Public Health Student Resources, Scholarships, and Support Services

Find the best academic, financial, and career support resources that can help you succeed as a public health student.

Last Updated: 01/28/2021

Public health professionals have saved millions of lives over the years. Yet, with more people seeking medical care and pandemics become increasingly frequent, the role of public health professionals has never been so critical. Fortunately, there are plenty of public health academic programs available to train students looking to enter this in-demand field. Like any college degree, public health degrees take time, money, and intellectual effort. Recognizing this, various schools, institutions, and organizations offer resources to help public health students pay for schooling and make the most of their academic and professional careers. This guide shows where to find the best scholarships and resources available and how to take full advantage of them.

Campus and Online Support Resources for Public Health Students

Earning a post-secondary degree, whether through online or on-campus programs, is challenging. That’s why we’ve compiled a resource list to help undergraduate and graduate public health students maximize their professional and academic potential.

University Student Support Centers and Services

The best student support services are offered through individual schools, making them easy to access. Not only do faculty and staff come to know students well, but they have a genuine interest in helping them succeed. To give you an idea of what to look for, below are two schools providing the highest quality of resources for both current and recently graduated students.

1

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ (UNLV) School of Public Health offers services to help students academically, personally, and professionally. For example, access to internships and undergraduate and graduate advising helps current students achieve academic success. To help pay for school, a host of academic scholarships are available only to UNLV public health students. Networking opportunities are available through UNLV’s Public Health Student Association and alumni network. Post-graduate students can take advantage of career services and a variety of job listings.

2

Brown University

Brown University, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the United States, gives students in its School of Public Health access to an impressive list of student support services. For those needing help with their studies, there’s a writing center as well as advising and mentoring available. To help with graduate research, there’s assistance for finding and obtaining grants. For finding employment after graduation, career services offers access to professional opportunities, alumni contacts, and personalized career advising. To assist public health students in paying for costs that go beyond tuition, there’s a health conference travel reimbursement program, special research funding, loan repayment assistance, and a master’s in public health thesis grant.

Articles, Videos, and Podcasts for Public Health Students and Professionals

The American Health Podcast Created with the help of Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, this podcast covers a range of public health concerns, including pandemics, addiction, and the food system.

FDA Drug Safety Podcasts These podcasts from the Center for Drug Evaluation offer up-to-date information about the FDA’s warnings and recommendations concerning medications and prescription drugs in the United States.

Healthcare Triage Healthcare Triage is a YouTube channel that uploads weekly videos on common topics such as current medical, healthcare, and public health questions.

Let’s Learn Public Health This YouTube channel has a dozen videos offering an overview of aspects of the public health field. Topics include surveillance, disease investigation, and how epidemiological studies work.

Managed Care Matters Operated by Joe Paduda, this blog contains articles relating to contemporaneous public health concerns from a medical perspective and a policy and economic viewpoint.

Virology Blog If there’s a recent development concerning viruses that cause disease in humans, this blog will probably cover it well before the general media does.

Public Health Professional Associations and Student Organizations

American College of Epidemiology (ACE) ACE represents the interests of working epidemiologists and professionals by helping with advocacy and professional development and by finding ways to improve health policy through advancements in epidemiology.

American Public Health Association (APHA) APHA is a membership organization for professionals working in or around public health. It works to improve the overall health of society by making it easier for individuals to become and stay healthy. Members have access to a variety of resources, including publications, professional development, and advocacy.

Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Medical laboratories are pivotal for serving public health interests. The APHL represents the interests of state and local government health laboratories to ensure the success of health initiatives and policies.

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) The ASPPH represents the schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health by promoting cooperation among members and improving public health education.

Delta Omega Originally founded at Johns Hopkins University, Delta Omega is the honorary society for public health students and has more than a hundred chapters across the country.

The Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE) This non-profit international organization consists of health education professionals and student members. It promotes public health, improves responses to health emergencies, and helps members improve advocacy skills.

Public Health Social Media and Online Communities

@AMJPublicHealth This is the Twitter account of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), which is part of the American Public Health Association.

r/publichealth Located on Reddit, this subreddit is for users wanting to discuss almost anything related to public health, including career development issues, academic questions, and program options.

Teach me: Public Health Found on Instagram, this social media account posts pictures to help simplify important public health issues and research.

Support Resources for Students in Online Public Health Programs

Current and future students now realize that attending class in a physical location is no longer necessary for many courses and academic degree paths. Therefore, more public health students are finding themselves in online programs. Since online students can still use assistance, below are five helpful resources for those attending fully online or hybrid public health programs.

