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Students are required to complete either a comprehensive examination or a thesis or a graduate project as their final culminating experience in the Program. Students opting for the comprehensive examination take a review course the semester before or concurrent with sitting for the exam. The exam is given in two parts. Part 1 is the written portion and Part 2 is an oral experience in which the the student meets with a faculty panel to review and defend written responses to Part 1 and/or to explore other topics related to the student's training in the MPH Program. Part 1 of the exam is a take-home written test in which the student has 48 hours to respond to the test items and then return the answers to the test coordinator. The test items assess the same competencies required to become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), and the new standards proposed by the Society for Public Health Education, Inc. (SOPHE). The comprehensive examination protocol is available through the academic advisor. The pass rate has been fairly consistent on the first administration at 60 to 70 percent.
Students selecting the thesis/graduate project option identify a committee chairperson who then helps the student with proposal development, human subjects approvals and other related activities.