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Funding and Scholarships

Sommer Scholars Program

The Hopkins Sommer Scholars Program is developing a network of public health leaders who make a difference in the world.

Every student accepted into the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the Bloomberg School is automatically considered for nomination to the prestigious Hopkins Sommer Scholars Program. This program provides full tuition and a stipend so that the most inspiring and accomplished applicants to the School can pursue the curriculum that best meets their needs and interests.

Hopkins Sommer Scholars also participate in enrichment activities aimed at developing personal skills, fostering collaboration, and building a network of contacts they can draw upon throughout their careers.

When they graduate, Sommer scholars become members of a global network of leaders determined to make a difference in the world.

The Sommer Scholars Program has already helped more than 300 students develop leadership skills vital to their future careers.

About Dean Alfred Sommer

The Hopkins Sommer Scholars Program is named in honor of Dean Emeritus Alfred Sommer, who served as dean of the Bloomberg School from 1990 through 2005.

In a remarkable career marked by lasting contributions to ophthalmology, epidemiology, micronutrient research, disaster relief, and other areas, Alfred Sommer is best known for his research into vitamin A deficiency. In the footsteps of earlier public health leaders, he followed remarkable scientific insights with perseverance and ingenuity to save the sight and lives of millions of children.

Dr. Sommer proved that vitamin A deficiency dramatically increased childhood morbidity and mortality from infectious disease and that a four-cent dose of vitamin A not only prevented and cured eye disease, but also reduced childhood deaths by 34 percent.

Because of his work, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and their partners now annually provide millions of vitamin A supplements to children around the world, saving hundreds of thousands of lives each year.

Sommer, MD, MHS '73, is the recipient of numerous honors including the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award and the Spirit of Helen Keller Award. He is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

About the Scholars

Sommer Scholars exemplify scientific excellence, energy, ambition, political acumen, and a determination to change the world. The program welcomes students from all backgrounds who want to make a difference by leveraging their previous professional experience to shape the public health policy of the future. Sommer Scholars may be writers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, politicians, business executives, journalists, engineers, financial analysts, economists and others who want to make a difference in the world and are seeking the tools to do so effectively.



Can I apply to the Hopkins Sommer Scholars Program?

No. There is no separate application process for the Sommer Scholarship. If you apply to and are accepted by the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the Bloomberg School, you will be automatically considered for nomination to the program.

However, those interested in being considered for the Hopkins Sommer Scholars Program are invited to address one of the following questions in the personal statement of their application for admission to the School:

  • How have you taken advantage of the leadership development opportunities you have had, and how have they shaped you?
  • What is the most significant achievement so far in your life?



How do I apply to the MPH program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health?
I plan to earn an MSPH, MHS, or MSc degree; will I be considered for the program?

No. To be considered for a Sommer Scholarship, you must be admitted as a full-time student to the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the Bloomberg School.

What criteria are used to evaluate Sommer Scholar nominees?

Successful candidates have excellent academic backgrounds and have demonstrated an ability to make an impact in the field of public health. There are no set criteria such as minimum GRE scores, grade point averages, or letters of recommendation. 

When will I know if I’ve been honored as a Sommer Scholar?

MPH students who are accepted as Sommer Scholars are notified in mid-March.

What will be expected of me as a Sommer Scholar?

Sommer Scholars must remain full-time students in good standing, participate in the Sommer Scholars Enrichment Program, and conduct themselves in a way that brings credit to the Bloomberg School, Johns Hopkins University, and the Sommer Scholars Program.

Program Management

Caitlin Kennedy, PhD '09, MPH '04
Sommer Scholars Faculty Director
Director, Social and Behavioral Interventions Program
Associate Chair, Department of International Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Erika Juengst
Sommer Scholars Program Manager
Director, Alumni Relational and Annual Giving
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Steering Committee

Marie Diener-West, PhD '84
Heath Elliott, MBA
Daniele Fallin, PhD
Ellen MacKenzie, PhD '79, ScM '75 (ex-officio)
Joshua Sharfstein, MD
Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS '73
Scott Zeger, PhD

Alumni Advisory Council

Jerome Chelliah, MD, MPH '15
Natalie Draisin, MPH '15, MBA '15
Kevin Fain, JD, MPH, DrPH '15
Awori Hayanga, MBChB, MPH '08
Sadaf Khan, DrPH '11, MBBS, MPH
Priya Mehra, MPH '10
Debraj Mukherjee, MD, MPH '08
Maya Venkataramani, MD, MPH '15

For more information about our scholars, please contact the Sommer Scholars Program.