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Application FAQs

What is the application deadline?

The submission deadline date for admission for Fall 2021 is January 11th, 2021. 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 will be made via email and will be offered on a rolling basis throughout the Spring semester.

What if my Peace Corps Description of Service isn’t yet finalized? 

We can accept a draft DOS which you can request from your Peace Corps Country Director. Once you have your final DOS, please submit that to us via email.

What if my graduate school program admissions deadline is later that the Peaceworker application deadline?

While many graduate programs’ application deadlines are later than the Peaceworker application deadline, we recommend that you apply for both programs at the same time. In order to be eligible for a Peaceworker fellowship, you must be admitted to your graduate program of choice, so the sooner we know your admissions status, the more informed we can be in our consideration of you as a candidate for Peaceworker.

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. University of MD at College Park, UMB School of Social Work or Public Health). 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. University of MD at College Park, Loyola or University of Maryland Baltimore) 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.

What makes a strong personal statement?

A personal statement is a critical factor in determining your qualifications as a candidate for The Shriver Peaceworker Program. The statement should be between 500-750 words in length. Consider the following when composing your statement:
  • Why you are interested in the Shriver Peaceworker Program;
  • The experiences, skills, and values you would bring to the Peaceworker Program. Note: We welcome your reflections upon your identity and background (i.e., culture/ethnicity, religion, socio-economic class, race, gender, sexual orientation, other…). For example, are there aspects of your identity or background from which you have gained valuable insights, skills, or character strengths? How has critical self-reflection informed your growth and professional development?
  • How you imagine concretely linking your area(s) of social concern and your proposed graduate program; and
  • Given the focus of the Peaceworker Program on applying Peace Corps values to the complex urban setting of Baltimore, explain your interest in working in this context. Consider including prior experiences, how you envision integrating your Peace Corps experience into our program, how this might relate to your career goals, and what you would hope to be able to do after completing the Peaceworker program.

Are letters of recommendation required?

Yes, two letters of recommendation are required as a part of the Shriver Peaceworker Fellowship Application:

  • One recommendation should come from a supervisor-level person from your Peace Corps Service (APCD, CD, PCVL where appropriate)
  • The second recommendation should come from someone who knows you in an academic or professional setting.
Share the prompt below with your two (no more than two, please) recommenders and request that they submit a LOR on your behalf by January 11th: 
In your letter, please provide your reflections on the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate school, their leadership potential, and your thoughts on their ability to critically self-reflect and engage in conversations about complex issues. Please send your letter of recommendation to by 11:59 pm on January 11th. 
Your application will not be considered complete until we receive your letters, so please confirm with your recommenders that their letters have been emailed. 

How will I know when my application is complete?

Your application is not considered complete until you have submitted the online application form (you’ll receive an email confirmation after submission) and we have received your two letters of recommendation. We do not have a mechanism for alerting you that we have received the letters of recommendation, so please check in with your recommenders to be sure they have submitted. You may also email to enquire as to whether your recommendations have been received.

I haven’t filed my taxes yet. Can I submit my FAFSA after the application deadline?

Yes. We understand that applicants cannot file a FAFSAs before they file their taxes, and that this happens after the program application deadline. We need your FAFSA by early March, so as long as you submit it by March 1st, we will be happy to accept the FAFSA after the application deadline.