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The Peace Corps announced the launch of a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program in partnership with UT.

The program will provide graduate school scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers who complete a degree-related internship in an underserved American community while they pursue their studies.

Selected Coverdell Fellows will have the opportunity to work toward either a Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, or Ph.D. in the College of Nursing; or a Master of Science in Social Work or PhD in the College of Social Work.

“We are excited to welcome nurses who have worked with the Peace Corps into our graduate programs,” said Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the College of Nursing. “Their knowledge and expertise acquired through experiences serving communities globally will be an asset to our college and programs.”

“The College of Social Work is privileged to have returned Peace Corps volunteers in our program,” said Karen Sowers, dean of the College of Social Work. “Their real-world exposure enriches the classroom experience as well as their local field placements. Peace Corps and social work share many common values and there is a natural affinity in the commitment to serving underserved communities and populations.”

At least one graduate teaching assistant position—with a value of up to $36,000 for two years—has been set aside for a Coverdell Fellow studying in the nursing program, with the possibility for additional fellows to compete for three other such positions. The social work program will make available two graduate research assistantships for master’s degree students and one PhD graduate research assistantship. The approximate value of these financial aid packages will range from $16,000 to $42,000 per year.

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 in the United States, returned volunteers are supporting the Peace Corps’ commitment to strengthen Americans’ understanding of the world and its people.

Professional placements at nonprofits and government organizations also help students further develop their skills. Coverdell Fellows will be placed in community-based organizations serving immigrants; low-income women and children; homeless, uninsured and underinsured peopl;, and other vulnerable populations.

For more information on the Coverdell Fellows program, visit