Eligibility Requirements

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:


CredentialLess than a Bachelor's DegreeBachelor's DegreeGraduate Degree
HR-Related DegreeNon-HR DegreeHR-Related DegreeNon-HR DegreeHR-Related DegreeNon-HR Degree
SHRM-CP3 years in HR role4 years in HR role1 year in HR 
2 years in HR roleCurrently in HR role1 year in HR role
SHRM-SCP6 years in HR role7 years in HR role4 years in HR role5 years in HR role3 years in HR 
4 years in HR role
A SHRM-CP credential holder is eligible to sit for the SHRM-SCP exam after successful completion of one three-year SHRM-CP recertification cycle.
* 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.

The following general eligibility criteria, listed below, also apply:
  • Applicants must show that they have worked in an HR role for more than 1,000 hours within a calendar year, which equates to one year of experience.
  • HR experience can be in an exempt or non-exempt capacity.
  • HR experience may be classified directly, as working in an HR role, or indirectly, by consulting, educating, or educating or researching HR practices linked specifically to human resource management.
  • SHRM membership is not required.

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)