ActivEpi Web This free website offers videos, quizzes, and other exercises as well as access to a full epidemiology textbook. Many topics address basic or introductory concepts in epidemiology.

Career Paths to Public Health – Resources for Teachers and Students The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides public health resources for elementary school through college students. Resources include full textbooks, fellowship programs, and case studies.

GreenFacts This free course from the National Science Digital Library examines environmental topics as they relate to human health. Topics include agriculture, biodiversity, and water resources.

Introduction to Public Health The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overviews the field of public health using slideshows, a webinar, and an e-learning course.

JHSPHOpen – Open Public Health Courses The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health provides free courses in the public health field. Subjects include biostatistics, child health and development, and global tobacco control.

College-Sponsored Scholarships in Public Health

Scholarships are a simple way to help pay for school, but this “free” money can be extremely competitive. One way to increase your chances of getting a scholarship is to apply to those tailored for a small group of students enrolled in a particular school or program. You can find these scholarships on your school’s website, either through the financial aid office or your specific program. Depending on the school and program, students may be automatically considered for some scholarships.

The two spotlight schools and programs below offer a wide array of scholarships to public health students.

1

Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is a premier academic institution offering one of the best public health education programs in the country. Its tuition rates aren’t the most affordable, though. To help students pay for their public health education, the school offers many scholarship opportunities for various degree programs. For example, the Master of Public Health program has scholarships intended specifically for its students. Below is a sample of one of those scholarships.


Health Security Scholarship

Amount

Full cost of tuition for the Master of Public Health degree

Deadline

12/1/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

For master’s in public health students with an interest in health security, specifically global pandemics and biological catastrophes.

How to Apply

In addition to completing an admission application, students also email a brief explanation of their interest in health security to the department heads.

2

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Students attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health have access to one of the most cost-effective public health degrees available. The large number of scholarships helps make this affordability a reality. Many of these opportunities are awarded based on both the academic merits of the student and their potential contributions to the public health field. The following provides an idea of the kind of scholarships available.   


Bill and Judy Bridgers Endowed Scholarship

Amount

Varies

Deadline

2/1/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Open to master’s degree students enrolled in the School of Public Health with at least a 3.0 GPA. Special consideration is given to those with a strong interest in a career in public health.  

How to Apply

Apply using BSMART, a special scholarship management tool used by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Private Scholarships in Public Health

The biggest selection of scholarships comes from private benefactors such as non-profit organizations, corporations, and professional associations.  These awards vary from a few hundred dollars to the entire cost of tuition. Usually, the more money available in a scholarship, the more competitive it is. Below is a list of some of the scholarships available to public health students.

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

3/31/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students must be enrolled in a full-time healthcare graduate program like a master’s in public health. They must also be entering their final year of study, be a racial or ethnic minority, and have financial need.

How to Apply

The online application will be available in early January and requires a resume, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and an essay.

Amount

$2,500

Deadline

5/1/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Open to student members of the Medical Group Management Association enrolled in a public health or similar program relevant to medical practice management.

How to Apply

The online application can be found at the Medical Group Management Association website and will be available in March.

Amount

$2,500

Deadline

3/1/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students must demonstrate plans for careers in research, regulation, quality control, or teaching in the field of drugs, foods, or consumer safety with respect to products. Must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be a junior undergraduate.

How to Apply

Complete an application and attach an official college transcript plus two letters of recommendation from faculty members.

Amount

Varies

Deadline

3/15/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester in an approved health-related program such as nursing or public health.

How to Apply

The online application requires at least two letters of recommendation, proof of enrollment as a full-time student in a healthcare field, and applicable transcripts.

Amount

Varies

Deadline

3/1/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Must be a resident of Massachusetts and enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate public health program.

How to Apply

Applications are available online and can be submitted via mail. Must include a letter of reference, official transcripts, a personal statement, and a copy of the applicant’s Massachusetts driver’s license or high school ID.   

Amount

$15,000

Deadline

9/21/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Sponsored by the Guttmacher Institute, this scholarship helps graduate students seeking a degree in public policy or public health and who plan to focus on advancing sexual and productive health rights. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required.

How to Apply

Apply online through the Scholarship America Hub. 

Amount

Varies

Deadline

6/1/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Part of the American Indian Graduate Center Named Graduate Scholarship program, this fellowship is open to documented Native Americans enrolled in a public health and environmental studies academic program.

