps service, or the full tour minus up to 90 days if he/she returned home on an emergency leave;
  • was granted "Early Close of Service" or "Interrupted Service" status due to circumstances that were beyond his/her control; or
  • was medically separated as a Volunteer

ASU Coverdell Fellow annual requirements

  • admission to a graduate degree-seeking program with a current Coverdell Fellowship Program
  • must maintain full-time academic status and complete service as outlined below
    • must complete service to an underserved U.S. community through an internship totaling 320 hours of service per twelve-month period for each of the two years of fellowship
    • participate in one professional development per semester, two service activities per year, Peace Corps Week activities and outreach talks about Peace Corps


Academic application and Coverdell Fellows application

The academic application is a separate process from the Coverdell Fellow's application. Each academic unit sets its own deadlines found on the departmental website. Though Graduate Education accepts academic applications through May, the academic department deadline takes precedence. There is an advantage to applying early.

When will I be notified by Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows?

We begin reviewing applications in January and will start to make electronic offers in March until the cohort is filled. Offers are contingent upon acceptance in your academic program. We will wait to hear from the academic unit that an applicant is recommended for admission before making an offer. You may contact the Coverdell Fellowship Coordinator at any time to check the status of your application. 

Step-by-step application process

  1. Research available Coverdell Fellowships at Arizona State University.
  2. If possible, visit and meet with the academic units to assess program suitability.
  3. Review the important deadline dates under the "Introduction" tab on this page.
  4. Complete the application forms for:
    • University (Graduate Education)
    • Academic unit (Academic Programs)
    • Coverdell Fellowship application
    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form
  5. To be considered, all forms must be submitted by March 1 (with the exception of the Coverdell application which will be accepted up until April 1).

Let us hear from you

Let the academic graduate coordinator or admissions coordinator in your chosen department and the Coverdell Coordinator know that you are applying for admission and wish to be considered for the ASU Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program.

The Arizona State University Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program application includes:

  1. Completed online application
  2. These attachments should be emailed to the Coverdell Coordinator: 
    1. Three essay responses
    2. Resumé
    3. Description of Service (DOS) or a draft of the DOS

General instructions

Please respond completely to all questions in the application. We are interested in your philosophy of service, reflections on your Peace Corps experience, your academic plan and professional goals, and your potential contributions to the Coverdell Fellows program in central Arizona. 

Insert the cursor in the form field box to enter your responses.  All responses must be submitted at one sitting. Copy or download the application form, develop your responses in your word processor, and upload all responses at one time. Items marked with an asterisk (*) are required before the form can be submitted.


Please submit a comprehensive resumé which includes your Peace Corps Service. We are interested in your academic background, employment history, outcomes or accomplishments in positions held, and specific skills you have that will be useful in an internship. If accepted as a Coverdell Fellow, this resume may be distributed to potential internship agencies. Please name the word file with your surname, first name, and the date you want to start school, e.g.: Doe_John_Fall_15.

Description of Service (DOS)

Please submit as a PDF file labeled “Last name_First name_DOS.” If you have not yet completed your Peace Corps service, you may substitute a detailed description of your activities and submit the final, signed DOS upon completion of service. To request a copy of your DOS, please contact: Volunteer and PSC Financial Services at 855.855.1961 ext. 1770 or 202.692.1770 or email at


Please use Times New Roman, 12-point font, and one-inch margins on all the essays. All responses should be no longer than one page, single spaced. Prepare responses in a word or PDF document and email to Coverdell Coordinator.

  • The first essay is a reflection on the challenges of being a volunteer. It may be about your Peace Corps service or another experience. We are interested in your reflections, what you learned when challenged, and how you worked within a community.
  • The second essay focuses on your specific skills, interests and goals that will contribute to the central Arizona community and Coverdell Fellows program.
  • The third essay is an opportunity to explain your career goals following your graduation. Please discuss how the academic and Coverdell Fellows experience will help you achieve your goals.

Confirmation of Submission

The online application site will show a thank-you message when you have successfully submitted your application. If you do not see the thank-you message, you will have to resubmit your application.

If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgment of receipt of your application within one week, resubmit your application and contact the Coverdell Coordinator

Related to the academic application

Please submit your academic application to Arizona State University – including required documents (transcripts, standardized scores, portfolios, letters of reference, statements, etc.) – using the Graduate Education online application following the academic departmental procedures. Coverdell Fellows applicants may mark “Peace Corps Fellows” as a potential source of support on the academic application. Do not send the academic application, any transcripts, or any references to the Peace Corps Fellows office. These materials should be sent directly to the academic program as required.

What else should I do?

You are encouraged to file the FAFSA online as early as possible beginning January 1, and no later than March 1. FAFSA is required to determine eligibility for the needs-based scholarships.

If you are interested in housing support, be sure to visit University Housing to apply for Residential Assistant or Hall Director positions. The application deadlines are generally in late January.


Contact information

Peace Corps Liaison and University Coverdell Coordinator
Fulton Center 420
300 E. University Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281
E-mail: Coverdell Coordinator



All files must be uploaded in one sitting. Please review instructions prior to beginning work on the application.

You will know your application has been submitted when you see the "Thank you for submitting your application" message. If you have questions about the application process, or being a Fellow, please email the Coverdell Coordinator for more information.

Contact Information
Address Information
Alternate Contact
If you are currently abroad, please provide information for an alternate contact.
Academic Plans
Academic Background
Foreign or second languages (up to 4)
Peace Corps Service
Second Country of Service
Essay Questions
Please respond to each essay question using Times New Roman, 12-point font, and one-inch margins. All responses should be no longer than one page. Prepare responses in a Word or PDF document and attach them below.

