21 Public Health Scholarships and Tips to Apply in 2020

For those who want to pursue a career in public health, there are master’s in public health (MPH) online programs that enable students to learn at their own schedules, from any connected device. Going back to school requires a financial investment, but public health scholarships can offset the costs.

According to the 2015–2016 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), the most recent data available, only 0.2% of students received $25,000 or more in scholarships per year. However, speciality scholarships exist and can lessen the cost of education.

Some public health scholarships are given out by schools, while others are from private organizations and health care organizations. There are also scholarships available for all types of students based on demographics, interests and experiences.

There are a variety of public health scholarships to check out for aspiring public health students and students who are currently enrolled in public health programs. The following are public health–specific scholarships. Know that there are thousands of scholarships available for all types of students, so you’re not limited to applying only for public health scholarships.

Below is information on scholarships available for public health students of undergraduate or graduate or both, including certain MPH scholarships for minorities as well. If you plan to finance your degree, read the tips as well as how to successfully apply for public health scholarships.

List of Public Health Scholarships

Below is a list of 21 public health scholarships available to graduate students. These were chosen based on the amount awarded and if they represent any special interest groups. 

1. AAPHP Graduate Student Scholarship

Target Demographic: biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, health services administration or social/behavioral science

Qualification: undergraduate, graduate students

Max Amount: $5,000

AAPHP Graduate Student Scholarship Information

2. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Scholarships

Target Demographic: dietetics students

Qualification: junior or senior year of a baccalaureate or coordinated program in dietetics or the second year of study in a dietetic technician program, a dietetic internship program or a graduate program

Max Amount: $10,000

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Scholarship Information

3. ACMPE Scholarship Fund Inc.

Target Demographic: medical practice management, including public health, specialized for minority students 

Qualification: undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral students

Max Amount: $5,000

ACMPE Scholarship Fund Inc. Information

4. Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Target Demographic: minority students in health care management 

Qualification: graduate students in their last year

Max Amount: $5,000

Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship Information

5. Bill and Judy Bridgers Endowed Scholarship

Target Demographic: public health students at the University of Alabama Birmingham

Qualification: applicants must have a 3.0 GPA and be graduate students in the UAB School of Public Health

Max Amount: varies

Bill and Judy Bridgers Endowed Scholarship Information

6. C. Sylvia and Eddie C. Brown Community Health Scholarship Program

Target Demographic: students who are interested in improving public health for low-income and underserved populations

Qualification: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health students

Max Amount: varies

C. Sylvia and Eddie C. Brown Community Health Scholarship Program Information

7. Corris Boyd Scholars Program

Target Demographic: Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) master’s program students

Qualification: graduate students 

Max Amount: $40,000

Corris Boyd Scholar Program Information

8. David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship

Target Demographic: health administration, health policy and public health students

Qualification: graduate students 

Max Amount: $10,000

David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship

9. Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health

Target Demographic: all MPH applicants are considered for the endowed scholarships and research fellowships.

Qualification: graduate students 

Max Amount: varies

Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health

10. Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship

Target Demographic: students in health care management graduate programs

Qualification: graduate students in their last year 

Max Amount: $5,000

Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship Information

11. Foster Memorial Scholarships

Target Demographic: Oregon students with outstanding academic records who have demonstrated a commitment to pursuing careers in public health

Qualification: graduate, undergraduate and doctoral students

Max Amount: $10,000

Foster Memorial Scholarship Information

12. Herschel S. Horowitz Scholarship

Target Demographic: dentists pursuing an MPH

Qualification: graduate students 

Max Amount: $10,000

Herschel S. Horowitz Scholarship Information

13. HIMSS Scholarships

Target Demographic: students pursuing health care information and management degrees 

Qualification: undergraduate and graduate students

Max Amount: varies

HIMSS Scholarship Information

14. Indian Health Service Scholarships

Target Demographic: American Indian and Alaska Native students

Qualification: graduate and undergraduate students

Max Amount: varies

Indian Health Service Scholarships

15. James M. & Erma T. Freemont Foundation Scholarship Program

Target Demographic: students with a record of leadership and volunteerism in the community and participation in extracurricular school activities who are pursuing degrees in health and medical sciences 

Qualification: graduating high school seniors; undergraduate and graduate students.  

