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Exam Info
Exam Eligibility
In order to be eligible to sit for the National Board of Public Health Examiners Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam, all candidates must meet one of the following eligibility criteria.
Alumni of a school or program of public health accredited by the *Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).  Alumni are eligible so long as they have completed all degree requirements for a Masters or Doctoral level degree, including, but not limited to, coursework, internships, and thesis, by the time the exam is administered. Walking in a graduation ceremony or receipt of a diploma is not necessary, so long as all degree requirements have been met and verified by the accredited institution.

Students of a school or program of public health accredited by the CEPH. Students of CEPH-accredited schools and programs are eligible to sit for the CPH exam so long as they have completed or are concurrently enrolled in the graduate-level core content required for their graduate degree (biostatistics, epidemiology, health services/policy management, environmental health, social behavioral sciences).  Candidates who pass the exam under this eligibility criteria will be provisionally certified until graduation. Following confirmation of their graduation, they will be Certified in Public Health.
Professional eligibility. Individuals who have taken the core content (epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral sciences/health education, environmental health, health administration/policy) at a CEPH-accredited institution are also eligible to sit for the CPH exam as long they meet either of two additional eligibility criteria:

  • Minimum of five years of public health experience OR
  • Possession of a relevant graduate degree
*Full-time/ranked faculty at a CEPH-accredited institution meeting one or both of the criteria above may request that they be exempted from the requirement of formally taking a class in their core area(s) of expertise.
*The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is an independent agency which accredits schools and programs of public health offered in settings other than schools of public health. See the list of schools and programs accredited by CEPH.
NBPHE will automatically verify every candidate's eligibility with their alma mater academic institution, and or employer. When you pass the exam and all requirements have been verified, you will be Certified in Public Health, and can add the initials CPH to your name and degree.
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Exam Content
buttonThe Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam covers the five core areas of knowledge offered in CEPH–accredited schools and programs as well as cross–cutting areas relevant to contemporary public health. The examination was crafted to assess a person’s knowledge of these competencies, regardless of his or her academic concentration.
Five Core Areas Cross-Cutting Area
Biostatistics Communication and Informatics
  General Principles
Environmental Health Sciences Diversity and Culture
Epidemiology Leadership
Health Policy and Management Public Health Biology
Social and Behavioral Sciences Professionalism
  Programs Planning
  Systems Thinking
The topics tested on the exam can be found in the CPH content outline.