By the Division of Professional Licensure

How can I become a Sanitarian?

The first step to becoming a licensed Sanitarian is to file an application to the Board for review.


What are the requirements to become approved?

The requirements for licensure as a Sanitarian are set forth in 255 CMR 4.02, which states that: 

4.02: Minimum Standards and Qualifications

(1) An applicant for registration as a Registered Sanitarian must possess the following minimum education and/or experience in order to be eligible for registration:

(a) A bachelor's degree or graduate degree in sanitary science, public health or environmental health from an approved school of public health/environmental health, as defined in 255 CMR 2.03; or

(b) A bachelor's degree or graduate degree in sanitary engineering from an institution on the list of accredited colleges of the United States Office of Education, or any like institution approved by the Board; or

(c) A bachelor's degree with a minimum of 30 semester hours credit in basic sciences from an institution on the list of accredited colleges of the United States Office of Education, or any like institution  approved  by  the  Board,  plus  the  equivalent  of  one  year  full  time  experience  in environmental health.

(2) The Board may, in its discretion, grant credit to an applicant for education received at an institution outside of the United States if the applicant submits proof satisfactory  to the Board that such foreign education is substantially equivalent to that provided in an institution accredited by the United States Office of Education or otherwise approved by the Board.

The Board also issues licenses via reciprocity.  The requirements for registration via reciprocity are set forth in 255 CMR 4.05. 


How will I know if I have been approved?

Board staff will send out notification following the review to inform you of approval or denial. If you have been approved, the Board will forward a scheduling form for the examination (forms provided by PCS 1-877-887-9727)


How often is the Sanitarian examinations administered?

The examination is administered three times a year; April, July and November. Scheduling forms for any of the examinations must be received by the deadline date. All examinations are administered by PCS 1-877-887-9727


What type of examination is administered?

The National examination is given by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).


What is the Massachusetts passing score?

As of August 1999, the passing score for the examination shall be 68%. Prior to August 1999, the passing score shall be 70%.


When does my Sanitarian license need to be renewed?

On December 31 (annually). For lapsed licenses, please see CMR 255; section 4.07 (1) and (2).


How can I obtain a copy of the Massachusetts General Laws for this Board?

Please visit the General Laws of Massachusetts web pages at


When should I receive my renewal?

Renewal are mailed out 6 weeks prior to expiration date.


How many CEU's do I need for the year to renew my license?

For annual renewal 1.2 CEU's are required. 1 CEU = 10 contact hours


Who can become a "Recognized Entity"?

The Board shall not grant "recognized entity" status to any educational institution, professional organizations or other entity or grant CEU credit for the courses, programs, lectures, workshops or conferences conducted, unless that entity maintains written records pertaining to each such continuing education activity for a period of 4 years from the date the course, program, lecture, workshop or conference is conducted. Such records must be adequate to permit verification of any information submitted by a Registered Sanitarian. (References 255 CMR 2.00 through 5.00; M.G.L.c.13,s.52; M.G.L.c.112,ss.87LL-8700)


Does the Board pre-approve CE Courses and/or CE instructors?

No. The Board does not pre-approve faculty or specific continuing education activities that may be used to satisfy continuing education requirements specified in the Rules and Regulations Governing Sanitarians. Please see 255 CMR 5.02 for further information about methods of obtaining contact hours and acceptable subject matter.


Is there an annual audit for CEU verification?

YES. The board conducts an annual renewal each year to 50 randomly chosen licensees. Audit notices are forwarded in late October and responses are requested to be returned to the Board by the expiration date of the license, December 31st.


How do I prepare for the REHS exam?

An exciting new training resource is now available for those preparing for the REHS exam.  Environmental Public Health Online Courses (EPHOC) is a comprehensive package of FREE courses for environmental health practitioners. The 15 courses are taught by experts in their field and includes information on various roles and responsibilities of environmental health staff. Target audiences are: new-hire environmental health professionals with a science major BS; individuals preparing for the NEHA REHS credential exam; and environmental health professionals wanting to improve their technical knowledge.  NEHA will award CE credits for successful course completion.  The weblink is:

REHS/RS Online Practice Exam -