PMP Exam – Eligibility Criteria

PMP Eligibility Criteria

The PMP Certification is the highest certification that a Project Manager can get in his or her field, in managing projects of any size. This professional, project management certification is awarded by Project Management Institute or PMI in USA.

Once you pass the stringent PMP exam, you will get the PMP credential, which will bolster your CV, your ego, and your professional capability as a Project Manager in your profession.

To attain your PMP Certification, you first need to pass the PMP exam conducted by PMI. One of the first steps is to check if you are eligible for the exam.

There are 3 conditions that you must meet before you can fill up your exam application form.

1. You must have a Degree or a Diploma. From any university – whether distance learning or regular class degree. Any degree – Science, Arts, Medicine, Architecture,, Mathematics, Business, Engineering, Technical, Computer Science etc. is all fine.

However, just having a O Level certification ( 10 years of formal education – up to Class 10 (O Level) or Secondary 4 education is not enough to sit for the PMP examination.

If you have a diploma in your profession, then it is fine. It can be from any institution or college, as long as it says that this is a diploma in your profession.

2. Professional Experience in Project Management. You must have experience in managing projects. At least 4,500 hours of project management experience (almost equal to 3 years of managing projects), if you are a Degree holder. However if you have a Diploma, you need to show proof of having at least 7,500 hours of project management experience, (worth about 5 years of project management experience).

Now your title or designation on these projects may not necessarily have to be of a “Project Manager”. You may be called a Project Engineer, Senior Engineer, Team Leader, Tear Manager, or a functional title like Finance Manager, IT Manager or the likes. This is fine, as long as you were managing projects – were responsible for the budget, managing the resources, working with the customers, team members, management, stakeholders, vendors and contractors. You had key responsibilities, and you worked in all the areas of project management.

3. The third key requirement is to have a formal education on Project Management. At least a full 35 hours ( called 35 PDUs – Professional Development Units) of formal PM education. 1 PDU is equivalent to 1 hour of project management training.

Previously people used to go to intensive 4-5 day PMP Boot camps. However, it is sheer information overload, and it is best to avoid it if you can. Now a days, it is better to go for Online PMP Exam Preparation Training. You can study at your own pace, and watch online lessons again and again. Our own PMChamp Online PMP Training has helped thousands of project managers in achieving the PMP Certification quickly. It gives you the required 35 PDUs too. Best of both worlds.

If you have any questions about your eligibility, do post your question in the comments below, and I will provide you with answers.

All the best for attaining your PMP Credential…

Vinai Prakash, PMP
Founder of PMChampProviding tips & tricks for PMP Credential aspirants.

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50 thoughts on “PMP Exam – Eligibility Criteria”

  1. respected sir,
    i am student of biotechnology 2nd year. i just wanted to ask you if i am eligible to appear for this exam after i complete my graduation.
    sir pls do reply to my mail pls.

  2. Hi Vinai, what actually qualifies as Project Mgmt experience?
    i am a manager in a shared service center (or you can say BPO to make it more simple) back end transaction of order management billing. I have a team of 3 team leads who intern managage 35 processors. So i can say my team is 38 people.
    I have stake holder(sales team, customer relationship manager) who tell us to create a order and follow up with us to bill the order and make any necessary credits as needed. Note: we do not directly work with external customer. My role does not involve budgeting, but my next level. This activity was transitioned from a different location to Bangalore when i was hired as Manager to run this function. It alreay had SLA and SOW handed over to us to adhere and report periodically. We also have process owner team who implement any change in process, yes i am also involved in the discussion and to implement its basically layman approach of documenting and telling the team the changes to start following.
    I bill my working hours to a particular code meant only for Order Managment.

    Does my role qualify as project managment experience? And what records i need to submit to PMI for evaluating my experience.?
    Thanks in advance for all your help. Please let me know if you need any more information.
    If you are ok, please let me know your contact number via my email id, i would like to have a quick telephonic discussion.

