I am interested in working towards my PMP certification. I have a 3 year BSc degree from someplace in Canada which I got back in the mid 1980s. As I read the requirements, they specify a 4 year Bachelors would be required. So I guess I am in the other group which needs 7500 hours experience. Do I read this correctly?

Also, I work for a small company. Our software development projects go on for years. I am project manager on a number of our large projects, but since we are a small company I have to do much of the programming work myself, for example.

So I am managing the team of programmers for the entire development phase of the project, but I also do my share of programming.

The development phase might take two years and I am managing this aspect of the project the whole time, interacting with team members, the customers and other stakeholders, etc. But the actual time spent 'managing' is smaller than the amount of time 'working'.

Can I just take the whole two year term of the project that I managed as applicable experience or do I have to go through my work log and pick out only the moments in time where I was not doing project work?

If I can only use active management time and not the time for the programming tasks I assigned myself I cannot see that I would ever be able to get 7500 hours management experience while working at a small company.


3 Answers 3


The PMP handbook says that you need the "global equivalent" of a bachelor's degree. PMI can't know or dictate the graduation requirements for higher learning institutions all around the world. I can't imagine they would quibble over one year in a degree that you earned three decades ago, is recognized as a bachelor's degree in Canada, and predates the current PMP requirements by a long time. I don't think you have to worry about reaching 7500 hours.

The handbook also says, "if you worked on multiple projects at one time, all the hours count toward the total." So the 36 months of experience must not overlap, but the hours can. This might help you if you have worked on more than one project at a time.

I would be more concerned about accumulating the 35 hours of formal education. These have to be "classroom instruction" but don't have to be PDU's. Self-directed learning like reading books or websites will not be accepted.


I think you should write to PMI customer service to get a clarification on your degree status. I believe they will allow you to showcase only 4500 hours.

You should read this article. I think, it will answer some of your Q - 25 Frequently Asked Question on PMI PMP Audit Process (http://www.pmbypm.com/pmi-pmp-audit-process/)

Let me describe the complete PMP procedure.

PMP Requirements

There are 2 requirements to appear for PMP certification -

  • Project Management Experience
  • 35 hours of Project Management Education

Regarding Project Management Experience

You need 4500 hrs of experience if you have done 4 years of degree (bachelors degree or equivalent). Other wise if you have a diploma of equivalent then you need 7500 hrs of experience.

The PM experience should be in a leading & directing role. So, PM role is must before doing PMP. However, PM role is not equivalent to PM designation/title. PM role means that you should have managed full or part of a project. Your role in the project could be of vendor management, team management, client management etc. The projects could be related to any industry. They could be big or small, technical or non-technical etc.

You can read more about the details of 4500 hours of experience here - (http://www.pmbypm.com/go/4500-hours-explanation-cornelius-ficthner/)

Regarding 35 contact hours

You can get them through a PMP training. A training can be done in 3 different modes: 1. Self-learning online training 2. Instructor-led online training 3. Regular classroom training

Out of these self-learning courses are least expensive while classroom courses are most expensive. You can get an self-learning course for less than $50. The price and availability of the classroom courses varies with the region. The classroom courses are generally available only in the big cities. You can check on Internet is there is a PMP training provider in your region. More important is to check if the trainer is good or not. If the trainer’s feedback is not good, it is better to go for an instructor-led online training.

I have done a comparison of popular online training courses - both self-learning courses and instructor-led courses. Out of all the options, self-learning courses are the cheapest.

If you are looking for a self-learning option, you should read comparison of popular self-learning online PMP training courses (Best Self-Learning PMP Online Training Course (http://www.pmbypm.com/best-self-learning-pmp-online-training-course/)). It will help you in determining which is the best one for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an instructor led option, then You can read comparison of popular instructor-led online PMP training courses (Best Instructor-Led Online PMP Training Course (http://www.pmbypm.com/best-instructor-led-online-pmp-training-course/)) You can also refer to the complete guide to PMP certification (How to get PMP Certification (http://www.pmbypm.com/go/complete-guide-pmp-cornelius-fichtner/))

All the best.


In addition to the other answers I want to point out that (according to the Project Management Professional Handbook, a PDF available at PMI):

All project management experience must have been accrued within the last eight consecutive years prior to your application submission.

So for calculating the eligible hours of experience it is noteworthy that a full time job amounts for approx. 1,800 hours a year. As you have pointed out doing technical work outside the role of a project manager does not count towards that.

Can I just take the whole two year term of the project that I managed as applicable experience or do I have to go through my work log and pick out only the moments in time where I was not doing project work?

According to my understanding (and backed by the feedback of my certified boot camp instructor) it is not neccessary to do a detailed calculation. Doing a rough but of course honest (!) and realistic estimate of the amount of time spent on managerial tasks vs. technical work should do fine. For 7,500 hours that would mean roughly half of your working time has to be devoted to project management tasks (approx. a third for the required 4,500 hours). You'll have to figure out how the proportions of tasks of work have been so far.

In determining the required experience however I want to point out to consider what a project is:

It's a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

That definition is quite broad. According to the instructor of the boot camp I attended this includes numerous things in and outside the work place, such as doing anything related to project management outside the work place, e.g. in charity work or a nonprofit association. In any case: be honest and clearly explain your role in the project team, the tasks completed, and the time spent on managerial tasks when listing such items.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.