FAQs: Foundational Knowledge

No. Schools and programs must ensure that all MPH and DrPH students are grounded in foundational public health knowledge by the time of graduation. This validation may include methods such as the following:

  • verification of students’ previous completion of a CEPH-accredited bachelor’s degree in public health or MPH degree
  • implementation of a test or other assessment tools that address the learning objectives, or higher-level versions of the same objectives
  • offering an online or in-person course, for credit or not-for-credit, that incorporates the learning objectives, or higher-level versions of the same objectives
  • including the learning objectives, or higher-level versions of the same objectives, in courses required of all MPH or DrPH students

It is not required to offer different courses or require different assessments for academic public health degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels.

If you waive courses that you have mapped to foundational learning objectives or foundational competencies, you must have a process to ensure that the student is grounded in each foundational knowledge component and is assessed on every competency mapped to the waived course. This grounding or assessment may come from prior-completed courses or through courses at your own insititution.

If a student waives your program’s courses, you will likely need to identify which learning objectives/competencies will not be addressed through your own curriculum so that you can ensure that they were addressed in another way.