Students: Interested in taking the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam? Is there a faculty member who recognizes your potential and commitment to pursuing a management accounting career? Students (and their teachers) are encouraged to take advantage of the CMA Scholarship Program, which allows motivated students the chance to pursue their CMA certification at no cost. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis until June 2018.

Students must be nominated by faculty members (both U.S. and international), and IMA will award a maximum of 10 scholarships per school per academic year to students enrolled in accredited undergraduate or Master’s-level accounting or business programs. For undergraduate programs, there is a preference that students completing the junior (third) year of their program be nominated.

Scholarship awardees receive a comprehensive package of benefits, including:

  • IMA membership fee (in an appropriate IMA membership category) for up to three years while pursuing completion of the CMA exam
  • Entrance fee to the CMA program;
  • Exam support package, a tool assessment that can help assess the content covered on the CMA exams; and
  • Registration fees for the first attempt at both parts of the CMA exam.
  • Wiley CMAexcel Review Course - comprehensive online materials for both exam parts (U.S. students only)

One student who was an early beneficiary of the program is Syed Zaidi, Ph.D., CMA, who was awarded the scholarship in 2012 while he was a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas El Paso. Zaidi had learned about the program from a fellow student and actively sought out his professor to ask if he could be nominated.

Zaidi earned the scholarship, took Part 1 of the exam, and a year later, took Part 2. When it came time to pursue another full-time faculty position, Zaidi found that holding the CMA definitely proved beneficial: “Nearly everyone in my field has a Ph.D., and so, this was a way to distinguish myself and gain an edge over the competition. I’ve also found that the material covered on the exam has been helpful in my classroom teaching.”

Indeed, Zaidi enjoys the unusual opportunity to serve on the other side of the nomination form. He is currently an assistant professor of accounting at California State University San Marcos and since joining the faculty (and serving as an IMA Campus Advocate), has consistently nominated many students to receive the scholarship.

“I tell my students that the CPA is not for everyone and that management accounting is also very rewarding and more flexible career option,” he says. Zaidi ensures that there is special recognition for those students who are awarded the CMA Scholarship at his school; at their annual Accounting Society banquet, which is attended by a large number of professionals from the surrounding area, he acknowledges by name those who have earned the distinction. “They get to be seen by many potential employers, which, I hope, will be remembered when they start applying for their first job,” he explains.

For more information on the CMA Scholarship Program and nomination forms (which can be submitted electronically), please visit CMA Scholarship on the IMA website. Questions regarding this program can be directed to Luda Volkov at