CMA while Graduation - How to Fulfill Your CMA CPE (Continuing Professional Education)?

How to Fulfill Your Continuing Education in CMA while Graduation

To become a licensed Certified Public Accountant or CPA, it is essential to complete the CPE (Continuing Professional Education) to keep up the professional acumen and stay updated in the accounting world. But what about CMAs or Certified Management Accountants? 
Whenever we talk about CMAs, many questions lurk in our minds like, Is doing CMA while graduation good? How many CPE hours are required for CMA?, etc. CMA is a practical certification course that keeps the person updated and helps in the long run. 
Certified Management Accountants are somewhat similar to CPAs. They also required the appropriate amount of CPE hours with specific stipulations to keep the certification course or credential active.  Maintaining the CMA CPE requirements every year can seem to be a tedious and daunting task. But it is essential to take the right courses in your graduation that align with the certification courses. We know that the CMA certification has arisen a lot of questions in your mind. But dont worry! Weve got your back. 
In this article, we will explore CMA CPE study hours; discuss important details about the course and all other information that will help you in the long run. When you take a CMA CPE course, you are better equipped to handle whichever project comes your way. By taking up the course, you get all the useful information and knowledge that helps you become competent in the corporate world. So, without further ado, let us begin! 

What is the CMA USA Course?

Certified Management Accountant is a professional credential in the field of financial and management accounting. The certification provided is a clear indication that the person has expertise in certain areas like financial planning, control decision support, analysis, etc. Doing CMA while graduation is a great course as you can complete your bachelors education along with the certification course.  
IMA, i.e., Institute of Management Accountants, USA is the administrative body of CMA. Now, as far as the CMA USA exam is concerned, it comprises 2 exam parts, i.e.,
Part 1 which comprises three subjects, namely Analytics, Financial Planning, and Performance. You get 4 hours for this exam part, where three hours are for 100 MCQs (375 marks) and One hour is for 2 essay questions (125 marks) (30-min each). 
Part 2 is of the same structure, where the focus subject is Strategic Financial Management.
A total score of 360 out of 500 represents that the candidate has qualified for the exam and is eligible to become a Qualified US CMA. Part one of the CMA USA exam seems difficult and candidates need to have proper preparation for the same.
Here is the syllabus for the US CMA exam. Have a look!

Part 1 CMA USA Financial Planning, Performance, & Analytics

  • Technology and Analysis
  • Internal Controls
  • Cost Management
  • Performance Management
  • Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting
  • External Financial Reporting Decisions 

Part 2 CMA USA Strategic Financial Management

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • Decision Analysis
  • Risk Management
  • Investment Decisions
  • Professional Ethics
The CMA USA exam is very rigorous and thus, it is essential to prepare accordingly. The certification course of CMA while graduation is for three years. Therefore, candidates are advised to start preparing for the exam beforehand.  

Number of Hours Required to Fulfill the CMA CPE Credits 

In order to complete the CMA USA certification course, a minimum of thirty hours must be completed by the candidate. CMA while graduation is a good idea as the candidates will get a degree alongside a certification course which will help them in the long run. Here is some specific information you should know.
  • A candidate earns the credential CMA USA when all CPE requirements are fulfilled after one year.
  • For CMA CPE requirements, the year is counted from January 1st to December 31st. 
  • The CPE topics chosen by the candidates for the certification course must be in the approved topics. 
  • A candidate needs thirty hours for each topic. If more than thirty hours have been completed by the candidate, then they can be carried forward in the next calendar year. 
There are many qualifying course subjects and topics like financial accounting, business applications, financial management, marketing, law, business, economics, etc. Candidates can choose any of the topics and start working on them to fulfill the requirements.   
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One thing to note here is that alongside doing CMA while graduation, there are plenty of topics to work on. While working on these topics and subjects, a minimum of two hours is also required for ethics courses. In the process of completing thirty hours of CPE requirements, one thing to note is that anything wont count. 
Candidates have to work on subjects approved by IMA that can help them complete their CPE credit hours for CMA USA Exam. Here are some subjects:  
  • Accounting 
  • Financial Accounting
  • Mathematics & Statistics 
  • Management 
  • Economics
  • Production 
  • Organizational Behavior 
  • Business Law
  • Production 
  • Computer Science
For more topics, candidates are suggested to visit the official website of IMA, so that they can decide and start working on the topics alongside CMA while graduation. Now, let us see how to earn CPE hours. 

How to Earn CPE Hours?

For doing CMA while graduation, specific CPE credit hours are required to keep CMA certification active. For doing this, candidates must have a strategic plan. 
Every year, candidates must space out thirty CPE hours. Thirty hours seems to be too much to cram in the last minutes time! Below are some ways which will help you earn some credits for CPE. 

Courses for CMA CPE 

Candidates can apply for a US CMA certification course. Such courses are provided by colleges and universities. They are available online through the course providers, like CMA USA is provided by IMA. These CMA CPE courses enhance your skills and knowledge through webinars, research, etc., to help you earn CPE credits. For instance, ACCA has NASBA-approved courses for auditing, technology, management, etc., which will help the candidate complete their thirty hours. 


