Completing the SPHG 600 FLO Course/Foundations of Public Health Core Course Exemption Application

Competency can be established in any core course requirement, either by taking the course or by demonstrating that similar material has been studied. Any exemption consideration must be approved by both the Core Course Instructor and the Sr. Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs. The SPHG 600 Exemption Application must be completed fully and submitted via webform. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If approved, students may be exempted from taking a core course; transfer credits may or may not be granted depending on your student status (BSPH, master’s, doctoral) and the applicable corresponding UNC transfer credit policy.

Automatic Exemptions from SPHG 600

Before you begin the exemption process, students who can provide documentation to their student records of any of the following may automatically exempt from SPHG 600 (please discuss this with your assigned Academic Coordinator):

  • successful completion of the Gillings School’s Public Health Leadership Program’s Certificate in Public Health Core Concepts, within five years of matriculating into the degree program; or
  • a public health undergraduate or graduate “titled” degree from a CEPH-accredited school or a CEPH-accredited program (no time limit); or
  • a non-public health “titled” degree (e.g., MS, MHA) from a CEPH-accredited school within five years of matriculating into the degree program; or
  • CPH certification from the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

An exemption means the student is exempt from the required course but must still fulfill the associated credit hour requirements. In order to maintain the integrity of the Gillings School degree program plan of study, the totality of exemptions and substitutions for each student may not exceed the Graduate School’s policy that limits the transfer of credits.

Responsibilities of the Student:

  1. Review your course eligibility: Your course must have been taken no more than five years prior to the start date of your current program, or if your course was taken more than five years prior to the start of your current program, you must have relevant work experience in the course subject matter to describe and document.
  2. Discuss the possibility of a core course exemption with your Academic Coordinator.
  3. If your academic adviser concurs, download the SPHG 600 Exemption Application (Excel worksheet) and SPHG 600 Exemption Form (Word document) files and complete all sections. Missing information may delay the approval of your request. You will also need to collect PDF versions of the supporting syllabi from applicable coursework (as described in the SPHG 600 Exemption Form) and a PDF of your CV or résumé.
  4. Submit your completed application files, CV, and supporting syllabi via the SPHG 600 Exemption Application submissions webform at Please complete your submission two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which you are registered for the course (typically within your first year at Gillings).

Responsibilities of the Academic Coordinator (AC):

  1. The AC will check your transcript and verify that you took the course (including the date and the grade) and document this on the application.
  2. The AC will then forward the application and supporting materials to the appropriate core course instructor.
  3. The AC will communicate the core course exemption decision to the student, upon receiving an email from the Sr. Associate Dean.

Responsibilities of the Core Course Instructor (CCI):

  1. The CCI will review the application materials and may email you if additional questions are warranted.
  2. The CCI will render a decision by indicating approval or disapproval, sign the application.
  3. The CCI will forward it via email ( to the Sr. Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs for a final review.
  4. If not approved, the CCI may suggest that the student complete an exemption exam (if available for that particular core course).

Responsibilities of the Sr. Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs:

  1. The Sr. Associate Dean will review the materials, indicate approval or disapproval and forward the completed application back to the AC in the student’s home department.
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