COVID-19 Program Updates:
Though the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things for UMBC and for our program, many things also remain the same. As of Fall 2021, most UMBC classes are continuing in person, with a few departments delivering classes in either online or hybriad formats. Most fellows are completing their community service placements in-person, though some are working virtually. Our summer practicum and our Fall and Spring practicum seminars were given permission to run in a hybrid format, with 2/3 of the sessions hosted virtually, and up to 1/3 of the sessions hosted outdoors with considerations made for mask-wearing and social distancing. As a program, we are working diligently to ensure the emotional and physical wellbeing and safety of our fellows. The work that our fellows do meets many needs in the Baltimore community, including critical school and family supports, supportive services for newcomer families, and services to young people experiencing homelessness, among many others. We are happy to be able to continue this very important community work during this difficult time. We require that our fellows move to the Baltimore region.
Can I work while I’m participating in the Peaceworker Fellowship?
The Peaceworker Fellows Program requires that all participants be full-time students and a 20hr/week service placement is an integral part of the fellowship. Therefore, it is not feasible for fellows to maintain full-time jobs outside of the fellowship (even virtually). Part-time employment may be allowed on a case-by-case basis, but should be discussed with fellowship staff.
Can I get a degree in ____________?
Generally, the answer is yes. If the program is offered at The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMBC) and you can make a case for it helping you work on a social change or community service issue, then we will work with any degree program. Please see below for info about programs not at UMBC.
Peaceworker also has consortium agreements with a short list of other programs at neighboring universities. We currently work with the following programs:
- The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB): Social Work, Public Health
- The University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) International Education Policy, and Community Planning
If you are planning to apply to a program that is not at UMBC or is not one of the other programs listed above, please email us.
Can I apply for the Shriver Peaceworker Fellows Program in conjunction with a nursing degree?
No. Unfortunately, the fellowship does not support pre-medical programs. We do support health policy fellows at UMBC. If you are interested in nursing, please check out the nursing Coverdell fellows programs for RPCVs at University of Maryland, Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University.
Are UMBC and University of Maryland at College Park the same school?
No. UMBC stands for the University of Maryland Baltimore County, which is a different school than the University of Maryland College Park (though they are part of the same state university system).
Why are there two Coverdell fellows programs for University of Maryland School of Social Work listed on the Coverdell Website?
The Peaceworker program accepts applications from people interested in studying Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). UMB also has their own, independent Coverdell fellows program which is entirely separate from the Peaceworker program. You may apply to both programs, but if you are awarded both, you will have to choose one or the other. You can find info about the UMB fellowship here.
I have a question about my academic degree program. Can you help?
Please direct all questions regarding individual academic programs to those programs. We may be able to answer some general questions about various academic programs, but the best source of information is someone from the program.
Why does your website say the program begins in July when my graduate program doesn’t start until August?
The Peaceworker program begins the 4th Monday of July each year to allow for a Summer Seminar before the start of the academic year in late August. This allows us to introduce new fellows to the values and structure of the program, to explore Baltimore together, and to get reacquainted with academic reading and writing through assignments that engage fellows in reflecting on their personal experiences and backgrounds in the context of service and leadership. The summer seminar is mandatory and any fellows accepted into Peaceworker should plan to arrive in Baltimore on or before that date.
Can I begin the program in January or another time?
No. The Peaceworker program is cohort based and starts each July.
Can I do a three year program like a Masters in Fine Arts or a Ph.D. program?
Yes. The Shriver Peaceworker Fellowship funds fellows for two years of their graduate study. The program primarily is designed to support masters students start to finish. Students enrolling in programs lasting more than two years would be responsible for funding their education beyond that point. Many programs have fuller funding for Ph.D. students, and you may be able to work this out with your academic program before beginning.
Can I do the Peaceworker Program as an Advanced-Standing MSW Student?
Because the Peaceworker program is a 2-year cohort based service program, fellows have to be enrolled as full-time graduate students, and the Advanced-Standing MSW program at UMB takes less than 2 years to complete, we are not able to work with Advanced-Standing MSW students (unless they choose to do the dual MSW/MPH or MSW/MPP programs, as those programs take 2+ years).
Can I visit the Peaceworker Program?
Yes! Please visit if you are in the area. Program staff are happy to meet with you in person. We cannot, however, accomodate visits to our Peacworker practicum seminar.
Can you put me in touch with an alum who has completed my academic degree program?
Yes. We would be happy to. Please send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I arrange my own placement with a non-profit agency in Baltimore?
No. All service placements are arranged through the Shriver Peaceworker Program.
I am currently serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer and my Description of Service (DOS) is not completed yet. Do I have to submit it?
Yes. However, we are happy to accept a draft version of your DOS. Please ask your country director for details if needed.
What is the application deadline?
The submission deadline date changes each year but is typically in early to mid January. Please check the application page for the exact date for this year.
When are decisions on admissions made and announced?
The Peaceworker program will announce admissions decisions by April 15th in most cases; in some cases, depending on placement availability and other factors, these decisions can stretch into May or later.
What graduate degree programs participate in the program?
Peaceworker has the ability to partner with any UMBC graduate program; we also work with consortium partners on a more limited basis (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 non-UMBC degree program 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. 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.
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, 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.