Merit Scholarships

Merit Scholars are selected among a talented group of applicants to the Rollins School of Public Health. All students, including International students, who have a completed and verified application in SOPHAS by the January 5th deadline are automatically considered for Merit Awards. Merit Scholars demonstrate academic achievement and leadership in their application for admission. These competitive awards are offered to about 45 students each year. Merit awards vary in amount and also include an opportunity for a Rollins Earn and Learn award. Additional funding opportunities are available for students who are not selected for a merit scholarship.

Entering EMPH students are considered part-time status, and will be considered for separate merit-based awards by the program.

How We Choose Our Scholars 

Department admissions committees nominate applicants who apply by the priority deadline (January 5). Part-time students (with an exception of EMPH students) and Emory Courtesy award recipients are ineligible for merit scholarships. If you are a merit scholarship finalist, we will notify you by late-February. No additional application is required for merit consideration.

Scholars in Action 

The Scholars in Action Program allows all selected Merit Scholar recipients to contribute to the professional development of the Rollins Community, apply academic experiences to contemporary public health issues, and discuss public health topics from interdisciplinary perspectives.

The Goals of Scholars in Action are:

  • To develop mutual, sustainable relationships with local and global community partners.
  • To create a student-run leadership and community-engaged learning program for Merit Scholars.
  • To apply skills learned from the Scholars in Action Program in local and global communities after graduation.

Merit Scholars may choose to be involved in one of four student-run committees. Please note that participation in the Scholars in Action Program is encouraged but not required to receive funding as a Merit Scholar; however, it provides additional leadership opportunities that Merit Scholars may choose to pursue during their time at RSPH. Additionally, the program allows scholars to connect with one another.

  • Service Committee: Collaborates with university and community partners to plan regular service opportunities and implement Days of Service for all Merit Scholars & the RSPH Community.
  • Social Committee: Builds community among Merit Scholars by hosting on-campus and off-campus social events.
  • Professional Development Committee: Collaborates with RSPH Departments and other partners and stakeholders to implement professional development sessions for all Merit Scholars and RSPH Students.
  • Annual Book Discussion Committee: Plans the Scholars in Action Annual Book Discussion, which takes place between January - February every year.
  • Assessment & Evaluation Committee: Uses quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate the Scholars in Action Program. Works collaboratively with Scholars in Action Committees to evaluate their respective programs and events.
  • Rollins Election Day Initiative: A nonpartisan group of Scholars in Action and RSPH students who collaborate with the Emory Votes Initiative and faculty, staff, and students to promote civic engagement within the RSPH Community.



Nicolas Chang

In pursuing a master of public health, Nicholas intends to specialize in mental health policy to address systemic inequalities and unintended outcomes of current mental health care structures. He is particularly interested in examining the effects of societal stigmas on access to and usage of mental health services. During his time at Rollins, Nicholas hopes to further his understanding of health policy and mental health through coursework and build relationships both on and off campus with organizations and individuals that will become catalysts for change in the mental health policy space.

Nicholas Chang
Robert W. Woodruff Scholarship recipient

Established in 2015 to celebrate Dean James W. Curran’s twentieth anniversary as dean of the Rollins School of Public Health, the James W. Curran Scholarships are awarded to the school’s top applicants. The James W. Curran Scholarship is the most prestigious award available at Rollins providing full tuition, a $5,000 stipend, an opportunity to earn up to $12,000 with a Rollins Earn and Learn (REAL) Award, and a $2,000 Practicum Award, in addition to a $300 deposit waiver. Recipients join a larger community of Rollins scholarship recipients. These scholars participate in events that bring leaders together for networking, community building, and personal development. Curran Scholars have the opportunity to meet individually with Dean Curran during their years at Rollins.

Named for renowned businessman and philanthropist, Robert W. Woodruff, this scholarship is awarded to four outstanding students annually. The award covers full tuition and fees toward an MPH or MSPH degree plus a $5,000 stipend, an opportunity to earn up to $12,000 with a Rollins Earn and Learn (REAL) Award, a $2,000 Practicum Award, as well as a $300 deposit waiver.

