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CPH Exam Information
The Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam covers the core areas of knowledge offered in CEPH–accredited schools and programs as well as cross–cutting areas relevant to contemporary public health. The examination was crafted to assess a person’s knowledge of these competencies, regardless of his or her academic concentration.

The CPH exam is a timed exam, consisting of 200 questions. You have 4 hours to complete the exam. All questions on the exam are multiple choice and single-best answer. Questions include matching items; a series of questions related to a common vignette; and associated pictorials or charts.

View the CPH Candidate Handbook.

CPH Content Areas
General Principles*
Core Areas
Environmental Health Sciences
Health Policy and Management
Social and Behavioral Sciences

Cross-Cutting Areas
Communication and Informatics
Diversity and Culture
Public Health Biology
Programs Planning
Systems Thinking
* General Principles makes up 12.5% of the exam and tests your knowledge of the essential core functions of public health.

Click the CPH Candidate Handbook to find information on the following topics:
  • Scheduling
  • Registration, Rescheduling and Cancellations
  • Special Arrangements for Candidates with Disabilities
  • Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf
  • Identification and Security
  • Inclement Weather Policy for Testing with AMP
  • Misconduct


The CPH exam was crafted to assess knowledge of core and cross-cutting public health competencies, regardless of academic concentration in preparation. CPH candidates will receive their score reports before they leave the testing facility. This new process gives the candidate instant results regardless of their pass or fail status. The average passing rate is over 70%. The CPH score report will contain the following:

  • Total score for the entire exam;
  • Separate scores for each of the core competencies;
  • Separate score for all cross–cutting competencies combined

Previous to the adoption of instant scoring, NBPHE conducted a content-based analysis for each testing administration to generate statistical information for determining the minimum passing standard (Angoff and Hofstee procedures). A standard-setting committee determined the score required to achieve certification using results from the study and performance data on the exam. Because this analysis and standard-setting process took place after the end of each administration, candidates were required to wait for at least several weeks before they could receive their results. The NBPHE will now use a more common method known as pre-equating, which will use the past-performance of items to determine the passing score. Please note that candidates sitting for paper-based exams will not receive instant results. Schools and programs will also continue to receive cumulative results following each administration.