What Counts Toward the PMP® Requirement of 35 Hours of Project Management Education?

You need 35 hours of formal project management education, and you need to be able to prove it with a certificate or transcript.

What counts?  

Training from any of the following:

  • PMI Registered Education Providers (REPs)
  • PMI chapters
  • Employer/company-sponsored programs
  • Training companies or consultants (e.g., training schools)
  • Distance-learning companies, including an end-of-course assessment
  • University/college academic and continuing education programs

Wait!  Does that mean that the training doesn’t have to be from a PMI REP?  That’s right. Don’t believe it? Here’s the screenshot right out of PMI’s own PMP® handbook:

Even university courses?  Yes. The trick is that you can only count hours spent on project management training.  So, if you take a general management course that covers organizational management, operations, and projects, then you need to count up how many hours were spent on just the project management part.  If that adds up to 35 hours, you’re set!

On the other hand, a 35-hour PMP® exam prep course is the most common and effective way of preparing to pass the exam on the first try.

What Doesn’t Count?

  • PMI chapter meetings (unless at least one hour is spent on project management training)
  • Self-study (e.g., reading books, time spent with coaches or mentors, or watching instructional videos that aren’t part of a course that includes an end-of-course assessment)

Why does everyone says it needs to be from a REP?  

Because they’re a REP, and they’re selling you their training. 

Don’t limit yourself to only REPs.  Take a close look at the sample lessons different vendors provide.  You’ll see that there’s a wide range of quality among them.  

And there are some exceptional newcomers that haven’t yet met PMI’s requirement that they be teaching their course for at least a year before they can apply to be a REP.  Just because someone has been teaching for a long time, doesn’t mean they’re good at it. I’ve had some rather old, incompetent teachers. Haven’t you?

The bottom line is that you need to do your own research to be sure that it’s a quality course that will prepare you well for the PMP® exam, and that fits your learning style and schedule.