Medical Doctors (MD or DO) Application Process

Visit the BCNS Form Overview page for a complete list of downloadable forms and applications.

Step 1: Degree & Coursework

The required degree and coursework must be complete before submitting the application.

Curriculum Overview

Step 2: Practice Experience

MD and DO Candidates must submit one Personalized Nutrition (PN) Case Data Collection for a case that has occurred within the past 5 years.

Step 3: Examination

Once you have completed your Eligibility Requirements (Degree & Coursework and Practice Experience), you may complete and submit the Exam Application

Certification Examinations for Nutrition Specialists℠ are held twice a year.

The next CNS exam will be held June 10 - 14, 2023; applications are due April 14, 2023. 

The following exam will be held December 9 - 13, 2023; applications are due October 27, 2023. 

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with a testing center and now have the ability to offer hundreds of testing centers across the country so that candidates won't have to travel. There will be a nominal fee, paid directly to the test center.

Upon your application approval to sit for the CNS exam, details will be sent to you so you can arrange for your local test center.

Here is a list of the current test centers, and they will be adding even more in the coming weeks.

Exam Preparation

Exam Content Outline

The CNS application fee is $100. Upon approval to sit for the exam, the exam fee is $300. Fees are paid through the Portal.

* Effective July 1, 2023 - CNS Examination Fee increases to $400, effective for the December 2023 Examination. 

Candidates who pass the examination and complete the practice experience requirements will be granted the Certified Nutrition Specialist® credential. 

Eligibility Appeals 

A candidate whose eligibility has been denied may appeal the decision. 

Appeals regarding certification examination eligibility must be submitted in writing to the Certification Department Lead within thirty (30) calendar days after notification of the adverse decision. The candidate must submit the appeal in writing (email is acceptable) and explain in detail: 1) The nature of the request and the specific facts and circumstances supporting the request, and 2) all reasons why the action or decision should be changed or modified. The candidate must also provide accurate copies of all supporting documents. The Certification Department Lead will review the appeal within fifteen (15) days. If the issue can be resolved at the staff level, the Certification Department Lead will make a determination and will notify the BCNS Board of the result. 

If the issue cannot be resolved by the Certification Department Lead, they will refer the appeal to the Board. The appeal will also be referred to the Board if the candidate does not accept a determination by the Certification Department Lead. 

Within thirty (30) days, the Board will appoint an ad hoc Appeals Committee to review the appeal. The committee will review the appeal and make a determination within thirty (30) days. A decision issued by the Appeals Committee may be appealed to and heard by the full Board of Directors. The decision of the Board of Directors is final. 

A reasonable administrative fee may be imposed for the processing and review of appeals.