Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who would be my advisor if I joined the Master’s International (MI) or Coverdell Fellows program?
A. Dr. Looye is the advisor for all MI and Coverdell Fellows.
Q. What are the chances of getting financial aid in the form of assistantships or scholarships?
A. The School of Planning has a limited number of graduate assistantships, which go to the best applicants. Financial aid will be awarded on a competitive basis. The majority of MI and Coverdell Fellows students receive financial aid.
Q. Should I send my résumé as part of my application? Where should I send the digital copy?
A. Yes, please send a digital copy of your résumé to Dr. Looye.
Q. What are the main differences between the MI and Coverdell Fellows programs?
A. Students in the MI program complete their Peace Corps service between their two academic years, and must complete coursework in International Development in conjunction with their degree. Coverdell Fellows have already completed a Peace Corps assignment, and they may choose how to concentrate their studies.
Master’s International Program Questions
Q. Does your department already have agreements set up with certain countries for the MI program, or will the Peace Corps office place me in a country the same as they will for all other volunteer applicants?
A. MI students will work with the Peace Corps Coordinators to identify placement options. All placements will be in sectors related to planning.
Q. What is the typical thesis completion time after students return from their service?
A. Our returned MI students have generally completed their theses on schedule during their second year on campus. They also have had the added benefit of two years to define their thesis topics and conduct research while serving in the Peace Corps.
Q. Is it easy to take the required classes while completing your Peace Corps assignment?
A. We sandwich the Peace Corps in between two years of study (as a substitute for a summer co-op), so you would take a normal course load each academic year.
Q. Is it common for MI students to not complete their master’s degree after they complete they Peace Corps assignment?
A. Our MI students successfully complete their master’s degrees upon returning to campus in about the same proportion as regular MCP students.
Q. If I do not complete my full Peace Corps assignment can I still finish my MCP?
A. If you opt for an “early termination” (ET), you can still complete your MCP degree without earning the MI certificate. If the Peace Corps determines that you have successfully completed your term of service, you may complete the MCP and receive an MI certificate.
Q. Is the application to the MI program a separate process from the graduate program (i.e. separate essays, recommendations, application, etc.) or do all materials need to be sent to the graduate school with no distinct Peace Corps MI application?
A. There is only one application for both the MCP program and the MI program. Indicate MI program on the application form and send Dr. Looye a digital copy of your résumé. Additionally, if your general essays do not address why you want to pursue the MI program, please send an essay explaining your reason to Dr. Looye.
Q. Is there a deadline for the MI program application?
A. The deadline for the MI program application is the same as that for the School of Planning application. Generally, we begin to distribute financial aid on March 1st, so we recommend that you submit your materials by February 1st.
Coverdell Fellows Program Questions
Q. How does the Coverdell Fellows program differ from the regular MCP?
A. The main difference between the Fellows program and the regular MCP program is that almost all students in the Fellows program receive some financial aid (tuition and/or graduate assistantship with stipend) in exchange for working as an intern with a community organization involved in working with underserved groups In addition, each student in the program is required to take a special Peace Corps seminar class that meets weekly.
Q. What types of internships do Coverdell Fellows students get?
A. In recent years, we had students working in the following agencies: Working in Neighborhoods, Communities United for Action, Groundwork Cincinnati, Green Umbrella, The Center for Great Neighborhoods, Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, Smart Money and more! The organizations all work to address issues affecting underserved groups.
Q. What is the Peace Corps Practicum like?
A. The primary purpose of this course is to explore ways in which overseas Peace Corps service related to domestic work with underserved communities. Through lectures, open discussions, and writing exercises, students explore issues of community development work as a professional planner, including reflection on how to use the knowledge and skills developed during overseas service to improve people’s lives.
Q. Is the application to the Coverdell Fellows program a separate process from the graduate program (i.e. separate essays, recommendations, application, etc.) or do all materials need to be sent to the graduate school with no distinct Coverdell Fellows application?
A. There is only one application for both the MCP program and the Coverdell Fellows program. Indicate Coverdell Fellows on the application form and send Dr. Looye your Description of Service (DOS) and digital résumé. Additionally, if your essays do not address why you want to pursue the Coverdell Fellows program please submit a short essay explaining your reasons to Dr. Looye.
Q. Is there a deadline for the Coverdell Fellows application?
A. The deadline for the Coverdell Fellows application is the same as that for the School of Planning application. Generally, we begin to distribute financial aid on March 1st, so we recommend that you submit your materials by February 1st.
Q. I did not complete my full term as a volunteer and opted for an early termination (ET). Does this affect my eligibility for the Coverdell Fellows Program?
A. Your eligibility for the Coverdell Fellows program depends on “satisfactory completion” of the Peace Corps. You need to send our office a copy of your DOS (Description of Service). We then check with the Peace Corps as to your eligibility. No matter the situation with the Coverdell Fellows program, you are welcome to apply to the Master of Community Planning program.
Q. Do you accept students for the Coverdell Fellows program for the spring term or do you only accept students for the fall?
A. We do accept students for the spring term, however there is less financial aid available at that time.