As the region is mostly composed of developing nations, healthcare in Africa remains a work in progress, but it also poses a prime learning opportunity for students. The region is a good fit for those looking for a grassroots approach as they can see and learn firsthand the challenges in providing adequate public healthcare.

This also proves how meaningful an African education is for public health, having a wealth of communities for direct implementation which will ensure scalability and sustainability in other markets. Get started on your African public health education here:

Top Schools Offering Public Health Programs in Africa

1. University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town is one of the top universities for public health in the African Region. The university offers a Master of Public Health program as a multidisciplinary course with specializations in the university’s research strengths in various aspects of health science. This is a recommended program for students in all related fields of health and public policy – from healthcare professionals to economists and public administrators. The program aims to equip these students with a holistic perspective of healthcare to improve conditions in South Africa and the region. The course has also been internationally acclaimed, with graduates going on to be consultants and academe on the topic of healthcare for developing nations.

The course comprises modules and a mini-dissertation to wrap up the program. Each module is divided into a 2.5-day lecture series, followed by 8-10 working sessions. It is available on a full-time or part-time basis to provide flexibility for working students. The course spans a maximum of two years, however, students must reside in Cape Town to finish their degree.

2. Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences

  • Study Program
  • Location: Tanzania | Degree/s Offered: Master’s

The School of Public Health and Social Sciences of the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania is an excellent school for public health in Africa that offers a Master of Arts in Health Policy and Management. This course combines healthcare with sociology for a systematic and whole of government approach to public health. The course takes on a variety of subjects relevant to both developed and developing nations, including Pandemics and Socio-Economic development, Health Economics and Financial Management, and Ethics and Legal Issues in Health.

The program aims to provide students with training and technical knowledge to study and address community health problems in Tanzania and beyond. This is also balanced with multidisciplinary knowledge of various stakeholders in public health to properly communicate the work needed to improve healthcare conditions at all levels of government. Graduates of this course continue to be policy analysts and district managers at various levels. They can also perform excellently as health officers in public and private sector organizations.

3. University of Zambia

The University of Zambia School of Medicine is among the best schools for public health in Africa and offers a Master of Public Health, a reflection of the university’s thrust to widen its scope of health services beyond the medical field. In this course, students will be exposed to the medical and political aspects of disease prevention and control and basic healthcare management through policy creation and implementation across Zambia and beyond. The program also offers seven specializations to target specific aspects of public health.

The course has produced public health professionals who have been pivotal to the management of national public health problems in Zambia. Graduates go on to become Environmental Health Scientists, Epidemiologists and Biostatisticians, Policy Managers, Physicians, and other related careers.

4. Kwame Nkrumah University Science & Technology

The Kwame Nkrumah University Science & Technology is another top school for public health in Africa that offers a Master’s and Ph.D. in Public Health, focusing on training postgraduates on the intricacies of healthcare management. Combining the latest research with entrepreneurship and community engagement, the university aims to train students in end-to-end management of public health concerns as an essential component of a stable society.

The university enjoys its strong partnerships with fellow top schools on public health around the globe, with big names such as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It is also a key resource for African organizations such as the CDC Africa, Ghana Health Service, and the National Population Council.

The program consists of 63 credit hours worth of studies, with a thesis that must be defended at the end of the program to graduate. Graduates continue to take top positions in healthcare management and related fields, with many becoming health managers, researchers, policy analysts, and officers in private, government, and non-profit organizations.

5. North-West University

  • Study Program
  • Location: South Africa | Degrees Offered: Master’s

North-West University is a leading university for public health in Africa that offers four courses in the field of public health. The Master of Health Sciences in Transdisciplinary Health Promotion enables students to gain knowledge and critical thinking on public health promotion on a local and international level. These skills will be applied on a literature survey entailing tools and techniques specific to the discipline and will culminate in a thesis defense.

Meanwhile, the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics aims to hone nutritional and dietetics experts to improve the quality of care in Africa. Theoretical learnings are applied to a research dissertation on a related issue and its impact on African communities. These courses come in two tracks – the structured program focuses on classroom lectures, while the research program hinges the entire course on a student’s chosen thesis.

Lastly, the Master of Pharmacy in Pharmacy Practice aims to hone students with the knowledge and capabilities of pharmaceutical drugs, as well as their impact on public healthcare, pharmacoepidemiology, and health economics. Students will build and defend a research thesis on methods related to medicine use and pharmacy practice through quantitative and qualitative means. Applications can also be in the form of implementing programs for safe drug use in healthcare environments.

FAQS About Studying Public Health in Africa

What Are The Highest Ranked Universities for Public Health Programs in Africa?

When it comes to public health programs, there are several highly-ranked universities in Africa, but one of the best local universities that tend to specialize in public health is the University of Cape Town. This university is not highly recognized on the international stage, but it is gaining more popularity and it is setting the standard for formal education in Africa. Currently, we do not have a vast amount of information on this particular course, but if you are interested in other courses, you can check them out on our website.

All courses are 1-2 years long, depending on the student’s preference for full-time or part-time study. Blended learning approaches are available for flexibility as well.


We hope that this article on the Best Universities for Public Health in Africa was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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