Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet specific educational and work experience criteria at the time they submit their application, in order to be eligible to sit for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam. These requirements are outlined below:


Certification Eligibility
SHRM-CP Candidates for the SHRM-CP certification are not required to hold an HR title and do not need a degree or previous HR experience to apply; however, a basic working knowledge of HR practices and principles is recommended.
  • At least 3 years performing strategic level HR/HR-related duties, or
  • SHRM-CP credential holders who have held the credential for at least 3 years and are working in, or are in the process of transitioning to, a strategic level role.

*Less than a bachelor’s degree includes: working toward a bachelor's degree; associate's degree; some college; qualifying HR certificate program; high school or GED.

  • More than 1,000 hours in a calendar year does not equate to more than 1 year of experience.
  • Part-time work qualifies as long as the 1,000-hour per calendar year standard is met.
  • Experience may be either salaried or hourly.

What Degrees Qualify as HR-Related?
GRADUATE (or global equivalent): 
HR-related degrees may include but are not limited to the following: MA in Human Resource Management, MS in Human Resources, MA or MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, MA in Management (MAM) with HR concentration, MBA with a concentration in Human Resource Management, Organizational Leadership or Leadership Development with HR concentration, Human Capital Development, Organizational Behavior, Labor Relations, or Industrial Relations. 

BACHELOR’S (or global equivalent): HR-related degrees may include but are not limited to the following: BA or BS in Human Resource Management, BA or BS in Management with a concentration in Human Resources, BA or BS in Business Administration with a concentration in HRM, Bachelor of Business Administration with emphasis in Human Resources,, Organizational Behavior, Industrial Relations, Organizational Development, Management and Leadership. 

ASSOCIATE’S: Applicants with less than a bachelor’s degree may have HR-related associate’s degree that may include, but is not limited to the following: Associate—HR Specialist; Associate—Business: HR Management; Associate—HR Administration.

CERTIFICATE PROGRAM: Applicants with less than a bachelor’s degree may complete an HR Certificate Program from an accredited institution completing eight courses that cover the fundamentals in HR (i.e., Principles of HRM; Compensation & Benefits; Organizational Development; Recruitment & Selection; Employment Law; Training & Development; Employee Relations; Performance Management). 

OUTSIDE THE U.S.: HR-related bachelor programs may include but are not limited to the following:  BBA with emphasis in HRM; Bachelor of Commerce with concentration in Managing People and Organizations; Bachelor of Business in Pedagogy with a concentration in HR. HR-related masters programs may include the following: Master of Arts in International Human Resource Management; Professional Post-Graduate Diploma in HRM; Executive Master in HRM.

 For information on global equivalence evaluation services in support of the degree requirements shown, visit:

»» National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES)

»» Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE)

»» American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO)

go top