Max Amount: varies

James M. & Erma T. Fremont Foundation Scholarship Program Information

16. Kentucky Public Health Association Scholarships

Target Demographic: public health students given preference

Qualification: undergraduate and graduate students 

Max Amount: $10,000

Kentucky Public Health Association Scholarships Information

17. North Carolina Public Health Association Scholarship

Target Demographic: students with application toward public health practice

Qualification: undergraduate and graduate students 

Max Amount: $1,000

North Carolina Public Health Association Scholarship Information

18. USF Health Scholarships

Target Demographic: University of South Florida (USF) College of Public Health students

Qualification: graduate students 

Max Amount: varies

USF Health Scholarships Information

19. UTHealth School of Public Health Scholarships

Target Demographic: University of Texas Public Health students

Qualification: graduate and doctoral students

Max Amount: varies

UTHealth School of Public Health Scholarships Information

20. Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship

Target Demographic: Members of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) 

Qualification: graduate or undergraduate students 

Max Amount: $2,500

Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship Information

21. Winston Health Policy Scholarship

Target Demographic: health administration, health policy, and public health

Qualification: current first-year graduate students

Max Amount: $10,000

Winston Health Policy Scholarship Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there scholarships available for Online MPH Programs?

Yes. Most scholarships are available for students to use for tuition costs, whether they’re attending on campus or online MPH programs. Generally, if a scholarship is offered for a specific school, you can count on the scholarship being able to be applied toward any type of tuition costs, including online school, and that goes for general scholarships as well.

Many scholarship applications require proof of enrollment to verify the scholarship recipient is attending an accredited university or a school approved by the scholarship organizer. As long as the applicant meets the school requirements, it typically doesn’t matter if classes are in person or online.

Read the requirements of the scholarship to gain insights about possible online school stipulations. You can also contact the scholarship organizer to confirm a scholarship can apply to an online MPH program if you have questions.

Can I apply to multiple scholarships at the same time?

Generally yes. There are different types of scholarships available, and you’re not limited to applying only for public health scholarships. Some outstanding students can receive more than one scholarship. However, it’s advised to be focused and find the best fit instead of counting on the number of scholarships applied to. 

Do scholarships only apply to CEPH-accredited public health programs?

Program accreditation is not indicated in the scholarship application requirements. However, it’s important to note the importance of CEPH accreditation in public health and make sure the university is able to deliver courses of good quality. Also, check the application requirements carefully for any other special criteria (e.g., applicants must be members of a certain organization).  

What GPA do you need to get a full scholarship?

GPA is not everything. Some scholarships require a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply. You don’t have to have 4.0 to apply for certain scholarships. However, it’s crucial to know GPA indicates your performance at school and is usually associated with your expertise in public health. Your practice experience is important, too, but it doesn’t mean you can neglect GPA. 

Tips to Apply for Public Health Scholarships

Some MPH students pay for all of school with scholarships. To increase your likelihood of being awarded the MPH scholarships you apply for, follow these guidelines.

1. Make a list of scholarships and ensure you meet the criteria.

Do research as early as possible and make a list of scholarships you want to apply for with application deadlines. Then, save time in the scholarship application process by carefully reading all scholarship criteria. Some scholarships may have very specific criteria (e.g., students must be in their first year of graduate school). Make sure you qualify before you apply.

Know that scholarships with large awards will likely have more competition compared to niche scholarships. You may have a better chance of winning smaller scholarships, so don’t discount them.

2. Find and keep communicating with mentors.

Some scholarships will require letters of recommendation from people who have taught, managed or mentored you. If you plan to apply for scholarships, reach out to mentors you can trust will write you a great letter of recommendation early on so they’re prepared and pay attention to your performance so that the recommendation can include more details.

Use the scholarship guidelines to provide anyone who is writing you a letter of recommendation with helpful information. You might mention why you’re applying for the scholarship, suggest achievements of yours to highlight or provide them with a resume that shows your experience so they have something to inspire their letter.

3. Track applications.

Make sure you meet scholarship deadlines and turn in all required materials. You might want to create a spreadsheet or document that includes:

  • The name of the scholarship
  • All required materials
  • Due dates
  • Progress of each material collected

Check in with your scholarship document regularly to stay on track. Before you submit, double-check that your application is complete and accurate.

4. Give each scholarship focused attention.

If you were applying for jobs, you wouldn’t send out the same cover letter to different companies. The same goes for scholarships: If you have to write an essay, make sure each essay you write is specific to that scholarship. 

Know your strength, demonstrate knowledge of the public health field, and express your commitment to it by elaborating on personal experience. You may want to first create an outline with notes to organize your writing.

Also, be sure to get your essay checked for spelling or grammar errors. Ask a friend or use a site like Grammarly to scan your essay.

5. Work hard.

Last but not least, work hard. It’s the most important thing. Scholarship applications are incredibly competitive. It’s important that you keep focused on your goal and work hard in school as well as on your applications. 

Going to school to pursue a career in public health can be a rewarding experience but sometimes not financially feasible. Public health scholarships help offset the costs of school, and in some cases, you may be able to fund your entire graduate education with public health scholarships. By following the tips listed above and dedicating time to commit to scholarship research and applications, you may have the opportunity to be rewarded.