Guiding Statements


CEPH assures quality in public health education and training to advance the science and practice of public health.


Excellence in public health education and training for a healthier world


The Council's focus is the improvement of health through the assurance of professional personnel who are able to identify, prevent and solve community health problems. The Council's objectives are:

  1. to promote quality in public health education through a continuing process of self-evaluation by the schools and programs that seek accreditation;
  2. to assure the public that institutions offering instruction in public health have been evaluated and judged to meet standards essential for the conduct of such educational programs; and
  3. to encourage - through periodic review, consultation, research, publications, and other means - improvements in the quality of education for public health.


Our values represent CEPH’s foundational beliefs and provide direction for our decisions, commitments, and actions. These beliefs pervade our organizational functioning and reflect who we aspire to be.

We are committed to the following. Values are listed alphabetically and do not reflect any order of priority:

  • Collaboration and Partnership
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Quality


Graduate education in public health began in the early 1900s and formal accreditation was initiated in the mid-1940s when 10 schools of public health were recognized by the American Public Health Association (APHA), the nation’s largest individual public health membership organization. From 1945 to 1973, APHA carried out accreditation of graduate professional education in public health, at first centered almost exclusively in schools of public health but later including other college and university settings.

In 1974 the independent Council on Education for Public Health was established by APHA and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH), the national organization representing deans, faculty and students of accredited schools of public health. ASPH became the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) in 2013. Responsibility for the evaluation of schools of public health was transferred to CEPH which initially limited its focus to school accreditation. In the late 1970s CEPH responded to requests from practitioners and educators to undertake accreditation of community health/preventive medicine programs, and to a request from APHA to assume the additional responsibility for community health education programs. In 2005, these separate programmatic categories were combined into a single category of public health programs.

Financial Support

The Council is supported by a combination of fees and contributions from the profession and the academic community.

CEPH's Logo

CEPH’s logo represents the collaborative, systems approach that is so highly valued in the public health profession. The three interconnected rings are reflective of CEPH's many relationships within public health and higher education.

Some examples of these relationships include the following:

  • Three organizations working in partnership for accreditation - CEPH and its two corporate sponsors APHA, ASPPH
  • Three categories of accreditation - Schools of Public Health, Public Health Programs, Standalone Baccalaureate Programs
  • Three degree levels accredited - Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral
  • The three Core Functions of Public Health - Assurance, Assessment, Policy Development
  • The three-legged stool in the academy - Teaching, Research, Service
  • The triad in quality assurance in higher education - the federal government, the states, accreditors


Seal of the United States' Department of Education.

CEPH is recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit within the United States schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health, at the baccalaureate and graduate degree levels, including those offered via distance education.

Professional Membership

Logo of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors.

CEPH has been an active member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) since its inception in 1993. ASPA provides a collaborative forum and a collective voice for the community of organizations in the United States that assess the quality of specialized and professional higher education programs and schools. ASPA represents its members on issues of educational quality facing institutions of higher education, governments, students and the public. ASPA advances the knowledge, skills, good practices and ethical commitments of accreditors and communicates the value of accreditation as a means of enhancing educational quality.

Understanding Accreditation

ASPA provides a collaborative forum and a collective voice for the community of US agencies that assess the quality of specialized and professional higher education programs and schools. ASPA has developed briefing papers to help explain the process of accreditation.

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