CFA Program Curriculum

Related Materials and Resources

The curriculum for each of the three levels is organized into 18 study sessions. Each study session contains

  • Assigned readings
  • Learning outcome statements (LOS)
  • Problem sets (to demonstrate practical application of your knowledge)

Exam questions are based explicitly on the content in the corresponding curriculum.

View current curriculum study session outlines, including Learning Outcome Statements (LOS), for each level.

Accessing the Curriculum eBook

The CFA Program curriculum in eBook format is included in your registration fee. Your registration confirmation email includes the eBook code and instructions for accessing your eBook on the VitalSource website (VitalSource is our eBook provider).

Registered candidates can access the curriculum eBook:

  • Online, using a supported browser (list of supported browsers (PDF)).
  • To download on up to two personal computers.
  • To download on up to two mobile devices (includes many smartphones and tablets).
  • Via the VitalSource app (will sync when you read the VitalSource eBook on multiple devices).
  • Via the Level I study app offered by CFA Institute. Note: The VitalSource eBook app does not sync with the eBook available via the Level I study app (e.g., notes, highlights, etc. don’t carry over).

Check the VitalSource website for the most current list of supported devices.

Accessing and downloading the eBook to your personal computer

With a compatible browser, you can access the curriculum eBook through the internet (online.vitalsource.com) or directly from a file you download to your personal computer. View the system requirements necessary to download the eBook file to your personal computer (PDF).

The eBook code you receive in your registration confirmation email will let you download and activate your eBook. During the installation process you will be prompted to create a username and password. With this UN/PW you will also be able to access the web-based version of the eBook from any PC.

Note: The installation process can take from 2 to 40 minutes, depending on your computer's configuration and whether or not you need to have .NET installed. View the eBook instructions (PDF).

Accessing the eBook on your mobile device

The mobile device apps have limited functionality in comparison to the personal computer version:

  • Limited notes capability. You can view notes and highlights from the mobile app, but you cannot make new notes.
  • Small text. The text is very small on your mobile device. Zooming on the page will affect your capability to navigate easily.
  • Download times vary. You can download your curriculum using Wi-Fi access. Individual curriculum volumes may take several minutes to download because of large file sizes.

Printing your eBook

Curriculum eBooks can be printed via your laptop or desktop, up to a chapter at a time, from the VitalSource Bookshelf app online or from the VitalSource Bookshelf desktop app. Specific instructions and video tutorials for both platforms are available from the support.vitalsource.com website.

Note: The "page" numbers as they appear in the eBook are actually section numbers and do not equate to page numbers for the purpose of printing.

More information about the VitalSource eBook app

Access the eBook After Your Exam

Your eBook provides digital access to the current year curriculum for the June and December exams. For example, if you have access to the Level I eBook for the June 2015 exam and you do not pass the June 2015 exam, you can use the same Level I eBook for the December 2015 exam.

Access to an eBook will remain active for five calendar years. For example, clients who purchased the 2015 eBook will have access until December 2020. 

eBooks are made available with a perpetual license so they remain available to you for future reference; however, because each exam question is based explicitly on the curriculum, you should emphasize mastery of the most current curriculum content in your study plan.