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Certifying Exam

Once a candidate successfully completes the Qualifying Exam, they may apply for the Certifying Exam.  Successful completion of the Qualifying Exam does not guarantee that the applicant will be eligible for the Certifying Exam.  All requirements must be met to be deemed eligible.

The ABDPH administers the Certifying Exam annually.  Applications are due August 15 of the year prior to the Qualifying Exam (for example, the deadline for the 2025 Exam is August 15, 2024).  The application is available beginning June 1.

Following the application deadline, the Board will review applications and determine each candidate’s Board Eligibility.  Candidates will be notified of this determination no later than September 25.  Candidates declared ineligible for the Exam will have up to three (3) years to meet any outstanding requirements without incurring additional fees.  Once a candidate is deemed Board Eligible, they must challenge the exam within five (5) years.

The eligible candidate must submit two (2) Project Reports, each as a separate Microsoft Word file by 11:59 pm ET on October 1 of the year prior to the candidate’s intended examination date.  Candidates receiving communication from the Executive Director regarding the written project reports should reply immediately.  If deadlines are not met, the candidate will not be eligible to take the examination in the intended year.

Candidates will be notified of any failure of the Project Report(s) by February 1.  Any candidate who fails a Project Report will be unable to proceed with the oral portion of the examination.

Candidates should thoroughly review the Candidate's Guide for detailed information about the Exam.

The oral portion of the Certification Exam is the Thursday-Sunday immediately preceding the National Oral Health Conference.  Specific dates (each candidate will present for two days of examination) will be given to each candidate a least 60 days prior to the Examination.  The 2025 Certification Exam will be given April 3-6, 2025 in Orlando, Florida.

To Apply for the 2025 Certifying Exam, click here

Before completing the online application, please have the following available for upload:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Evidence of Graduation from a School of Dentistry
  • Certificate or graduate degree in dental public health or a degree in public health and residency certificate in dental public health (photo copy or official transcripts)
  • Two letters of recommendation from current ABDPH Diplomates
  • Additional documentation as requested.  The Board may request transcripts or course syllabi to support transcripts.  For example, for degrees other than a MPH, a transcript may be required to document that all requirements have been met.  For courses with vague names, a syllabus may be required to document that requirements have been met.

For a Printable Version of this checklist, click here.

Payment for the Certifying Exam is made in two parts.  A $500 fee is due at the time of application for the Board to determine a candidate’s eligibility.  A $1000 exam fee is due when Project Reports are submitted.  Fees will be collected when applications/project reports are submitted.  If you prefer to pay via check rather than by credit card, please contact the Executive Director at

Dental Public Health (DPH) is one of the dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). The American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH) is the certifying board for dental public health specialists.

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