Standalone Baccalaureate Programs - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a standalone baccalaureate program (SBP)?
  2. What is the timeline for accreditation of standalone baccalaureate programs?
  3. Where can I find the IAS template?
  4. The criteria refer to templates in the required documentation. Where can I find these templates?
  5. Are standalone baccalaureate programs considered a “second-tier” of CEPH accreditation?
  6. How do the criteria for SBP compare to the criteria for baccalaureate-level programs within an accredited school of public health (SPH) or public health program (PHP)?
  7. I see that the faculty qualifications section of the criteria calls for the program leader to have educational qualifications and professional experience in a public health discipline. I have a PhD in health education. Do I meet this standard?
  8. What is the minimum number of faculty resources for a standalone baccalaureate program (SBP)?
  9. What if my program was SABPAC approved?
  10. What if I am considering adding an MPH to my unit of accreditation as an SBP?
  11. What if I want to accredit an MPH in a separate unit of accreditation?
  12. How much does CEPH accreditation cost?
  13. Can I become a site visitor for standalone baccalaureate programs?
  14. What if I don't see my questions answered here?

1. What is a standalone baccalaureate program (SBP)?

An SBP unit of accreditation only includes public health degree(s) at the bachelor’s degree level.

Refer to the 2018 Standalone Baccalaureate Program Criteria for more information.

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2. What is the timeline for accreditation of standalone baccalaureate programs?

Based on currently accredited SBP, the process (from initial application submission [IAS] to accreditation decision) takes approximately three years, barring any extensions. If you have questions about the criteria, the timeline, the IAS, or anything else, contact CEPH staff. We are always happy to talk with you. In fact, we encourage you to call or email to let us know if you are thinking about applying. Our goal is to help every applicant be successful, and we are committed to working with programs to make that happen.

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3. Where can I find the IAS template?

If you are interested in applying for CEPH accreditation, you will need to submit the SBP Initial Application Submission (IAS) template.

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4. The criteria refer to templates in the required documentation. Where can I find these templates?

Data templates for the SBP self-study can be found on the CEPH website under the Data Templates tab.

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5. Are standalone baccalaureate programs considered a “second-tier” of CEPH accreditation?

Absolutely not. There are necessarily different criteria for baccalaureate and graduate public health degrees, but no levels, classes, or tiers.

All schools and programs accredited by CEPH have met the criteria specified for their unique organizational settings and degree levels. All appear on our list of accredited schools and programs.

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6. How do the criteria for SBP compare to the criteria for baccalaureate-level programs within an accredited school of public health (SPH) or public health program (PHP)?

CEPH cannot provide a side-by-side comparison of the SBP, PHP, and SPH criteria because some components do not translate to an undergraduate-only context. For example, certain PHP and SPH criteria (e.g., professional development needs of the community or research) are absent from the SBP criteria because we believe that they are not appropriate for all baccalaureate-only programs. Since undergraduate programs accredited in conjunction with graduate-level programs are integrated into schools or departments, CEPH looks at the whole unit of accreditation and addresses many criteria within that context.

The SBP criteria are specific to baccalaureate-only programs, but they are not less rigorous—they are simply different. If you want to read the criteria for PHP and SPH, they are easily accessible on our website under Criteria and Procedures. Keep in mind that SPH and PHP must address their baccalaureate programs throughout the entire self-study—as well as in the specific criteria relevant to curriculum.

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7. I see that the faculty qualifications section of the criteria calls for the program leader to have educational qualifications and professional experience in a public health discipline. I have a PhD in health education. Do I meet this standard?

Yes! The SBP criteria includes a glossary of terms. A “public health discipline” is defined as

“a degree entitled “public health” or a degree in a public health concentration or specialty area. These areas may include, but are not limited to, fields of study such as health education/promotion, global health, health services research, maternal and child health, health economics, epidemiology, or public health nutrition. This set of examples is not intended to be exhaustive.”

Again, CEPH views health education as an integral component of public health. We have a long history of considering health education as a public health discipline.

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8. What is the minimum number of faculty resources for a standalone baccalaureate program (SBP)?

The designated program leader must dedicate at least 0.5 FTE to the program. The program must also demonstrate that it has, at a minimum, an additional 2.0 FTE per semester, trimester, or quarter. This means that there could be multiple faculty members who dedicate time to the program. For example, four qualified faculty members could allocate 0.5 FTE each to the program for a total of 2.0 FTE.

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9. What if my program was SABPAC approved?

Any program, regardless of prior SABPAC approval, that wishes to pursue CEPH accreditation must follow all policies and procedures related to the CEPH accreditation process.

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10. What if I am considering adding an MPH to my unit of accreditation as an SBP?

Graduate-level degrees cannot be added to an SBP unit. To add an MPH degree to your unit, you must complete an initial application submission (IAS) to transition to the public health program (PHP) category. If your IAS is accepted, your program would be a PHP with two degree levels (bachelor’s and master’s).

Contact CEPH staff to discuss specific timing considerations for this type of transition.

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11. What if I want to accredit an MPH in a separate unit of accreditation?

Your university can seek to accredit multiple independent units at the same time if the units meet specific requirements. For example, if your university is seeking to accredit an SBP and a PHP or SPH, the reporting lines (i.e., units housed in different schools/colleges) must be distinct from each other and there must be independent faculty resources to meet the minimum requirements, as detailed in the criteria.

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12. How much does CEPH accreditation cost?

The fee schedule is updated annually and is always available on the CEPH website.

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13. Can I become a site visitor for standalone baccalaureate programs?

We are very excited and encouraged by the high level of interest from potential SBP site visitors. However, at this time we are not actively recruiting SBP site visitors. We will send out announcements to our SBP stakeholders when this opportunity becomes available.

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14. What if I don't see my questions answered here?

If you do not see your question answered here, or would like to suggest a question for this page, please email submissions@ceph.org for further assistance.

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