Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows

Peace Corps logo

“The benefits of the Peace Corps will not be limited to the countries in which it serves. Our own young men and women will be enriched by the experiences of living and working in foreign lands. They will have acquired new skills and experience which will aid them in their future careers and add to our own country’s supply of trained personnel and teachers. They will return better able to assume the responsibilities of American citizenship and with greater understanding of our global responsibilities.”

– John F. Kennedy, Special Message to Congress on the Peace Corps, March 1, 1961

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program at The Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno provides a teaching and/or research assistantship to allow select Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) an opportunity to earn an affordable master’s degree in journalism.

Explore the tabs on this page to find complete requirements and learn how to begin your application.


You’ve shared your expertise; you’ve promoted an understanding of America abroad; now, learn the media skills to help Americans understand the world they live in. Our master’s degree in media innovation will help you to develop a deep understanding of how journalism is changing, as well as to become familiar with a wide range of new tools and techniques for media creation. You will practice user-centered design thinking to develop new ways of considering–and practicing– journalism and strategic communication. You will hone your skills in social media, with an entrepreneurial focus, and learn about advanced methods of participatory and networked communication.

During your summer practicum, you will provide much-needed assistance to an impoverished and/or socially disadvantaged community where the combination of your PCV experience and your newly-acquired knowledge and skills from the classroom will make your contribution especially meaningful. Through this practicum, Coverdell Fellows at the Reynolds School contribute to the Third Goal of Peace Corps by bringing their unique experiences to parts of the United States where they are needed most.

The Reynolds School takes a global approach to media. We have made a particular investment in Spanish-language media and have faculty who have lived, worked or produced on every continent except Antarctica. From our location at the base of the Sierra Nevada, we offer an unparalleled array of outdoor recreational opportunities, from snowboarding in the mountains above Lake Tahoe to hiking to remote hot springs in the desert.


All Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have satisfactorily completed their service have a lifetime eligibility for Coverdell Fellows Programs. This means that whether you are just returned home or returned home several years ago, you can take advantage of the Coverdell Fellows benefits.

Satisfactory completion of service means:

  • The volunteer was granted “Close of Service” status.
  • The volunteer was granted “Early Close of Service” or “Interrupted Service” status due to circumstances beyond his or her control.
  • The volunteer was medically separated.

Volunteers who have successfully completed at least 12 months of service with Peace Corps Response or the Global Health Service Partnership are also eligible to apply to the Reynolds School Coverdell Fellows Program.

Find more information on the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows program eligibility webpage.

How to apply

The Coverdell Fellows selection process is competitive. A limited number of positions are available each year, and availability varies. Regular admission to our graduate program does not guarantee funding or a position in the Reynolds School of Journalism Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program.

If you would like to discuss the Coverdell Fellows Program at the Reynolds School of Journalism and how it may be the best choice for your graduate studies, please email the graduate program director to set up a telephone appointment. If you would like to discuss the program with one of our faculty members who herself was a PCV, Dr. Sheila Peuchaud would love to hear from you.

There is no separate application for the Coverdell Fellows Program. If you wish to be considered for the program, you must apply through the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School application portal, and for first-round consideration, complete your application by February 1. Please indicate on your required “Letter of Intent” that you wish to apply for the Coverdell Fellows Program.

For consideration as a Coverdell Fellow, you will need to upload a copy of your official Peace Corps Description of Service (DOS) with your application. If you are a currently-serving PCV, then please submit a signed letter from your Peace Corps Country Director indicating that you are currently a PCV, with your expected completion date. Please note that you will be asked to submit your DOS as soon as it becomes available.

Potential students who are interested in part-time coursework will not be considered as Coverdell Fellows. Reynolds School of Journalism Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows are required to be full-time master’s degree students during the duration of the fellowship appointment, which generally will continue through the three on-campus semesters and the summer practicum experience. In most cases, Coverdell Fellows will begin their academic program during the fall semester.

Apply to the grad program