The first step in earning the CPH credential is to determine your eligibility criteria. The next step includes applying for the exam, followed by an application review, and notice of approval to sit for the CPH exam. The third step is to schedule the CPH exam, allowing plenty of time for self-study preparation, using the NBPHE sponsored study materials. The next step is to sit for and successfully pass the CPH exam. The CPH credential will be awarded to the public health professional that successfully passes the CPH exam.

FAQs about the exam process are below. If you have any remaining questions, see our candidate handbook or email info@nbphe.org.

What are the three eligibility criteria to sit for the CPH exam?

The CPH exam is offered to:

Graduate students of CEPH-accredited schools and programs.   Based on its implementation of coursework relevant to the CEPH foundational competencies, each CEPH-accredited graduate school or program will identify when its students are eligible to take the examination for certification in public health. 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.

Alumni of CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health who have completed all degree requirements for a Masters or Doctoral level degree.

Individuals who have at least a bachelor’s degree, in any concentration, and at least five subsequent years’ public health work experience, verified by transcripts, resume and employment verification, may be eligible to take the CPH exam. Applications will be reviewed based on public health work experience, indicating the scope of foundational knowledge that has been acquired based on the ten essential public health services.

My school was accredited after I graduated, can I still take the exam?

You can take the exam if you graduated up to three years before the CEPH–accreditation date of your school or program. (Example: University of Alabama at Birmingham was accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health [CEPH] in 1978. If you graduated in 1975 or thereafter, you are eligible to take the exam.) The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is an independent agency which accredits schools of public health and public health programs offered in settings other than schools of public health.

The program or school from which I graduated is no longer accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), but it was CEPH-accredited when I graduated. Am I eligible for the CPH examination?

Yes, you are eligible, as long as your graduation occurred within the time period of CEPH-accreditation, or up to three years before the award of accreditation. The NBPHE will contact CEPH to confirm an entity’s accreditation date. Note also that NBPHE routinely verifies the graduation status of all examinees with the registrar of the public health school or program. It will be your responsibility to ensure that the records documenting your graduation during the appropriate time period are available for verification.

What is the process for verifying eligibility?

If you apply as a graduate student or alumni of a CEPH-accredited school or program of public health, your school or program of public health will be notified to log into our portal and verify your education to sit for the CPH exam.

Individuals applying with public health work experience will undergo a review process, where your application is reviewed and past employment and education are both verified. This process can take up to two to three weeks, depending on the contacts listed in your application for employment verification.

How do I register for the exam?

Applicants can apply by visiting Apply Now!

Graduate students and alumni will be directed to PSI/AMP, the testing vendor’s website to apply online. Individuals applying with public health work experience will apply online with the NBPHE.

Applicants who successfully complete the application process and are approved to sit for the CPH exam will receive an email from PSI/AMP Customer Service with instructions on scheduling the date, time and location of their exam.

Telephone Scheduling: PSI/AMP’s Candidate Support Center’s phone number is 1 (888) 519-9901.

If you contact AMP by 3:00 p.m.
Central Time on…
Depending on availability, your examination may be scheduled beginning…
Monday Wednesday
Tuesday Thursday
Wednesday Friday/Saturday
Thursday Monday
Friday Tuesday

Email Scheduling

Candidates who selected a test location outside of the 50 US states and DC must schedule via email with AMP. Look for an email from AMP with instructions and a request for preferred locations and dates.

Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf
AMP is equipped with Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD) to assist deaf and hearing-impaired candidates who wish to make application for the examination. TDD calling is available 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Central Time) Monday through Friday at 913-895-4637. This TDD phone option is for individuals equipped with compatible TDD equipment.

What about candidates with disabilities / requesting a special accommodation?

The NBPHE is committed to ensuring that no individual with a disability is deprived of the opportunity to take the examination solely by reason of that disability. AMP testing facilities will provide reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities.

  1. Wheelchair access is available at all established Assessment Centers. Candidates must advise AMP at the time of registration that wheelchair access is necessary.
  2. Candidates with visual, sensory or physical disabilities that would prevent them from taking the examination under standard conditions or candidates who request special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act must fill out the two forms for ADA accommodations within the CPH Candidate Handbook. E-mail the two forms 45 days prior to your desired testing date to e-mail amp-info@goamp.com with cc: info@nbphe.org
How do I update my email or mailing address?

