Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Welcome


with a degree from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University

A group of Peace Corps fellows and Duke Sanford staff standing together, smiling in a conference room. One student standing in the front is holding a Peace Corps flag.

The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University is a public policy school with a mission. We’re focused on innovative policy solutions that create positive change. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) graduate from our programs with crucial policy analysis skills that help them leverage their on-the-ground experience into broader social impact.  

Many of our staff and faculty are RPCVs. We’re excited to show you the many ways Sanford graduates are making a difference. If you’ve completed your service, we invite you to check out our master’s programs below and inquire about our scholarships for returning volunteers.

What is the Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program?

As part of our partnership with the Peace Corps, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) selected for the Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program are guaranteed a generous tuition waiver for the Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) or Master of Public Policy (MPP) program.

In addition, all Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows complete a local community service internship for 10-12 hours per week that benefits the local community. These community service internships allow RCPVs to continue their passion and purpose, and take place during the academic year. Examples of community-based organizations in our area include:

  • NC Center on Actual Innocence
  • Self-Help Credit Union
  • Housing for New Hope
  • Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
  • Eno River Association
  • Refugee Community Partnership

Coverdell Fellows are paid a monthly stipend for their community service internships. 

Rachel Holtzman smiling

“I always knew that I wanted to go back to school and when I was in the Peace Corps, I really loved this balance between doing on-the-ground work and also being part of the Project Advisory Committee, which helped shape Peace Corps Nepal as a program." Rachel Holtzman, MPP/JD'23

Master of International Development Policy

The Duke MIDP is a self-designed, interdisciplinary degree that equips mid-career professionals from around the world with the analytical tools and technical expertise necessary to become global leaders in sustainable development efforts. The program is administered by the Duke Center for International Development (DCID), based in the Sanford School of Public Policy. When you graduate, you’ll be in the company of alumni spanning more than 100 countries working with international development agencies, in the private sector, and in local, state, and national governments across the globe.

Master of Public Policy (MPP)

Our two-year, professional Master of Public Policy (MPP) program offers outstanding preparation for a dynamic career as an analyst, leader, or manager at various levels of government, nonprofits, and corporations – both domestically and internationally.

You’ll develop as an ethical and inclusive leader using evidence-based tools and rigorous policy analysis. Choose from seven policy-area concentrations including Environment and Energy, Health, and Technology.

“I’m grateful to Sanford for the opportunity to study here. The Coverdell Fellowship opened a lot of doors for me.” -Jonathan Liu, MPP'22
"My Coverdell fellowship working with the Duke Lemur Center strengthened my knowledge about rural development in Madagascar that has also assisted me in my current role at Nuru International."  -Bethany Old Ibrahim, MIDP'22