PMP® Certification Requirements

Ensuring you meet the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification requirements is the first step to becoming PMP certified. PMP eligibility is based on academic education, project management experience, and project management professional training. Once you have satisfied the eligibility criteria, you can submit your application online via PMI’s online portal. A small percentage of applications will be put through a random auditing process, more information about this below. After approval, you can take your PMP exam at your nearest Pearson VUE test center. The computer-based exam allows you to receive your score immediately. Upon passing, you are approved to use the PMP credential for 3 years. During this time must earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) to maintain your PMP status for an additional 3 years.

For complete eligibility documentation, please review the PMP certification requirements within the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Handbook.

PMP Certification Requirements

Video: PMP Certification Requirements | Eligibility Criteria

PMP Certification Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Requirement Four-Year Degree Secondary Degree*
Years of Project Management Experience 3 Years (36 Months) 5 Years (60 Months)
Hours Leading & Directing Projects 4,500 Hours 7,500 Hours
Hours of Project Management Education 35 Hours 35 Hours

* A secondary degree is defined as a high school diploma, associate's degree, or global equivalent.

Requirement Details

Academic Education

  • Indicate whether you have a secondary diploma or a degree. You will need the name of the institution, the year you graduated, and the major.

Project Management Experience

  • The experience must be leading or directing projects that are non-overlapping, cumulative across all process groups, and within the last eight (8) years to be counted on the PMI PMP application. Refer to the above table for full experience requirements.

Project Management Education

  • You will need to show 35 contact hours of project management education, preferably covering initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. PMTI plans ahead for our students and provides an inclusive online course so you qualify for this requirement even prior to attend the class.

Tip: It is incredibly important that you do not falsify any of the information in your application. PMI has a random audit process which requires anyone being audited to present evidence to validate all information submitted with their application. Falsifying application documentation will result in a complete ban from all future attempts to obtain any PMI certification including PMP.

To simplify the entire process of PMP application, you can optionally use the PMTI PMP Application Exam Prep Tool after you register for one of PMTI’s PMP Exam Prep classes to help facilitate your application documentation.

PMP Certification Application Process

PMP Application Submission

You can submit your PMP application on PMI's certification website, You will need to submit the following information (terminology borrowed directly from the PMP application):

  • Contact Address
    • Home Address
    • Work Address
  • Contact Information
    • Email Address
    • Phone Number
  • Attained Education
    • School or University
      • Address
    • Highest Level of Education Attained
    • Year Degree Awarded
    • Field of Study
  • Requirements
    • Project Management Experience (Per Project)
      • Project Title
      • Start Date
      • End Date
      • Project Role
      • Primary Industry
    • Project Management Education
      • Course Title
      • Institution Name
      • Course Start Date
      • Course End Date
      • Hours
      • Qualifying Hours
  • Certificate
    • Full Name for Certificate

PMP Application Fees

Cost Category PMI® Member Non-Member
PMI® Membership Fee $139 N/A
PMP Exam Fee $405 $555
PMP Re-Take Fee $275 $375

For more information on the complete value of being a PMI member, see our PMP Certification Guide.

PMP Application Audit Process

Why Does PMI Audit PMP Applications?

In order to maintain the integrity of the PMP certification and enhance the credibility of PMP Certification holders, PMI routinely conducts random audits on a certain percentage of the PMP exam applications. Although PMI does not publish what percentage gets audited, our sixteen years of experience shows about one in four or five of the applications get audited.

How Will I Know If I'm Being Audited?

As soon as you submit your application, PMI will notify if your application is selected for an audit. You will also receive an email from PMI with links to audit documents that you need to complete. If you haven't received this notification immediately, your application is now under review. Remember, PMI may still return your application for various reasons including roles and experience that do not qualify as project management related.

I'm Being Audited by PMI, What Do I Do Now?

While the auditing process may appear intimidating just from the phrase, it is really not as long as you follow the steps outlined by PMI. As part of our application prep tool assistance process we provide several tips that will simplify this process and will make it easy for you to navigate.

Once PMI informs you of your audit, you will be able to download the PMP application audit package. This audit package will contain instructions for providing verifications for the various items submitted with your PMP application. You will have ninety (90) days to submit the audit documents. PMI will require you to provide proof of:

  • Academic Education:
    • This could be a copy of your education stated in your application. If you do not have a copy of the certificate or if the certificate is too big to copy, PMI will accept transcripts. Most schools and universities will provide a means of verification upon request.
  • Project Management Education:
    • This refers to the 35 contact hours of training you have included in your PMP exam application. Most companies will provide a certificate and a copy of this certificate should suffice. If you did not receive a certificate as part of the training, a letter from a manager and/or training group indicating the DETAILS of the training will be required. Please ensure it states the number of hours you spent in training. The training must be in areas related to project management in the 5 process groups.
    • Tip: If you have used PMTI’s PMP certification training (online or classroom) for the 35 contact hour PM Education requirement, all you have to do is inform PMTI about the training requirement and we will send you a certificate after verification.
  • Project Management Experience:
    • As part of the PMI audit package stated above, you will be able to download individual Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version of files of each of your position experience to verify. This document details your experience, requests the supervisor’s contact information, and provides PMI’s contact information.
    • When verifying your experience, it is essential that the supervisor:
      • Legibly signs all the position(s) experience
      • Puts the signed document in an envelope
      • Seals the envelope and signs across the flap
      • And, sends the sealed envelope back to YOU and not to PMI!
    • The last step is critical since PMI states on their website that they sometimes get individual envelopes from the supervisor. PMI prefers all experience verification envelopes are sent at one time.
    • Tip: If there is one supervisor who was your manager at many positions, they can fill out the information and sign one of the position verification forms and initial the rest.
    • Tip: Make sure you put all your verification forms in one single big envelope and overnight it with signature required. This will ensure you have proof it has been received.
    • Send the information to PMI's Global Operations Center:
      • PMI Global Operations Center
      • 14 Campus Blvd.
      • Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299. United States

How Long Is The Audit Approval Process?

Although PMI’s official line is that it will take then 5-7 days to approve the application, we have seen that applications verifications sent overnight get approved within only a couple of days.

Approval & Eligibility Period

If your application is not selected for an audit upon submission, it generally takes PMI® 5 business days to review your application and respond. On the other hand, if you were selected for an audit, PMI will wait until they receive your completed audit documents to verify they are accurate and complete to approve your application. So, plan accordingly.

Paying for the PMP exam

Once your application is approved, you will receive an invitation to pay for the exam at PMI's website. Once the payment is made, you will receive a PMI Eligibility ID both online and by email.

PMP Examination Process

Scheduling the Exam

Once you have been approved and paid to take the PMP certification exam, you can schedule your exam with Pearson VUE at You will have one year to take the exam from the time your application has been approved and you may take the exam up to 3 times during this eligibility period. You can find a complete list of testing locations on the Pearson VUE website. Alternatively, you can find Pearson VUE test center information for your city at PMTI PMP class pages. Here is a list of PMP test centers for Chicago.

Take the PMP Exam

The PMP Exam is taken at your nearest Pearson VUE test center and is 200 questions with a 4 hour time limit. The questions are broken down into 5 process groups; Initiation (13%), Planning (24%), Executing (30%), Monitoring and Controlling (25%), Closing (8%). Because of the computer based exam, you will receive your score immediately.

If your test results show that you received a passing score in each of the 5 process groups, congratulations! You are now a PMP! You may use the PMP credential immediately for the next 3 years! During this time you must earn 60 additional Professional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain your certification. To learn more about earning or reporting PDUs refer to PMI's Continuing Certification Requirements Program documentation.

I Failed my PMP, Now What?

The PMP certification exam is a very difficult exam and non-passing scores are no need for alarm. If you have failed an attempt it is extremely important not to get discouraged. You have 3 attempts per year to pass the PMP certification exam. Here are some simple next steps you can take to get ready for your next attempt.

If you are a PMTI student, simply let PMTI know and we will assist you with preparations to retake the test. With the PMTI guarantee backed by our dedicated instructors, our 11-page detailed retake study plan, and our online learning tools, you can feel confident you will be ready before your next test. After following your customized study plan, you simply need to schedule your 2nd PMP exam attempt through Pearson VUE.

If you are not a PMTI student, you should take your detailed score report and note the areas where you scored below proficient. Re-read the PMBOK® Guide , paying particular attention to areas you noted. When you feel you are ready, you can re-schedule your exam with Pearson VUE.

The fee to retake the test is $275 for PMI® members and $375 for non-members. Please visit the PMTI guarantee for details.

I Passed my PMP Exam, Now What?

Congratulations!! You have achieved one of the most difficult certifications in the project management industry. You have attained an important milestone in your career. Time to celebrate now!! Your PMP certification is valid for 3 years. Within three years, you need to acquire 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) to maintain your PMP credential. You can claim maximum of 8 PDUs for being a project management practitioner as part of your job. You can claim 17 PDUs by means of "Other Giving Back", and a minimum of 35 PDUs as part of the continuing education. You must earn a minimum of 8 PDUs in each of the categories of Technical Project Management, leadership, and Strategic and Business Management.

If you are a PMTI student, we offer FREE online courses that are qualified to provide remaining 52 PDUs when you enroll in our PMP training courses*.

If you are not a PMTI student,you can enroll in our other certification courses that are qualified to provide the PDUs. Other courses to consider are PMI-ACP certification (24 PDUs), Risk Management Course (24 PDUs), Critical Chain Management (24 PDUs), Earned Value Management (24 PDUs). Click here for our PDU courses.

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