ABMM Application Instructions

Oct. 14, 2022

Applications are accepted throughout the year; however, your non-refundable application fee and all supporting documents must be received no later than indicated below to sit for the exam in the month of June at testing centers around the world. Your application cannot be evaluated until all materials are received.

Eligibility Paths

Doctoral-level microbiologists with at least 1 of the following eligibility paths:

  1. Three years of experience, as defined in the PDF below.
  2. Two years of CPEP training.
  3. Completion of an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited fellowship program in Medical Microbiology, a Canadian College of Microbiologists (CCM) fellowship training program or a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) 3-year medical microbiology/infectious disease or 5-year medical microbiology residency.

All training and experience requirements must be met after the doctoral degree has been awarded.

Application Deadlines
Feb. 1: Eligibility Path 1
March 1: Eligibility Paths 2 and 3

Application Fees
$450 for ASM members
$575 for ASM supporting members and non-members

Exam Information
Exam Period: June 1-June 30
Scores Published: Sept. 1

Application Steps

All application steps below must be completed by the application deadline. 

1. Create a Webassessor Account

After you create a login name, you will be asked to create a profile. Please complete all fields in the profile to expedite the processing of your application. You will receive an automated email with your login name and password. Keep this email for your records. There are no additional steps to complete in Webassessor at the time of your application. Once complete, please proceed to step 2 below. If your application is approved, your login information will be required to register for the exam.

2. Complete the ABMM Application Form

Log in and complete the ABMM application form. The form asks for your reference(s). You must document the minimum required experience/training under your applicable plan. Please enter your reference's name and business email address. Upon submitting your application form, an auto-generated message will be sent to your reference providing them with a link to the online reference form. 

Reference requirements:

  • Only laboratory directors qualified to serve as a director of a CLIA-certified laboratory, or the country's equivalent, during the time of experience documented are eligible to complete the reference form.
  • References can only document the experience obtained under their supervision. Current laboratory directors cannot attest to past work experience.
  • You must provide the reference's business email address, such as jsmith@hospital.org. Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail or general email addresses, such as microbiology@hospital.org, are not acceptable. 
  • If you have completed an ACGME, CCM, CPEP or RCPSC-approved training program, you must have your program director submit a reference form on your behalf.  

Failure to provide an eligible reference will result in a denied application. If your application is denied due to this reason, you will need to submit a new application (with application fee). It is the applicant's responsibility to find the eligible reference(s) for their application.

*If you are not from a CLIA-certified (or CLIA-equivalent) laboratory, you are also required to submit the following for every experience documented:

  • Documentation of the laboratory’s accreditation.
  • An explanation of how the laboratory is equivalent to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA).
  • The laboratory's most recent report produced.
  • The laboratory's test menu.
  • The laboratory accreditation's website.
  • The laboratory accreditation's checklist.
  • The laboratory accreditation's standards for review.
Note: Elements for review will include:
  • Laboratory staff competency assessment.
  • Quality control.
  • Preanalytical quality control.
  • Quality Control requirements.
  • Requirements for test Verification and Validation.
  • Quality Assurance requirements.

*All documentation submitted on the application form must be in English. Failure to do so may result in a denied application. If you need your documents translated, the ABMM suggests using one of the services listed below. Applicants are welcome to email certification@asmusa.org if they have a preferred translation service. Please email ASM staff with the website/official information of the translation service for approval prior to requesting the translation.

3. Pay the Application Fee

The non-refundable application fee can be paid here. You will need to create an account and log in. The application fee is $450 for ASM members and $575 for ASM supporting members and non-members, both in U.S. currency. Checks and money orders will not be accepted. Your application cannot be processed until this fee has been paid. If your application is approved, you must pay an additional fee of $400 to register for the exam.

4. Submit Official Graduate Transcripts

Photocopies will not be accepted.

If you were educated within the U.S. or Canada, official transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution via email (certification@asmusa.org) or mail to:

American Board of Medical Microbiology
American Society for Microbiology
1752 N Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20036-2904

If you were educated outside the U.S. or Canada, your original, official graduate transcripts (not photocopies) must be evaluated by either the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) (M.D. only) or World Education Services, Inc. (WES) (M.D. and/or Ph.D.), a process which may take several months. No other transcript agency evaluations will be accepted. Transcripts and WES evaluations will not be returned to applicants.

  • USMLE transcripts must be sent directly from USMLE. Please follow the instructions on the USMLE website. Please send your transcript to certification@asmusa.org. Your USMLE transcript must include your doctoral transcript information. As a reminder, this option is only available to those with the U.S. equivalent of an M.D.
  • WES U.S. degree equivalency statements must be seent directly via AccessWES to the American Board of Medical Microbiology. A document-by-document evaluation will suffice. Transcripts received directly from a foreign institution or translation of transcripts from such institutions will not be accepted by the ABMM. Additionally, evaluations sent from the applicant will not be accepted. For applicants to be considered eligible to sit for the ABMM exam, their doctoral degrees earned outside the U.S. or Canada must be deemed equivalent to those earned at an U.S.-accredited institution.

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

5. Confirm Your Laboratory Director Completed the Online Reference Form 

References in letter form will not be accepted by the ABMM. 

Please see step 2 above for a reminder of the reference requirements.

References must specifically address your experience and time spent in the following areas:

  • Responsibilities and skills in the medical and public health microbiology laboratory.
  • Interaction with healthcare providers.
  • Management and administrative skills.
Once the reference submits the form, an automatic submission confirmation email will be sent to the applicant confirming submission.
The references provide reviewers with an adequate understanding of the depth of your training and/or experience. References will be verified. The ABMM reserves the right to follow up directly with references for clarification.


  • Create a Webassessor account.
  • Complete the application form.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Mail official transcripts or transcript evaluation.
  • Complete online reference form(s) from your current and/or former laboratory director(s).   
  • If applicable, mail a certified copy of your marriage license or name change certificate. 
Incomplete applications will be held for 1 year*. If a complete application is not submitted within a year, a new application and non-refundable fee are required. 

*If there is a change in eligibility while your application is incomplete, you may need to update your application or reference forms to meet the new requirements.
The ABMM does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, mental or physical disability or age. The ABMM complies with the policies set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Approval Process
Once all application materials have been received, you will receive an email stating when you will be notified of your application’s review. In general, application results are sent out within 1 month of an application becoming complete. Eligibility and approval to sit for the exam is determined on a case-by-case basis by ABMM Board members. Once eligible, you must take the exam within 1 year of approval or a new application will be required. Therefore, you are advised not to apply until you are ready to take the exam. Once approved, you will be sent an email containing instructions for registering for the exam. This includes, selecting your local testing center, your desired date and time and paying the exam registration fee of $400. The exam registration window opens on April 15 and closes on June 24. You are advised to register for the exam once it opens to ensure maximum flexibility in selecting your desired testing location and time.