PMP® Certification Requirements

1. Formal Education and Project Management Experience

If you have a bachelor’s degree (or global equivalent):

  • 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 36 months of unique non-overlapping professional project management experience
  • All within the last 8 years

If you have a high school diploma, associate’s degree, or global equivalent:

  • 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 60 months of unique non-overlapping professional project management experience
  • All within the last 8 years

2. Measuring Experience Hours and Months

Months spent on multiple projects only count once.  In the example above, March only counts as 1 month. April only counts as one month.

However, all of the hours spent leading and directing projects count.  In the example above, March’s hours are 140, and April’s hours are 160.

3. What Types of Projects Count?

  • You can only count time spent leading and directing projects.  Participation is not enough.
  • Only professional project management experience counts.  Personal projects, school projects, etc. do NOT count.  “The experience does not necessarily have to be paid work, but it does need to be in a professional setting. Activities such as school projects or planning personal events would not qualify.”

(Project Management Professional (PMP)® Handbook, PMI, 2017)

Formal Education in Project Management

You also need 35 hours of formal education in project management.  It can be classroom training, or instructor-led online sessions, or on-demand/self-paced training.  It can even include university or college courses, but only the hours spent specifically on project management training count toward the 35-hour requirement.  The most common approach is to take a course that is specifically designed to prepare you for the PMP® exam.