Empower students with database skills for a Smarter Planet.

The IBM DB2 Academic Associate program is exclusively for the university community. The preparation course teaches relational database concepts while also providing students with critical, hands-on database skills on IBM’s DB2 and Data Studio software. Smarter Planet solutions rely on an ever growing amount of data. Learn how to be smart about managing that data with this no-charge academic course and IBM exam.


The IBM DB2 Academic Associate exam is a 90 minute online IBM exam that can be taken for no charge upon the successful completion of an approved preparation course (see the Class organization tab).

An IBM employee must proctor the online exam, which is offered through the IBM CAS testing system. The exam is typically given on the university campus using Internet-connected computers.

It is strongly recommended that students get sufficient time to learn the material and study for the exam. If they are taught the content in a condensed format (such as a 3-day workshop), it is best to give them additional time to study the material, either prior to the class or after the class, before they take the exam.

Those who complete an approved course and pass the exam will be IBM DB2 Academic Associates in DB2 Database and Application Fundamentals. A certification document will be emailed to those students who pass the exam.


Q: What is meant by an approved preparation course?

A: To ensure that the all requirements are met for receiving the free exam, the class manager must request course approval from imschool@us.ibm.com at least 6 weeks prior to the class (see Step 2 of the DB2 Academic program page, Class organization tab). Note: This step is not currently required for courses in India that are organized by the Academic Initiative team.

Q: Can someone retake the exam if they do not pass?

A: Students may only take the exam once for no-charge using the IBM CAS testing system. However, they may take the equivalent exam, the 302A exam, through the Prime testing system. There is a charge for this exam (currently $30 USD) which must be paid by credit card at the time of the exam. Check with your IBM representative regarding this exam, which must be proctored by an IBM employee.