Eligibility Conditions

So now that you have decided to be a PMP and have already become a member of PMI, you are eager to fill in your examination form. But wait! Before you can submit your examination form, you need to ensure that you satisfy the minimum eligibility criteria for the exam. That means you should be able to demonstrate a minimum of 4500 hours of project management experience, if you possess a Bachelor's degree, or a minimum of 7500 hours of experience otherwise. Also, this experience should cover all the 5 process groups. So, you should document your experience in Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, as well as Closing process groups. However, remember that you do not need to have experience in every process group in every project that you have worked on. You might have joined some project in the middle of the execution phase and thus, might not have been involved in Initiating and Planning phases for the same. Or, you might have moved out of some project midway after initiating and planning for it. In this case, you would not have any 'Closing' activity to document for this project. All this is fine, and perfectly acceptable to PMI, provided you have documented experience on all of these process groups in at least one of your projects.

Also, make sure that you have completed at least 35 hours of Project Management education before you fill in the form. You will be required to put in the start date, end date, name of the course provider as well as the name of the training course in your application form. You can go in for training classes conducted by your employer or you might attend some online courses, or else you might attend some classroom based sessions organized by different training institutes or consultants. It is entirely up to you. PMI just wants to know the details of the course you attended and so you should make sure that the course deals with Project Management only.

And remember, you do not need to submit any proofs of your experience or educational qualifications at the time of submitting your examination form. In fact, you might not have to submit these documents at all. The only time you will have to produce documentary proof of your education and experience is if your application is selected for an audit. Ya, the dreaded word, audit! But you need not worry too much about it. In fact, only a very small percentage of the applications submitted to PMI are randomly selected for an audit. And, even if you get selected for an audit, it is not that difficult. We will talk more about it later.

So, get set and be ready to appear in your PMP exam!


Unix Geek said...


Thanks for the good work. Keep it up.

I have a question for you. I dont have management experience and still want to go for this certification. Is that possible? You mentioned 35 hours class... I can attend that. Is that sufficient to fill the project management exp.?


Raja said...

Dear Vikas,

Thanks for appreciating my work!

To answer your question, you need to have project management experience. In fact, the requirement of having attended 35 hours of education on Project Management is one of the eligibility conditions. Apart from having attended this training, an aspirant with a bachelor's degree should have atleast 4500 hours of experience in directing and managing activities spread over a period of 36 months, whereas any aspirant, who does not hold a bachelor's degree, needs to have 7500 hours of such experience. It is another matter that you are usually not asked to submit proof of your project management experience (You have to submit the proof only if your application gets selected for an audit).

So, if you don't have experience in project management, you are not eligible to sit for the PMP exam.

Hope this helps!


Cornelius Fichtner, PMP said...


I have a small correction for you. You wrote: "Another thing to take care of is that you should attend training courses conducted by PMI Registered Education Providers (REPs) only."

Unfortunately, this is generally misunderstood. The 35 contact hours that are required by the PMI do not have to come from a PMI REP. They can come from any training company, as long as the training relates to the knowledge areas in the PMBOK Guide. In fact, the PMI's PMP Credentials Handbook states on page 6 that you can receive your contact hours from various training providers. The types are listed in detail and there is no REP requirement.

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
The Project Management PrepCast

Raja said...

Dear Cornelius,

Thanks for pointing out the inaccuracy in the information presented on my blog.

Dear friends,

Following is what the PMP Credential Handbook states in reference to earning the 35 contact hours of Project Management Education, required for being eligible to sit in the PMP exam:

Candidates can satisfy the project management educational requirements by demonstrating the successful completion of courses, workshops, and training sessions through one or more of the following types of education providers:

• Courses or programs offered by PMI Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s)*
• University/college academic and continuing education programs
• Courses or programs offered by PMI Component organizations*
• Courses or programs offered by employer/company-sponsored programs
• Courses or programs offered by distance-learning companies, including an end of course assessment.
• Courses or programs offered by training companies or consultants

The following education does not satisfy the education requirements:

• PMI Chapter meetings
• Self-study (e.g. reading books)

So, in fact, attending courses conducted by REPs is one of the ways you can earn the required 35 hours of PM education.

