Peace Corps and NYU Partner on New Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

The Peace Corps and New York University announced the launch of a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program that will provide graduate school scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers. This partnership marks the largest Fellows program between the Peace Corps and a university, with seven NYU schools and centers, including the Steinhardt School, accepting returned volunteers into their graduate programs. All program Fellows will complete internships in underserved American communities while they complete their studies, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as volunteers.

“We are delighted to partner with New York University to support our returned volunteersas they pursue higher education and continue their commitment to service,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Communities are moved forward by the selflessness of volunteers, and returned Peace Corps volunteers have unique skills and experiences to offer their local communities.”

Fellows selected for the program will receive at least 50 percent of tuition in financial benefits at seven participating NYU graduate schools and centers with no application fee. In addition to Steinhardt, these schools and centers include the Center for Urban Science and Progress, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, College of Global Public Health, Wagner School of Public Service, School of Professional Studies, and Silver School of Social Work. All Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) degrees at the Steinhardt School are eligible for the fellowship.

“As a university whose motto is ‘A Private University in the Public Service,’ we’re excited to partner with the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship and support returned volunteers in their continued leadership development and service on campus and throughout the city,” said Melody Barnes, vice provost for global student leadership initiatives at NYU.

Through their internships, Coverdell Fellows apply what they learn in the classroom to a professional setting. They not only gain valuable, hands-on experience that makes them more competitive in today’s job market, but they also further the Peace Corps mission. By sharing their global perspective with the communities they serve, Fellows help fulfill Peace Corps’ Third Goal commitment to strengthen Americans’ understanding of the world and its people.

“We are extremely excited about the NYU Fellows program and partnership with the Peace Corps. Providing an opportunity for talented Peace Corps alumni to continue their education through enrollment in NYU graduate programs will enable former volunteers to gain additional knowledge and skills that will be critical to them and have a major impact in the global community,” said Trudy Steinfeld, assistant vice president of student affairs and executive director of NYU’s Wasserman Center for Career Development.

Internships in underserved communities are an integral part of each Fellow’s degree. By sharing their Peace Corps experience and global perspective with the communities they serve here in the United States, returned volunteers are supporting the Peace Corps’ Third Goal commitment to strengthen Americans’ understanding of the world and its people. Professional placements at non-profits and government organizations also help students further develop their skills. Participating NYU Coverdell Fellows may complete internships at organizations such as University Settlement, ECPAT/USA and AIR Harlem.

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program began in 1985 at Columbia’s Teachers College, and now includes more than 90 university partners across the country, from the District of Columbia to Hawaii to Alaska. The program is specifically reserved for students who have already completed their Peace Corps service abroad. Since the inception of the program, more than 4,500 returned volunteers have participated and made a difference across the country. For more information, visit

The first class of approximately 17 to 20 NYU Coverdell Fellows will enroll beginning in the fall of 2016. To learn more about the Coverdell Fellows Program at NYU, contact