The Martorell scholarship fund supports outstanding Hispanic students who want to study public health at Rollins. The award includes a tuition scholarship which may range from 25% to 50% as well as an opportunity to earn up to $12,000 with a REAL award, all of which is distributed over two years.

Dr. Reynaldo Martorell, who joined the school as Robert W. Woodruff Professor of International Nutrition in 1993, served 12 years as department chair until 2009. Dr. Martorell is a key collaborator on a landmark longitudinal study in Guatemala to assess how childhood nutrition affects health and quality of life in adulthood. He also leads studies to examine the effects of the 1959 to 1961 famine in China on adult health and to analyze maternal nutrition intervention programs in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and India.

This scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding MPH or MSPH applicant.

This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding MPH or MSPH applicant. Preference may be given to students pursuing careers in safe water and sanitation.

This award is offered to applicants who have demonstrated leadership and ongoing commitment to service through their participation in the U.S. Peace Corps. All Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who indicate their service on the SOPHAS application are considered for the PCF, as long as they meet the priority deadline of January 5th.

This scholarship is awarded to an MPH or MSPH student on the basis of outstanding promise.

Established by Robert J. Freeman to honor his aunt (who cared deeply about the environment, education and children), the Sallie B. Lee Scholarship provides support for an outstanding student to pursue an MPH or MSPH degree.

This scholarship is awarded to a promising MPH or MSPH student whose studies and career will result in the improvement of the quality of life among the populations in developing parts of the world.

This scholarship is awarded to a promising MPH or MSPH student with exceptional credentials.

This scholarship was established by the family and friends of Dr. Charles Shepard, a distinguished scientist and early, enthusiastic supporter of the MPH program at Emory. This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding applicant to the Department of Epidemiology.

This fund provides scholarship support to our most outstanding MPH and MSPH students.

This scholarship is awarded to an MPH or MSPH student on the basis of outstanding promise,with preference given to a student who plans to spend his or her career in public service.

This scholarship is awarded to an MPH or MSPH student on the basis of outstanding promise, with preference given to those with a demonstrated interest in women's and children's health.

The Donna J. Brogan Scholarship in Biostatistics will provide scholarship support to outstanding first-year or second-year students seeking the MPH or MSPH degree in Biostatistics.

The Jeff Alperin and Bernardine Brandis Scholarship will provide scholarship support to outstanding students at the Rollins School of Public Health.

The Cari J. Clark Global Scholarship will provide support for RSPH students, with preference for international students pursuing their MPH degree.

The Bruce A. Fowler Scholarship Endowment in Environmental Health will provide scholarship support to RSPH students, with a preference for outstanding students in Environmental Health.

The Mark Steinhoff, MD Scholarship provides support to Rollins School of Public Health students.

The Hahn-Swanson Family Scholarship will provide scholarships to Rollins students with a preference for MPH students who have a demonstrated capacity for leadership in, and service to, public health.

Established by the family of Boisfeuillet Jones, Sr., the scholarship provides support for an outstanding student to pursue an MPH or MSPH degree.

Contact Us 

If you are a prospective applicant, current applicant, or admitted student and have general scholarship questions, contact the Office of Admissions at or 404-727-3956.

If you are a finalist for a merit scholarship and have questions, please contact Ivone Foisy, Executive Director of Admissions and Recruitment at

If you are a merit award recipient and need info about award disbursement or financial aid, please contact Ivone Foisy, Executive Director of Admissions and Recruitment at

If you are a current scholar and you are interested in learning more about the Scholars in Action Program, please contact Joanne Williams, Associate Director for Student Engagement, at or 404-683-5404.

For financial aid, FAFSA, or direct loan questions, please contact Emory University’s Office of Financial Aid at or 404-727-6039.