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How to get 35 contact hours for PMP application

Updated on February 10, 2016
PMP exam training
PMP exam training

PMP exam application

If you want to grow in your management role and do not have the resources to do an MBA, PMP (Project Management Professional) is a great alternative choice for you. Many project managers have benefited by getting the PMP certification. This certification is recognized worldwide by major companies and government agencies as a standard for project management skills. In order to apply for the PMP exam, PMI (Project Management Institute) dictates many eligibility requirements. One of the requirements is that the appicant should document at least 35 contact hours of formal project management education. In this article, I will list the various avenues you can take to attain sufficient number of contact hours required by the PMI.

If you want to switch your career to project management and do not have time to do an MBA, getting a PMP certifications is a great path to pursue. According to PMI (Project Management Institute), the average base salary for a project manager is about $100,000 in the U.S. Companies are willing to pay good competitive salaries for project management expertise to guarantee the success and to improve the predictability of project outcome. Get the 35 contact hours as soon as possible as it is definitely required to take the PMP exam.

Ways to earn 35 contact hours for PMP exam:

1. It does not matter when you accrued the hours. Document all education hours regardless of when you got the education. Go all the way back to your college years and list all the courses you took related to project management. Did you attend any seminars or evening classes while you were at school? You can count them towards your contact hours.

2. Did you attend any project management related classes at work? Many companies has on-site training on project management concepts like Software Project Planning, Communication skill, Project time estimation and resource allocation and other courses for project managers. List all the courses you have taken.

3. If all the above do not add up to 35 contact hours, you should take formal training on project management right away if you are planning to take the exam this year. Check for classes or seminars offered in your company related to project management and ask your manager if you can enroll in them. Look for PM classes offered in your local community college or local PMI chapter. There are many training companies that offer 2 to 5 day rigorous PMP training classes that usually cost thousands of dollars. Personally, I think it is a overkill to attend those classes that cost way too much. See the next option for a cheaper option to get 35 contact hours required for the PMP exam eligilibility.


I found this to be the one of the cheapest and valuable way to earn the 35 contact hours required for the PMP exam application. If you are short of contact hours or do not have any contact hours at all, check out PMPrepcast. It is an audio CD course that is 35 hours long and has relevant project management training. You can take the classes using your mobile device like iPod, iPhone or any mp3 player.

For the month of February in 2016, a new special is being offered. Use code "Feb16" to get $20 off the The Agile PrepCast product. Regular price is $179.99. With this promotional code, you can get it for $159.99.

You can buy this directly at PMPrepcast(Compensated Affiliate) bundle which includes the PM Prepcast plus the PM simulator for only $206.99 right now (promotional price). Getting it as a bundle is a good value for the money in my opinion as the simulator is a worthwhile companion for PM Prepcast. The PM Simulator can be used to take practice PMP exams before taking the real exam. So, buy it before the offer expires (and of course finish the course and get the certificate) as getting the 35 contact hours of formal education is a requirement to be eligible for the PMP exam. It is wise to get this step completed asap if you are interested in getting the PMP certification. Two weeks after you buy PMPrepcast, you will be eligible to take the exam that you must pass to get the certificate for 35 contact hours. After listening to the material and referencing the PMBOK, you can go to a website (given by PMPrepcast) to take an exam that has 25 questions. If you answer 17 out of these 25 questions correctly, you will be awarded a certificate that you can use to prove that you had 35 contact hours. If you fail, you can take the exam again. It is pretty simple and you will get the certificate if you attentively listen to the video podcast just once. Note that the PMBOK has not changed with the latest changes to the PMP exam. You still need to prepare using the PMBOK guide Fifth edition.

Why PM-Prepcast? Listening and watching to PMPrepcast is a great way to start preparing for the actual PMP exam. PMPrepcast is based on PMBOK latest edition and you will be able to test the waters before actually commiting to obtain the PMP certification in addition to getting the 35 contact hours of formal education.

PMPrepcast preparation Tip: It is extremely valuable to listen to the entire PMPrepcast audio. If you are in a hurry and want to get the certificate soon, you can skip listening to the interview chapters and the applied concepts audio. There will not be any questions from these chapters. While listening to the chapters, take notes as you go along so you do not have to listen the same chapter again.

5. Make sure you have documentation to provide to PMI in case if PMI selects your application for auditing (which is selected at random) for all the contact hours you claim. It is better to show more than 35 contact hours to be on the safer side if you can provide proof.

