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Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) for Students

Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) for Students

The OpenStack Foundation encourages students who have experience working on OpenStack to take the COA exam to help propel their careers. For current and recently graduated students, the COA exam is offered at $150, 50% off retail price.

To be eligible for the student exam, students must be able to produce a valid student ID as proof of current enrollment, or enrollment within the past 90 days, at the time of testing. If the student ID does not have a clearly marked date on the ID card, the student is responsible for producing a secondary piece of documentation that shows current student or recent graduate status. This can include a course transcript, billing document, or other official university document with a clearly marked date and student status.

If a test taker is not able to prove their current student or recent graduate status at the time of their exam, the exam will be voided. No refund will be issued, however, the payment may be put towards the purchase of a full-price exam. Please review the full terms of service during checkout for additional refund details.

Purchase Exam

Get started with a new COA exam.

Redeem A Code

Redeem a code from a partner company and get started with your COA exam.

COA Portal Login

Login to retake the test or resume the process of scheduling an exam.

Hire A COA

Learn what COA means for talent teams or verify a candidate's COA credentials.

Virtual Exam

Take the COA exam at your convenience, from anywhere in the world using our virtual proctor system


Test your skills and problem solving in the command line and Horizon dashboard, based on the OpenStack Newton version

Dozens of Training Partners

Find help preparing for the exam from the large ecosystem of OpenStack training partners

How to Get Started

The COA exam is the only professional certification offered by the OpenStack Foundation. It was written for OpenStack professionals with at least six months of experience managing an OpenStack cloud environment. You can learn more details about the exam below, or visit our Training Marketplace to find companies that can help you prepare and often bundle the exam with their training courses. To get started with a new exam purchase or to redeem a code, you'll be prompted to log into the COA portal with an OpenStackID or equivalent.

Important! Before proceeding, please review the identification requirements and refund policy specific to the student-priced exams.

Get Started

Exam Details

The Certified OpenStack Administrator is a professional typically with at least six months OpenStack experience, and has the skills required to provide day-to-day operation and management of an OpenStack cloud.  The current exam is based on the OpenStack Newton version and covers the core compute, storage and networking services. To learn more about the knowledge requirements and domains covered in the exam, go to

OpenStack release being tested
What does the exam cost?



The COA is a performance-based exam and Candidates will need to perform tasks or solve problems using the command line interface and Horizon dashboard, based on OpenStack Newton. For exam security, Candidates are monitored virtually by a proctor during the exam session via streaming audio, video, and screensharing feeds. The screensharing feed allows proctors to view candidates' desktops (including all monitors). The audio, video and screensharing feeds will be stored for a limited period of time in the event that there is a subsequent need for review.

ID Requirements

When taking the test, the student must show a valid and current student ID.

  • “Valid” includes a sticker, marker, or expiration date that shows current enrollment 
  • If a recent graduate, the date on the student ID must be within the last 90 days 
  • If the student ID does not use date markers to show current enrollment, the student must present a second piece of documentation that shows their current student status, this could be a registration confirmation, transcript, billing, or student schedule with a clearly marked date

If the student cannot produce a valid and current student ID, the test will be voided and not begun. A refund will not be issued, but the $150 payment may go towards the purchase of a $300 exam.


One (1) free retake per Exam purchase will be granted in the event that a passing score is not achieved and Candidate has not otherwise been deemed ineligible for Certification or retake. The free retake must be taken within 6 months of the date of the original Exam purchase.

Certification Period

The certification is valid for 36 months after the passing date. After 36 months, test takers will need to resit the exam to remain certified.

How long do I have to schedule my exam?

Exam may be scheduled anytime within 6 months of purchase.

System Requirements

Candidates are required to provide their own front-end hardware (laptop or workstation) with Chrome or Chromium browser, reliable internet access, and a webcam and microphone in order to take exams. Candidates do not need to provide their own Linux installation or VM; they will be presented with a VM in their browser window using a terminal emulator. Candidates should use the compatibility check tool to verify that their system and testing environment meet the minimum requirements.


2.5 hours


Upon completion, exams are scored automatically and a score report will be made available within three (3) business days. If a passing score of 76 or higher is achieved and other applicable requirements for Certification have been fulfilled, a notification indicating the Candidate has been successfully Certified will follow the score report. Candidate will receive a certificate and logo for personal use.


The COA exam is currently offered in English.

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