To update your account before you have taken the CPH exam, please log in to NBPHE Online Services and update your contact information. To update your contact information after you have taken the CPH exam, please log in to the CPH recertification portal.

Can I reschedule my exam?

You may reschedule your appointment once with no additional charge online at www.goAMP.com or by calling AMP at 888-519-9901 at least two business days prior to your scheduled appointment. To reschedule your exam after your first free reschedule, fill out the reschedule request form in the CPH Candidate Handbook and submit payment of $125.00 by e-mail to amp-info@goamp.com with cc: info@nbphe.org. Each subsequent reschedule must be done within 15 days of the schedule exam and will incur a $125 fee (by credit card only).

What are the exam fees?

Standard registration – $385.00 USD. Alumni and students of specific schools and programs and members and/or personnel from certain public health organizations may receive a discount on the CPH exam fee with free study materials. View available discounts.

Can members of the U.S. Armed Forces use Military Tuition Assistance benefits for the CPH exam fee?

Yes, active duty members of the U.S. Armed Services may be able to use benefits of the Military Tuition Assistance Program to pay for the CPH examination fee.  More information can be found at: http://www.militaryonesource.mil/voluntary-education?content_id=268274 or call 800-342-9647.

Is the registration fee refundable?

The registration fee is NOT refundable but it is deferrable. The international exam fee is NOT refundable.

Can I use veterans' benefits for the CPH exam?

Yes. As of November 2009, NBPHE is approved to offer the CPH exam through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans, their eligible dependents, and reservists may qualify for reimbursement of the CPH exam costs through their veteran’s education benefits. For more information, please contact the Veterans Benefits Administration office in your area or visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Education Benefits website at: http://www.gibill.va.gov.

Exam Information

The exam consists of 200 questions and you have 4 hours to complete it. All questions on the exam are multiple choice and single-best answer. Some questions are: matching items; part of a series of questions related to a common vignette; and have associated pictorials or charts. View Study Resources.

What can I expect during the exam?

See our CPH candidate handbook for more details about the scheduling and examination process.

Can I retake the CPH exam?

Once you receive your score report, you may reapply online by visiting AMP’s website at www.goAMP.com. Candidates retaking the CPH exam will be charged the appropriate registration fee when registering to retake the exam.

My score report says that I’m “Provisionally Certified.” What does that mean?

Candidate who take the exam under the student eligibility criteria are not fully certified until they have completed their degree. The CPH status for these student candidates is pending until after your academic institution verifies with the NBPHE that you have completed all requirements for graduation. This will happen electronically between your academic institution and NBPHE. Then you will automatically receive a certificate recognizing your accomplishment and your CPH status will be active.

Will anyone else see my score?

Student and alumni scores are only shared with the academic institution which conferred or will confer candidates’ degree. All successful Certified in Public Health examinees are listed on the NBPHE website.

What is the passing score needed to pass the exam?

Because the CPH exam is updated every year and the cut score needed to pass the exam changes with each new exam form, a standard passing score is not published.  However, passing rates are available.  Between 2012 and 2018, over 75% of candidates pass the exam.  (Please note: The score needed to pass was NOT 75%)

When is the CPH exam held?

The CPH exam is offered all year round. As long as the computer-based testing facility of your choice is available, you will be able to schedule your exam any time. Click here to search for a computer-based testing center.

If you prefer to sit for the exam by paper-based, the paper-based exam schedule is below. Because the CPH exam is now available 12 months a year, paper/pencil exams may be scheduled by partner organizations only on an as-needed basis.

Candidates wishing to sit for paper/pencil exams should call PSI at (888) 519-9901 after they have been approved to schedule their exam.  

Upcoming Paper-Based Exams

Exam DatesLocationRegistration DeadlineFee
May 23, 2018Rutgers UniversityApril 23, 2018$315.00 USD
August 4, 2018McGuire Air Force BaseJuly 3, 2018$315.00 USD
United States

AMP testing centers where you can take the exam are located throughout the US. Search for a testing center. In addition, some schools and programs offer paper/pencil exams on campus. Candidates who wish to test in the U.S. territories should select their location from the list under “International only.”

International locations and fees

AMP testing centers where you can take the exam are located throughout in a number of countries outside the U.S. Search for a testing center. An additional fee of $100 is required to sit for the exam outside of the US, Puerto Rico and Canada.

National Board of Public Health Examiners

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