CMA Certification Requirements: Determine Your Education’s Eligibility

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

You just need to be aware of what they are, and there’s where I come in 🙂

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 CMA certification requirements 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.

Sincerely,

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30 Comments on “CMA Certification Requirements: Determine Your Education’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,
    Juan

    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:
      ICMA
      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.

  9. hello

    i have a foreign master degree in business from pakistan and i checked the internationally accredited institutions list. i am gad to see my school name in the list but how do i know that IMA accepts my degree for CMA exam. i want to be sure so that i continue my CMA preparation for exam in USA. please help.

    1. You need a bachelor’s degree to fulfill the education requirements. If you got your degree at a institution that is in the IMA’s list, then you do meet the education requirement for the CMA certification 🙂

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  10. Hi Nathan,

    I am Santosh Suvarna from Mumbai I am b. Com from university Mumbai pass class so I need to know eligible for CMA

    1. Hi Santosh,

      Yes, you’re eligible for the CMA exam. As for the experience requirement – you can fulfill it within 7 years after passing the exam in order to become certified.

      Obtaining the CMA certification will certainly help you get into management accounting and fulfill the experience requirement sooner.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

  11. I graduated in 2012 but never took the exam to get certified. Will i still be eligible to take the exam?

    Also I live in New Jersey, about to move to California. Will I have to take the exam again when I move?

  12. Hi Nathan,
    My university is listed in the cma’s accredited universities list, but however i am only doing a 2 years bachelors programme as i was given the option of skipping the first year due to good high school grades.
    Its actually a 3 year course but i will finish it in 2 years and will only have 2 years transcripts so will i be eligible to give the CMA exam?

    1. Hi Navjot,

      As long as you get your degree, you will meet the education requirements for the CMA certification.

      Keep in mind that you can also take the CMA exam before fulfilling the education and experience requirements. If you enroll in the CMA program as a student, you’ll get sizable discounts on IMA’s fees.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

    1. Hi Sandeep – the university needs to send your documents directly to the IMA. Other than that nothing needs to be notarized.

  13. I got my bachelor degree in China and master degree in Canada. It will be troublesome for me to go back to China to get the bachelor degree proof. Can I use my master degree in stead of bachelor degree as educational requirement?

    1. Hi Danni – I advise you to reach out directly to IMA to check if you can submit your master degree as educational requirement. Good luck!

  14. After the completion of schooling, one can start with the foundation of CMA or after the graduation anyone can straightly pursue Intermediate in CMA. The portion of CMA is easy and clear.

  15. Hello sir

    I wanted to know if the 7 years period to meet the educational and work experience requirement begins after clearing one part or both the parts.

    Thanks

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