Essay 1

Please share with us a situation in which you were challenged as a volunteer. Discuss how you gained support and utilized existing resources to meet that challenge. What was the result? How did this experience affect your service? What did you learn?

This is a reflection on the challenges of being a volunteer. It may be about your Peace Corps service or another experience. We are interested in your reflections, what you learned when challenged, and how you worked within a community.

Essay 2

What strengths and tangible skills will you bring to the Coverdell Fellows program?  How do you plan to incorporate your academics into your Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows experience? 

This essay focuses on your specific skills, interests, and goals that will contribute to the central Arizona community and Coverdell Fellows' program.

Essay 3

In three concise sentences, please tell us what you want to study and why. Then, please expand upon those ideas to write an essay about what you see yourself doing in the five years immediately following your graduation.

This essay is an opportunity to explain your career goals following your graduation. Please discuss how the academic and Coverdell Fellows' experience will help you achieve your goals.

Submit Documents

Click here to email your attachments. Please attach Word documents (.doc or .docx) or PDF files only. The following should be submitted:

  • PC Coverdell Fellows Essay 1
  • PC Coverdell Fellows Essay 2
  • PC Coverdell Fellows Essay 3
  • Resume
  • DOS or Draft (See Instructions)

1. What is the Coverdell Fellows program?

The Peace Corps Fellows program allows Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to attend Arizona State University with reduced expenses while serving in an internship that benefits an underserved domestic community.

2. Must I have completed my Peace Corps service to be eligible?

Coverdell Fellows normally complete two years of service and have received a complete close of service. However, exceptions are made for volunteers who were medically separated or forced to leave service through no fault of their own, such as a country crisis. Applicants must provide signed copies of the appropriate eligibility documentation (the DOS) prior to starting the program.

3. Can I apply to Coverdell Fellows or to Arizona State University before I go abroad?

No. The Coverdell Fellows is only for volunteers who will have completed service by the time they enter school. We recommend that you apply 9 to12 months prior to the date you wish to begin your studies.

If you are interested in being accepted into a program before you depart for Peace Corps, you may want to consider the Master’s International programs at Arizona State University.

4. Are most Coverdell Fellows recently returned from service?

Most Coverdell Fellows have returned from service within the last 3 to 5 years. However, RPCVs are eligible to apply to the program regardless of the date of their Peace Corps service. We encourage RPCVs to apply if they are interested in returning to academia and providing service in central Arizona.

5. Do I receive academic credit for my Peace Corps service?

There are no participating departments that give credit for Peace Corps service.

6. How can I find out what programs are available at Arizona State University?

Check Graduate Education's graduate programs webpage.

7. Do I need to take the GRE or GMAT?

Departments generally require a standardized test for graduate admissions. Check program descriptions on Graduate Education's website for details on general and subject tests. It may be to your advantage to take the GRE prior to departing for service because it is difficult and costly to take the test abroad. GRE scores are valid for five years. Consult the academic department for further information.

8. What is the average GRE/GMAT score required for admission?

Faculty of the academic unit evaluate applications, reviewing all materials provided. Minimum standards for admission are on the Graduate Admissions site.

9. How is the GPA evaluated?

Graduate Education evaluates the GPA generally by your last 60 credits or last two years of undergraduate study. If your GPA for this period is below a 3.0, or if you are lacking certain required courses for the field of study you wish to enter, you might consider taking additional courses as a non degree-seeking student to make up deficits. A non degree-seeking student cannot be a Coverdell Fellow.

10. What is my obligation as a Fellow at ASU?

Coverdell Fellows commit to 320 hours of service and other requirements per year for two years (total 640 hours). Coverdell Fellows hold an internship that benefits an underserved community. This can generally be fulfilled by working 10 hours per week during each 15 week semester. Internships may be funded through Work Study, certain graduate assistantships, AmeriCorps, or other employment.

Coverdell Fellows are expected to participate in one professional development event each semester, two service activities per year, Peace Corps Week activities, and outreach talks about Peace Corps. Additionally, Coverdell Fellows must submit hours of service and periodic evaluation reports. Renewal of the fellowship is contingent on progression to degree, fulfillment of service obligations, and active participation as a Fellow. Coverdell Fellows may go on “reserve” to complete a departmental internship or to take advantage of fellowships or opportunities which require a full-time commitment. Coverdell Fellows conducting research or study abroad are placed on reserve.

11. How many RPCVs live in Phoenix?

Approximately 300 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers live in the Phoenix area, and 2,000+ live in Arizona. The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Phoenix meet bi-monthly, donate to Peace Corps projects worldwide, and welcome all Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows. ASU is a top recruiter school for Peace Corps.

12. When should I apply?

Our priority deadline is January 15 for a fall start. We accept applications up to March 1. Some academic units will have earlier start dates and these dates will take priority over the Coverdell Fellowships.

All applicants should file the FAFSA in January. It can provide financial support in the form of loans, grants, and work study.

Submit your academic application in advance of the department deadline – usually when international applications are due for optimal review.

13. Can the ASU application fee be waived?

When applying as a returned Peace Corps volunteer please note your Peace Corps experience in the application. After doing so, you will need to indicate on the application form that you intend to pay with a check. When this has been completed, your application will proceed without the payment and you are not responsible for any future payments for this one-time fee. It will be important to complete your application to the academic program and the Coverdell Fellowship within the same period.

14. What are my requirements for being a teacher’s assistant or research assistant?

The policy and procedures for the teacher’s assistance and research assistance can be referenced here. For more information, please email Graduate Education at

15. How many Coverdell Fellowships do we have at ASU?

ASU schools and colleges hosts 14 Coverdell Fellows each year:

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: four Fellows
  • Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering: two Fellows
  • Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College: two Fellows
  • New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences: two Fellows
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management: two Fellows
  • W. P. Carey School of Business: two Fellows