NRCM: Applying for Certification

NRCM Contact Information

Nicole Jackson
American College of Microbiology
American Society for Microbiology
1752 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

tel: (202) 942-9257
fax: (202) 942-9353

NRCM Resources

Eligibility Requirements
Exam Information
Reference Form
Testing Centers

Your non-refundable application fee and all supporting documents must be received no later than February 1. The exam is administered throughout the month of April at testing centers around the world.


Follow the instructions below to apply:

    1. Create a Webassessor account.

      Click here to access the Webassessor site. You must first create a login name. You will then be prompted to create a profile. Please complete all fields in the profile to expedite the processing of your application.

      Upon creation of your profile, you will receive an automated email with your login name and password. Keep this email for your records. If your application is approved, your login information will be required to register for the examination.

    2. Pay the application fee.

      The non-refundable application fee is paid through ASMscience. You must first create an account and log in. You will find the application fees by clicking on the grey “Certification” tab. Scroll down to “NRCM Application Fee” and click “Add to Cart” for the specific exam you are applying for. The fee will be added to your shopping cart. You can then select the Shopping Cart in the upper right hand corner and proceed to checkout. Your application cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.

      The application fee for the Registered Microbiologist (RM) exams is $100. The application fee for the Specialist Microbiologist (SM) exams is $100 for ASM members and $155 for non-members. All application fees are paid in U.S. currency.

      Please note: The application fee, which covers the review of the application, is non-refundable. If your application is approved, you must pay an exam fee of $200 to register for the exam.

    3. Submit official transcripts.

      If you were educated within the U.S. or Canada, official transcripts must be mailed directly to the NRCM from the issuing institution. They should be mailed to the following address:

      National Registry of Certified Microbiologists
      American Society for Microbiology
      1752 N Street, N.W.
      Washington, DC 20036-2904

      Photocopies will not be accepted. For applicants educated in the U.S., all educational requirements must be met through institutions accredited by a regulatory agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For applicants educated in Canada, all educational requirements must be met through institutions recognized by the Ministry of Education of the province in which each school is located. All other applicants' degrees must be evaluated as described below and deemed equivalent to those earned at a U.S. accredited institution.

      Note: If the name on your transcript(s) does not match the name in your Webassessor account and/or reference form(s), you must submit a certified copy of your marriage license by mail as part of your application.

      If you were educated outside the U.S. or Canada, you must obtain a course-by-course analysis of your transcripts (including a degree equivalency statement) from World Education Services, Inc. (WES), a process which may take several months. This analysis must be based on your original, official transcripts (not photocopies). WES must send your evaluation directly to the NRCM at the address above. Transcripts received directly from a foreign institution or translation of transcripts from such institutions will not be accepted by the NRCM. For applicants to be considered eligible to sit for the NRCM exam, their degrees earned outside the U.S. or Canada must be deemed equivalent to those earned at an accredited institution in the U.S.

      World Education Services, Inc.

      Please note: Transcripts and WES evaluations will not be returned to applicants. No other transcript agency evaluations will be accepted.

    4.  Ask your supervisor to complete the online reference form. The reference form can be accessed by clicking here.

      The minimum work experience requirement must be documented through the use of online reference forms completed by your current and/or former immediate supervisor(s). Submit only as many reference forms as are necessary to document the minimum requirement.

      The references provide reviewers with an adequate understanding of the depth of your training and experience. References will be verified.

      References must be submitted electronically using the online form and the reference must include his/her business email address, such as  Yahoo, hotmail, gmail or general email addresses, such as, are not acceptable. An automatic submission confirmation email will be sent to the reference and applicant upon submission. References in letter form will not be accepted by the NRCM.

      Remember that your application is not complete until all of the following have been received:
      • Non-refundable application fee (payable only through ASMscience)
      • Official transcripts or transcript evaluation, if you were educated outside the U.S or Canada.
      • Online reference form(s) from your current and/or former supervisor(s)
      • Certified copy of your marriage license or name change certificate, if applicable

Incomplete applications will be held in active status for one year, awaiting outstanding supporting documents. If a complete application is not submitted within a year, a new application and non-refundable fee are required. 

A Note to Candidates:

The NRCM does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, mental or physical disability, or age. The NRCM complies with the policies set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The NRCM is prepared to assist you in applying for Board certification. Questions or comments about the NRCM and its certification programs are welcome and may be directed to the NRCM at the following address:

National Registry of Certified Microbiologists
American Society for Microbiology
1752 N Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-2904
Telephone: (202) 942-9257
Fax: (202) 942-9353