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Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Designation

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Enroll in the CFA Program to begin earning the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential, the most respected and recognized investment management designation in the world.

The CFA Program provides a strong foundation of advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills that will give you a career advantage.

Why Choose the CFA Program?

  • The CFA Program curriculum covers concepts and skills you will use at all stages of your career.
  • The self-paced, online format makes it easier for you to continue working while you complete the program.
  • Completing the CFA Program shows employers and clients you have mastered a broad range of practical portfolio management and advanced investment analysis skills.

  • Become a CFA Charterholder

    Earning the CFA charter demonstrates you have the knowledge, skills, and experience needed for investment analysis and management in today’s dynamic global markets.

    Because the practice-analysis based curricula and ethics foundation are so highly valued:

    • The CFA curricula are incorporated into more than 300 business school programs around the world.
    • The CFA charter is often listed by hiring firms as a prerequisite for employment.

    Enrolling in the CFA Program gives you access to:

    • Membership in the world’s largest association of investment professionals.
    • Local market and regulatory expertise through CFA member societies in more than 70 countries.

    Global recognition of the CFA Program means that:

    Get the fact card (PDF), which covers program benefits, what's covered in the program, jobs the program prepares you for, and how to earn the charter.

    How To Become a Charterholder

    CFA Program Course of Study

    Already Registered?

    Log in to your Candidate Resources for easy access your study planner, topic tests, and mock exams.

    The CFA Program course of study includes the Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK), the curriculum content, learning outcome statements (LOS), and the topic area weights.

    Updates to the course of study are informed by our ongoing practice analysis, which includes feedback from practicing investment professionals, security market regulators, university faculty, and policymakers. Learn more about our practice analysis process and updates to the curriculum.

    Three Levels

    The course of study is organized into three levels and each level requires passing a six-hour exam. The program curriculum increases in complexity as you move through the three levels:

    • Level I: Focuses on a basic knowledge of the ten topic areas and simple analysis using investment tools
    • Level II: Emphasizes the application of investment tools and concepts with a focus on the valuation of all types of assets
    • Level III: Focuses on synthesizing all of the concepts and analytical methods in a variety of applications for effective portfolio management and wealth planning

    Candidates report dedicating in excess of 300 hours of study per level to prepare for each exam.

    Additional Study Support

    Candidates can pass the exams by studying the curriculum and LOS, but some candidates benefit from joining study groups and using exam prep courses or materials.

    Study Tools

    About the CFA Program Exam

    Registration and Results

    Already registered? Log in to access your study tools and candidate resources.

    The CFA Program includes a series of three exams; Levels I, II, and III. The exams:

    • Are offered annually — at test centers around the world — on the first Saturday in June. The Level I exam is also offered in December.
    • Must be passed sequentially.
    • Are available in English only.

    The exam content, learning focus, and question format increase in complexity with each level.

    Curriculum Content and Learning Focus

    An example showing the increase in complexity is the ethical and professional standards curriculum content. This content is similar for each exam level; however, candidates are asked different types of questions:

    • Level I tests your knowledge of the ethical and professional standards.
    • Level II tests how you apply those standards to situations analysts face.
    • Level III tests how you apply the standards in a portfolio management and compliance context.

    In general:

    • Level I exams consist of basic knowledge and comprehension questions focused on investment tools; some questions will require analysis.
    • Level II exams emphasize more complex analysis, along with a focus on valuing assets.
    • Level III exams require synthesis of all the concepts and analytical methods in a variety of applications for effective portfolio management and wealth planning.

    Planning for Exam Day

    Enroll and Register for CFA Exams

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    Entrance Requirements

    To enroll in the CFA Program and register for your first Level I exam, you must have:

    • An international travel passport (read the ID policy) and
    • One of the following:
      • Undergraduate education: A bachelor's (or equivalent) degree or be in the final year of your bachelor's degree program (when you register for the Level II exam, you will be required to update your education information), or
      • Work experience: Four years of professional work experience (does not have to be investment related), or
      • A combination of professional work experience and education that totals at least four years (part-time positions do not qualify, and the four-year total must be accrued prior to enrollment).

    Residents of certain countries may be prohibited by law from participating. Read the OFAC Compliance Policy.

    Exam Registration

    Before You Register

    After You Register

    Create an account or log in to enroll in the program and register for an exam.

    It may take up to 24 hours after you receive your confirmation email before your account and access to online candidate resources reflect your candidacy.