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Peace Corps

For All Returned Peace Corps Volunteers at SPEA

The School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) strongly encourages Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to apply.  Here are some great reasons to apply:

  • Our experience with RPCVs at SPEA has been outstanding. The maturity and self-discipline developed by working through challenging situations in the field is a direct indicator of academic success in the classroom.
  • The perspective RPCVs bring to SPEA has positive influence on the social and academic perspective of their peers. They possess unique life skills and experiences that enhance the overall academic environment.

The greatest benefit of enrolling at SPEA after Peace Corps service is the opportunity to merge Peace Corps volunteer service with academic interests. RPCVs also receive attractive financial benefits. In recognition of volunteer service through Peace Corps, the SPEA master’s programs reduce the traditional 48 credit hour design by 6 credit hours (3 credit hours for each year of service). SPEA’s dual MPA-MSES is also reduced by 6 credit hours from a standard 60 credit hour design. This means an RPCV would need to complete 42 credit hours for the MPA or MSES degrees and 54 for the dual MPA-MSES degree. The experiential component, integral to all of SPEA’s masters’ degrees, is also waived for RPCVs. This credit reduction results in a cost savings of over $5,900, depending on residency.

Note: On your SPEA application please be sure to check the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer box.

If you would like to find out more about any of the material outlined above, please contact | Phone: (812) 855-2840 or (800) 765-7755, Fax: (812) 856-3665.

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

Peace Corps Logo

The Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program enables Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to continue their dedication to community service while pursuing a master’s degree at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University-Bloomington. Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows (PCCFs) at SPEA contribute to the civic and service needs of the community at large. This is achieved through an innovative program that represents a collaboration among SPEA, Indiana University’s Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA), and valued community partners.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) may seek admission to any one of SPEA’s master’s degree programs that include: a nationally ranked Master of Public Affairs (MPA); a Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) which integrates science and policy; and a distinctive dual MPA-MSES which enables students to pursue both aforementioned master’s degrees in two and a half years (5 semesters).


RPCVs are selected on a competitive basis during the merit aid review process. Decisions are based upon the candidate’s academic record, letters of reference, personal statement and résumé. To be considered for the program, submit your application for admission and requested materials no later than February 1 and check the appropriate box on the application. As a Federal Work Study Program, candidates must demonstrate eligibility via Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) qualification. Once designated as a Coverdell Fellow, students must maintain a cumulative 3.4 grade point average, maintain full-time enrollment, meet academic criteria, and adhere to all program guidelines.


Coverdell Fellows are invited to participate in SPEA’s Service Corps Program. Within this Program, Fellows work approximately twelve hours per week in departments/agencies/organizations and attend professional development seminars each semester with their respective Corps (Nonprofit or Public). The seminars are opportunities for an open exchange of ideas and for bringing in experts from the field on a variety of topics. Past seminar topics/speakers include: strategic planning, international NGO’s, volunteer development, salary and benefit negotiation and community development initiatives. To complement their Service Corps responsibilities, Coverdell Fellows help to promote Peace Corps’ Third Goal by organizing and participating in events focused on the promotion of cultural awareness and by supporting Indiana University SPEA’s annual celebration of Peace Corps Week.


The greatest benefit of the Coverdell Fellows Program is the opportunity to further develop professional skills that articulates with SPEA’s rigorous academic training. Fellows also make valuable contributions to the community through their service while acquiring professional contacts to help with their career pursuits.

Coverdell Fellows receive an attractive financial package including partial tuition remission and a living stipend. Additionally, in recognition of volunteer service through Peace Corps, the SPEA master’s programs reduce the traditional 48 credit hour design by 6 credit hours. SPEA’s dual MPA-MSES is also reduced by 6 credit hours from a standard 60 credit hour design. This means, Fellows complete 42 credit hours for the MPA or MSES degrees and 54 credit hours for the MPA-MSES degree. The experiential component integral to all of SPEA’s master’s degrees is also waived. In total, the overall financial incentives for Coverdell Fellows range from $20,009 to $29,897 at 2013-2014 tuition rates, based on residency status.


Ultimately, it is expected that Coverdell Fellows will enhance and hone their professional skill sets and continue to develop as leaders. The Service Corps Program reinforces academic preparation through experiential opportunities in both public and nonprofit assignments.

Some examples of community placements include:

Public Corps

City of Bloomington Mayor’s Office: Sustainable Business Development. Assist with the ongoing management of economic development programs including the Sustainable City Initiative and Business Advocacy.

City of Bloomington, Parks and Recreation: Natural Resources Coordinator. Coordinate department activities associated with Bloomington Bikes Week, the Griffy Lake Master Plan, and others.

City of Bloomington Planning Department: Environmental Commission. Conduct research, write reports and press releases, and give presentations for various issues including the Cost of Growth in Bloomington, a greenhouse gas inventory for the city, and ways Bloomington can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Monroe County: Planning Department Fellow. Conduct and enhance the on-going watershed characterization project involving biological field work, GIS data development, report generation, and public presentations.

Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce: Franklin Initiative Volunteer Coordinator. Assist with internship placement and mentoring for high school interns.

Indiana University Office of Sustainability: Energy and Built Environment Coordinator. Conduct research, assist with strategic planning, manage interns, and develop and implement programs/projects that support the goals of the Energy and Built Environment Campus Working Group.

Nonprofit Corps

Middle Way House: New Wings Development Associate. Assist with development of strategic planning and awareness campaigns for transitional housing that services the needs of families in crisis.

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County: Development Assistant. Support fundraising and donor cultivation efforts for the capital campaign.

Girls Inc: Fund Development Intern. Development and early implementation of a viable planned giving campaign and coordination of two donor appreciation events.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana (BBBS): Operations Assistant. Work with the Executive Director and Director of Fund Development to ensure the smooth and effective administrative operation of BBBS.

Sycamore Land Trust: Outreach Specialist. Assist with fundraising, awareness-raising, property management and volunteer recruitment.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington: Grant Coordinator. Create and maintain a grant system for the agency.

IU Health Positive Link: Latino Project Coordinator. Manage program operations and outreach efforts, write grants, monitor project budget, and build relationships with community organizations and the Latino community. 

If you would like to find out more about any of the material outlined above, please contact | Phone: (812) 855-2840 or (800) 765-7755, Fax: (812) 856-3665.

Or one of our Community Coordinators:

Rebecca Ciciretti, Nonprofit Service Corps | Phone: (812) 855-3774.

Guy Ferguson, Public Service Corps | Phone: (812) 855-3774.

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