iStock_000050445124_SmallBecoming a Certified Management Accountant requires time and effort — but the opportunities for career advancement are worth it. If you’re ready to earn your CMA, this step-by-step guide should get you started on your way. 

First, You Must Meet These Requirements 

  • Maintain membership in the IMA. If you aren’t a member, join the IMA now.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (or an equivalent degree as determined by an independent evaluation agency). If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you can petition the Board of Regents for an exception if you have substantial and relevant professional achievements. Please refer to the Education Qualification Section of the CMA Handbook.
  • At least two continuous years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management. Please refer to the Experience Qualification section of the CMA Handbook.
  • Entrance into the CMA program.
  • Complete and pass Parts 1 and 2 of the CMA exam.
  • Abide by The IMA’s Statement of Ethical Professional Practice.

NOTE: IMA has special arrangements with the Institute of Cost Accountants of India and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants that may affect the above requirements. Click here for more information.

Don’t meet the educational or professional experience requirements and want to get certified? There is an option for every situation. The IMA offers a seven-year grace period for candidates in this situation. You can sit for the exam and then finish your bachelor degree or two years of professional experience within the next seven years from the date of the exam. Once you do, you’ll automatically become an active CMA

Taking The CMA Exam

The CMA exam is broken into two parts, which are both computer-based and administered in hundreds of testing facilities worldwide. With three two-month testing windows each year, you can sit for an exam part at a time and place convenient for you.

Examination windows:

Exams are offered only during these two-month periods:

  1. January and February
  2. May and June
  3. September and October

How To Register For the CMA Exam

Follow these easy steps to fulfill the examination requirement for your CMA certification:

Step 1: Join IMA here.

Step 2: Pay the CMA Entrance Fee here.

Step 3: Register for the exam here.

Step 4: Receive confirmation of your registration, which provides your authorization number(s), testing window(s), and the Instructions for Candidates.

Step 5: Schedule your exam appointment(s) with Prometric, our testing partner

Finally, show up for your scheduled exam appointment(s) with the required identification documents.

TIP: Be sure to schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Your authorization number is only valid for the testing window you selected. You can’t postpone your exams.

Exams are administered via Prometric Testing Centers throughout the world and are available in accordance with local customs. T To locate a Testing Center and schedule exam appointments, visit

Exam Fees

Professional Member Fees

Non-refundable CMA Entrance Fee:    $240*
Exam Fee:                                                       $395 per part
Rescheduling Fee**:                                   $50

Student/Academic Member Fees

Non-refundable CMA Entrance Fee:      $180*
Exam Fee:                                                         $296.25 per part
Rescheduling Fee**:                                     $50

Total Cost To Earn Your CMA With No Exam Retakes:

  • Non-Student/Professional: Total CMA cost = $1,030
  • Student (still in school): Total CMA cost = $772.50

*The CMA Entrance Fee covers:

  • Credential review for educational qualification
  • Credential review for experience qualification
  • Six months access to the CMA Exam Support package which includes printable practice questions
  • Final Score Report
  • Performance feedback reports for candidates who do not pass
  • Personalized, numbered certificate for office display
  • Congratulatory notification to employer or others, if desired

**You must reschedule your exam more than 30 days prior to your scheduled appointment. You can only move the date to a late date within the same two-month testing window. 

Hopefully, this guide will get you started on your way to earning your CMA certification.