Public health scholarships are abundant for aspiring practitioners seeking the training to implement effective programs that prevent disease, prolong life, and promote well-being in our global society.
Whether at the bachelor's, master's, or doctoral level, public health degrees are focused on protecting our modern world's citizens from serious health threats.
As America fights the battle against processed foods, inactive lifestyles, diabetes, tobacco products, and infectious diseases, the employment of public health graduates is projected to skyrocket by 30.5%. Most of these jobs require an Master of Public Health (MPH) though, which is a serious financial commitment with the rising tuition costs.
Luckily, you can turn your passion for community service into a rewarding career and limit your loan debt by checking out the following 20 scholarships for public health majors.
1. AAPHP Graduate Student Scholarship
Deadline: January 23rd
Annually, the Association of Accredited Public Health Programs (AAPHP) offers the Graduate Student Community Engaged Research Scholarship for $500 to two currently enrolled students who are earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) focused in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health services administration, or social/behavioral science. Eligible candidates must have completed at least 15 MPH credits, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, attend an AAPHP member institution, and be approved for conducting a community engaged project or thesis. Applications should include a 250-word biosketch, a two-page community project proposal, unofficial college transcripts, and a letter from a faculty advisor.
2. Advancing Public Health Excellence Scholarships
Deadline: June 22nd
At Walden University, the Advancing Public Health Excellence (APEX) Scholarships are granted each year to provide one full-tuition and two $10,000 awards to outstanding graduate students who are enrolling in the university's online Master of Public Health (MPH) program. Qualified applicants must be incoming students, meet all admissions requirements, have not received another Walden merit-based scholarship, and be committed to promoting positive social change. Along with the application and a resume, candidates must send a 1,000-word essay describing how they've influenced the health of an economically disadvantaged community.
3. Arkansas Public Health Scholarships
Deadline: March 16th
Ranging in value from $500 to $1,000 apiece, the Arkansas Public Health Association will distribute scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors or currently enrolled college students who have plans to earn a degree related to public health. To qualify, students must reside in Arkansas, be accepted or attending an in-state university, demonstrate financial need, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and possess public health experience. Selection will be based on applicants' academic achievement, health-related volunteer work, letters of recommendation, personal character, financial need, and future goals in public health practice.
Arkansas Public Health Scholarships
P.O. Box 250327
Little Rock, AR 72225
4. Betsy B. Woodward Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
Since 1981, the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) has offered the Betsy B. Woodward Scholarship for $1,500 annually as an undergraduate public health scholarship for those dedicated to pursuing a career in food, drug, and consumer product safety. Eligible candidates must attend an accredited U.S. institution, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, demonstrate leadership capabilities, show research competence, be entering their senior year, and have unmet financial need. Applications won't be complete without an official college transcript, two faculty letters of recommendation, and a one-page biographical sketch essay.
5. CANFIT Graduate Scholarships
Deadline: March 31st
Through Communities, Adolescents, Nutrition, and Fitness (CANFIT) Foundation, there are several annual Graduate Scholarships presented for minority students who are currently enrolled in an approved master's or doctoral program for nutrition, public health, or physical education. Qualified candidates must be attending a pre-professional practice program at an accredited California college, take at least 12 credits per term, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and be affiliated with an ethnic minority. Applications should include two recommendations, a photograph, official transcripts, and a 1,000-word essay discussing ways to improve access to safe areas for physical activity in low-income communities of color.
6. Delbert Oberteuffer Doctoral Scholarship
Deadline: January 15th
Sponsored by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), the Delbert Oberteuffer Doctoral Scholarship is awarded annually for $1,500 to advanced graduate students who are pursuing a doctoral degree in health education or public health. Eligible recipients must show potential for advancing the health of children, have successfully passed at least six credits of doctoral-level study, and attend an accredited U.S. graduate school. Along with the application, candidates must submit a current resume or curriculum vitae, official graduate transcripts, two letters of support, and a one-page personal essay highlighting their public health interests.