How to Apply

Apply online through the American Indian Graduate Center’s online portal.  Completing one application will work for this and any other scholarship available through this scholarship program.

Amount

Up to $1,000

Deadline

2/1/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students enrolled in a short-term educational program and working to make further contributions to healthcare as public health nutritionists are eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must be members of the Public Health Nutrition DPG and use the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation’s online portal to apply.

Amount

Varies

Deadline

9/25/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Graduate students entering one of the specified medical fields, including public health, are eligible. Applicants do not need to be Hispanic, but they must have an affinity for improving the health of Hispanic communities.

How to Apply

Provide a personal statement, resume, proof of immigration status, and copies of unofficial transcripts.

Amount

Varies

Deadline

4/15/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Members of HOSA may apply to any of the HOSA scholarships for students seeking careers in a multitude of health fields, including public health.

How to Apply

Create a free online profile with Tallo. Once registered, browse the many HOSA scholarships available, and use Tallo to apply.

Amount

$1,500

Deadline

7/31/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Professionals with at least five years of public health experience and who are pursuing a graduate degree to allow them to take on leadership positions in public health. Applicants must also be paying members of the North Carolina Public Health Association for the previous two years.

How to Apply

Fill out an online application that includes background information about work history in public health. Also submit an essay explaining how the graduate degree will help with a public health leadership role.

Amount

$2,000

Deadline

9/21/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Available to graduate students working on practice-based or research projects in the field of unintentional injury prevention, such as motor vehicle accidents, drug overdoses, and older adult falls. Students must be enrolled in a public health or related academic program.

How to Apply

Provide a resume, project proposal, letter of recommendation, and letter of support from a faculty member.

Amount

Varies

Deadline

7/10/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be a member (or have a family member who is a member) of the Texas Public Health Association (TPHA) and sponsored by a member of the TPHA. Students must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be studying a subject that can lead to a job in public health.

How to Apply

Fill out the online application and include official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and an endorsement letter from the TPHA member.

Amount

$20,000

Deadline

3/17/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Offered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this is for undergraduates with financial need who are planning careers in behavioral, biomedical, or social science health-related research. They must agree to at least two NIH service obligations.

How to Apply

Complete the online application, a Certification of Exceptional Financial Need form, and paperwork for a federal background check.

Amount

$10,000

Deadline

4/9/2021 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students with exceptional academic achievement enrolled in a master’s program studying public health, health administration, health policy, or another subject that would allow them to contribute to the healthcare industry are eligible.

How to Apply

Provide undergraduate and graduate transcripts, a personal statement, a resume, and two letters of nomination in addition to filling out an application.

Tips for Winning a Public Health Scholarship

Scholarships usually have steep competition, so keep the following tips in mind when applying. They may not guarantee you’ll get a scholarship, but they’ll help you avoid outright rejection of an otherwise promising application.

  • Tip #1
    Highlight activities demonstrating interest in public health.
    Scholarship foundations want their money to go to those with a genuine and strong interest in public health. Show your involvement in the public health field by highlighting any prior work experience, volunteer work, or participation in any related activities.
  • Tip #2
    Ask for reference letters as early as possible.
    Those involved in the public health field are only getting busier, so make sure references have enough time to write the best letters of recommendation possible. Ask them as soon as possible to give them ample time.
  • Tip #3
    Write the perfect essay.
    The more you revise and edit your essay, the better it will be. Remember, you are asking someone else to help pay for your education in a field where human lives are on the line. You want to make a great impression.
  • Tip #4
    Ask for help from those already in the public health field.
    Having an extra set of eyes to review your scholarship application is a good idea. An expert in the field can provide perspective and feedback that no scholarship committee member or grammar expert can give.
  • Tip #5
    Submit your application on time or early.
    No matter how much of an ideal public health candidate you are, turning in your scholarship application late is the easiest way to almost guarantee you won’t win a scholarship.

Other Ways to Get Help Paying for College as a Public Health Student

In addition to scholarships, there are other forms of financial aid to help pay for your public health education. These include student loans, employer tuition reimbursements, fellowships, grants, and work-study programs. These come from both government and private sources and often consider a student’s financial need.

One of the most popular forms of student aid is student loans. Student loans usually need repaid with interest, but there are two benefits some federal student loans have that make them better than loans from private lenders. First, they have lower rates or deferred payments. Second, they may be forgivable. For example, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program allows graduates employed in an eligible government or non-profit organization to have the remaining portion of a direct loan forgiven after 120 qualifying monthly payments.

To learn more about your financial aid options, check out our financial aid guide.