Frequently Asked Certification Questions

Q: What certification examinations does UCNS offer? 
A: UCNS currently offers certification examinations in the subspecialties of Autonomic DisordersBehavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry, Clinical Neuromuscular PathologyHeadache Medicine, Interventional Neurology, Neonatal Neurocritical CareNeurocritical Care, Neuroimaging, and Neuro-oncology.
Q: Why should I pursue UCNS certification in my subspecialty area?
A: UCNS certification is the measure of expertise in your chosen subspecialty. Certification demonstrates to your peers, employers, and patients that you have fulfilled a set of standards and knowledge requirements that sets you apart as a leader in your field. Through certification, you have proven a commitment to your profession and to maintaining the knowledge necessary to provide quality patient care.

Q: How is UCNS certification different from American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) subspecialty certification?
A: The UCNS provides certification for emerging neurologic subspecialties that are too small to meet the subspecialty recognition requirements of the ABMS. Recognizing that a certifiable measure of competence and knowledge of physicians in a subspecialty area is no less important for growing subspecialties, the UCNS was created in 2003 as a nonprofit organization that can provide a means for these subspecialties to develop the standards and certify the expertise of physicians practicing in these areas of medicine.

Q: What are the examination eligibility requirements to become UCNS-certified?
A: All applicants must be a diplomate in good standing of their primary ABMS or American Osteopathic Association specialty or have equivalent certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) as defined in the subspecialty’s general eligibility criteria. Applicants must hold a current, active, valid, unrestricted, and unqualified license to practice medicine in at least one jurisdiction in the United States, its territories, or Canada. An applicant must meet specific eligibility pathways as outlined in the eligibility criteria document that can be found on each subspecialty’s certification page on the UCNS website.  

Q: What are the fees for the certification examination?
A: The total certification examination fee is $1,700. This fee is comprised of a $680 nonrefundable application fee and a $1,020 examination administration fee. UCNS accepts VISA, MasterCard, and American Express for payment. Fees are subject to change.

Q: When are the examinations offered? 
A: All UCNS subspecialty certification examination schedules are available on each subspecialty's certification page. Subspecialty certification examinations are offered every-other year.

Q: How does a candidate apply to sit for an examination? 
A: Candidates who wish to sit for an examination must complete the online application. For an application to be reviewed, a finalized application and payment must be received no later than the application deadline.
Q: How are applications approved? 
A: All applications are reviewed to ensure the application is complete and the applicant meets all eligibility requirements. UCNS staff will contact the applicant to correct any areas of deficiency. All applicants will receive an email notification confirming their application approval or denial. Those who are approved will receive examination registration instructions included with their notification email. Incomplete applications or applications received without payment will not be reviewed. 
Q: What content is covered on the examination? 
A: The content covered on the examination can be found in the Content Outline on each subspecialty's certification page. 
Q: How is the examination administered? 
A: Certification examinations are administered via virtual live proctoring. Examinations can now be scheduled for the day, time, and location that is convenient for the examinee within the examination week. Examinations may be taken on a personal computer or laptop that has camera capabilities and internet access. Examinees will have an opportunity to test their equipment and internet connection in advance of their examination date and will receive online session registration and instructions in advance of their examination. 

Q: How much time do I have to complete the examination?
A: Certification examinations consist of 200 multiple-choice questions. Autonomic Disorders, Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry, Headache Medicine, and Neuro-oncology examinations must be completed within four hours and examinations in Clinical Neuromuscular Pathology, Interventional Neurology, Neonatal Neurocritical Care, Neurocritical Care, and Neuroimaging must be completed within five hours.
Q: How am I notified of my results? 
A: All candidates will be notified of their results by mail only. Results are mailed out approximately eight to ten weeks after the exam. Results will not be given via phone, fax, or email.
Q: What if I fail my exam?
A: Applicants who fail their initial examination may repeat the examination up to two additional times. All reexamination attempts must occur within six years of the initial examination attempt. All reexamination applicants must submit a new application, supporting documentation, and pay the reexamination fee. 

Q: How do I maintain my UCNS certification?
A: New diplomates begin maintaining their certification the year immediately after becoming certified (i.e., diplomates certified in 2021 begin maintaining their certification in 2022). UCNS certification is continuous contingent on meeting the annual requirements for continuous certification (C-cert).
Q: How can I verify if someone is certified?
A: The current certification status of all UCNS diplomates can be found in the Diplomate Directory. Certification status is updated annually in March. Please contact [email protected] if written verification is required. 


Staff Contact

Todd Bulson, Senior Manager Certification
[email protected]
(612) 928-6067