Peace Corps and the University of San Diego Announce New Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

Los Angeles, Calif. – The Peace Corps and the University of San Diego today announced the launch of a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program housed in the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. The program offers scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers pursuing a Master of Arts degree in peace and justice. All program Fellows will complete internships in underserved American communities while they pursue their studies, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as volunteers.

“We are delighted to partner with the University of San Diego to support our returned volunteers as 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.”

Returned Peace Corps volunteers selected as Coverdell Fellows for the Kroc School program will receive credit for their Peace Corps service and a 50 percent tuition discount.

“The Kroc School of Peace Studies is uniquely positioned to embrace this partnership as it champions the University of San Diego’s Catholic tradition of social teaching and its vision of changemaking for solving humanity’s urgent challenges,” Dean of the Kroc School Patricia Marquez said. “Partnering with the Peace Corps in the Coverdell Fellows Program will support the educational path of this country’s best graduate students and future leaders with the goal of shaping a more peaceful and just world.”

Through their internships, Coverdell Fellows apply what they learn in the classroom to a professional setting. They gain valuable, hands-on experience that makes them more competitive in today’s job market while furthering 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.

The Kroc School, established in 2007, was the first stand-alone school of peace and justice in the U.S. and the first Coverdell Fellows program in San Diego. Since 1961, the University of San Diego has had 207 Peace Corps volunteers, with 16 students currently serving today. For more information, visit

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program began in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and now includes more than 100 university partners across the country, from the District of Columbia to Hawaii. The program is reserved for students who have successfully completed Peace Corps service abroad. Since the inception of the program, more than 5,000 returned volunteers have participated and made a difference across the country. For more information, visit

To learn more about the Coverdell Fellows Program at the University of San Diego, contact: 

Jessica Lopez, Academic Programs Manager

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
University of San Diego

5998 Alcalá Park

San Diego, CA 92110-2492

(619) 260-4635

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.