Notre Dame of Maryland University is proud to partner with the Peace Corps as part of the Coverdell Fellowship program.

Returned Peace Corps volunteers who taught English abroad may continue their studies in the ESOL field in our Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program (MATESOL). Students in the MATESOL program will earn a master’s degree and Maryland teaching certification in ESOL grades PreK-12.

Credit for Experience

We grant Returned Peace Corps Volunteers with a TEFL Certificate 12 credits based on their Peace Corps experience. The credit based on prior experience allows Coverdell Fellows to reduce the cost of the degree and complete the program in just four semesters (fall, winter, spring, and summer). 

We also provide a certification and master’s degree track for those Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who did not complete the Peace Corps TEFL certificate during their Peace Corps experience. Those without the TEFL certificate will be granted 6 credits based on their Peace Corps experience. They may still complete the program in just one year by taking classes in four semesters (fall, winter, spring and summer). 

Students have the option of starting the program in January, May or September. All classes are offered in the evenings since students will be teaching or interning in local schools during the day.  Some classes will also be available online.


Students will complete the following courses for the MATESOL degree:

EDU 519 – Human Development and Learning
EDU 543 – Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting Educational Research
EDU 545 – Principles of Linguistics
EDU 547 – Assessing Second Language Acquisition
EDU 548 – Language Learning
EDU 556 – Technology for Instruction and Management
EDU 586 – Teaching Reading and Writing for Students with Limited English Proficiency
SPE 526 – Special Education for the Classroom Teacher

Students who provide their TEFL certificate from service in the Peace Corps will be awarded credit for the following courses:

EDU 508 – Issues in TESOL
EDU 546 – Methods and Materials for ESOL
EDU 611 – Internship in TESOL (6 credit course)

Students who have not completed the TEFL certificate while serving in the Peace Corps will be awarded credit for the following course:

EDU 611 Internship (6 credit course)

These students will take EDU 508 and EDU 546 with NDMU as part of their program.

Admission Information


  • College of Graduate Studies application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Admissions essay
  • Peace Corps Description of Service
  • Peace Corps TEFL Certificate (if earned). Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have not earned the TEFL certificate are also welcome to apply.

Applicants with completed applications will interview with the Director of Admission and Advising for Graduate Initial Certification. This interview may be conducted in person or over the phone. The applicants are evaluated based on academic background from official transcripts, writing skills demonstrated in the essay, and demonstration of educator dispositions during the interview.


The estimated cost of the program for those with the Peace Corps TEFL certificate is $14,600, which includes all tuition and fees. The estimated cost of the program for non-TEFL certificate holders is $18,080 including tuition and fees.

Employment & Placement


Coverdell Fellows may apply for employment with one of our school district partners, which will supply Fellows with additional financial means allowing them to complete the program. Starting salaries for new teachers in our partnering school districts are typically at least $48,000 a year, depending on qualifications.  

Our TESOL program has extensive connections with nine different school districts in the State of Maryland, including Baltimore County Public Schools and Baltimore City Public School System, in addition to Catholic schools in two local archdioceses. Coverdell Fellows hired by a local school district will receive a full-time teaching salary, benefits, and are eligible for tuition reimbursement from the school district.


All Coverdell Fellows will have a placement in a local school, either as a “resident teacher” working as a full time ESOL teacher in a local school, or as an intern in a local school. All placements for Coverdell Fellows will be in Title I schools, i.e., in impoverished, high-need communities.

Fellows are not obliged to additional years of commitment to the school district in which they will complete their residency, although they will be well-positioned to be offered continued employment upon completion of the program if they wish to continue to work for the school district.

Fellows who are employed as resident ESOL teachers will work full-time in one of the local school districts from September until June. Fellows who are not employed as resident teachers will complete an internship that is part-time in the first semester (8 hours per week) and full-time in the second semester (40 hours per week). 


Our 36-credit MATESOL program is a nationally-accredited and Maryland-state approved program for ESOL initial teaching certification. The teaching certification is recognized by other US states through reciprocity agreements due to our national accreditation.