How much does it cost to apply for ASBMB accreditation?
The ASBMB is currently offering accreditation services free of charge for a limited time. There is a fee to participate in the ASBMB certification exam (see Q16 & Q17).
When should an accreditation application be submitted? Is there a deadline?
Applications are accepted and reviewed twice annually: in the spring and fall. The spring application deadline is March 15. The fall application deadline is October 15.
How long will it take for ASBMB to review department applications?
Reviews will be completed no later than six months following each application deadline.
Are newly established BMB programs eligible for ASBMB accreditation?
Yes, newly established BMB programs may apply for provisional accreditation.
Can a department request accreditation for multiple tracks/programs within a single application?
Yes, but separate curriculum information should be submitted for each track.
How long is accreditation good for?
Standard accreditation is good for a term of seven years. Provisional accreditation is good for a term of three years. The latter is intended to allow sufficient time for applicants to make adjustments to its BMB program based on the recommendations of the ASBMB Accreditation Committee. At the end of the three-year term, programs/departments are encouraged to reapply for full accreditation.
What are the possible outcomes of program review?
There are four possible decisions:
Full accreditation: Accreditation is granted for a seven-year term.
Provisional accreditation: Accreditation is granted for a three-year term.
Deferral: Missing information must be supplied within one year in order for a review to take place.
Denial: The committee could not approve accreditation at this time
Are accredited programs expected to submit annual reports?
There is no annual report requirement. In order to renew accreditation, simply resubmit an application after six years.
What are the criteria on which the decisions are based?
The program is judged to be at least “appropriate” in each of the critical categories listed on the rubric: the curriculum covers all aspects of BMB, including the core concepts and ancillary skills; there are sufficient research opportunities for students; faculty associated with the program are trained and have relevant experience in BMB fields; the infrastructure supports student learning and faculty development. Even with an excellent program there may be areas of relative weakness, and the review committee is able to provide feedback while still accrediting the program.
Programs that are new, undergoing major changes in curriculum or personnel, or those that enroll very small numbers of students may be granted provisional accreditation until they have built a track record of producing graduates. Programs with a few areas of weakness in critical items as listed above may also be provisionally accredited if there is evidence that the weaknesses are being addressed.
Information is lacking about one or more critical areas, as listed above.
Applications are denied when the program is either not judged to be a true BMB program in terms of curriculum or when the infrastructure is lacking (faculty numbers or background, physical plant and instrumentation, administrative support, etc.) to maintain a viable program.
Further details are available in the
Accreditation Program Guide
Note: In accrediting departments and programs, ASBMB is not trying to impose a single model of BMB undergraduate education. We understand that large institutions may not be able to provide as much one-on-one mentoring as small schools, and that faculty with heavy teaching loads may not have the time or resources needed to obtain external research funding. However, we hope to promote excellence in BMB undergraduate education by defining the characteristics of strong programs and supporting faculty in their efforts to provide the best possible programs for their students.
How long are deferrals and what does this mean for my application?
Applications may be deferred for one year to allow applicants time to gather and submit additional materials which the committee deems essential to be able to determine the eligibility of a program for accreditation. Applicants do not need to resubmit the entire application. However, after the expiration of the deferred period, a full-application will need to be resubmitted.
Can we substitute a letter of support from the dean or equivalent with one from the department chair?
No. A letter from a dean or provost is required. If a letter cannot be obtained in time to meet the application deadline, a letter from the department chair may be submitted. But the application will not be deemed complete until a letter from the dean or provost is submitted as an addendum.
If our program was not granted accreditation what steps can we take to appeal the decision?
Unsuccessful applicants can resubmit a revised application at the next convenient deadline. It is recommended that resubmitted applications include a letter briefly outlining their response to the prior evaluation summary.
How does my department/program maintain ASBMB-accredited status?
Each department must resubmit an accreditation application during the last twelve months of their accreditation term. The process for submission and review of renewal applications will be identical to that used for new applications.
Which schools have received ASBMB accreditation?
What is the difference between having my department or program accredited and the degree certification program?
There are two different components to the ASBMB accreditation program: 1) Departments or programs can be accredited by the ASBMB and 2) Students graduating from the accredited institution who wish to have an ASBMB-certified degree may take the ASBMB standardized degree-certification exam. Only students graduating from an ASBMB-accredited department or program are eligible to receive an ASBMB-certified degree. For more information about the certification exam, please consult the
Accreditation Program Guide
Is there a cost associated with taking the ASBMB standardized certification exam?
Yes, a fee will be charged for administering and evaluating the certification exam. The estimated fee per student is $25.00 US.
Will students have to pay to take the ASBMB standardized certification exam?
The department/program from which students are graduating will have the option to pay the exam fee on behalf of their students.
Will my department’s accredited status be affected by the number of graduates taking the ASBMB standardized certification exam?
No. The number of students taking the exam will not affect the status of a department/program’s accreditation. Taking the assessment exam is optional for those students who wish to earn the ASBMB degree-certification.
When will the ASBMB certification exam be offered?
The 2015 version of the exam was offered in mid-April. Information about the 2016 exam will be available early 2016.
How will the ASBMB certification exam be administered and evaluated?
The exam will be administered by a designated department faculty. Accredited programs will designate a representative who will receive the assessment instrument, proctor the exam return the completed exams and all unused copies to the ASBMB. The representative will be charged with maintaining the confidentiality of the assessment instrument on behalf of the ASBMB. For information on how to request the exam, go
When should students take the ASBMB certification exam?
The ASBMB will post the examination period each year on the ASBMB Accreditation website,
How do departments/programs or individual students request the ASBMB assessment exam?
The exam may be requested by contacting ASBMB directly prior to the examination period. Specific instructions can be found
What types of questions will the ASBMB certification exam contain and how will it be evaluated?
Each exam will consist primarily of short answer questions based on outcomes from the core foundational areas. The exam will be evaluated by ASBMB trained professionals.
How will the ASBMB certification exam scores be distributed?
Students will be notified directly as to whether they successfully passed the exam. The designated departmental representative will receive the names of all students who received a certified degree so that the students may receive appropriate recognition upon graduation. Each department/program will receive aggregated scores only, both for each question and for the assessment examination as a whole.
How will the students who pass the ASBMB standardized certification exam be recognized at graduation?
Students will be recognized as deemed appropriate by institution. ASBMB will provide students with a certificate and a cord to wear at graduation.
Can students studying at schools/departments that are not accredited by the ASBMB take the ASBMB certification exam?
No, only students expecting to graduate from an ASBMB-accredited department/school are eligible to take the ASBMB certification exam.
o whom should I address my questions to regarding the accreditation process?
Please address application and administrative questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Specific questions regarding department accreditation should be addressed to Adele Wolfson, email@example.com, Chair of the sub-committee on departmental accreditation. Inquiries regarding student assessment and degree certification or suggested questions for future examination should be sent to Peter J. Kennelly, firstname.lastname@example.org, chair of the accreditation working group.
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