How To Apply

The Shriver Peaceworker Fellowship is a graduate service-learning program that supports a select group of 15-20 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers as they pursue graduate degrees, engage in community service in the greater Baltimore region, and participate in ongoing ethical reflection and leadership development.

The Shriver Peaceworker Fellowship award package includes a tuition scholarship for full-time study at UMBC (or an equivalent dollar amount for a non-UMBC graduate program), a living stipend of approximately $13,000/year, and health insurance.   The fellowship is valued at over $25,000/year.

How do I apply for the program?

The program requires the formal application and personal statement, along with three letters of reference, a resume, a DOS, and complete transcripts. One letter of reference must be from a Peace Corps source (i.e. Country Director or APCD).  It is suggested that an additional letter of reference come from an academic source, such as an undergraduate professor.

Separate admissions applications are required for each graduate degree program. The GRE is not required for admissions to the Peaceworker Program, but may be required for admissions the degree programs. Specific questions about degree program requirements should be directed to the appropriate department.

With the exception of transcripts, all application materials, including letters of reference, may be submitted electronically to the program.  We will continue to accept paper copies of all admissions materials as well.

Please note the following requirements for electronic submission of application materials:

All electronic submissions should be sent to pwapplication@umbc.edu.  Questions about electronic submissions should be directed to Susy Pincheira – pincheir@umbc.edu.

All materials submitted electronically should be attached to an email in a standard format, i.e. Microsoft Word or PDF.  The body of the email should contain the applicant’s name and a reference to materials attached to the message.  Please do not paste materials directly into the body of the email.

Electronic letters of reference must be sent by the referrer directly as an attachment to an email.  The attached letter should either be a PDF of a signed letter on letterhead, or a Microsoft Word document that includes complete contact information and an electronic signature.

*Please note that in the past hotmail email accounts have rejected emails from UMBC addresses, which has disrupted communication about application materials.  Please use a non-hotmail email address if at all possible to avoid these problems.

All hard copy application materials should be mailed to:

The Shriver Peaceworker Program

Attn: Jennifer Arndt Robinson

The Shriver Center

University of Maryland Baltimore County

1000 Hilltop Circle

Baltimore, MD 21250

What if I have finished my Peace Corps service at the time of my application and my DOS isn’t final?

The program is happy to accept draft versions of DOS documents, and requests that if you are admitted to the program you submit your final DOS to the program.

What is the application deadline?

Materials should be postmarked by February 1 for full consideration.  In the case of materials being sent from overseas, please communicate any anticipated delays to Peaceworker staff via email if possible.

You will be contacted for a phone interview if your application is still in consideration after the first round of reviews.  These interviews are an opportunity to discuss your interests and fit with the program in more detail and to offer more information on possible service opportunities. *Please note that these requests for interviews may be made via email.   In the past, hotmail email accounts have rejected emails from UMBC addresses, which has disrupted communication about the application process.  Please use a non-hotmail email address if at all possible to avoid these problems.

When are decisions on admissions made and announced?

The Peaceworker program will announce admissions decisions by April 15th in most cases.

What graduate degree programs participate in the program?

Graduate degree programs listed on the “Call for Applications” document have a history of participation in the program.  The Shriver Center has the ability to partner with any UMBC graduate program and partners on a more limited basis with degree programs in the Shriver Center consortium (i.e. Johns Hopkins University, University of MD at College Park, UMB School of Social Work).  In all cases the graduate degree program should demonstrate compatible requirements and mission.  If you are interested in a degree program that is not listed on the call for applications we recommend that you contact the Peaceworker office in advance to discuss the program and your interests.

How competitive is the application process and what makes a strong application?

The program is interdisciplinary and seeks to keep a balance of degrees represented.  In general, there is more competition for Fellowship placements with consortium (i.e. Johns Hopkins University, University of MD at College Park, UMB School of Social Work) degree programs than for fellowship placements with UMBC graduate programs. Applicants may apply to more than one graduate program in conjunction with their Peaceworker application.

While our admissions process is competitive, successful applicants write strong personal statements that demonstrate a commitment to the values and mission of the program.  We look for a strong fit between the proposed graduate degree program and our available service sites, as well as fit with the personal and professional goals of the applicant.  Statements that demonstrate an interest in one of our featured service placements or flexibility around service placements are more likely to be successful.

Can I visit the program or meet with someone to discuss the program?

Yes!  You’re encouraged to schedule a time to visit the program in person if you will be in the Baltimore area.  Unfortunately in most cases it isn’t possible to include a visit to an ethical reflection session, but informal discussions with current Peaceworkers are generally easily arranged.    Phone meetings are also encouraged.  To schedule either an in-person visit or phone meeting, contact Jennifer Arndt Robinson at 410-455-6313 or jarndt@umbc.edu.