Eligibility requirements for the CMA exam

Imarticus Learning
2 min readFeb 3, 2023

Eligibility requirements for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam are set by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). The IMA is a global professional organization for management accountants and financial professionals. In order to become a CMA, candidates must meet certain educational and experience requirements, and then pass the CMA exam.

Educational Requirements

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. There is no specific major requirement, but it is recommended that candidates have a background in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration.

Experience Requirements

In addition to educational requirements, candidates must also have a minimum of two years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management. This experience must be earned while the candidate is working toward their CMA certification. The IMA considers professional experience to include work in any of the following areas:

Management accounting
Financial management
Internal auditing
Financial analysis
Budgeting and forecasting
Corporate finance
Financial reporting
Exam Requirements

Once candidates meet the educational and experience requirements, they must then pass the CMA exam. The CMA exam consists of two parts: Part 1, Financial Planning, Performance, and Analytics; and Part 2, Financial Decision Making. Each part of the exam is four hours long and consists of multiple-choice questions and essay questions. The CMA exam is administered twice a year, in January and June, and can be taken at designated testing centers around the world.

In order to be eligible to sit for the CMA exam, candidates must also meet certain ethical requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that CMAs adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct and integrity. The IMA requires candidates to sign a pledge indicating their commitment to abide by the IMA Statement of Ethical Professional Practice and the IMA code of professional conduct.

Maintaining CMA Certification

Once a candidate has earned their CMA certification, they must maintain it through continuing professional education (CPE). CMAs must complete at least 30 hours of CPE every two years in order to maintain their certification. This requirement ensures that CMAs stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of management accounting and financial management. The IMA provides a variety of resources and opportunities for CMAs to meet their CPE requirements, including conferences, webinars, and online courses.


In conclusion, the eligibility requirements for the CMA exam are designed to ensure that candidates are well-prepared to take on the responsibilities of a management accountant or financial manager. By meeting the educational and experience requirements, passing the CMA exam, and committing to ongoing professional development, candidates can earn the coveted CMA designation and demonstrate their mastery of the skills and knowledge required to succeed in this challenging field.



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