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.

How do I register for the exam?

All candidates must apply through CPH Central. Learn more and apply now!

How do I schedule my exam once my eligibility has been verified?
Once your eligibility has been verified, you will receive an email from our testing partner, Meazure Learning, with instructions for how to schedule your exam. If you do not receive an email but your status is “Eligible”, please contact us.

When is the CPH exam held?
The CPH exam is offered all year round. As long as a proctor and/or the computer-based testing facility of your choice is available, you will be able to schedule your exam any time.

How long do I have to take the CPH exam?
There is no deadline by which candidates need to take the CPH exam. Once you are approved as eligible, you are always eligible. Candidates can remain in the CPH system as approved to take the exam for an indefinite time.

What about candidates with disabilities / requesting a special accommodation?

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. Meazure Learning testing facilities will provide reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities. 

  1. Wheelchair access is available at all established Assessment Centers. Candidates must advise Meazure Learning 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 should complete the Appropriate Special Examination Accommodations form and submit to info@nbphe.org. Accommodations must be approved before scheduling the CPH exam.
How do I update my email or mailing address?

Your email address is your username in CPH Central. To change it, please submit the request here. To update your name or other contact information, log in to CPH Central and click your name in the upper right corner, then select ‘Profile’.

Can I reschedule my exam?

You may cancel or reschedule a testing session up to two (2) business days at a in-person Meazure Learning site or 24 hours for Live-Online Proctoring before your testing appointment through the online scheduling system. Absence from your testing appointment will be consider a no-show and your entire testing fee will be forfeited.

There are no rescheduling fees for appointment moved prior to 10 days before your testing appointment. A $15 nonrefundable fee will apply when you reschedule your exam appointment less than 10 days ahead of your appointment for tests at an in-person Meazure Learning site.

What are the exam fees?

Standard registration – $385. For a list of available discounts see: https://www.nbphe.org/cph-fees-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 US Armed Services may be able to use benefits of the Military Tuition Assistance Program to pay for the CPH examination fee.  Click here for more information or call 800-342-9647.

Is the registration fee refundable?

The registration fee is not refundable for candidates applying under the student and alumni criteria.   Applicants applying under the work experience criteria will be refunded the application fee if they are not approved. Once approved, the 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 multiple-choice questions. Candidates have a four-hour window; however, the average candidate takes just under three hours to complete the exam. For an overview of the exam topics, see the Content Outline.

What can I expect during the exam?

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

Are there study materials available?

NBPHE provides sample questions and two practice exams.  Several partner organizations offer study guides and review materials. See study resources.

Can I retake the CPH exam?

The day after you have taken your exam (or if you were absent on your scheduled exam date) you may reapply online via CPH Central. The retake fee is $150. Once paid, you will receive an email from Meazure Learning with scheduling instructions.

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

Candidates 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 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 Certified in Public Health examinees in good standing 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 2018 and 2022, over 85% of candidates pass the exam.  (Please note: The score needed to pass was NOT 85%.)

Computer-Based Testing Centers

Meazure Learning testing centers where you can take the exam are located throughout the US and in over 100 other countries. CPH examinations can be scheduled Monday-Friday in the morning and afternoon and at some test centers on the weekends.

Search for computer-based testing centers:

Live Online Proctoring

All candidates are able to test via live online proctoring. LOP allows candidates to take the exam from their own computer and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long. NOTE: During your LOP exam session, the proctor will log in remotely onto your personal computer

Watch the Video for an overview of the Live Online Proctor process.


Login to ProctorU to Test your device

For Exam Day Support: Call 1-855-772-8678 or email candidatesupport@meazurelearning.com

Carefully review our Fact Sheet at least 24 hours before your scheduled exam for technical requirements and added detail: Live Online Proctor (LOP) Fact Sheet

You must confirm the following technical and physicals requirements before sitting for your exam.

  • Private room with a clean desk surface, void of people, paper, and disruptions
  • You must use a computer with admin access
  • You must download the *ProctorU Extension for your browser in advance
When will testing begin under the new content outline?

CPH exam testing will begin under the new content outline on August 1, 2024.

Why is the content outline being updated?

The best practice for certification boards is to update the content outline of a certification exam every five to seven years through a Job Task Analysis process. A JTA is a carefully constructed survey used to determine the body of knowledge professionals in a field need to know to perform their jobs competently. Typically, a JTA is the basis for developing a credentialing exam. As public health professionals’ work changes over time, this process ensures that CPH
candidates are being tested on tasks performed in the field.

Will the exam be easier or more difficult after the content outline is updated?

The CPH exam is routinely updated yearly, so its difficulty level has some natural variation. However, the CPH testing committee has a process to adjust for these small fluctuations in difficulty. Through the use of anchor questions embedded in each exam, committee members can identify whether variations in the passing score are due to varying levels of difficulty in the exam forms, the capabilities of the examinees or both. Adjustments can be made to the passing score to accommodate these variations. Ultimately, the passing score is set to ensure that competent examinees pass and receive the CPH credential. A similar process will be used once the exam is given under the new content outline. Some candidates may find the new content outline more difficult than the previous outline, while others may find it easier. But in the end, the overall level of performance required to pass the examination is not changing.

Will the passing scores change?

The level of competence needed to pass the exam will not change. However, starting on August 1, 2024 score reports will show scaled scores instead of raw scores. A scaled score is a representation of a candidate’s total number of right answers (raw score) transformed to a uniform and standardized scale. Scaled scoring is a certification industry best practice for reporting high stakes exam scores. It provides a consistent scale of measurement from one
exam session to the next; the same scaled score signifies the same degree of knowledge. This means that scores from different versions of the exam indicate the same level of performance regardless of which exam form a candidate has received. This will take into account the potential difference in difficulty between exam forms.

When will the exam results be available?

Because the CPH exam committee needs to set the new passing score for the exam under the new content outline, candidates testing in August 2024 and possibly September 2024 will not receive instant results. Once the passing score is set, candidates who test during this period will be notified of their results. Schools and programs will receive scores for their students and alumni testing during this window at the same time.

Should I take the CPH exam before or after the change of the content outline?

Because the content is not significantly different, we believe most candidates would perform about the same under both content outlines. We recommend candidates take the exam when they feel the most prepared overall.

How much is the content outline changing?

The change is not significant. The changes are largely a reorganization of the content and more succinct descriptions of the tasks under each domain. The weighting of each domain has changed from 10% each to between 8% and 12% each. However, keep in mind this represents approximately four additional questions or four fewer questions per domain.


National Board of Public Health Examiners

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