MPH Comprehensive Exam

The College has determined that this requirement can be fulfilled by successful completion of the CPH national certification exam.  All students seeking an MPH degree in the College of Public Health (COPH) must take a comprehensive exam as a requirement for their degree.

  • MPH students who enter fall 2017 (or change their catalog year to 2017/18) or later are required to pass the CPH exam as part of their graduation requirements.
  • MPH students using a catalog year prior to fall 2017 are required to take the exam, there is no requirement to pass.

Students should endeavor to take the CPH exam as soon as they complete their required core/foundation courses (see CPH exam requirements).  If you wait until your last semester to take the exam your degree certification may be delayed as we do not get your test results immediately. 

Students must register and take the CPH exam a month before the semester ends, if they are planning to take the CPH Exam during the semester they are graduating.  Failure to take the CPH Exam by the posted deadline will result in the denial of your graduation application.  Please see the posted deadlines below:

  • Fall 2021 CPH deadline:        Tuesday November 9, 2021
  • Spring 2022 CPH deadline:    Tuesday April 5, 2022
  • Summer 2022 CPH deadline: Tuesday July 5, 2022
  • Fall 2022 CPH deadline:         Tuesday, November 8, 2022

 CPH Exam Requirements


The National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE) offers the Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential as a credential for public health professionals. The CPH designation demonstrates that a graduate from a CEPH-accredited school or program has mastered foundational competencies in public health. More information can be found at CPH EXAM INFO

The COPH at USF covers the cost of the CPH exam for students who are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program and taking the exam for the first time. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 2 credit hours when they take the exam.  To take the CPH exam, you should have completed one of the following course options.  Your eligibility to take this exam will be determined by the College.  Please send an email to for study materials and instructions for registering for the exam and obtaining your voucher code.

Option 1Option 2
PHC 6000 EpidemiologyPHC 6588 History and Systems of Public Health
PHC 6050 BiostatisticsPHC 6756 Population Assessment Part 1
PHC 6102 Principles of Health Policy and ManagementPHC 6757 Population Assessment Part 2
PHC 6357 Environmental and Occupational HealthPHC 6145 Translation to Public Health Practice (MHA and MSPH students are not required to take this course to be eligible to take the CPH Exam)
PHC 6410 Social and Behavioral Sciences Applied to Health

All MPH students using a 2017 or later catalog must pass the CPH exam as part of their graduation requirements. 

1st time COPH pays (funds permitting)

2nd time student pays ($150 fee to re-take)

3rd time student takes our Alternative Exam*

You may cancel or reschedule a testing session up to two (2) business days before your testing appointment through the online scheduling system. Absence from your testing appointment will be consider a no-show and your entire testing fee will be forfeited. Exams also cannot be rescheduled in the last two (2) days before the testing appointment.

You cannot use the CPH designation after your name until after you have completed all requirements for graduation for the MPH degree. Notification will happen electronically between the USF COPH and the NBPHE. At that point you will receive a certificate recognizing your accomplishment, and your CPH status will be active.

For students that do not pass the CPH exam after two attempts, the College does offer an alternative comprehensive exam. Passing this exam will not earn you the CPH certification but will meet the USF graduate school requirement that all students in a master's program pass a comprehensive exam.


Please send feedback on the MPH Guidebook.