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Public Health Certifications

The Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) examination is a competency-based tool used to measure possession, application and interpretation of knowledge in the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists delineated by A Competency-Based Framework for Health Education Specialists 2010:

  • Area I: Assess Needs, Resources and Capacity for Health Education/Promotion
  • Area II: Plan Health Education/Promotion
  • Area III: Implement Health Education/Promotion
  • Area IV: Conduct Evaluation and Research Related to Health Education/Promotion
  • Area V: Administer and Manage Health Education/Promotion
  • Area VI: Serve as a Health Education/Promotion Resource Person
  • Area VII: Communicate, Promote and Advocate for Health, and the Profession of Health Education/Promotion

Eligibility to take the CHES examination is based exclusively on academic qualifications. An individual is eligible to take the examination if he/she has:

  • A bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher education; AND one of the following:
    • An official transcript that clearly shows a major in health education, OR
    • An official transcript that reflects at least 25 semester hours or 37 quarter hours of coursework (with a grade "c" or better) with specific preparation addressing the Seven Areas of Responsibility and Competency for Health Educators

Exam schedule: The CHES exam is offered twice a year - April and October.

Exam testing locations in VA:

  • Roanoke, VA
  • Lynchburg, VA 
  • Richmond, VA 

The Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam covers the five core areas of knowledge offered in CEPH–accredited schools and programs (Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, and Social and Behavioral Sciences) as well as cross–cutting areas relevant to contemporary public health (Communication and Informatics, Diversity and Culture, Leadership, Public Health Biology, Professionalism, Program Planning, and Systems Thinking).

The examination was crafted to assess a person's knowledge of these competencies, regardless of his or her academic concentration.

Eligibility:  In order to take the CPH exam, all candidates must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Students OR alumni of a CEPH accredited school or program of public health
  • Individuals that have taken the core courses (epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral sciences/health education, environmental health, health administration/policy) at a CEPH-accredited school or program and have a relevant graduate degree and three years public health work experience
  • Individuals who have at least a bachelor’s degree and at least five subsequent years’ public health work experience

Exam schedule:  The exam is offered at computer-based testing centers three times a year- February, June, October

Exam testing locations in VA:

  • Roanoke, VA
  • Harrisonburg, VA 
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Fredericksburg, VA
  • Vienna, VA
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Washington, DC
  • Virginia Beach, VA