College of Public Health Guidebooks

Coverdell Fellowship

The Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship program at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health is a Graduate Fellowship program awarding financial assistance to selected returning Peace Corps volunteers who are pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) or a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) degree. All Coverdell Fellows will complete internships in underserved communities in the Tampa Bay Area while working under the supervision of faculty. Concurrently, Fellows have the opportunity to fulfill the Peace Corps’ Third Goal: To promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

To qualify for the program, applicants must:

  • Have satisfactory completion of Peace Corps Service as evidenced by your description of service (DOS)

  • Apply for admission to College of Public Health via SOPHAS application 

  • Meet the admission requirements of Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) at the College of Public Health and be admitted as a full-time student

  • Maintain a full-time student status       

  • Participate in community-based focused internships

  • Be involved with student organizations such as Peace Corps Ambassadors at USF

  • Comply with academic and program guidelines

*Fully online students are not eligible for this program.


If you wish to learn more, please find here an informational session about the program. 


Benefits of this fellowship program include:

Financial assistance:

  • All Coverdell Fellows will receive a Scholarship from the College of Public Health for $2,000 when they enroll in the program, renewable in year 2 as long as the student is making satisfactory progress in their degree program. Fellows may receive this award twice, for a total of $4,000 of scholarship support

  • All Coverdell Fellows will receive an out-of-state tuition waiver, which covers approximately 58% of in-state tuition, which will result in significant savings on tuition

  • The College of Public Health will prioritize Coverdell Fellows for Graduate Assistantships (GA) in their academic program, and at the discretion and need of each program. The GA includes the payment of the health insurance premium, if elected by the student, and also pays stipend for that term. The GA is equivalent to 80% of in-state tuition

  • The College of Public Health will pay for all Coverdell Fellows to take the CPH exam to be certified in public health

Other benefits include:

  • Professional development and leadership opportunities

  • Active RPCV community support

  • Helping others in some of the most underserved local communities

  • Federal Jobs; the one-year noncompetitive eligibility status for federal jobs applications may, at the hiring agency's discretion, be extended up to three years from your close of service


Steps to Apply:

  1. Applicants will apply to the College of Public Health via SOPHAS by the application deadline for the Fall semester

  2. Indicate in your SOPHAS application your desire to apply to the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program and complete the additional essay

  3. Applicants will be notified of their admission to the College of Public Health

  4. The Peace Corps Coordinator will contact admitted Coverdell Applicants and request their DOS, CV, and any additional documentation

  5. All Coverdell applicants will be notified of their Coverdell Application Status

  6. If selected, applicants will have 1 week to decide if they wish to accept to decline the Coverdell offer and communicate with the COPH Peace Corps Coordinator

  7. Once accepted, Fellows will receive a welcome packet from the Coordinator of the Coverdell Program 

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