Background: Suicide rates are high among African American students because they are at greater risk of depression. A commonly used suicide prevention approach is the gatekeeper training. However, gatekeeper training is neither evidence-based nor has it been identified as culturally-appropriate for African American college students. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate an online peer-to-peer PRECEDE-PROCEED model based depression awareness and suicide prevention program that was culturally appropriate for African American college students.Methods: The setting was a predominantly Black institution in southern USA. A pre-experimental repeated measures one group design was used to measure changes in peer educators’ (n = 29)predisposing factors regarding knowledge, skills and attitudes pertaining to depression,reinforcing factors or receiving support from peers, healthcare professionals and teachers to help someone with depression, enabling factors or sureness of finding organizations to help someone with depression, and behavior for helping someone with depression at pretest, Protestant 1-month follow-up. A post test only one group design was also used to measure effect on predisposing factors and behavior of students (n = 300) trained by peer educators.Results: There were statistically significant improvements in attitudes related to depression as disease (P = 0.003; η2 = 0.39), attitudes about managing depression (P = 0.0001; η2 = 0.30), skills(P = 0.0001; η2 = 0.41), reinforcing factors (P = 0.018; η2 = 0.13), enabling factors (P = 0.0001;η2 = 0.31), and behavior (P = 0.016; η2 = 0.14). Changes in knowledge about depression and attitudes about helping people with depression were not statistically significant over time for peer educators. The peer-to-peer training was not completely effective in transferring corresponding changes for students trained by peers.Conclusion: The program was effective for peer educators but peers could not significantly influence other students in all domains. This study provides a starting point toward evidence based approaches for health promotion interventionists addressing depression awareness and suicide prevention among African American college students.