Admissions Partnerships/Waivers

GSPIA is proud to partner with several of the country’s leading public service organizations, and to recognize those who serve the greater good, with special incentives for applicants and students.

 Application Fee Waivers

In recognition of their service to the country and their accomplishments, GSPIA waives its $50 application fee for these students:

  • Veterans of the US armed forces
  • Active-duty military personnel
  • Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
  • AmeriCorps Volunteers and volunteers from AmeriCorps-affiliated programs, including Teach for America and City Year.
  • Truman Scholars
  • Pickering Fellows
  • Coro Fellows
  • McNair Fellows
  • Rangel Fellows
  • Catholic Volunteer Network alumni
  • USAID Donald Payne Fellows

When applying to GSPIA, these students should contact GSPIA at 412-648-7640 or before submitting their application to request details about the waiver.

Tuition Discounts for Government Employees and Veterans

MPPM students who enroll at GSPIA while working full-time for a local, county, state, or federal government agency (excluding the military and private-sector government contractors) receive a 20% tuition discount. Only students in the mid-career MPPM program are eligible.

Veterans using VA education benefits that attend GSPIA will received the in-state tuition rate. Students in all degree programs are eligible. Visit the Office of Veterans Services for more information (, and see GSPIA’s website for veterans’ resources. (

Special Academic Partnerships and Scholarship Guarantees

Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program. All RPCVs who are successfully admitted are automatically considered for a minimum $5,000/year renewable scholarship, as long as they earned at least a 3.4 undergraduate GPA and enroll full-time in the MPA, MID, or MPIA programs. Students who receive the scholarship are designated as “Coverdell Fellows” and, like all fellows in this nationwide program, are asked to complete an internship serving the community. Up to 6 Coverdell Fellows can be named every year.

AmeriCorps Segal Ed Award Match. GSPIA provides a 100% scholarship match for up to five Segal AmeriCorps Education Award recipients each year. All AmeriCorps alumni are automatically considered for this special scholarship as long as they plan to enroll full-time; no separate application is necessary. Simply indicate your status as an AmeriCorps alum on the application for admission. This is a minimum scholarship; the actual amount may be higher, and it may be combined with other scholarships from the school.

USAID Donald M. Payne International Development Fellows. GSPIA provides a scholarship sufficient to cover the remainder of a student’s tuition after the Payne Fellowship has been applied. The scholarship is renewable for a second year based on academic performance.

Thomas M. Pickering Fellows. GSPIA provides a scholarship to cover Pickering Fellows’ full tuition during the second year of study, after the Pickering Fellowship covers tuition for the first year.

City Year Alumni University Partnership (City Year National Service Scholars Program). City Year corps, alumni, or staff members are eligible for a GSPIA scholarship equal to at least 25% of tuition if admitted and enrolled full-time. Up to 4 such scholarships are awarded each year. Corps alumni with at least one year of service and staff members employed for at least two years will be considered for this scholarship if they self-identify on their applications. 

Teach for America Partnership. GSPIA offers a $5,000/year minimum scholarship to any Teach for America alumni who are successfully admitted, and have at least a 3.4 undergraduate GPA. Students who apply simultaneously to Teach for America and GSPIA may be granted a two-year deferral of their admission to complete their Teach for America obligations.

Coro Fellows. Current Coro Fellows based in Coro’s Pittsburgh office are eligible to receive a minimum $5,000/year renewable scholarship if admitted and enrolled full-time. Coro Fellows and employees from any Coro office nationwide receive an application fee waiver.

Catholic Volunteer Network Alumni.
All CVN alumni qualify for an application fee waiver.

Peace Corps Master’s International Program.

Please note: Due to a decision made at the national level by the Peace Corps, all Peace Corps Master’s International programs are being discontinued. The fall 2016 entering class will be the final class of GSPIA students eligible to participate in the PCMI program. GSPIA continues to participate in the Coverdell Fellowship program, which is not affected by this change.

Students interested in the PCMI program must apply to the Master of International Development program with a major in Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society. During their first year at GSPIA, students are expected to complete as many core and major requirements as possible and apply to the Peace Corps. Once accepted to the Peace Corps and given a country assignment, the students will take a two-year leave of absence from GSPIA to pursue their Peace Corps service.

During their two-year period abroad, preferably in their first semester overseas, PCMI students will register for at least 3 credits of independent study under the supervision of a GSPIA faculty member, as well as the zero-credit internship course, PIA 2098. GSPIA will provide a scholarship to cover the tuition charges they incur for registering for those three credits. Students may, if they wish, register for an additional three credits of independent study while abroad at their own expense.

While abroad, students are expected to maintain regular email, phone, or Skype contact with their supervising faculty member and complete whatever reflective assignments the faculty member recommends. Students will receive an incomplete “I” grade in both the independent study and the internship until they have completed their Peace Corps service and all relevant assignments and internship paperwork. Those who satisfactorily complete all requirements will have their incomplete grades changed to passing grades. With the exception of the one semester when they register for independent study/internship credits, students will not be actively enrolled at GSPIA during their time abroad and will be granted a two-year leave of absence from the University of Pittsburgh.

After finishing the Peace Corps service, students will return to GSPIA to complete any remaining graduation requirements. They will enroll in a relevant capstone seminar in which the faculty member will help to tailor their capstone assignments toward their Peace Corps work and build off of the experiences they cultivated overseas. 

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260