MPH Program

EmailEmail    |   Bookmark Page Bookmark  |   RSS Feeds RSS  |   Print Page Print  

Take the Exam - Get Certified in Public Health

The National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) website contains information about the purpose, benefits, criteria, and process of taking the exam.  It answers the questions MPH graduates often ask:

How do I get certified?
When is the exam next offered?
Who is eligible to take the exam?
Why should I get certified?

What do I need to know for the exam?
NBPHE Webinars

How do I get certified?

Register online at, and take the exam at one of the 300 test centers across the U.S. or at a site oversees.

Who is eligible to take the exam?

Students at and alumni from a CEPH-accredited school or program of public health, such as the MPH program at the Medical College of Wisconsin, are eligible to take the exam.

Please note:  Completing the Graduate Certificate in Public Health does not confer eligibility to take the Certified in Public Health exam.  Students must be enrolled in and alumni must have completed the Master of Public Health program.

Students must complete 21 credits hours toward their public health degree by Dec. 31, 2012.  The 21 hours must include completion of the core courses:
• 18200 Environmental Health
• 18201 Principles of Epidemiology
• 18203 Public Health Administration
• 18204 Introduction to Biostatistics
• 18212 Behavioral Science and Public Health

Alumni / graduates must complete all degree requirements, including coursework, Field Placement, and Capstone Project, by Dec. 30, 2011.


Why should I get certified?

Public Health professionals assure healthy communities. Becoming Certified in Public Health helps the public health profession by setting standards consistent with the expectations of the public. Becoming a Certified in Public Health professional is an investment in your career, livelihood, and future. It also:
• Sets a standard of excellence in the field of public health.
• Improves the quality of public health service for communities and the nation.
• Fosters an environment of life-long learning.
• Encourages the recognition of a professional community.
• Opens doors for participation in workshops, conferences and other professional activities.

What do I need to know for the exam?

The exam consists of 200 questions that will test a candidate’s knowledge of the five core areas of public health and seven cross-cutting competencies in public health.

Five Core Areas:
• Biostatistics
• Environmental Health Science
• Epidemiology
• Health Policy and Management
• Social and Behavioral Sciences

Seven Cross-Cutting Competencies:
• Communication and Informatics
• Diversity and Culture
• Leadership
• Public Health Biology
• Professionalism
• Program Planning
• Systems Thinking

*The Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) offers an online CPH exam study guide for $39.99.

NBPHE Webinar - Past and Future Perspectives on Certified in Public Health

In April 2009, NBPHE hosted a webinar that described the population that registered for the first exam, held in 2008, and provided personal stories.  A PDF of the PowerPoint presentation is available for download.

Past and Future Perspectives on Certified in Public Health (PDF)
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 01/31/2014