CMA Education Requirement: Determine Your School’s Eligibility

When compared to other accounting designations, the CMA certification requirements are quite clear and easy to fulfill.

Today we’re discussing how you can fulfill the education portion of your CMA certification requirements.

Are You Attending an Approved School?

The terms for your education requirement are quite broad. They state that you must obtain a Bachelor’s degree from a good standing University in your country. That’s pretty vague, so let’s break it down further.

If you are a US candidate and you are studying at an accredited educational institution, then you are good to go.

If you are a Non-US candidate then you must consult the IMA’s list of internationally accredited institutions. Simply select your country and school to see if it is acceptable.

Should your school not be listed for some reason, don’t worry. The IMA gives you the opportunity to get qualified by sending in an evaluation of your transcript. There are two agencies that do this, NACES or AICE. They will review your transcript then send their evaluation to IMA.

Sometimes schools refuse to provide you with an official transcript, but there is a workaround for that as well. All you need to do is get a photocopy of your transcript notarized. This must be mailed in, as emailed copies and faxes are not accepted. 

Some Professional Certifications Work too!

Even if you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree, you can still qualify for the CMA certification with a professional certification approved by the ICMA, such as: CPA, CA, ACMA/FCMA, DCG, QA/SQA, ACCA/FCCA, CPFA, CFA, CIA, CFE, CTP.

You can find the full listing of approved certifications here.

What If You Don’t Have a Bachelor’s Degree or a Professional Certification?

Candidates who do not have a degree and are serious about writing the exam can write to the IMA requesting an exemption. You will need to explain your reasoning, experience, certifications and other credentials in order to prove your knowledge is equivalent to that of someone with a Bachelor’s degree.

Though there are certain exceptions for the CMA exam education requirements, you are still required to complete two consecutive years of financial or accounting based work experience. To learn more about the CMA exam experience requirements, read here.

Do you have any questions? Comment below and let me help you answer them.



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16 Comments on “CMA Education Requirement: Determine Your School’s Eligibility”

  1. Hi Nathan,

    Very helpful article but quick question. What about those students who reside outside the US but went to an accredited university in the US?

    1. Hi Stacie,

      I’m glad you found the article helpful. I appreciate your feedback 🙂

      Where you reside is not something that is considered to get certified. You just need to make sure there’s a Prometric center near you to take the exams.

  2. DEAR NATHAN, I graduated with an economics degree from the University of Vermont in 2006. Please advise if this would be a problem to fulfill the education requirement to sit in the CMA exam as I graduated ten years ago.
    Than you,

    1. Hi Juan, as long as you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, it doesn’t matter how long ago you got it.

      You are good to go 🙂

  3. I Graduated from faculty of commerce and i want to take the cma cource.please advise me Which places can i going to take the cma cource

    1. Hi Mohamed,

      If your school is not listed, are you comfortable self-studying or taking an instructor-led online course? Let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction.

  4. Hi nathan, very useful article, I have nearly 3-4 years experience as SAP Finance functional tester in reputed companies in india..WIll this experience qualify for CMA designation?

    Also in Part 1 when i was doing the internal auditing topic, there were substantial differences between the wiley material and the questions in the online question bank. Have they made any changes to the content? Please clarify…

  5. Hai Natan ,
    I don’t have a bechelore degree but i would like to do CMA , i will be joining a bachelore degree course at the same time. My question is : Is it possible for me to apply for CMA Exams and show my bachelore degree after compliting my dregree.

    1. Absolutely! You can submit your experience and education requirements within 7 years after passing the CMA exam.

    1. Hi Maryl,

      All transcripts should be mailed directly from your college or university to ICMA to the address below:
      10 Paragon Drive Suite 1
      Montvale, NJ 07645

      Click here to learn more about the process of becoming a CMA.

  6. Hi nathan’,

    I want to start CMA but i don’t have becholore degree but i have more than 3 year experience as an assistant accountant in UAE, can i do CMA?

    I will be thankful for your earliest response.

  7. I am willing to do CMA but i don’t know whether am eligible or not so kindly guide me to how to verify my documents so that i can verify accordingly and join cma course.

    1. Hi Domburu,

      Please, reach out directly to IMA regarding your eligibility, for they have the last say in this.

      Best of luck!

  8. I am an Mechanical Engineer with Post Graduate Master Degree in Engineering Management, Am I eligible for CMA.

    Thank You

    1. Hi Haitham,

      Yes, if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in any field then you do meet the educational qualification.

      There’s also the experience qualification you need to meet to become certified. Click here to learn about it.

      But keep in mind that you can also fulfill the experience requirement within 7 years after passing the CMA exam.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

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