Florida Institute of Technology was the first university to develop a program with the Peace Corps that focuses on the environment. Florida Tech’s Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program began in 1999 and was originally called the Graduate Environmental Fellows Program (GEFP).
With the expansion of the program and the addition of graduate degree programs in education in 2004, the program became the Graduate Environmental and Teacher Education Fellows Program (GETEFP). Although Florida Tech does not distinguish between these programs for admission purposes, the Peace Corps website includes a description of the original Environmental degree programs (GEFP) and Teacher Education degree programs (GTEFP) as two separate Fellows/USA Programs.
In 2018, Florida Tech’s College of Engineering and College of Science merged, becoming the College of Engineering and Science (COES). This webpage has been modified to reflect changes in this Fellows program since 2004 (e.g., recently added environmental and educational degree programs, as well as changes in the name of degree programs since the creation of COES). As the program continues to develop, we hope to expand the number and type of degrees offered.
Florida Tech’s Graduate Environmental and Teacher Education Fellows/USA Program is a two-year (minimum) program designed for returning Peace Corps volunteers with bachelor’s course work and Peace Corps experience in an environmental and/or educational field. This program offers degrees in four environmental areas (i.e., science, engineering, management and education), as well as seven educational fields (i.e., STEM education, with specializations in science education, mathematics education, educational technology, and elementary science education; environmental education and informal science education; and teaching). This program combines course work in a selected Master’s or advanced graduate degree program with related internship experience, usually with a regional partner. These partners include federal, state, regional and county environmental agencies; county school districts; private scientific and educational institutions; and conservation organizations. The end-of-program requirement (i.e., M.S.: Thesis, Non-thesis Project, Capstone Design Project, or Internship; Ph.D.: Dissertation) may be completed with a cooperating partner.
All of the master’s degree programs available through the fellowship program require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, with a GPA of 3.0 or above. Many of the Ph.D. programs require a master’s degree in a related field, with a GPA of 3.2 or above. However, several Ph.D. programs allows students to enter with only a bachelor’s degree. Applicants are required to submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Admissions: a completed application form, official transcripts for all college/university course work, a résumé, a description of service (DOS) from the Peace Corps, a statement of objectives and three letters of recommendation. Most master’s and doctoral degree programs in the environmental sciences, engineering, and management areas also require GRE scores, although none of the education degree programs require this. Admission is competitive.
Past participants have interned with St. Johns River Water Management District, Marine Resources Council, Brevard Zoo, Brevard County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, Brevard County Public Schools, as well as other educational and environmental organizations in the region.
Once you have chosen your degree program, the next step in this process is completing an application for admission. The Office of Graduate Admissions handles all applications. While completing the online application, please select Peace Corps under the “How did you hear about Florida Tech” drop-down menu.
Both fall and spring admission is available to graduate fellows with the exclusion of the biology program, which has a fall start date.