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First, I hope this is not personalized question, as the type of experiences I mention below might be part of anybody's profile. Hence, I hope my question will be helpful for others as well.

There are three parts of my job history that I need to know if they fit into PMP experience or not, as follows:

  1. Teaching undergraduate classes (2 years): This was part time job, but I was involved in planning the curriculum, preparing the materials, lecturing and grading.
  2. Master thesis project (three semesters full time), I worked on a software project, that I prepared the proposal for, obtained fund, carried out the tasks and delivered the results.
  3. Support position (1 year full time) : This is daily tasks of an ongoing support project, I was involved in executing these tasks, and delivering the results - I assume it entirely falls into execution phase.

These parts of my job history are my concerned, I have other parts where I led software projects in corporate environment. However, without these parts (or at least part of them) I would not be able to meet the minimum requirements for PMP (i.e., 36 months, and 4500 hours).

As my PM experience is in fact scattered over few countries, and it is little hard for me to be in touch with relevant people; I need to know first if my experience warrants me to apply for PMP, before I initiate connections with my former supervisors.

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    Having most of the experience under academic environment, wouldn't be the case of think twice around why going straight into a PMP? I'd say you should go first for a CAPM, get a position where you can expand your management knowledge and then into PMP. Having that said, the correct institution to state whether your experience is valid or not is PMI. Answers here would not be canonical and thus, not quite useful to the community, IMHO. – Tiago Cardoso May 2 '15 at 11:04
  • @TiagoCardoso Thank you for your comment. The above experience is part of my job history. The most recent part of my job history was 2 years of industrial experience, of which, one year as a team lead. However, these two years do not meet the minimum requirements for PMP, I still need to dig a bit in my academic history for help. In addition, I am planning for PMP as I seek job changing to a manager position, and I thought this will solidify my management skills. – Hawk May 3 '15 at 12:01
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ONLY PMI can answer this question; any advice you get here isn't worth a hill of beans.

I suspect however that the answer is strongly influenced by how well you document the project management activities involved in these work experiences.

  1. Teaching undergraduate classes (2 years): This was part time job, but I was involved in planning the curriculum, preparing the materials, lecturing and grading. Lecturing is probably closer to operations than to project management. Grading could be an activity that demonstrates your experience in quality assessment. Planning and preparing the curriculum includes the key word "Planning" and probably can be documented to show your experience in project management. The answer depends on how you participated. If you scheduled the work, documented the scope, designed or performed quality audits, these are all PM activities. The process of decomposing terminal objectives into enabling objectives and then into lesson plans is a very strong analogue to building a WBS; if you did that during curriculum design, I believe you can document that as PM experience. .
  2. Master thesis project (three semesters full time), I worked on a software project, that I prepared the proposal for, obtained fund, carried out the tasks and delivered the results. This almost certainly counts; you'll need to break down the hours you spent and map them out to the PM process areas. A software project is a novel and discrete deliverable; activities to support production of that deliverable are almost by definition project management activities.
  3. Support position (1 year full time) : This is daily tasks of an ongoing support project, I was involved in executing these tasks, and delivering the results - I assume it entirely falls into execution phase. The phrases "daily tasks" and "ongoing support" indicate that this is probably an operations activity outside the scope of project management.

Having said all that, I think you're looking at the problem in a sub-optimal way. I suggest you get one of the spreadsheets available (example) and look at the process areas, then think back through your experience to identify times when you carried out that process area. Even when you're working in an operational position, there are duties that you'll carry out as though they were a project. (every task is a project), and if you can identify those activities, you can document those as time spent doing project management. Part of my documentation (that passed an audit) was work I did on system assessments. Very repetitive, no discrete outcome; not a project. I was able to show however that in order to be successful, I had spent considerable hours on stakeholder management, scheduling, scope definition and management, etc. I treated the tasks as projects that supported my operations and PMI agreed.

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A couple of points to remember:

  1. The PMP designation is really targeted at people who have been in-role as a PM for a reasonable period of time. CAPM and PRINCE2 are more targeted at people getting into the field.
  2. PMI requires your experience to be in "leading and directing projects", so just being on a project or being gainfully employed won't count.

With these in mind, to me your work in a support position would not count and your work teaching undergrad classes is iffy at best. Your Masters project seems to have the most alignment.

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