CMA Requirements

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Exam Requirements


Before becoming a CMA, an individual must meet certain requirements:

  1. Hold a Bachelor’s degree in any subject.
  2. Two years of work experience in management accounting.
  3. Be a member of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in good standing.
  4. Pass both parts of the CMA exam within three years of entering the CMA program.

Each Part of the CMA exam contains 100 multiple choice questions and two essay questions, with three hours to complete the multiple-choice questions and one hour to complete the essays.

Requirement Breakdown

Educational Requirement

There are two ways to meet the education requirement:

  1. 3 or 4 year Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university.
    • US Candidates can search for their school here:
    • International candidates can search for their school here:
    • Degrees that are not accredited must be evaluated by an independent agency. A listing of these agencies can be found at or Please see the CMA Candidate Handbook for details about completing a degree evaluation.
    • If your college or university is not on the accredited list, contact the IMA for further assistance.
  2. Qualifying Professional Certification
    • A listing of approved certifications can be found here.
    • An official letter from approved certifying organization confirming you are a qualified member should be mailed directly to the IMA. Please see the CMA Candidate Handbook for details.

Experience Requirement

Candidates for the CMA Certification must have two continuous years of full-time work or four years of continuous part-time experience in management accounting and/or financial management. Candidates who do not have the required experience when taking the exams have seven years after completing their exams to meet this requirement.

Qualifying experience consists of positions requiring judgments regularly made employing the principles of management accounting and financial management. Such employment includes:

  • Preparation of financial statements
  • Financial planning & analysis
  • Monthly, quarterly, and year-end close
  • Auditing (external or internal)
  • Budget preparation & reporting
  • Manage general ledger and balance sheets
  • Forecasting
  • Company investment decision making
  • Costing analysis
  • Risk evaluation

What does it cost to become a CMA?

The total cost to become a CMA is made up of two components:

  1. Exam Registration paid to the IMA.
  2. Exam Prep Materials paid to your exam prep provider, offering basic and premium packages.
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What is the structure of the CMA Exam?

Learn the structure of the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam.

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