ASPPH logo




Registration Open for New CPH Eligibility Criteria

Registration is now open for individuals wishing to sit for the Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam under the new eligibility criteria. Last week, the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) board of directors announced a new eligibility criteria for the Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam. Individuals who have a bachelor’s degree and at least five subsequent years’ public health work experience are now eligible to take the CPH exam.

This decision was made following the completion of a pilot test for this eligibility. The pilot test was conducted to determine whether individuals could acquire the foundational knowledge and skills needed to pass the CPH exam through work experience. Over 700 individuals applied to participate in the pilot study.

The CPH credential was created as an outcome of a movement to professionalize the field of public health. The thought leaders who initially envisioned the CPH credential intended it to be a credential for anyone who worked to improve public health, who identified themselves as a public health professional, and who possessed core knowledge of the field. Up to now, eligibility for the exam was restricted to current students enrolled in a Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited school or program who had completed the public health core courses or individuals with a graduate degree who had completed the core courses from an accredited school or program and had at least three years of public health work experience. By expanding eligibility to public health professionals who meet the new eligibility requirements, the NBPHE is fulfilling one of the basic tenets of a profession: demonstration of a shared body of knowledge, through an exam-based certification process.

This is an important moment for public health, not only for employers who can begin to use the credential more broadly to select and reward employees, but also for individuals who can distinguish themselves as certified public health professionals. The credentialing process for these newly eligible candidates will remain the same as the process for alumni of CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health – a passing score on the CPH exam and recertification every two years focused on the demonstration of continued professional development.

NBPHE invites individuals who meet the new eligibility criteria to consider embarking on this path with us and encourage employers to promote this opportunity among its employees. For those interested in sitting for the CPH under the new requirements, more information can be found on the NBPHE website at To register, visit: