PMP Application Process

PMP application needs to be submitted online through PMI.org website. You need to provide an elaborate description of your education, project management experience, and formal project management education/training.

PMP Application Overview

Completing the PMP application does require significant time and effort. Let’s walk through the process in detail.

  1. Assuming you have a bachelor’s degree, you need to at least 4500 hours (about 3 years) of non-overlapping project management experience in the past 8 years. Non-overlapping experience means that if you are managing 2 projects simultaneously for 6 months, it will count as a total of 6 months of experience, not 12 months.

  2. PMI has grouped the project management processes into 5 process groups as mentioned below:

    • Initiating: processes performed to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project.
    • Planning: processes to plan the project scope, schedule, cost, quality, resources, communications, risks, procurements, and stakeholder management.
    • Executing: processes to perform the work on the project.
    • Monitoring and Controlling: processes to track, review and regulate the project progress and performance.
    • Closing: processes to formally close a project.


    The detailed list of tasks in each of these process groups is defined in the PMP Exam Content Outline. Take a few minutes to read that document at this point.

    You should have experience in all five process groups across all your project management experience submitted on the application. However, on a single project, you do not need to have experience in all five process groups.

    You need to have experience across all 5 process groups, but on a single project, you do not need to have experience in all 5 process groups. For example, on one project, you may have experience in Initiating, Planning, Executing and Monitoring & Controlling the project, but you moved out of the project before Closing. On another project, you have experience Closing the project. This is fine because overall you have experience in all 5 process groups. Also note that there’s no stipulated minimum or maximum number of hours for a particular process group, but you need to have reasonable number of hours in each Process Group. You can use the following as a guideline:

    • Initiating : 5-10% of the experience hours
    • Planning : 20-25%
    • Executing : 25-30%
    • M&C : 25-30%
    • Closing : 5-10%


    There are many Excel sheet templates available online, to log the hours and experiece before filling out the formal online PMP application form. However, the online PMP application form is quite well laid out and you don’t really need to use a spreadsheet. The online PMP application form can be saved as a Draft and can be edited any number of times before the submission. Therefore, you don’t really need to bother with the spreadsheets.

  3. Summarize your experience across each project in about 500 characters (1-2 short paragraphs). It should be aligned with the experience hours that you are claiming for the project. Be as truthful as possible, and make sure you have the backing of your current or previous supervisor(s)/manager(s) should your application be audited. The supervisor would be required to certify (sign) on your application form in case of an audit.

PMP Application Walkthrough

Refer to the following document for a complete step-by-step walkthrough of the PMP application process on PMI’s website.

Last updated: August 20, 2018