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Laboratory Field Services

Public Health Microbiologist Trainee Certificate

Thank you for your interest in the California Public Health Microbiologist Trainee Certificate. Laboratory Field Services (LFS) requires applicant to submit documentation of academic coursework to qualify for certification.

Work experience in California as an uncertified laboratory staff person will not be accepted as qualification towards public health microbiologist trainee certification. Please note that biotech/pharmaceutical, forensic, academic, veterinary, research, and student laboratory experience cannot count as work experience or training for any public health microbiologist certification.

Scope of practice

This certificate:

  • Permits you only to train, not work, as a certified Public Health Microbiologist trainee.
  • Permits you to train in all areas of the specialty of public health microbiology in a Department-approved PHM training programs.

Please request that your college or university postal mail your official transcript directly to LFS. If you have a non-US transcript, you must request that an LFS approved evaluation service conduct a course-by-course evaluation of your academic credential. The evaluation report must be mailed by the evaluation service directly to LFS. These steps must be completed prior to submitting your public health microbiologist trainee application to avoid delay and the possibility of your application being considered abandoned if the documents are not received by LFS within 60 days of your application submission date.

Academic requirements

Bachelor's degree (baccalaureate) or higher in medical microbiology, public health microbiology, or field related to public health microbiology.

  • Official transcripts must verify the completion of 24 semester or equivalent quarter units of biological science related courses, which must include at least 5 semester or equivalent quarter units in medical microbiology, pathogenic microbiology, or bacteriology.
  • Examples of biological science courses include, but are not limited to, medical microbiology, pathogenic bacteriology, immunology, virology, parasitology, serology, cellular biology, mycology, genetics, food microbiology, epidemiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, biology, and biostatistics.​​​


Laboratory Field Services Personnel Licensing Section requires you to provide your official transcript from an accredited academic institution to determine whether you meet the degree and coursework requirements. To be considered official, transcripts must be signed by the school registrar, indicate date of graduation and degree awarded, and postal mailed to LFS in a sealed envelope directly from the college or university. We do not accept scanned, or photocopies of transcripts uploaded or emailed by the applicant for authentication purposes. If your transcript is under a different last name, you must upload legal proof of name change to associate the name discrepancy.


Mail the official transcripts to:
Laboratory Field Services – PLS Program
850 Marina Bay Parkway
Bldg. P, 1st Floor
Richmond, CA 94804


Non-US transcripts

All non-U.S. transcripts must be evaluated by an LFS approved evaluation service to determine if your education is equivalent to an accredited college or university education in the U.S. LFS will accept educational transcript evaluations by “Current Members" of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and “Endorsed Members" of the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) if completed on or after August 15, 2016. Evaluations completed before August 15, 2016, will only be accepted if completed by AACRAO. The evaluation service will send an evaluation of your educational institution and academic courses directly to LFS. Official transcript from the university is required in addition to the evaluation.


To obtain an application, instructions, and information, visit them on the web:

If you are an applicant whose education is from a non-U.S. school, college, university, please make sure that your name is printed in English on all your transcripts and supporting documents and that it matches the name on the application.

Request the evaluation company to postal mail the evaluation directly to:

Laboratory Field Services – PLS Program
850 Marina Bay Parkway
Bldg. P, 1st Floor

Richmond, CA 94804​​​


Helpful Links

LFS Approved PHM Training Programs

Statutes and regulations

California Business and Professions Code, Definitions
California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Section 1031, Requirements and Timeframes for Applications for Licensure and Certification
California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Section 1079, Professional Personnel to Be Certified
California Code of Regulations, Title 17, Section 1080, Professional Training


​​The requirements listed may not be comprehensive.

How to Apply

Visit the LFS online application website to create an account and submit an application.

Apply Online

Incomplete application packages may be considered abandoned. All applicants whose applications have been abandoned who wish to re-apply must provide requested document(s).

Documents you may need for your application

  • Official transcript showing your baccalaureate or higher degree.
  • NACES or AICE course-by-course evaluation.

For additional information you may contact ​​​​​​

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