What Are the Requirements to Take the PMP Exam?

Home The Savvy PM Blog What Are the Requirements to Take the PMP Exam?

bp 16 So, you’ve decided you want to be a PMP? Congratulations, you’ve just made it passed step one! Venturing onwards, there are a few requirements to get you to your PMP exam seat and out the door with three letters to add to your name.

First things first, I always recommend that you have a sense of familiarity with PMI, and their policies. After all, they are the ones making the rules!

In fact, let me take a moment to quote PMI’s official requirements to apply for the PMP exam:

  • A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.”


  • A four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.

Let’s focus on the “AND” at the end of each of those options, the contact hours. Many people will commonly mistake this terminology—contact hours and PDUs are not the same thing. Contact hours are considered the training you participate in leading up to the PMP exam. PDUs are the hours of training completed after you’ve become PMP certified (PS, you need 60 PDUs every 3 years).

Now that we have that clear, the total 35 contact hours can be earned from any of PMI’s Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s). There are quite a few to choose from, but don’t become overwhelmed! Take a moment to evaluate how you’ve successfully studied in the past. Online? Classroom environment? Break down the details and decide what factors matter the most to you. Overall, choose training that is structured with your busy schedule in mind.

For example, many R.E.Ps (like Velociteach) offer boot camp style training. It’s called a boot camp, because you will live and breathe PMP studies over the course of 3, sometimes 4 days. Knock it out quickly, so training doesn’t overload your schedule!

The option of online training is also beneficial when you need to access material at your own convenience. Online learners have to have a sense of determination—no procrastinators allowed.

Once you’ve obtained your contact hours, you’ll need to submit your application. It’s a lengthy application but on the bright side, you can save your progress when that much-needed coffee break arises. Check out this video that breaks down the application step-by-step for you.

From here, you’ve got the dedication, the training, and the experience. It’s time to get out there and become an industry-recognized PMP!

–Casey Pittman