Along with CMA while graduation, attending a seminar in order to complete the thirty hours of CPE requirement is quite an easy task. In this way, the candidates can fulfill two purposes, i.e., networking and completing credit hours. Professional seminars are held for CMAs that include qualified speakers communicating on varied subjects. 
A choice is given to the candidates regarding the seminars they wish to attend. In this way, the candidates can prioritize how they want to earn their credit hours. 


There are many online ways like conventions, webinars and workshops that candidates use to complete their credit hours. The best thing about these online workshops and webinars is that they are available and easily accessible. They cover the appropriate material required. This is one of the easiest ways to earn credits while being at your office or home. 

Miscellaneous Methods 

There are some non-conventional ways apart from CMA while graduation to earn CPE hours. Heres how you can do it! 
  • Listening speeches 
  • Attending pre-recorded sessions
  • Home study certification courses 
  • Debates and discussions
  • Participating in several case studies 
  • Technical meetings 
Candidates must make sure to gain the approval of IMA before beginning to work on any topic. If the candidates have selected the IMA-approved topics, then its fine, otherwise, they will be needing approval. 

Keeping the Track of CMA CPE Hours 

Apart from CMA while graduation and the ways mentioned above, there are certain ways as well to earn the CPE credit hours. IMA offers the US CMA certification course and is quite flexible and supportive in the approach. 
Some of the ways like attending webinars, speeches, workshops, etc., have already been mentioned above. Now to keep up the track, CMAs require attendance documents and certificates in order to progress towards achieving credit hours. 
It is suggested to keep the documents ready for the three years of the course. It is better to create a folder and keep all the important information in it for the first five years.
IMA awards ten CPE credits for every hour. Thus, 40 hours are provided for every exam. Keep in mind that they are not CPE hours. They are beneficial if you are taking some other certification course apart from CMA while graduation.
The requirement for the CPE credit hours does not begin until you have earned the CMA credential in the calendar year. For instance, if a candidate has earned the CMA credential in the month of November 2021, then the CPE requirements will not begin until the calendar year 2022. 

What happens when a candidate doesnt complete the CPE hours for CMA USA Course?

There are instances, wherein the candidate is not able to maintain and complete thirty CPE hours for CMA while graduation over 1-3 years. But dont panic! 
To avoid getting into this situation, it is essential to have a good standing with IMA. If a candidate hasnt completed the credit hours, then he/ she can fulfill the requirement by working for sixty hours for two years to earn the credit.
The shortfalls of the first years must be completed and taken care of in the following year. Remember that if the required CPE credit hours are fulfilled, then the candidates account will be disabled. 
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Carrying Forward the Extra Credit Hours 

Earlier we have looked at what you can do if you dont have the apt number of CPE credit hours. Now, let us talk about what to do if you have achieved more than the required CPE credit hours for CMA while graduation. 
Once you have earned more CPE credits, theres no doubt about it that you are an overachiever. By achieving more CPE credit hours, the candidates can carry forward ten extra hours to the following year. 
If you are also the one who wishes to strategise beyond your time, then this is a good option to save your time. Remember only ten hours can be carried to the next year! 
CPE seems to be a daunting and never-ending task. But when you look at it as a possible opportunity to boost your career and knowledge, then it becomes motivating to take up the course and complete it. 

What Courses Must be Taken for CMA CPE?

To get the credits you need, various CMA courses are available. The courses under CMA certification are tailor-made that address the practices and concepts used by the CMAs. Here are the best courses for CMA:


CMA USA by NorthStar Academy is one of the best courses available for CMA. The experience and ethical training provided to the candidates alongside CMA while graduation can help them gain the CPE credits. Their approach is quite supportive and flexible. They have been working for the past 50 years providing professional credentials to the candidates. 

ACCA CPE Credits 

The ACCA provides you with professional training. The CMA certification course helps you provide the necessary CPE credits required to complete the course.


Financial Risk Manager, i.e., FRM, comes under the CMA certification course. The course is practice-oriented that provides a real-world experience to the candidates. Managing and working on risk-related issues can help you gain thirty CPE credits each year. 


1. Can I do  CMA while graduation?

Yes, you can! If you have passed the senior secondary education exams or Intermediate of ICAI, then you can apply for the CMA course. CMA while graduation can be done, thereby helping you in the long run. 

2. Is it worth doing CMA after graduation?

Yes, the CMA course can also be done after graduation. After you have completed the graduation in any other discipline, you can apply for the course. This certification course can boost your career and is a great option for future opportunities. 

3. Can I do CMA after B.Com? 

Yes, you can! CMA is a comprehensive certification course that can be pursued along with B.Com. The passing rate is 72% which needs to be acquired by the candidate. 

4. How many years is CMA after graduation?

CMA USA after graduation is a one-year certification. The prerequisites include graduation along with work experience. 

5. Is CMA a Bachelors Degree?

No, CMA is not a bachelors degree, it is a professional certification. But you require a bachelors degree in order to become a CMA. The final year student can pursue CMA along with the work experience of two years. 

6. Is CMA a college course?

CMA is a certification offered by over 12 colleges and universities. Many diplomas and certification courses are offered under CMA by colleges and institutes. The main official body to offer this certification is IMA for which you should take a CMA course from a reputable institute like NSA. 

7. Can I do CMA after BBA?      

CMA is a certification offered by over 12 colleges and universities. Many diplomas and certification courses are offered under CMA by colleges and institutes. The main official body to offer this certification is IMA for which you should take a CMA course from a reputable institute like NSA. 
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