Comprehensive Examination

What is the Comprehensive Exam requirement?

MPH Students:
  • All students seeking an MPH degree in the College of Public Health (COPH) must take a comprehensive exam as a requirement for their degree.
  • The College has determined that this requirement can be fulfilled by successful completion of the CPH national certification exam.
  • All MPH students who started their degree program in Fall 2009 or later are required to take the PHC 6936 Public Health Capstone course, which provides students with an opportunity to successfully complete this exams.
  • You can take the Capstone course as soon as you finish the five core courses and 75% of your degree program.
MPH Students in EOH:
  • Students who are seeking an MPH degree with a concentration in the Environmental and Occupational Health Department (EOH) may also have to take an EOH concentration exam in addition to a comprehensive exam.
  • Not all EOH concentrations have a concentration exam, so check with your department advisor for further information.
MHA Students:
  • MHA degree students are required to take only the HPM Capstone course.
MSPH Students:
  • MSPH students are required to perform satisfactorily on a comprehensive exam or an alternative method designated by the department. See your department for your specific requirements.

What is the CPH national certification exam?

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. To take the CPH exam, you must have completed at least 21 credit hours of graduate level study, and you must have completed the five core graduate courses (PHC 6000, PHC 6050, PHC 6102, PHC 6357, and PHC 6410). Your eligibility to take this exam will be determined by the College. If we determine that you are eligible, you will be given a code to access the exam prep materials at the exam.

The exam is offered at test-taking centers by appointment during the months of February and October. The COPH at USF may offer a paper version of this exam in the Summer. If so, you will be notified via the student list-serv. Instructions on how to apply for the CPH exam as a student of our College are provided to eligible students each semester.

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.

How do I prepare for this exam?

  • Review the material you learned in your core courses.
  • The Capstone class provides an overview of Public Health core knowledge.
  • You will be provided with an access code to view the ASPPH exam prep materials when you register to take the exam with the College. The material is available here: Please see free study guide information below.
  • You can review the CPH study resources, ASPPH webinars on core disciplines, and the CPH study guide. These are available at: CPH STUDY RESOURCES. The webinars are three hours long and may take some time to load; to view them, you need to install Windows Media Player and the GoToMeeting Codec on your computer.

    For Free Study Guide please use information below.

    Your institution username is: USFCPHSG
    Your institution password is: USFCPHSG2013

    Study Guide Link: