All students successfully completing the AHS master's degree are eligible for certifications specific to the health education and public health fields.  Students may be eligible for either the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) or Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®) examination.  The CHES® and MCHES® are competency-based exams. The purpose is to assess the extent to which the candidate can possess, apply, and interpret knowledge relative to the eight areas of responsibility of Health Education Specialists.  These certifications can provide an advantage to students as they apply to their future careers or look to further their education.  

What is the CHES exam?

Issued by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), the Certified Health Education Specialist® Exam and the Master Certified Health Education Specialist® examinations are competency-based tests that measure the possession, application, and interpretation of knowledge related to the Eight Areas of Responsibility, as verified by a national role delineation and practice analysis process. The computer-based exam consists of 165 multiple choice questions and is administered by Prometric in test centers and through live remote proctoring both nationally and internationally.

The skills needed to become a CHES or MCHES through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. include: assessing needs and capacity for health education and promotion; planning and implementing health education and promotion interventions; conducting evaluation and research related to health education and promotion; advocating for health, health education and promotion, and the health education profession; communicating with other health professionals, consumers, students, employers, and other health education specialists; leading and managing health education and promotion programs; and applying ethics and professionalism to health education and promotion practice.

Who can obtain this certification?

All our Applied Health Science master's students are prepared and eligible to sit for the CHES® exam, either in their last semester or after they graduate. Those Applied Health Science master's students that also have five years of work experience as a health education specialist are eligible for the MCHES® exam.

Why take this exam?

Adding the CHES® or MCHES® certification to your title and resume can demonstrate a mastery of skillsets needed in a wide variety of workplace settings across the country including government, community/non-profit, university, healthcare, schools, and businesses. This credential tells a potential employer that an individual not only has a college degree in health education/health promotion but that they are up to date in knowledge and expertise and are committed to continuing their education through professional development after college.

When can I take this exam?

Students are eligible to take the CHES®  or MCHES®  exam during their final semester in the program with a letter indicating eligibility from an advisor.  The exam is offered for a period of 10 days in both April and October.  Students are encouraged to speak with their advisor about this exam.

For more information about NCHEC and CHES – visit https://www.nchec.org/