Good luck and I hope PMP certification helps your career!

The following does not qualify for the education requirements:

1. PMI chapter meetings: If you are member of a local PMI chapter and attend meetings weekly or regular intervals, you cannot count all the hours you were in the meetings as contact hours. If at least one hour of a chapter meeting is spent conducting a learning activity, the hours spent in that activity can be counted towards the education requirement.

2. Self study: Reading books by yourself does not count towards the contact hours. It has to be formal education.

Important note:

Understand the difference between Contact Hours and PDUs. They are two totally different things. An applicant for the PMP exam requires 35 Contact Hours to be eligible for the exam. A person who already holds the PMP certification requires 60 PDUs every 3 years to keep the certification active. So, if you have not passed the exam, don't collect PDUs. You should be earning Contact Hours. You will have to report a minimum of 35 contact hours when you apply for the PMP exam. You might be required to show proof if your application gets selected for audit (which is totally random).


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    • profile image

      rmichael777 9 months ago

      I've never possessed a PM certification but I need one for an upcoming assignment. I'm curious about the types of activities that would count toward the 35 contact hours. My situation is rather unique in that I have been the primary instructor for a very large US government agency teaching courses in Cost/Benefit Analysis (16 PDU), Earned Value Management (8 PDU), Systems Engineering Lifecycle (16 PDU), both major and nom-major Business Case development (8 and 16 PDU)as well as how to use various systems (8 PDU). And although I have never taken these classes, I have been the principle instructor for each of them for 14 years. Many PM's take these classes for the continuing training credits. Could I claim any of these toward the 35 contact hours?

    • profile image

      Prakash 4 years ago

      I have completed my contact hours in March 2013 but now the exam is changing and my contact hours are related to PMP4.

      Will it still be accepted ?

    • profile image

      StefenJames 4 years ago

      Hi, I have 3 year experience in finance I want take the PMP,it is useful for me or not revert back to me please.

    • profile image

      Shailan 5 years ago

      Hi I have 4.5 years of work experience, out of which 4 years were on Telecom. I have a Six Sigma green belt certification from TQMI in. I had attended 4 day training for the same. Will these hours can be counted for contact hours? Is SSGB certificate is enough to get this 35 contact hour hurdle over.

    • profile image

      Avatar 6 years ago

      mohiyeldin ali just attending the PMP training does not mean that one should pass the exam. Did u put extra effort other then just the training you got?

    • profile image

      mohiyeldin ali 6 years ago

      I attended the training of the PMP was accepted in the PMI, but I made the test twice and I failed,

    • profile image

      Kimberly Bloch 6 years ago

      I must admit you share a tremendous amount of information regarding that center. Personally i will take care of every single word that you had mention over here about Project Management


    • profile image

      Farah Brooks 6 years ago

      I would like to work on getting the PMP certification. Currently I do not have the required 3 years experience in project management but I have learned that the PMI offers an associate PM certificate as a first step. Will the PM- PREPCAST qualify for the the Associate PM certificate as it require a BA and the 35 contact hours of formal project management education. I would appreciate your feedback on this.

    • profile image

      Madhu 6 years ago

      Hi ,

      I am MBA,Im curious to know is PMP an alterantive to MBA?

      I have studied PM in MBA and done a project as well, Is it enough if i show my markscard and my assignemt as proof for completion 35hrs study??


    • profile image

      Divyesh Gandhi 6 years ago

      I had attended one program for Management Skill for business Excellence at MDI gurgaon - India. Can I use this Program hours for this 35 hours ? Thanks in adavnce.

    • profile image

      Balaji 6 years ago


      On top of my Bachelors Degree in Engineering, I did Diploma in Management in IGNOU, Delhi, India (Indira Gandhi National Open University) through correspondence classes (with class room sessions over weekends). Can i use this training to account for the 35 Hrs Project Management Study. Is this Valid?

    • profile image

      Mohammed Abdul Khaliq 7 years ago

      I studied Software project management in one of the semesters of MBA in information technology. Will that be counted for 35 contact hours? The other subjects I studied were conflict management & negotiation skills, E business, MIS,management process &organisation behavior,business applications of IT, HR mgmt,Operations mgmt, financial mgmt, EcRM and supply chain mgmt,and other IT subjects.

      the course was distant mode and had 4 semesters.