7. Dr. James A. Ferguson Infectious Diseases Fellowship
Deadline: January 31st
Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Dr. James A. Ferguson Infectious Diseases Fellowship is offered by the Kennedy Krieger Institute annually to provide $4,000 scholarships for graduate public health students pursuing a MPH or Ph.D. degree full-time. Qualified fellows must attend an accredited U.S. institution, show academic promise with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and have membership with the APHA. Recipients will be given the opportunity to complete a nine-week summer research externship in Baltimore to study a wide range of infectious diseases and pioneer public health prevention campaigns.
8. Edna Dell Weinel Scholarship
Deadline: September 1st
Created by the Missouri Public Health Association (MOPHA), the Edna Dell Weinel Scholarship provides $750 each year for a practicing public health professional seeking to further his or her education by enrolling in a master's or doctoral degree for public health. Eligible applicants must reside or work in Missouri, have MOPHA membership in good standing, seek to enrich their career with CEPH-accredited continuing education, attend an accredited U.S. university, and demonstrate need for financial assistance. Before the deadline, individuals must submit proof of enrollment, official college transcripts, two references, and five short essay responses.
9. Florence Young Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: June 2nd
As the only scholarship for public health granted through the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA), the Florence Young Memorial Scholarship is granted each year for $1,500 to an outstanding graduate student of Native American or Alaskan Native heritage who is earning a master's degree in public health, law, or art. Qualified applicants must attend an accredited U.S. school, have membership with a federally recognized tribe, maintain full-time college enrollment, and show a clear interest in civic or community affairs. Students should have a minimum financial need of $750 for both fall and spring semesters.
Florence Young Memorial Scholarship
966 Hungerford Drive Suite 12-B
Rockville, MD 20850
10. Herschel S. Horowitz Scholarship
Deadline: November 15th
In honor of the world-renowned dental epidemiologist who focused on the public prevention of tooth decay in childhood, the Hershel S. Horowitz Scholarship is presented annually for $10,000 through the American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD). Eligible candidates must be currently practicing licensed dentists, wish to enter the discipline of public health by earning an MPH degree, be accepted at a CEPH-accredited school, plan to maintain full-time status, and demonstrate commitment to a career in dental public health. Applications need to include a curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendation, proof of acceptance, and a personal statement.
11. James M. and Erma T. Freemont Scholarships
Deadline: February 2nd
Each year, the James M. and Erma T. Freemont Foundation distributes several $10,000 scholarships for African American graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students who are working towards a degree in public health, health science, or medicine. To apply, students must be attending an accredited HBCU in the United States, carry full-time enrollment status, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, earn an SAT score of at least 1800, demonstrate leadership ability in community service, and be dedicated to building a career within any health-related discipline.
12. Justine E. Granner Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
Established by the Iowa United Methodist Foundation (IUMF), the Justine E. Granner Memorial Scholarship is awarded for $1,000 on a yearly basis to American Indian or other ethnic minority students who are pursuing a degree in nursing, public health, or another related healthcare field. Qualified candidates must be attending an accredited college in Iowa, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, exhibit financial need, be active members of the United Methodist Church, and submit three letters of recommendation. Preference will be given to applicants who have graduated from Iowa high schools and remained in-state.
Justine E. Granner Memorial Scholarship
2301 Rittenhouse Street
Des Moines, IA 50321
13. Katie Evans Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: November 1st or March 1st
Twice each year, the Katie Evans Memorial Scholarship is awarded by the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) to cover the full costs of a nine-week internship for high-achieving graduate students currently enrolled in an MPH degree program accredited in the United States. For consideration, candidates must write a 500-word personal essay detailing their future career plans in international health and community-based development. Recipients will be placed with one of FSD's community partners to collaborate on significant public health projects in Asia, Africa, or Latin America.
