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.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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.
Johns Hopkins University
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.
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.