Public Health Certifications

Benefits of Certification:

  • Establishes a national standard of practice
  • Attests to the individual profession-related knowledge and skills
  • Assists employers in identifying qualified practitioners
  • Develops a sense of pride and accomplishment
  • Promotes continued professional development

The CPH and CHES/MCHES Certifications are valid in all 50 states.

Certified in Public Health (CPH) Exam

On their home page, the National Board of Public Health Examiners states:

“The Certified in Public Health is the mark of a public health professional. Demonstrate your knowledge of key public health sciences and join the ranks of public health leaders by sitting for and successfully passing the CPH exam. Distinguish yourself from your peers by showing employers that you can meet and maintain a national standard in public health through continuing education focused on emerging and established public health.

The Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam covers the areas of knowledge relevant to contemporary public health and general principles. The examination was crafted to assess a person’s knowledge of these competencies, regardless of his or her area of expertise.”

The CPH Domain Areas include:

  • Evidence-based Approaches to Public Health
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Law and Ethics
  • Public Health Biology and Human Disease Risk
  • Collaboration and Partnership
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Program Management
  • Policy in Public Health
  • Health Equity and Social Justice

To be eligible for the CPH exam, the NBPHE requires enrollment in a CEPH accredited program (or a program in the process of applying for accreditation). NBPHE leaves it up to each school to determine who is eligible based on when and how their student attains the foundational competencies. As a program, we have determined eligibility based on whether a student has taken or is enrolled in all 5 public health core courses.

The NBPHE also allows students who have completed our certificate and have 3 years of Public Health work experience or those who have worked in public health for 5 years with any bachelor’s or 3 years with any relevant graduate degree to sit for the exam.

Those who take and pass the exam while a student in a public health program are provisionally certified until they earn their degree. Upon graduation, they become fully certified.

The MPH program provides a limited number of vouchers each year for students to take the CPH.


Some MPH graduates may also be eligible to sit for the CHES exam and become a Certified Health Education Specialist. For more information, please visit the NCHEC Exam website.