Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows

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

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.


Tuition Assistance

ASU’s Coverdell Fellows receive a waiver of in-state tuition, 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 award does not include departmental differential tuition or program fees, additional fees, health insurance, or books.

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 College up to $2,500 ($1,250 per semester) with matching funds from their academic unit. Financial need is determined by submitting a FAFSA. 

Application Waiver

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are eligible to have their application fee waived. Complete the Coverdell application and attach the appropriate documentation before submitting. You will be notified by the Coverdell Coordinator once your fee waiver has been applied so that you may submit your graduate application.

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 300 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.


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 Fellows 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 300 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 Programs

When applying, be sure to observe the academic program's deadlines and submit all paperwork by the academic deadline.

Below are the departments which partner with ASU Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program. Please click on the degree name for additional information about the degrees.

The College

For applicants interested in applying for programs in The College:

Fellowship applications are reviewed for Fall only. All Coverdell fellowship applications and admission application materials must be received by February 3rd to be considered for a fellowship the following fall semester; this applies to all programs, including those with a rolling deadline. Please be sure to review your program of interest’s application deadlines, as these may be before the February 3rd fellowship deadline.

The number of available fellowships is limited and highly competitive. 

School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Prospective Coverdell fellows must submit their fellowship application by February 1st. 

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

W. P. Carey School of Business


To be considered for the Arizona State University Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program you must:

  1. Begin your admissions application, but do not submit.
  • You will need your application reference number for your Coverdell Application.
  • The Coverdell application deadline corresponds with the application deadlines of the program to which you are applying.
  1. Complete your Coverdell Application, attach your DOS or service letter, and submit.
  2. The Coverdell Coordinator will notify you once your application fee waiver has been applied so you can submit your application. Only approved Coverdell programs are eligible for the application fee waiver.
  3. Complete and submit your online degree application for the participating program.

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 submit a detailed description of your activities and a letter, signed by your Country Director, verifying your service and estimated date of completion. You will need to submit your 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

All files must be uploaded in one sitting.

You will know your application has been submitted when you see the"Your application has been submitted." message.

If you have questions about the application process, or being a Fellow, please email the Coverdell Coordinator for more information.

Your app reference number was emailed to the address you used to start your graduate application.

Submit your Description of Service (DOS)

If you have completed your service: Please submit your signed DOS as a PDF file labeled “Last name_First Name_DOS.”

If you have not yet completed your service: Please submit a letter, signed by your country director, verifying your service and estimated date of completion and your draft DOS. Submit as a PDF labeled “Last name_First Name_draftDOS.”

Files must be less than 2 MB.
Allowed file types: txt rtf pdf doc docx.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Do I receive academic credit for my Peace Corps service?

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

How can I find out what programs are eligible for the Coverdell Fellowship at Arizona State University?

Eligible programs are listed on the programs tab above.

Do I need to take the GRE or GMAT?

Departments generally require a standardized test for graduate admissions. Check program descriptions and requirements by clicking the degree name on the programs tab above.

How is the GPA evaluated?

Graduate College 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.

What is my obligation as a Fellow at ASU?

Coverdell Fellows commit to 300 hours of service and other requirements per year for two years (total 600 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.

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.

When should I apply?

Our priority deadline is January 15 for a fall start. We accept applications up to March 1. Some academic programs will have earlier deadlines 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.

Can the ASU application fee be waived?

Yes. When applying, please follow the instructions outlined on the "Instructions" tab of this page.

Are online programs eligible for the Coverdell Fellowship?

No. Currently only on campus programs are eligible for the Coverdell Fellowship.