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How to complete the 35 contact hours of PMP exam?



How to complete the 35 contact hours of PMP exam?

Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a highly esteemed credential for project managers worldwide. Administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), PMP certification validates a professional's expertise in project management principles and practices.

One of the most significant advantages of obtaining the 35 contact hours is the exposure to standardized project management practices and principles.

Through formal training courses, workshops, or self-study materials, candidates gain a deep understanding of project management processes, tools, and techniques. This exposure helps them develop a common language and framework to approach projects, enabling effective communication and collaboration with fellow project managers and stakeholders.

The pursuit of 35 contact hours reflects an individual's commitment to professional development and continuous improvement. Project managers who invest time and effort in acquiring these hours demonstrate their dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest project management methodologies and practices. This proactive approach to learning is an essential trait for successful project managers, especially in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

To qualify, candidates must meet certain educational and experience PMP requirements and obtain 35 contact hours of project management education. This resource blog aims to provide an in-depth and authentic guide to achieving the required 35 contact hours for the PMP exam.

Understanding the Importance of 35 Contact Hours

The 35 contact hours are a mandatory prerequisite for PMP certification. These hours are designed to ensure that aspiring PMP candidates receive adequate and relevant project management education, enabling them to excel in the exam and their project management careers. One contact hour equates to one hour of actual project management education delivered by a qualified instructor or through approved training programs.

Eligibility Criteria for the PMP Exam

Before diving into the methods of acquiring the 35 contact hours, it is essential to understand the eligibility criteria for the PMP exam. As per Project Management Institute’s (PMI) last update in September 2021, the eligibility requirements are as follows:

Educational Background

A four-year degree (bachelor's degree) or global equivalent: Candidates must have at least three years of project management experience, during which they should have accumulated 36 months of leading and directing projects.

A secondary diploma (high school diploma) or global equivalent: Candidates must have at least five years of project management experience, during which they should have accumulated 60 months of leading and directing projects.

Project Management Education

In addition to the required project management experience, all candidates must obtain 35 contact hours of formal project management education. This is where the focus of this resource lies.

Methods to Obtain 35 Contact Hours

To acquire the 35 contact hours, aspiring PMP candidates have various options to choose from. These methods include:

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Formal PMP Training Courses

Enroll in a formal PMP training course offered by PMI Authorized Training Partners (ATPs) or other reputable training organizations. These courses are typically designed to cover the PMI Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and other relevant project management topics.

University or College Courses

Participate in project management courses offered by accredited universities or colleges. These courses often include a comprehensive curriculum that aligns with the PMBOK guidelines.

Online Training

Engage in online PMP training programs offered by reputable organizations. These courses provide flexibility and accessibility, allowing candidates to study at their own pace.

Corporate Training

Many organizations offer in-house project management training programs for their employees. If such training aligns with the PMBOK, candidates can claim the contact hours earned.

Workshops and Seminars

Participate in project management workshops, seminars, and conferences, as some of these events may offer qualifying contact hours.

Verifying Course Eligibility

It is crucial to ensure that the chosen training or educational program meets PMI's eligibility criteria. Before enrolling in any course, candidates should verify the following:

PMI ATP Status

Check if the training provider is a PMI premier Authorized Training Partner (ATP), as courses offered by premier ATPs are pre-approved by PMI for fulfilling the 35 contact hours requirement.

Course Content

Review the course content to ensure it aligns with the PMBOK guide and covers essential project management topics and the PMP exam content outline.

Instructor Qualifications

Verify that the instructors are qualified and experienced in project management to provide authentic and relevant education.

Utilizing Self-Study Materials

For candidates who prefer self-study over formal courses, there are several resources available to gain the required 35 contact hours:


The PMBOK Guide, published by PMI, serves as the foundation for the PMP exam. Candidates can study this guide and claim the hours spent as self-directed learning.

Online Video Courses

Several online platforms offer video courses covering project management topics, allowing candidates to accumulate contact hours while learning at their own pace.

Educational Books and Guides

There are various books and study guides available in the market that focus on PMP exam preparation, and some of these may count towards the required contact hours.

Documenting Contact Hours

Once candidates have completed their chosen educational programs or self-study materials, they must ensure proper documentation of the contact hours. This documentation will be required when submitting the PMP application to PMI.

Course Completion Certificates

For formal training programs, candidates will receive a course completion certificate that specifies the number of contact hours completed. Retain these certificates for verification.

Self-Study Logs

For self-study, maintain a log detailing the topics studied, the time spent, and any supporting materials used. This log will help validate the claimed contact hours during the application process.


Obtaining the required 35 contact hours for the PMP exam is a critical step towards achieving the highly regarded PMP certification. Aspiring candidates have various options to choose from, including formal training courses, university programs, online education, workshops, and self-study materials. Regardless of the chosen method, it is essential to ensure that the selected educational program aligns with PMI's requirements and covers relevant project management topics. By diligently completing the 35 contact hours, candidates will be well-prepared to tackle the PMP exam and enhance their project management expertise significantly.

Moreover, the 35 contact hours educational journey provides aspiring PMP candidates with ample opportunities to interact with experienced instructors and industry peers. These interactions allow candidates to share real-world project management experiences, gain valuable insights, and build a professional network within the project management community. Collaborating with like-minded professionals fosters a culture of continuous learning and growth, which is essential for success in this dynamic field.

With the globally recognized and respected PMP certification, professionals who earn it open doors to exciting career opportunities and advancement possibilities. Also, a PMP certification job gives opportunity to individuals to significantly incentivize their salaries.

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