Admissions and Financial Aid

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows badgeHeller 3rd Most Popular Graduate School for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

The Peace Corps has announced The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University ranked No. 3 among the top 10 Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program institutions for the 2020–21 academic year, ranked by enrollment across four programs (Master of Public Policy, Social Impact MBA, MA in Sustainable International Development and MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence).

Scholarships for RPCVs

The Heller School guarantees all RPCVs admitted to a master's degree program a scholarship of at least 60% tuition. The scholarship amount a student is awarded will be reflected in the acceptance letter. 

In addition, The Heller School is pleased to announce five 100% tuition scholarships for RPCVs admitted to Heller for each fall term. Each of the following master’s degree programs will award one 100% tuition scholarship to an RPCV:

Decisions letters will specify any Heller awards or scholarships received. Please note: applicants who are not selected will not be notified

Eligibility and How to Apply

To verify their affiliation, RPCVs (including evacuated volunteers) should submit a copy of their Description of Service (DOS) as proof of their Peace Corps experience. The DOS may be submitted through the applicant's Status Page once an application has been submitted. The application fee is also waived for all RPCVs.

Learn More

For questions about the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program at the Heller School, contact Lynn Davis, Assistant Dean of Admissions, at ldavis@brandeis.edu or 781-736-2780.

Meet a few of our RPCVs:

Ashley Brown, MBA'23

Ashley Brown, MBA’23

Brown, a second-generation Peace Corps volunteer, served in Kosovo from 2015 to 2017 in the historic village of Prekaz. As an education volunteer, she worked with SOS Children’s Villages International in Prishtinaand and taught English to students from third to ninth grade in Prekaz and Skenderaj. Brown first heard about Heller through the Peace Corps, and she says the school's commitment to social justice is what appealed to her.

“Speaking with the student rep, going around campus and getting a full view of their experience just made it feel like it was the place for me,” she says. “Being here has made me feel like I made the right choice.”
Nicole Levesque

Nicole Levesque, MS GHPM'21

Levesque was halfway through her service in rural Peru when she was evacuated to the U.S. due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She enrolled in the MS program in Global Health Policy and Management, and is now an analyst at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

She says, “Even in a pandemic, even with everything going wrong in the world, Heller did an amazing job of keeping everything on track and continuing to offer this program to people who needed it and who wanted to get back into the workforce... I have such gratitude for Heller... Heller was there for me and for many other Peace Corps volunteers when we really needed it. It has gotten me to exactly where I wanted to go.”

David Kim, MA COEX'22

David Kim, MA COEX’22

“What really got me interested in COEX was the civil war in Nepal that few people knew about in the West, between the communists and Nepali government,” says Kim, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal.

“They have now successfully integrated the communist party in the government system. Seeing how the two warring parties came together and can now live harmoniously, it changed my direction to focus more on negotiation.”

Tori Lee, MBA/MS GHPM’22

Tori Lee, MBA/MS GHPM’22

Lee has served in Central America as a Peace Corps volunteer twice—though her service was cut short both times, first because of political instability in Nicaragua, then because of COVID-19 while serving in Guatemala. When she returned to the U.S. in March 2020 at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, “I saw how public health was being undercut and how certain populations were being hurt,” she says. That’s when she decided to apply to graduate school.

“Heller is one of the few institutions where I saw an equal marriage of hard, corporate skills but also social justice values. I could learn to manage people and practice health equity in the same school.”

Chad Marvin, MA SID'22

Chad Marvin, MA SID’21

"As a volunteer who was evacuated after 29 months abroad in Guinea, West Africa, I cannot imagine many other environments that could have provided the same positive transition forward for me as attending the Heller School. Heller provides a similar diverse and interesting environment, where you can still be challenged by new world views and exposed to ideas that you might not have otherwise been aware of. That while also gaining practical skills that you can use in your career. Studying Sustainable International Development, I have been able to gain answers to some of the questions that were developing in my mind during service. I know that this base of knowledge will be indispensable as I ready myself to go back into the world and attempt to facilitate meaningful change."
Zari Havercome ’16, MBA/MA SID’22

Zari Havercome ’16, MBA/MA SID’22

"I chose Heller because the Social Impact MBA and MA in Sustainable International Development dual degree program ensures that I get the technical training of a business student through a social impact and development lens. The rich knowledge of the international student base and the domestic students, who have a Peace Corps history, means that my education is informed by such diverse experiences. Being an RPCV, regardless of country of service, is a unique experience that having a strong community who not only relates to that experience, but can also relate to how that experience informs this learning experience, has proven to be invaluable. It has been really special to find a group that is exploring many avenues of development and can learn together."

Charlie Stoever, MBA'22

Charlie Stoever, MBA’22

Stoever served in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. It was one of the few countries in the Peace Corps network that welcomed same sex couples. After hesitating throughout training, she decided to come out, and she stepped up to lead LGBT Safe Zone Trainings.

“Through the Safe Zone trainings, it was a powerful tool to change minds. I blogged about the trainings on the official Peace Corps site, and a lot of queer volunteers would read it and thank me for sharing.”

Chibo Shinagawa

Chibo Shinagawa, MS GHPM’19

Shinagawa found Heller through the Peace Corps program website. “I was looking specifically for programs that focus on advancing social justice as part of their curriculum. I’ve always been a community organizer at heart. That’s my passion, and I’ve always known my interest was in reproductive health and reproductive justice, which is part of the reason why I decided to join the Peace Corps.” She says her Peace Corps experience also helped expose her to the role of direct service organizations, as part of her role included facilitating vaccinations and immunizations at a local health clinic. 

Ricki Herrera, MBA/SID’20

Ricki Herrera, MBA/MA SID’20

“As cliché as it sounds, I’ve always been interested in service,” says Herrera, who was sent to Lesotho, a tiny country in Southern Africa, as a community health volunteer. He worked with a local clinic and schools on a program to target HIV-positive youth, since Lesotho has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, and offered nutrition workshops and monitored malnourishment rates in the village.

At Heller, he’s been thrilled to find a welcoming community of RPCVs. “It’s hard to explain the bond that all the volunteers have. There’s a big readjustment when you come back, and it’s nice to find everyone.”

Brooke Evans, MA, MSW, LCSW, CSAC, PhD Student studying health and behavioral health policy

Brooke Evans, PhD’19

“To see social work in a developing country and have a different lens and approach, I learned again how much I appreciated understanding the bigger picture of macro systems of care,” says Evans, who served in Mongolia for two years. There, she met a Heller alumna, who recommended Heller to Evans as she started to think about pursuing a doctoral degree. As she learned about Heller’s health policy expertise and tight-knit community of returned Peace Corps volunteers, she decided it would be an ideal fit.