Exam Eligibility

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MCHES® Exam Eligibility

The MCHES® exam eligibility includes both academic and experience requirements.

For CHES®: A minimum of the past five (5) continuous years in active status as a Certified Health Education Specialist.

For Non-CHES or CHES® with fewer than five years active status AND five years experience: A Master’s degree or higher in Health Education, Public Health Education, School Health Education, Community Health Education, etc.,


a Master’s degree or higher with an academic transcript reflecting at least 25 semester credits (37 quarter hours) of course work in which the Eight Areas of Responsibility of Health Education Specialists were addressed.

AND Five (5) years of documented experience as a health education specialist

To substantiate experience in the health education field, applicants must submit:

  1. two verification forms from a current or past manager/supervisor, and/or a leader in a health education professional organization.
  2. a current curriculum vitae/resume that clearly shows at least five years of experience in health education practice (experience may be prior to completion of graduate degree and does not need to be the immediate past five years).

Please note you do not have to be CHES® prior to becoming MCHES® as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

Applicants for the MCHES® exam must complete all 25 semester hours/37 quarter hours of coursework that clearly align with the Eight Areas of Responsibility of Health Educators. The following guidance is offered to assist applicants without an earned graduate degree in health education, seeking to qualify for the MCHES® exam based on the 25-semester hour minimum, 15 of which are at the graduate-level.

A minimum of 12 semester hours/18 quarter hours of process courses that clearly align with the Eight Areas of Responsibility. 9 Semester hours must be graduate level.

A maximum of 9 semester hours/14 quarter hours may be from topic-focused courses that include elements contained in the Eight Areas of Responsibility

A maximum of 6 semester hours/9 quarter hours may be from other courses that include elements contained in the Eight Areas of Responsibility

Course descriptions and syllabi may be provided to determine if courses are eligible 

Prescreening Service (Optional) Academic Component ONLY

This is a separate optional service offered to non-CHES and should ONLY be used if you are not sure you meet the academic requirements for the MCHES® exam.  If you are found to be eligible that $25 prescreen request fee will be deducted from the exam registration fee and instructions on how to apply for the MCHES® exam will be emailed to you. If ineligible, course deficiencies will be identified and guidance will be provided.

Prescreen Online Application

Prescreen Schedule:
  • April Cycle: November 1 - January 31
  • October Cycle: May 1 - July 31


NCHEC does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, status as a veteran, or other legal protected status.

Appeal of Denial of Eligibility:

Filing the Appeal
  1. An appeal will only be considered if postmarked, emailed or faxed within thirty (30) calendar days following the email date in which the Appellant was notified of the adverse decision.
  2. NCHEC strongly suggests appeals be sent by certified mail or overnight courier service (such as FedEx) with return receipt requested. Appeals by facsimile or email are accepted.
  3. A fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) must be paid and is not refundable if the appeal is denied.
  4. An appeal must be submitted in writing (preferably typewritten) to the NCHEC Executive Director who will, in turn, submit it to the appropriate NCHEC decision making body. The appeal must contain the original notification from NCHEC showing the date of the adverse decision.
  5. The appeal should identify the adverse decision being appealed and explicitly state the reasons for the appeal. The appeal shall set forth any new or additional information to be considered. To expedite the appeal process, applicants are encouraged to include course descriptions, syllabi and any other pertinent information about specific courses in which the major emphasis was health education. Support documents provided by applicants will become property of NCHEC and not be returned to appellants.
  6. The only additional information that may be submitted after the initial filing is that which is requested by the appropriate NCHEC decision making body.
  7. View full appeal policy.

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