Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs

Website: Coro


The Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs is a full-time, nine month, graduate-level experiential leadership training program that prepares diverse, talented and committed individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public affairs arena. Unconventional by traditional academic standards, the Fellows Program is rigorous and demanding, an unparalleled opportunity for personal and professional growth. The Fellows Program is offered in Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and St. Louis.

Coro introduces program participants to all aspects of the public affairs arena, preparing them to translate their ideals into action for improving their own communities and beyond. Coro Fellows learn to see the big picture - the community as a whole - and appreciate the varying perspectives that characterize our cities, states, and nation. Through field placements, group interviews, seminars, focus weeks, individual and group projects, they develop:

  • hands-on project experience
  • an understanding of complex public issues
  • leadership skills in inquiry, problem-solving, communication, organization analysis, and consensus-building.
  • political acumen to get things done
  • professional growth and personal transformation.
  • extensive personal and professional networks

Sixty-eight Fellows are chosen nationally each year through a highly competitive selection process, including a day-long assessment at each center’s city. The Fellows represent a broad range of academic, work, cultural, racial and economic backgrounds, ages and interests. What they share is an unwavering commitment to civic engagement.

Tuition waivers and payment schedules vary between Coro centers. Please visit each Coro center page to learn specifics.


Tuition waivers and payment schedules vary between Coro centers. Nationally, there is tuition between $3,500 and $5,000, of which a partial deposit is due upon acceptance into the program. Need-based stipends are available at all Coro locations.

Student Loan Deferment

Fellows who receive student loans for their graduate or undergraduate education and who want to defer payment of these loans while enrolled in the Coro program, should obtain the necessary papers from their lending institutions. Deferment is granted by lending institutions on an individually negotiated basis.


Coro Fellows have varying backgrounds, beliefs, and goals, but they are driven by a common desire to take action and expedite their impact in the world. They value lifelong learning and seek experiences that provide an opportunity to reflect and grow.

Candidates may be at an inflection point, whether fresh out of school or in the workforce and looking for a path to their next opportunity. Fellows are eager to see where their passion can take them as they explore connections between sectors and apply their learnings in creative ways.

Ideal candidates are curious and ambitious – open to being challenged and excited to collaborate with others across differences. They are self-defined change-makers and leaders in their communities, committed to taking on big issues and willing to adapt in order to make a difference.

Student Type
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  1. Applicants complete a brief Interest Form that creates a user account and provides Coro with basic contact information.  Start an application online at
  2.  The online Application includes:
  • additional background information
  • uploading a current resume (not to exceed two pages)
  • uploading three required essays, plus a supplemental essay for New York applicants
  • Contact information for two people providing letters of recommendation
  • Applicants arrange to have two letters of recommendation submitted directly to the Coro Center they are applying through (as determined by the state assignments above). 
  • Applicants have their college and graduate institutions mail academic transcripts directly to the Center they are applying through (as determined by the state assignments above).

Coro was founded in San Francisco in 1942 when W. Donald Fletcher, an attorney, and Van Duyn Dodge, an investment counselor, launched an exploration of the world of public affairs. Their premise was based on the realization that, unlike law, business or medicine, post graduate training in the area of leadership was non existent.

As the need for leadership training grew to national proportions, Coro began to explore new territories and established centers in Los Angeles (1957), St. Louis (1972), Kansas City (1975), New York (1980), and Pittsburgh (1999). Although most centers operate independently with its own board of directors and fundraising, they remain unified in their mission, methods, and goals under the Coro National umbrella.

Contact Information

Coro Center for Civic Leadership – San Francisco
601 Montgomery Street, Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 986-0521 x103
Accepts applications from individuals in Alaska, California (Northern), Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington & Wyoming.