      Please let me know I still have to take up 35 contact hours. Thank you in advance.

    • profile image

      sam 7 years ago


      Am interested in PMP but i don't have a project management background either in education or work.My discipline is basically finance. So am considering starting off with the CAPM exam first,then i move to the PMP after a couple of years,i presume.So,will your PMprepcast be helpful in my situation also,in getting the 35 hours required of me before i go proceed with the exam and will it also be helpful in writing the exam or will need additional books to read?

    • jabirhussain profile image

      jabirhussain 7 years ago from Mars :)

      I have been practicing Project Management for few period. I am in the process of learning the Project management art. This article is superb and have given me enough to think about.

      Good one.. Keep it up man

    • profile image

      josh 7 years ago

      OK, may be an easy question, but how do contact hours relate to credit hours. I have taken 3 credit hour classes at a university in which we met for 3 hours each week for 16 weeks. Does this equate to just 3 contact hours?

    • profile image

      David 7 years ago

      I am a Technical Instructor and a Consultant i do lots of training and coordinate the training , am i allowed to take PMP exam after i have the 35 hrs of PMP and taking the online PDU test

    • profile image

      INDERBIR BEHL 7 years ago

      I attended a contact program through an a training institute in July 2007. The contact program for 35 hours was based on PMBOK 3rd edition. Will that contact program be still valid

    • profile image

      Rama 7 years ago


      I have 30 Hrs of contact classes from UC Berkley, based on PMBOK 4th edition. Is there any online course or session that I can attend, to get the remaining 5 Hrs?

    • profile image

      Baran 8 years ago

      What do I have to provide as a proof of PM education hours if I take a course from the company that I am working in?

    • profile image

      Mark Jem 8 years ago

      http is offering a course with 40 PDUs for free. They also have free PMP Test.://

    • profile image

      Justin 8 years ago

      I took "Strategic Management " as one of my MBA course. How do I know if it can be a substition of project management?

    • profile image

      Saleem 8 years ago


      I found this blog very helpful. I have a question regrading 3 yeas experience as project manager. I was working as lecturer at a University and teaching Software Project Management. I had Master is Software engg. I was also working as course coordinator to manage the computer science deapertment. The activities included hiring visitng faculty, students feedback, courses docuemntation evaluation, palnning of new semester etc. Does this fulfill 3 yeas requirement of experience or not?


    • seanraj profile image

      seanraj 9 years ago from United States of America


      Glad you find the article useful.

      Yes, you can use the current PMPrepcast for getting the 35 contact hours even for the exam based on PMBOK fourth edition. BTW, I suspect PMPrepcast will come up with a new and updated course based on PMBOK 4th edition (my guess is before May 2009) that you can buy and study for your contact hours.

      Yes, you can use your MBA course on project management towards your contact hours. Make sure to have some kind of documentation (certificate or transcript) to show as proof just in case if your application is selected for audit.

      Good luck.

    • profile image

      Prasanth 9 years ago

      Hi thanks for an informative blog on PMP. Currently PMBOK guide 4th edition is released where as in PREPCAST 3rd edition is used. Will it be any problem if it took the certificate from PREPCAST for my contact hours ? and Is it possible to show the Project management course as part of my MBA as my contact hours ??

    • profile image

      anusha 9 years ago

      Hi .. I had a full course on PM in my MBA .. But how do I prove I have the reqd 35 contact hours ? I have my mark sheet which says I did Project management , but that's abt it ... :(

    • seanraj profile image

      seanraj 9 years ago from United States of America


      Yes, the 35 hour certificate given by PMPrepcast is accepted by PMI. You can print the certificate from the PMPrepcast website after passing the final exam. The final exam consists of 25 questions out of which you have to answer 17 questions correctly. These are moderately easy questions and you should be able to pass the exam after listening to the audio podcast just once. In case if you fail, you can keep retaking the exam as many times as you want till you pass.

      Hope it helps.

    • profile image

      Waheed 9 years ago

      Your Blog is very informative for people endeavoring for the project management certification.

      I have just started my journey towards my destination i.e. PMP. I need 35 hours education so that I can start preparing for the test. Is the prepcast 35 hour certificate accepatable to PMI?

    • nancydodds1 profile image

      nancydodds1 9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      WOW! its very informative for me as iam studying MBA. Project Management Professional certification will be very useful for me.