this is my first question on this board as I've stumbled over it on my internet search for my question...

I'm pursuing my PhD in Biomedical Engineering, have done a several industrial internships (overseas and in Canada) and I've supervised two summer and three project/honours students, I had to do some budgetting and I did all my experimental design and time management myself and I was VP Finances (budgetting) of our graduate students' association.

4500 experience hours equal about two to three years worth of work.

Would all the work that I've done so far count towards the necessary experience to go into the PMP exam?

  • 5
    I would recommend reviewing the answers to PMP Experience Documentation and sending any specific questions to PMI Customer Care.
    – jcmeloni
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 21:06
  • 1
    @jcemloni is correct; it doesn't make sense to ask the Internet if an organization will accept your credentials when you can just ask the organization directly. Commented Mar 17, 2012 at 0:56

8 Answers 8


Scientific studies are projects. There are certainly PMs in pharma, bioengineering, medicine, and research and development. Not sure if the studies you did or are doing for your PhD and your dissertation would contain all of the facets required for the PMP application, but it would seem to me you could try. Worst case is some of the hours will not be approved.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer! That sounds very promising, I might also try and find some kind of advisor at PMI that could give me more infos.
    – Jochen
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 13:57

The hours do sound like they would qualify, but there are a few other requirements that must be met (e.g. 35 contact hours of training). Check on the PMI's site.


As a hiring manager at Google, I was never able to hire a PMP certified candidate. Hiring committees do the deciding, and as far as I could tell, PMP certification worked AGAINST candidates. Having a Ph.D. was seen as a plus, at least for the roles (Technical, Technical Parter Management) I was hiring for.


I think it will count. To think any one educational experience will make a company go bankrupt is an uneducated statement. I have worked with a PhD who could not manage team communications as well as my students in a project management curriculum. I know great PMPs who can't manage technology well but are great with construction including the #1 JW Marriott in the world when built. I am a PMP and do fine myself, bring on development projects, construction projects, and more!


I have a doctorate in education. I have served as a dissertation research chair supervisor for the last 8 years. I would like to use my experience as a dissertation research chair as project management experience. I currently serve as adjunct professor at a university. I have had several of my students complete their doctoral research in education.
The dissertation has several components: Introduction and Problem Statement, Purpose, Research Questions, Theoretical Framework, Literature Review, Methodology, Data Analysis, and Conclusion, Discussion, Implication, and Recommendations. The research process also include 3 milestones which are proposal defense, IRB approval, and final research defense. I was wondering if there was a template that I could use to convert my work experience to the PMP management process groups. Any insight in how I should approach converting my work experience would be appreciated. I have created a chart that maybe useful for those who are professors who serve as research chairs



If it can, should it?

Don't underestimate the lessons from the school of hard knocks. If you shortcut your way to a credential, you may set yourself up for trouble on the other side when the employer has higher expectations. Think about someone smart who gets their Phd from a mail order diploma mill, then struggles when the employer expects them to do original research.

  • I think the OP was specifically asking about the qualification of credit for either PM experience hours or PM education hours for PMI certification.
    – jcmeloni
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 14:37
  • 2
    A Ph.D is a huge accomplishment that takes years of hard work and dedication to achieve. The question is whether or not it counts as PM experience, and I would hardly count Ph.D experience as a shortcut.
    – jmort253
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 1:04
  • It's not project management though.
    – MathAttack
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 2:01

We're a small shop; 20 developers and about as many admin/marketting people. I'm co-owner; 30 years in IT, I've always designed, developed, managed and sold my products. My partner talked me into hiring a couple of "PMP" certified managers.

Nearly bankrupt us. The overhead, in terms of time and effort, trebled our turn-around. Instead of affecting problems, everything was staged, couched and discussed.

Fired them both, hired a BA and we're back on track.

Lesson: If someone has never cracked a development environment, never written a line of professional software, do not hire them to manage your IT project. The Fed, states and banks can afford this bureaucratic crap, but real companies can't.

  • 3
    The PMP is a general PM certificate. It no more indicates a capability of software development than it does brick laying. So, if all you did was hire a PMP with no other examination of other Ks, Ss, and As, then they are not the cause of your near bankruptcy..... Furthermore, drawing a conclusion based on a "couple" of observations is so myopic it is nearly blind. Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 22:18
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    The lesson is somewhat valuable. The bile is less valuable to the pm.stackexchange community. I'd be interested in some constructive criticism - how does the BA help where the PMP did not? We could potentially learn a lot from that distinction.
    – MCW
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 10:43

Honestly with a phd you are good to go on any project. It all depends on your drive. as you have all the requirements to excel on any project either technical or non-technical. I would say you should face any interview panel and politely tell them what you had done in the past, on your projects and how you will improve their business. goal getting and confidence is the key.

  • 1
    This is an opinion, and does not attempt to answer the question of whether a PhD meets the qualifying documentation criteria for the PMP exam.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 22:46

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