Katie Evans Memorial Scholarship
1000 Brannan Street Suite 207
San Francisco, CA 94103
14. Laurence R. Foster Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Named in honor of a long-time public health leader who served as State Epidemiologist until his untimely death in 1992, the Laurence R. Foster Memorial Scholarship is offered by the Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI) annually to award $1,000 to $10,000. Applicants must be currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students majoring in public health, attend an accredited non-profit Oregon college, have junior-level or higher standing, enroll at least half-time, and exhibit financial need. Interested students must write a maximum 700-word essay describing which public health aspects they intend to practice.
15. NEHA/AAS Scholarship Fund
Deadline: February 13th
In collaboration with the American Academy of Sanitarians (AAS), the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) provides $2,000 scholarships each year for undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled in a degree for environmental health, public health, or health science. Eligible individuals must be at least juniors, attend an accredited four-year U.S. university, enroll in a program with EHAC approval, possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and showcase a devotion to a career in environmental health. Applications should be accompanied by official academic transcripts, two recommendation letters, and support from an active NEHA member.
16. NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 9th
As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has established a highly competitive Undergraduate Scholarship Program to provide up to $20,000 per year for college students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are pursuing careers in biomedical, behavioral, or social science health-related research. Qualifying students must have U.S. citizenship, attend an accredited four-year college full-time, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.3, and rank in their class's top fifth percentile. Recipients will participate in a 10-week summer research internship and be given employment with the NIH upon graduation.
17. Public Health & Alzheimer's Disease Scholarships
Deadline: April 20th
Sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association, the Public Health & Alzheimer's Disease Scholarships are awarded annually to provide $1,000 to graduate students in public health who are enrolled in a master's or doctoral program accredited by the CEPH for excellence. Eligible recipients must take nine or more credits per term, have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, show promise for a public health career, and be working on a thesis or dissertation project that studies Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Along with the application, students are expected to submit a project proposal, personal statement, current resume, official transcript, and faculty advisor letter.
18. Scrimshaw Family Latino Health Scholarship
Deadline: October 29th
At the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the Scrimshaw Family Latino Health Scholarship is granted through the School of Public Health to provide $1,000 to graduate students of Latino or Hispanic origin who are currently enrolling full-time within the Master of Public Health (MPH) or M.S. in Public Health programs. Preference is given to students with significant financial need for tuition assistance who display a clear dedication to improving the health of Latino communities. Applications must include a nomination form, official transcripts, a current CV or resume, one letter of support, and a three-page personal essay.
Scrimshaw Family Latino Health Scholarship
1603 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612
19. Theodore "Ted" Hanekamp Scholarship
Deadline: February 28th
Administered by the Kentucky Public Health Association (KPHA), the Theodore "Ted" Hanekamp Scholarship gives up to $10,000 every calendar year in honor of a lifelong scholar who devoted his entire career to working at the Commonwealth's Department of Public Health. To qualify, residents must already possess a bachelor's degree, be enrolling or attending the University of Kentucky, be pursuing the MPH degree, maintain full-time enrollment with nine or more credits per semester, and display clear promise for a career in public health service. Applicants must attach three letters of recommendation, an official college transcript, and a short summary of their personal history.
20. Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship
Deadline: July 31st
Each year, the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) also presents the Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 for two undergraduate or graduate students who are working towards an accredited degree in public health, health education, community health, or school health education. Eligible candidates should have SOPHE membership, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, maintain full-time enrollment at an approved U.S. university, strive for a public health career, and have completed one-third of their degree's requirements. Applications won't be accepted without proof of enrollment, official transcripts, faculty mentor support, a current resume, and a personal statement.
Earning a degree in public health unlocks many doors of opportunity for assuming diverse career titles, such as tropical disease expert, public health engineer, healthcare administrator, industrial hygienist, health educator, behavioral scientist, vaccine researcher, epidemiologist, and much more. In fact, Forbes magazine named the Master of Public Health (MPH) the sixth best degree for jobs in America with a mid-career average salary of $84,100. You'll first need to put in the time and money to complete your public health training though. Consider applying for some of these excellent public health scholarships to overcome financial obstacles in achieving your career aspirations.