The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program is a graduate fellowship program that offers financial assistance to returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

About Coverdell Fellows

The Coverdell Fellows program provides a great opportunity for returned Peace Corps Volunteers to continue their service to underserved communities while also pursing graduate studies at a reduced cost.

All fellows complete internships in underserved American communities, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as Volunteers. These skills in adapting to new cultures, developing and managing projects, dealing with language barriers, and leveraging limited resources attract the attention of prospective schools.

Find out eligibility information on the Coverdell Fellows website.

Coverdell Fellows and International Agriculture and Development

Penn State offers a unique dual-title degree program in International Agriculture and Development (INTAD) allowing students to combine technical expertise in one of six graduate programs with the skill set needed to work in today's global food system. The Coverdell Fellows will bring a rich perspective into the classroom, particularly in the capstone course for the INTAD program, INTAD 820. In that course, students from all disciplines and backgrounds work together in multidisciplinary teams to solve challenges related to food security.

Learn more about the International Agriculture and Development dual-title program.



INTAD Coverdell Fellows will receive up to a $5000 research award to conduct international research.


INTAD Coverdell Fellows have the opportunity to share knowledge and gain experience in the field via an internship program with the Global Teach Ag Initiative and Penn State Extension. Working side-by-side with agricultural and extension educators, Coverdell Fellows will bring together international experience with local issues to develop a truly global perspective in youth development programs including 4-H and FFA. The partnership emphasizes the importance of inspiring youth to get involved in creating solutions to complex challenges related to global food security.


To apply for the Coverdell Fellowship with the Penn State University International Agriculture and Development program interested applicants must be:

  • Accepted into a primary graduate program that participates with the INTAD dual-title
  • Accepted into the INTAD dual-title degree program
  • Supported by a teaching, research or administrative assistantship or fellowship

Students are eligible to receive the INTAD Coverdell Fellowship once during their time at Penn State. INTAD Coverdell Fellows are not eligible to receive the INTAD Competitive Grant award.

Application Process

To apply for the INTAD Coverdell Fellowship the student's advisor must submit a letter of nomination that includes the following information:

  • Country and dates of Peace Corps service
  • Student's background and achievements to date
  • Student's degree program and academic interests
  • Support for the service requirement

Nomination letters are due to Melanie Miller Foster ( by October 1.


Contact Dr. Melanie Miller Foster for more information:

  • Phone: 814-867-3831
  • Email:



Melanie Miller Foster
106 Agricultural Administration Building

University Park, PA 16802



Melanie Miller Foster
106 Agricultural Administration Building

University Park, PA 16802