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University of Michigan School of Information


Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows logo

The Master of Health Informatics program, in partnership with the U.S. Peace Corps, provides Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) the opportunity to earn a Master of Health Informatics, a joint degree in the School of Information and the School of Public Health, through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program. Returned Peace Corps Response (PCR) and Global Health Services Partnership (GHSP) volunteers who have served at least 12 months, either consecutively or through a combination of tours, are eligible for Coverdell Fellowships.

"While living in Mozambique I saw low access to health information resources contribute to the death of friends and quite nearly cause my own. Such a dearth of information simply should not exist given the ingenuity of the people or the near ubiquity of internet access, and poorly designed 'development' efforts are largely to blame. Through the Master's in Health Informatics program, I will gain the skills to design information tools that Mozambicans can utilize to create safer and healthier communities."

— John Rincon-Hekking, Mozambique, 2015-2016

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program offers financial support to those who have served in the Peace Corps prior to enrolling in the MHI program.

Coverdell Fellow alumni:

  • Erin Cardwell (Benin, 2014-2016) continued to focus on community development following her experience with the Peace Corps. She was a fellow for Challenge Detroit, where she spent a year supporting their goal of revitalizing Detroit through small community projects. For her internship, Erin worked with a team of U-M students on a project with the Social Justice Coalition to develop an eviction reporting tool as a 2019 Global Information Engagement Project (GIEP) fellow.
  • Eric Pfeifer (Tanzania, 2011-2013) interned at health startup Welvie in Chicago, IL. At Welvie, Eric expanded their innovative educational curriculum on patient surgical decision-making to be more effective with older and at-risk populations. Eric’s prior Peace Corps experience educating at-risk youth about HIV in a rural setting was instrumental in understanding how to craft a targeted message to which an at-risk population would respond. 

Traditionally, up to two incoming Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will be selected each year to be Coverdell Fellows. To learn more, visit the Peace Corps’ Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program website.

Coverdell Fellows program funding

All RPCVs will receive an application fee waiver to the MHI program. RPCVs who are selected as a Coverdell Fellow will receive between a 50%-100% tuition scholarship to the University of Michigan Health Informatics graduate program. As students, Coverdell Fellows are encouraged to participate in U-M and UMSI’s Peace Corps recruitment activities and to bring the third goal of the Peace Corps to the university.


Applicants for the Coverdell Fellows program must meet the Master of Health Informatics admissions requirements and indicate in their application that they are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Coverdell Fellowship contact information

School of Information
(734) 763-2285
[email protected]

The Master of Health Informatics at the University of Michigan is a joined degree, featuring courses and faculty from the School of Information, School of Public Health and the School of Medicine Department of Learning Health Sciences.