CFA Program Course of Study

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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. This process helps us determine the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by today's investment management professionals. Learn more about our practice analysis process and updates to the 2016 curriculum.

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.