The University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health offers scholarships to Returning Peace Corps Volunteers

Author: Kimarie Merz-Bogold


The University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health is partnering with the Peace Corps to offer financial help to returned Peace Corps Volunteers. The joint program will provide an annual scholarship of $12,000 to qualifying returned Peace Corps Volunteer accepted into the Master of Science in Global Health program beginning Fall 2015. 

The partnership is part of the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program that offers financial benefits such as scholarships, reduced tuition, and university credit in graduate degree programs at more than 90 participating colleges and universities. In addition to their academic studies, Coverdell Fellows participants apply the experience they acquired as volunteers abroad to programs that benefit underserved United States communities.

“Notre Dame’s Master of Science in Global Health degree program was established to help answer a growing global need for professional development knowledge and skills at the graduate level,” states Katherine Taylor, director of global health training at the Eck Institute for Global Health. “This means that returned Peace Corps Volunteers will be immersed in classes with established researchers making the connection between the classroom and real health needs of resource-poor populations. This partnership reflects the shared values espoused by the Peace Corps, namely, commitment to community and service to others.”

The Master of Science in Global Health program is a 12-month graduate program. Two semesters are spent on campus with course work that prepares the student for a six- to eight-week field research experience. Students will serve abroad in a resource-poor location while Coverdell scholars will serve domestically. Upon returning from their experience, each student submits and presents a capstone project. This scholarly work includes original or literature-based research by which they connect classroom science-centric training, survey research, and mathematical modeling to the field via hands-on experience.

“We are delighted to partner with Notre Dame 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.”

The Coverdell Fellow partnership is part of an historical relationship between the University of Notre Dame and the Peace Corps. Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, provided advice and support in the 1960’s to Sargent Shriver, the first Peace Corps Director. Since then, the University has become one of the country’s top Peace Corps volunteer-producing schools, currently ranking 24th among medium-sized colleges nationwide.

Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business’ Master of Nonprofit Administration was the first business school that offers a master’s degree to participate in the Coverdell Fellow program. It was also the first program at Notre Dame. The Master of Science in Global Health is Notre Dame’s second Coverdell Fellows program.

The Peace Corps, sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment, and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about the Master of Science in Global Health degree or its participation in the Peace Corps Fellows/USA program, contact Katherine Taylor, Ph.D. at 574-631-2171 or email at

The Eck Institute for Global Health recognizes health as a fundamental human right and endeavors to promote research, training, and service to advance health standards for all people, especially people in low-and middle-income countries, who are disproportionately impacted by preventable diseases.

Originally published by Kimarie Merz-Bogold at on April 27, 2015.