Coverdell Fellows Program

Guaranteed Scholarships for RPCVs

Pitt Public Health invites Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to apply for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, which provides financial support towards a Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science (MS) degree as well as experience working with local underserved communities.

Coverdell Fellows receive a 40 percent tuition & fees scholarship for up to four academic terms of study at Pitt Public Health. If you're interested in pursuing an MPH or MS degree, simply check the RPCV box on your SOPHAS application!


If you are a Returned Peace Corps Volunteers looking to continue making a difference through public service after returning to the U.S., you'll feel at home at the University of Pittsburgh. Like the Peace Corps itself, Pitt embraces a culture of service and a rich history of making positive impacts on communities. RPCVs play an integral part in extending this important legacy.

At Pitt Public Health, you will build on your Peace Corps experience, adding valuable skills and knowledge such as...

  • Epidemiological methods to track, predict, and confront disease
  • Biostatistical analysis and data interpretation to inform policy
  • Understanding structural bias, social inequities, and how racism undermines health equity
  • Assessing population needs, assets, and capacities to design culturally appropriate interventions to improve community health
  • Policy and program evaluation skills
  • Political, social, and economic advocacy strategies to influence public health outcomes
  • Leadership and collaboration skills to advance your vision and empower others
  • Public health education and communication skills

Not only will Coverdell Fellows learn in the classroom, but you’ll also hone your abilities in a practicum or internship with a local organization serving underrepresented communities. Plus you’ll love Pittsburgh, an affordable, thriving city that combines East Coast vitality with the warmth of the Midwest—and where “eds and meds” reign supreme.


Tuition Assistance

Coverdell Fellows are awarded a scholarship equivalent to 40 percent of tuition & fees for up to four academic terms of MPH or MS study at Pitt Public Health.

  Tuition + fees
for complete program
Net cost *
In state $ 56,180 $20,313 $35,867
Out of state $ 94,628 $33,770 $60,858

Practical Experience in Public Health

Fellows combine skills obtained during Peace Corps with those gained in the first year at Pitt Public Health, and complete a service placement at an approved organization supporting underserved populations in the Pittsburgh region. During these placements students choose to make a difference by working in areas such as harm reduction housing, healthcare access, HIV/AIDS, health literacy, food access, and maternal and child health. Your service experience may also contribute towards your department's practicum requirement.


  • Be a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
  • Apply for an MPH or MS degree in any of our seven departments. Joint degree programs are also eligible.
  • Apply for fall-term admission as a full-time student.
  • Provide an official copy of the Peace Corps Description of Service before beginning classes.

In addition to degree and community service requirements, fellows also commit to assisting with local Peace Corps recruitment events.

Application Instructions

When completing your MPH or MS application, simply indicate your RPCV status in the supporting information portion of the SOPHAS online application by checking the “Peace Corps” box under “Additional Experiences.” Departments will review applications for admission to their MPH or MS program. On admission, Coverdell Fellows will be asked to provide a copy of their official Peace Corps Description of Service prior to the first term of study. Also, the SOPHAS application fee will be refunded for all Coverdell Fellows who matriculate at Pitt Public Health. 

Application Requirements

  • 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 scores (in some cases, other test scores may be substituted)