    • Hi Shafaquath Ali,

      Thanks for writing. To clarify, Operations like handling service tickets, routine operations, backend support is not considered as a Project. A project is a unique endevour that produces a unique output, service or result, as per the PMBOK Guide. I see that you have team responsibility, with people reporting to you, but you seem to be managing Service Level Agreements. This leads me to believe that your work is operational in nature. It is possible that you may be having projects within service organizations – improving customer satisfaction, reducing errors or problems etc… but for such projects – you need to have a clear statement of work, a charter, budget, timeline etc. If you are working on such projects, then you can consider your experience to be valid for the PMP exam.

      Let me know if this helps.


  3. Respected Sir, I am Btech CSE 2010 pass out working in an MNC as a fresher and put into project management operations .I dont know how i will grow in my career please suggest me which is best for me to excel in my career.Basically i am in people enablement team .Please sir help me i will be ever grateful to you

    • you should opt for the CAPM exam conducted by PMI. It is suitable for freshers without much experience. Search for more information on PMI website or on the PMCHAMP website to see if CAPM is better for you.

  4. Hi Vinai,

    I am currently in my last year of graduation however have close to 7 years of project management experience in ITES. Am I eligible to give the PMP exam or do I need to complete my graduation for the same?

    • PMI has only 3 requirements – a degree or diploma, 36 months (for degree holders) and 60 months (for diploma holders) of experience in managing and handling projects, and a 35 PDU certificate of attending a formal education on project management. If you have these 3, you can apply for the PMP exam. If you don’t have the degree yet, you can use your diploma, and put in 7500 hours of experience to give the PMP exam – Vinai

  5. Hello,
    I have done my 10+2 and after that completed Diploma Engg in Electronics and Telecom from Mumbai Univ, and had also done a Distance learning of DOEACC “A” Level in Computer Applications.
    Currently I have a total 9 years of working (Software) Experience.
    Can I show 4500 hours of project management experience or I have to show 7500 hours of project management experience?
    Kindly guide.


  6. Hi Vinay,

    I am currently working as a project manager and I almost have 5 years of experience in learning professional field. And currently I am doing my Diploma in Project Management.

    Am I eligible for applying and writing PMP exam? Please let me know.



    • PMI has only 3 requirements – a degree or diploma, 36 months (for degree holders) and 60 months (for diploma holders) of experience in managing and handling projects, and a 35 PDU certificate of attending a formal education on project management. If you have these 3, you can apply for the PMP exam.

  7. Dear Sir,

    I am currently working as a Project Manager and i almost have 16 years of experience in IT field. Last 4 year i am working as a Project Manager destination. Thru Distance Learning i completed my Degree (Bachelor of Computer Application – BCA) 2010-2011 at Madurai Kamaraj University.

    I am putting Project management experience (2008 to 2012). The project experience 2010-2011 can be show? The reason why i am asking the question here, i earned BCA degree at (2010-2011) thru distance learning.

    Please advise,


  8. Hi Vinesh,

    Is there any duration limit on the validity of 35 PDU’s that one earns from a formal education?

    One of my fried’s earned 35 PDU’s in Feb 2010 and he appeared in exams in July 2012. I have been told from various sources that there is no duration limit but it is better to appear in exams ASAP.

  9. Hi Vinai,

    I am not a holder of 4 year degree(As mentioned in PMI website). I am Bsc graduate, 3 years degree holder and working in the IT product and bank industry for nearly 10 years.
    But, relevant project management experience as follows: would require your valuable input/advice whethe i am eligible to write PMP.

    ==>Worked with Banking industry under operations for 5 years. – This would not be considered. I am aware.
    ==>Worked with an IT Product vendor for 2 years under implementation team for various bank projects and also involved in Presales activities of various banks.
    ==>Working in IT division of a UAE bank for nearly 18 months under strategic projects team on implementaion of new banking product.

    Please validate my eligibility. Looking forward. Thanks in advance.


