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Exam EligibiltyCHES® Exam

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CHES® Exam Eligibility

1. How is eligibility determined?

Eligibility is determined solely through academic preparation; college/university degree and health education coursework. While experience in the field may be beneficial when taking the exam it does not count towards CHES® eligibility. Eligibility is determined on an individual basis. Graduation or credits from a specific program do not automatically qualify an individual for exam eligibility.

2. I have not graduated yet. Must I wait until I have my degree?

No. Students enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education that provide an official transcript showing a minimum of 25 semester hours relating to the Areas of Responsibility, and who will be graduating within 90 days of a testing date may take the CHES® exam. The student candidate must also submit written verification from a faculty advisor affirming that the student will be academically qualified by the examination date. For 90-day candidates, exam results will be released once proof of graduation has been received by the exam coordinator.

3. What if I'm unsure of my eligibility to take the CHES® exam?

NCHEC offers a prescreen service for those individuals who are unsure of their eligibility. Exam eligibility is determined through a review of an individual's academic transcript. To request this service, the prescreen request form, a $25 nonrefundable fee and an official transcript must be submitted to NCHEC. If the applicant is found ineligible, course deficiencies will be identified and guidance for qualification will be provided. If the applicant is deemed eligible, the $25 fee is then applied toward the exam fee, and an application will be completed. All applicants are notified in writing of their prescreen outcome and are given instructions on how to complete the remaining application. This service is particularly useful to applicants whose academic preparation does not include a degree in health education, but may have accumulated sufficient health education course work to qualify for the CHES® exam.

4. I have a Master of Public Health (MPH). Am I eligible to take the CHES® exam?

Maybe. A Master of Public Health (MPH) alone does not qualify an individual to take the CHES® exam. An applicant's degree must explicitly be in a discipline of "Health Education," or a transcript reflecting at least 25 semester hours (37 quarter hours of course work) specifically addressing the Eight Areas of Responsibility of Health Education Specialists.

5. I am a nurse, dietitian, respiratory technician or other health professional. Do I qualify?

Maybe. Generally clinical health programs do not specifically address the Eight Areas of Responsibility of Health Education Specialists in enough coursework to qualify. But you may still qualify through additional coursework. If you have a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher education and 25 semester hours or 37 quarter hours of course work with specific preparation addressing the Eight Areas of Responsibility you may be eligible.

CHES® Exam

  • 1. What are the qualifications to take the CHES® exam?

    Click here for more information.

  • 2. When is the CHES® exam offered?
    The CHES® exam is offered twice a year - April and October.
  • 3. What is the CHES® exam like?
    The CHES® examination is a computer-based test administered by PSI at hundreds of test sites nationwide and expanded international locations. Candidates have a total of three hours to answer 165 multiple-choice questions (150 scored and 15 pilot-tested questions) based upon the Eight Areas of Responsibility of Health Education Specialists.
  • 4. How is the passing score for the CHES® exam determined?
    Information on how the passing score for the CHES® exam is determined can be found on the exam background and scoring page here.
  • 5. What are the fees for taking the CHES® exam?
    Fees for the CHES® exam are based on when you file your application. There are three filing deadlines. The filing deadlines and fees for the CHES® exams can be found here.
  • 6. Is there a student rate?
    Yes, there is a discounted fee for full-time (enrolled in a min. of 9 credits) students if the application is filed by the early bird registration deadline. Please refer to the exam schedule and fees page for more information.
  • 7. If I see my school or degree code listed, is my institution automatically approved?
    No, school codes are listed as a reference. It is not an indication that you will obtain automatic eligibility and approval for the exam. You must still meet the eligibility requirements.
  • 8. What are the benefits of becoming a CHES®?

    There are several benefits to becoming a CHES®:

    • Establishes a national standard for practice, as opposed to state or local certifications and registries
    • Attests to an individual's knowledge and skills in areas deemed necessary to the field of practice as delineated by the profession
    • Assists employers in identifying qualified practitioners and assures employers that services are provided by professionals who have met national standards
    • Convey a sense of pride and accomplishment in the profession
    • Promotes continued professional development.

    There has been an increase in employers requiring or preferring the CHES® certification for health education positions. Many positions read CHES® preferred.

  • 9. Can I use my veteran's benefits with the CHES® exam?
    Yes, veterans and their eligible dependents may qualify for reimbursement for the CHES® exam through their veteran's education benefits under the provisions of Title 38, United States Code, Section 3689. Veterans who took the CHES® exam dating back no earlier than March 1, 2001 may qualify for exam fee reimbursement. For more information, please contact the Veterans Benefits Administration office in your area or visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs Education Benefits website.
  • 10. How do I purchase the Exam Study Guide?
    You can purchase the exam study materials by clicking here or by clicking on the bookstore link on the Homepage. You can purchase the books individually, in discounted book packages, or in digital eBook format.

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