Best Regards,

Raja said...

Hi Cornelius,

I have modified my article and removed the statement mentioning that the educational qualifications should be obtained from a REP only.

Thanks again for your helpful observation!

Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

Hi Raja,

I just to want to know a point-

Does the 4500 hr experience imply 4500 business hours?
I have an exp of more than 6yrs, with a couple of big project handled from concept to completion. But I dont have any documentation though. It was my company project and I led it. A part of my job.
I havenot attended any training, though.
So, am I eligible? Please advise.
But I should say at the end your blog is great!


Raja said...

Hello Satrajit,

Thanks for appreciating my efforts! I hope that my site has been useful to you.

To answer your query, you should have 4500 hours of documented experience in directing and managing project activities. What this means is that some one,
probably your manager or leader or some other colleague should be able to verify your experience. You may want to include experience gained in managing
extra-curricular activities as well. However again, there should be someone who can validate your experience. These hours need not be business hours, though most people show experience gained during regular business hours in their full-time employment.

In your casse, you should have some sort of documentation which proves that you indeed managed the project(s) for a specified period. Even though PMI does not ask for documentary proof of experience at the time of submitting the application, you are expected to maintain it and produce it as well, if your application is
selected for an audit.

Also, having attended a minimum of 35 hours of training on project management is an essential pre-requisite to appearing in the exam.

So, if you do not have the training or the required documented experience, you are not eligible for appearing in the PMP exam.

For more details, you may want to have a look at my article titled 'Are you eligible to appear in the PMP exam?' at www.pmstudent.com. You may access the article directly by clicking on this link:


Best Regards,

Anonymous said...

Hello Raja,

I am working in consulting field and I have worked on multiple projects in 5 years. The projects were fast paced (2-3 Months), strategic, capital intensive and required full time work during project life cycle.
I already have more than 6000 hrs of project work and more than 36 months of project work (without overlap).

I am concerned about project life cycle being 2-3 months. Will PMI consider project life cycle to be too short? Any suggestions or feedback is appreciated.


Deepak said...

Dear Raja,
I have a question, how do PMI can define a Project ? Is it necessary, project means a project delivered to customer. It can be even some tasks which are longer in duration, and is only for internal purpose of the organization for better improvement in processes. I have been working with the process team which involves tasks like this. Are these tasks still considered as Projects according to PMI ?


p0isi0n said...


I understand the requirement of Project hours. But I am facing difficulties in understanding about the Program Management experience they have asked for. I am into this field for last 10 years. Sometimes I worked on 2-3 different programs simultaneously, which was multi year program. So, does program experience also needs to be without overlap (then it will be hard to show 6000+ hours)?

Anonymous said...

Hi Raja,

I'm still confused about the experience needed to qualify for the exam. For the last 4 years I've been working on a single project as a project coordinator under the supervision of the project manager. While I have led some aspects of the project, most have been led by the project manager. If I was not in charge of all aspects of the project, would my experience still count?

Thank you,

psrinivas said...

I am a software tester. Am I eligible for PMP.

Anonymous said...


I am planning to get the 35 hours from PMStudy.com. What i want to know is how long do these hours are valid for 1,2 or 3 years?Want to know this to know how soon should i take the PMP exam once i get the required 35 hours.


Anonymous said...

Hello Raja,

You have explained the informations in a details way, which will be useful for many many people. God Bless You.

I planned to do the PMP. Currently i am working as a Asst.Manager in analytic and i am having around 10 years of experience.

I am having doubts regarding the eligibility criteria. Can you please help me regarding the same.

My email id is madhu.gowri@gmail.com.

Thank You
Gowri Madhan

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