The Institute of Certified Management Accountants (ICMA) is a division of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and is responsible for administering the CMA examinations. There is no mandatory requirement for the candidates to complete their undergraduate degree to attempt the examination; they can attempt it while they are still undergraduate students (given they have six credits per semester).

However, the candidate must complete his or her undergraduate degree within seven years of completion of the CMA examination to be eligible for obtaining the designation.


Each member-state board of the NASBA has specific educational requirements with regards to the CPA examination. All boards that issue CPA licenses to candidates require 150 credit hours from candidates, which is equivalent to a postgraduate degree, and one year of work experience.

However, to attempt the examination, the candidate is required to complete an undergraduate degree with the required amount of accounting-related credits, which are over and above the basic credit-hour requirements. (Note: Candidates cannot attempt the CPA examination while they are pursuing their undergraduate degrees.)