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Certification 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?
Register online at the National Board of Public Health Examiners website, and take the exam at one of the many test centers across the United States or at a site oversees.
Who is Eligible to Take the Exam?
  • Students of a school or program of public health accredited by CEPH (Council on Education for Public Health).
  • Alumni of a school or program of public health accredited by CEPH
  • Other relevant degrees: individuals who have taken the core courses* at a CEPH-accredited school or program and have a relevant graduate degree or three years of public health work experience.
  • Public health work experience: individuals who have at least a bachelor's degree and at least five subsequent years' public health work experience will be eligible to take the exam.

*Core courses:

  • 18200 Environmental Health
  • 18201 Principles of Epidemiology
  • 18203 Public Health Administration
  • 18204 Introduction to Biostatistics
  • 18212 Behavioral Science and Public Health

Please note: Completing the Graduate Certificate in Public Health does not confer eligibility to take the Certified in Public Health exam.

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 and Programs of Public Health (ASSPH) offers an online CPH exam study guide.