Information for Applicants

Application Process

Review the Application Checklist for information and documents that are needed to complete the online certification application. 
  • Complete and submit the online application by the posted application deadline.
  • Technical assistance will not be available after 4:00 pm Central on deadline dates so plan your application completion and submission accordingly.
  • UCNS staff and Certification Council review submitted applications to verify eligibility and application compliance.
  • Application eligibility determination notices are emailed to applicants approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the registration period opening.
  • Examination results are mailed to candidates approximately 10 weeks after the exam. Results will not be given via telephone or email.
  • Certificates are mailed to candidates who successfully pass the exam. 
  • Please notify UCNS immediately or update your UCNS profile if your contact information changes. 
An appeals process if available to individuals who disagree with the UCNS's decisions regarding their admissibility to the examination, request for special accommodations, or negative examination determination. Information on appeals can be found in the appeal section of the Certification Policies.

Candidates who wish to withdraw from the examination must notify UCNS in writing. Information on exam withdrawals can be found in the refund section of the Certification Policies.


Candidates who fail an initial examination may repeat the examination up to two times within six years of their initial attempt. No candidate may take an examination more than three times. Candidates applying for reexamination are required to submit updated information where necessary and pay the reexamination fee.

Applicants with Disabilities and Qualifications for Testing Accommodations

The UCNS recognizes that physicians with disabilities may wish to take the certifying examinations and will attempt to make accommodations for applicants with verified disabilities. Applicants who request accommodations because of a disability must do so at the time of application. The application and documentation substantiating the disability must be included with the subspecialty certification examination and be submitted by the subspecialty examination's posted application deadlines. More information on special testing accommodations can be found in the Certification Policies.

Irregular Behavior Including Unethical Behavior of Candidates

The UCNS believes that the ethics of candidates for certification are of concern. The following rules apply:

  • Falsification of credentials will be cause for the UCNS to refuse to admit a candidate to examination for up to five years.
  • The UCNS will consider legal action against anyone who forges a UCNS certificate, copies a UCNS examination, or otherwise uses them in conflict with copyright laws or in any other way violates the legal prerogatives of the UCNS. Such activities will be cause for the UCNS's refusal to admit a candidate to examination for up to five years.
  • Scores on examinations may be invalidated for reason of irregular behavior. Statistical analysis may be used to confirm suspected cheating. If an examination score is invalidated, the candidate may submit a written appeal within 30 days of the notice of invalidation in accordance with the Certification Appeals Policy. If an examination score is invalidated because of irregular behavior, UCNS will not consider the candidate for examination for a period of up to five years, depending on the irregular behavior. A new application, supporting documentation, and examination fees will be required.
  • Irregular behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following conduct:
    • Copying answers from another candidate's examination.
    • Knowingly permitting another candidate to copy one's answers on an examination.
    • Unauthorized possession, reproduction, or disclosure of examination materials or content at any time.
    • Offering any financial benefit or other benefit to any director, officer, employee, proctor, diplomate, or other agent or representative of the UCNS in return for any right, privilege, or benefit that is not granted by the UCNS to other similarly situated candidates of persons.
    • Not complying with proctors' instructions.
    • Disregarding time limits.
    • Bringing food, drink, cellular phones, pagers, books, study materials, personal belongings, or other prohibited material into an examination.
    • Making telephone calls during an examination.
    • Any other form of disruptive behavior, including repeated or excessive verbal complaints.
  • Notification of the UCNS action may be sent to legitimately interested third parties, including the American Medical Association, state medical societies, medical licensing boards, and appropriate specialty societies.

Revocation of Certification

The UCNS Certification Council has the authority to revoke any certification issued by it for cause or to place a certificate holder on probation for a fixed or indefinite period of time. If a certificate is revoked, a written appeal may be submitted in accordance with the Certification Revocation Policy.

Staff Contacts

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

Becky Swanson, Operations and Executive Office Manager
[email protected]
(612) 928-6050