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Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is a professional designation awarded by the CFA Institute. Perhaps the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world, it demonstrates a mastery of a comprehensive body of knowledge important in the investment decision-making process.

Fordham University is an Affiliated University of the CFA Institute that provides currently enrolled students access to the Awareness Scholarship Program. Current students who are considering enrolling for the exam or who need information regarding the CFA exam should access the CFA website.

CFA Requirements

To earn a CFA designation, a candidate must pass three levels of exams (Levels I, II, III) and meet the experience requirement specified by the CFA Institute.

At Fordham, a sequence of undergraduate courses offered by the Gabelli School will aid in preparation for the CFA exam. Some courses have been designed to prepare students to take the CFA Level I exam. When possible, courses may use the same textbooks and reference materials as the CFA curriculum. Also, questions from previous CFA exams are used on some course exams.

The CFA Body of Knowledge has 10 topic areas: 

  • ethical and professional standards
  • quantitative methods, economics
  • accounting and corporate finance
  • global markets and instruments
  • valuation and investment theory
  • analysis of fixed-income securities
  • analysis of equity investments
  • analysis of alternative investments 
  • portfolio management. 

Candidates are tested on all topic areas at each level.

Enrolling with the CFA Institute

To enroll with the CFA Institute and register for the first exam, a candidate must have a bachelor's (or equivalent) degree, or be in the final year of his or her bachelor's degree program at the time of registration. If a student initially enrolls/registers as a final-year undergraduate student with a degree in progress, he or she may not register for the Level II exam until he or she has earned a bachelor's degree (or has obtained enough professional work experience to meet the program's entrance requirements).

Completing and Securing the CFA Credential

Many investment firms require entry-level employees to pursue the CFA designation as a condition of employment. However, the CFA Institute's program is a graduate-level curriculum. Thus, it shows a particular level of commitment for an undergraduate student to be preparing for the exam. CFA offers this program as one opportunity for our students to distinguish themselves in a competitive employment market.

A Gabelli School student completing the finance courses should have a basic framework for the fixed-income securities analysis, equity securities, analysis, and portfolio management topic areas. Other required courses in the business school curriculum should give the student a preliminary background in the quantitative analysis and economics sections. The remaining sections (ethical and professional standards, and financial accounting) are covered in the business core curriculum and supplemented with business electives in the curriculum.

To learn more about the CFA charter, please refer to the CFA Institute website. To learn more about the CFA at the Gabelli School of Business, please contact James McCann of the finance and business economics faculty: mccann@fordham.edu.