    • Mathan,
      3 year degree is fine. your bank and UAE experience should be enough to qualify for the PMP exam. No harm in filling up the form. You do not pay anything until your application gets approved. But you must get the 35 PDU formal education in PM. You can use the PMchamp online video coaching for PMP exam – it has helped hundreds of students from India, Middle East, US, UK etc.

      cheers – Vinai

  10. I have a Master’s degree, +3 yrs in PM activities, but i have lost my bachelors certificate while the master’s certificate is intact. Pls advice.

  11. Hi Vinai – I have done BSc (Computer Science) in regular degree college and later pursued Master of Computer Application through distance learning. Please let me know whether am I qualified to apply for PMP certification with having 4500 hours of Project Management. Thanks, Venkatesh

  12. Dear Sir,

    I am not a graduate but working as an Oracle DBA (I have done my certification in Orcale OCP)
    is it possible for me to appear for PMP certification?


  13. Hi Vinai,
    I am an engineering graduate and I have 4 years of experience in IT company. I am currently working as L2 application support. I have been working in this project from the past 4 years(this is my first and the only project) and I am planning to take the PMP exam. As per PMI, an indivudual should have 3600 hours of project management experience in all the 5 process groups/knowledge areas. So I am not sure whether I am eligible to take the PMP exam because I don’t know how to mention the project mgmt experience regarding initiation and closing of the project and I know if my application is selected for audit, it will be asked:)

    Thanks in advance for your advice:)

    • Sandesh,
      Thanks for writing. Do not think that Initiating & Closing are done only at the begining and end of the project. Initiating is called at the begining of each project phase. Similarly, the Closing is to close each phase… so you could spend hours in closing the design phase, or the implementation phase, and clock hours here.

      hope this helps – Vinai

  14. Hello Sir,

    I am having 4 years experience in Telecom core domain (which Include Operation & Maintenance), along with that we also have to maintain SLA for customer complaints & any real time Service Impacting Issue, does that make me eligible to go for PMP certification

    • Gaurav,
      experience in operations, support does not count towards project management experience. Were you doing any process improvement, or product improvement or enhancement projects? these can qualify towards PMP experience. Check out my other articles on PMP eligibility on to get more clarity. Also download the PMP Handbook from the website.

  15. Hi

    I have done my 3 year bachelors in Information technology (BIT) from IGNOU and then Post graduate programme (PGPe-Biz) from welinkar. Do i need to show 4500 hrs of experience or 7500 hrs . Though i have 10+2+3+2 =17 year education but i do not qualify for a degree(4 years) or Masters (as mine is a diploma) as per the PMI website

    Please help by guiding

    Pankaj Kumar

  16. Hi Vinai,

    I have completed 10 years of formal education and one year Diploma course.
    I have 16+ years experience in IT Domain and 6+ years in Project management. 10 + 1 Year diploma works for PMI exam?


    • Hi Karthik,

      Yes, if you have a diploma, then that is sufficient. All you need to do is to fill the Diploma details, and show your 5 years experience (7500 hours+) in the PMP application form.

      You also need a 35 PDU certificate to show formal education in Project Management. You can get it by attending the PMCHAMP online PMP coaching program at

      Hope this helps… All the Best – Vinai.

  17. Greetings Mr. Vinai,

    Hope doing good

    10+2 wid10 years experience in sales in different positions and desire to start own company and some advise me to go for PMP certification – so is PMP certification is useful and am eligible?

    Appreciate ur help

    • Hi Abdul,
      you seem to have a lot of experience. Yes, learning project management, and getting the PMP certification will certainly do a lot of benefit for you. And if you start your own company, it will be easier to pitch for jobs, as PMP is highly regarded. Plus you will learn a lot in preparing for the exam, which will help you in any management position.
      hope this helps – Vinai

  18. hi Vinai,
    in my company, its a very lean structure. my title says analyst , but my involvement is to participate right from RFP to closing. there os only one manager on my top to report for the project. i wpuld like to know if i am eligible to apply for PMP. please let me know.

