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Master of Community Planning/Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program (MCP/Fellows)

A degree program offered in collaboration with the United States Peace Corps.

The School of Planning, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning of the University of Cincinnati offers a special course of study within its MCP degree program. The purpose of the program is to work in collaboration with the US Peace Corps to prepare students for a hands-on urban planning experience they will receive while on their Peace Corps assignment. In addition, students will earn a master’s degree from an accredited graduate program at one of the largest schools of planning in the Midwest. Ultimately, this will position them to pursue a career in either domestic or international urban planning.

The Peace Corps is a volunteer organization of the United States government, founded by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Since then, more than 210,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers, including two professors in the School of Planning and over 40 School of Planning graduates. Peace Corps sends volunteers abroad for two years of community-based service. For many, it has served as the introduction to a rewarding international development career. The mission of the Peace Corps is: to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.



The courses comprising the MCP/Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program are graduate-level courses offered in the School of Planning and elsewhere in the university, as with the regular two-year MCP program. The MCP/Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program is comprised of four semesters of on-campus studies, with a focus on core competencies in urban planning and specialized courses in economic development, environmental planning, international development, physical planning, and urban design. Each semester on campus, students will also be placed in paid internships with community organizations consistent with their experience and interests. In addition, students will enroll in the Peace Corps Practicum class, conducted jointly with the Peace Corps Master’s International Program. This seminar and the courses throughout the program will allow students to reflect on their experience as Peace Corps Volunteers – particularly in their area of focus. Students also have the opportunity to complete a thesis based on their work they carried out while working overseas or locally.

Students may receive credit for prior graduate study; however, Peace Corps experience is not eligible for graduate credit. Paul D. Coverdell Fellows enroll in the Peace Corps Practicum each semester they are on campus (up to 1 of these credits counts toward the total number of credits required for the MCP degree.)

Upon completing the MCP/Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, students will possess an invaluable combination of overseas and domestic work experience, and they will have the credentials to pursue a career as professional urban planners.


Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Curriculum Requirements

     Required Courses

  • PLAN 7067/7077: Peace Corps Practicum 1/2

     Community Service Internship

Each semester, students are expected to work in agencies that support underserved US communities. In general, this totals to approximately 1,200 hours throughout the course of the MCP.


While all normal admissions requirements for the MCP degree at the University of Cincinnati must be satisfied for acceptance into the MCP/Coverdell Fellows Program, all applicants must be American citizens and have completed service in the Peace Corps.


Application Procedures

Interested individuals should contact Dr. Looye, the School of Planning’s Peace Corps Coordinator to discuss admission to the university and present evidence of the dates and location of their completed Peace Corps assignment. In order to be considered for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, the following must be submitted to the School of Planning Peace Corps Coordinator:

  • A copy of the applicant’s Description of Service (DOS)
  • An essay indicating how their Peace Corps service directly related to pursuing a career in community planning and their interest in studying in the School of Planning at the University of Cincinnati
  • A digital résumé appropriate for placement in a community agency

It is recommended that application materials be submitted no later than February 1st