The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is the recognized accrediting body for graduate schools of public health and graduate public health programs in U.S. institutions of higher education. Established in 1974 as an independent not-for-profit corporation, the council assumed the accreditation function from the American Public Health Association (APHA), which initiated public health accreditation in the mid-1940s. Consistent with all specialized accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the council’s purpose is to evaluate and attest to the quality of educational programs that help prepare students for entry into a recognized profession. The Council’s mission is to promote quality education in public health through accreditation and related activities.
The Council was formed by APHA and the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). Headquartered in Washington, DC, the council is governed by a ten-member board of directors, appointed either separately or jointly by APHA and ASPH. APHA’s three appointees are practitioners of public health and ASPH’s three delegates are drawn from administrators, faculty, or students in schools of public health. The governing board also includes two members of the general public and two members representing programs outside schools of public health. The latter are nominated by national professional and academic organizations. The board structure is designed as a partnership among those groups that have a vital interest in accreditation and includes educators who train professionals, professionals who deliver public health services, and the public who are consumers of these services.
The governing body adopts procedures and criteria by which schools and programs are evaluated, establishes policy, makes accreditation decisions, and oversees the operations of the agency.