Should all MPH and DrPH students have the foundational public health knowledge listed in Criterion D1 before matriculating?

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


Our school/program requires all academic public health master’s (eg, MS) and academic public health doctoral (eg, PhD) students to take an introductory public health course that addresses the 12 foundational knowledge areas. Are we required to develop different assessments for students at each degree level?

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

Are we still allowed to accept transfer credits under the 2016 criteria? How does that work if students replace one of our courses that is mapped to the foundational knowledge areas?

If you waive courses that you have mapped to foundational learning objectives or foundational competencies, you will have to have a process to ensure that the student still receives each foundational knowledge component and is still assessed on every competency, whether that assessment comes from your own courses or prior-completed courses. 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.