    • hi Bala,

      Yes, you should be able to qualify for PMP, provided you have 3 years of working experience on projects. It does not matter if you are the 1 person team or not. A degree is needed too. The 35 contact hours can be obtained from attending the PMCHAMP online PMP coaching program.

  19. I am Raghav I have done my (I.T.) in 2014 and i am workingas a Dizitization Assistant in Ministry of culture from last two months so i am showing interest in doing pmp certification so i am eligible for this certification or not,kindly help me please mam

  20. hi vinai,
    I have done my BE and have been working in a power distribution company for last 8 years.First as an engineer in customer care then assistant manager and now as manager.For one year i also handled a new project on solar energy in my company.Now i want to get a PMP certification but have doubts if im eligiblle.

    Pl assist and would be glad if you could me through to the end.

  21. Hi Vinai,

    i have done my MBA in finance & i got 4years of experience in investment banking.

    i have no idea on project management, but i want to get into project management role. what would be the suitable option for me? PMP o Prince2 ? which one i can clear?


    • Boopalan,
      What kind of role are you doing currently? For PMP, you must have worked on projects for atleast 3 years – working with customers, managing the creation and delivery of the end objective, and getting projects completed successfully. If you have this, then you will be able to qualify for PMP. Contact me if you have further questions. email to

  22. Hello Vinai,

    I am BE computer & MBA marketing with 4 years of experience in IT software Marketing. Can I apply for this certification?


  23. I holds a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering (B.Eng) with 8 year experience in HVAC and a Master degree in Project Management, I am presently carying a maintenace of HVAC in SPDC in Nigeria for over 5 years, can i apply for PMP.

    • Hi David,

      You can sit for the PMP exam once you have atleast 3 years of experience working on projects ( in the last 8 years), and you attend a project management education program (worth 35 contact hours). You already have a bachelor’s degree.

      Check point number 2 above. If you have this, you can proceed to acquire the 35 Contact hours through our online PMP coaching at

      Hope this helps – Vinai

  24. I have 3 years experience as an Area Sales Manager leading sales teams, meeting targets and communicating with the vendors/distributors.
    Am I eligible to sit for a PMP exam? Provided that I have a sales background.
    What exactly is Project management experience for a Sales manager?

  25. I’ve been working as a Pre-sales Network designer in the Telecom sector for the past 7 years…My experience involves stakeholder management, schedule management……..etc, but all in the Pre-sales stage of course so our final output is the bid including the design documents and network requirements, So could this be considered as project management experience?

  26. Hi – I have done B.E.(regular 4yrs.) & a distance education course of 2 yrs . MBA in Project management. At present working in the field of project for the last 6 yrs & need to know whether i am eligible to apply PMP or need to undergo any 35PDU class.

    • Hi Vijay,

      Thanks for writing. yes it seems that you have the education qualifications and the project management experience too. You would need the 35 contact hours of formal project management education. Then you will be eligible to fill your PMP application and sit for the exam.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      All the best – Vinai

  27. Hi. I am engineer with a 5 year experience in projects handling. I started my work after my bachelors and then completed masters in science on a part time basis. I would be applying for the exam soon. Is it ok if I just mention about my bachelors degree ? I am sceptical that my Masters degree might raise a red flag and invite an audit. Although it is fine for me to be audited but the time duration for it is too long (90 days) and I am planning to take the exam in January.

  28. Along to my BSc in Electrical Engineering, I hold a Master of Engineering Management degree which covers a full course on project Management in which we covered the PMBOK. Can I sit for the PMP exam with this degree? Or do I still need to meet the 4,500 hours project management experience requirement?

    • Hi Babars,
      You have the degree qualifications for the PMP exam. But it does not give you any credits for doing a Masters in PM. You still need to attend a classroom on online training to meet the 35 contact hours of formal training. It will help you for the exam because the PMP exam is not based on theory alone. You must understand how it applies to real world project management, and be able to apply that knowledge to answer situational questions in the PMP exam. You also must meet the 4500 hours of project management experience, which can be accumulated from at least 3 years of working experience. Hope this helps… cheers – Vinai


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