Global Project Management League

PMP Certification Requirements

The Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is a key to a brighter future ahead. But passing the PMP Certification isn’t as simple as taking a typical test, which usually just requires you to memorize correct answers and spit them out on a piece of paper.

To earn the PMP Certification, you will not only need to pass a test, but you’ll need to demonstrate proven real-world project management education and experience before you can even sit in on the exam. This proves that you have enough knowledge and skills to be PMP Certified.

Earning your PMP Certification is a commitment. That’s why it’s valuable. Now, let’s start with the most basic question: How do I know if I qualify to earn the PMP Certification?

4 Requirements You Must Meet to Earn your PMP Certification

Applying for the PMP certification is a process which involves obtaining a specific number of hours of experience and education. To start with your PMP certification journey, there are 4 requirements you must meet in order to earn your PMP certification.

1. Meet Certain Education Level depending on your professional experience.

2. Meet the Project Management Experience Requirements depending on your Education Level

3. Obtain Formal Project Management Training (35 Contact Hours).

4. Pass the PMP Exam.

The eligibility criteria of the PMP Certification before you can take the PMP Exam is based on the first three prerequisites below.

Education Level

To be eligible for the PMP certification, you must complete the required education level first. This certification is not just for those who have a four-year bachelor’s degree. A high school diploma is also acceptable. Moreover, PMI has just recently released that they are now accepting postgraduate degrees.


On the other hand, all these three paths require 35 hours of project management education.

Project Management Experience

The number of years of your project management experience varies depending on your education level. If you have a four-year college degree, you need to have three years of project management experience and five years for those who only have a high school diploma or an associate degree. Lastly, you only need a minimum of two years of professional project management experience if you have a postgraduate degree.

If you worked on multiple projects in a single month, only one of those projects can count. For example, if you worked on your first project from January to April and your second project from February to June, that won’t count as nine months in total. January to April would count as four months, plus the 2 months you’ve worked on from May to June. It doesn’t matter if some of your project management jobs are unpaid, as long as it happened in a professional environment.

The biggest risk you might encounter when applying for the PMP certification is being audited on your project management experience. But you don’t have to worry about it. You just need to get a signature from your leader certifying that you put that certain number of hours to work.

Formal Project Management Training

You need to have 35 contact hours of accredited or formal project management education before you can apply for the PMP Exam.

Contact hours is not just limited to taking a PMP exam prep course. You can fulfill your contact hours by completing courses, workshops and training one or more of the following education providers.

  • PMI registered education providers
  • PMI chapters
  • Company-sponsored programs
  • Training companies
  • Distance learning companies
  • University/college academic and continuing education programs

However, you also have to keep in mind that PMI chapter meetings and self-directed learning will not count towards your 35 contact hours.

To Meet the Qualification Prerequisites

Just recently, PMI released an update on the PMP certification that will take effect starting in July 2020. They removed the required 4500-7500 hours of leading and directing projects and added another path which allows aspirants who have a postgraduate degree to apply for the PMP certification with reduced requirements.


  • A four-year college degree (bachelor’s degree or global equivalent)
  • Three years of project management experience
  • 35 contact hours of accredited or formal project management education


  • A secondary degree (highschool or associate degree)
  • Five years of project management experience
  • 35 contact hours of accredited or formal project management education


  • A postgraduate degree (bachelor’s degree or master’s or global equivalent)
  • Two years of project management experience
  • 35 contact hours of accredited or formal project management education

If you meet the eligibility criteria above, then you can submit an application to sit in the PMP Exam.

The PMP Exam

The PMP Certification is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Once your PMP application is approved and you’ve paid for the exam costs, PMI will email you the instructions and certification eligibility code for scheduling your exam.

You just have to make sure you’ll take the exam within one year to avoid reapplication.

To earn your PMP certification, you need to pass the PMP Exam. Prepare for your upcoming PMP exam by choosing the right training provider to grow your skills and knowledge base. GPML’s Project Management training course gives you video lectures, study materials and practice questions that can build your confidence to sit for the exam.

The PMP Exam is composed of 200 multiple choice questions needed to be answered within four hours. The current PMP Exam covers five project management domains.

PMP Exam Content Outline - 2020

Starting January 2, 2021, the PMP Exam will be updated to a new content outline. From five domains, it will be down to three.

PMP Exam Content Outline - 2021

Maintaining Your PMP Certification

If you passed the PMP Exam, Congratulations! You’re now a PMP Certified project manager! But the journey doesn’t end just there. Your credential is valid for three years. You still have to work on your post-certification requirements to keep your PMP certification.

Continuing Education / Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR)

Once you earn your PMP Certification, you need to fulfill your PMP PDU requirements to maintain your credentials. As a PMP certified, it’s proven that you have enough knowledge and skills to perform the roles and responsibilities of a project manager.

After earning your credential, you have to improve your skills by earning 60 Personal Development Units (PDUs) over three years to maintain your certification.

Your Continuing Certification Requirements start as soon as you obtain your PMP Certification.

Every three years, you must show that you’ve earned 60 additional Professional Development Units (PDU) to maintain your credentials. PMI will audit your PDUs and decide whether these are valid. There are two different avenues to pursue your PDU:

  • Education – You need to engage in learning opportunities focusing on the PMI Talent Triangle.
  • Giving back to the profession – You need to use your knowledge and skills to contribute and build the project management profession.

Note that you need a minimum of 35 educational PDUs and give back a maximum of 25 PDUs to your profession to complete the required 60 PDUs.

The PMP Certification can massively affect your project management career for the better. After obtaining your credential, what’s left is your responsibility to comply with the requirements needed to maintain it.