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CFA Institute to Extend CFA® Program Candidate Eligibility by One Year

Going forward, students with two years remaining in their undergraduate studies will be able to sit for the Level I exam; expanded eligibility began on 1 November 2022

Charlottesville, United States 16 Nov 2022

CFA Institute, the global association for investment professionals, has extended CFA Program candidate eligibility by one year to include students with two years remaining in their undergraduate studies. This change took effect on 1 November 2022.

The expansion of the eligibility policy will provide students with the opportunity to use Level I of the CFA Program as a clear signal to employers that they are serious about a career in the investment profession.

The change is underpinned by extensive research that CFA Institute has conducted with candidates and the financial services industry as a whole. The research found that undergraduate university students -- already immersed in studying and skilled at exam preparation -- expressed interest in enrolling in the CFA Program earlier as they seek an edge in the highly competitive marketplace for coveted internships and employment. These findings are bolstered by the recent independent benchmarking of the CFA Program by Ecctis. The exercise formally deemed the CFA charter as comparable to Master’s degree standard in 12 markets, which account for over 80 percent of CFA Program candidate volumes.

Chris Wiese, CFA, Managing Director, Credentialing at CFA Institute, commented:

“The CFA Program has continuously evolved since its inception in 1963. By opening up CFA Program eligibility by one year, this policy change allows us to meet the expressed needs of student candidates, providing them with the opportunity to prepare for investment careers, while also addressing industry demand for well-trained, ethical professionals. This change also reinforces our standard-setting position in the industry by ensuring the continued rigor, relevance, and value of the CFA charter by supplying both interns and early career entrants with the foundational knowledge they need for success.”


This change also applies to the May 2023 exam window for those atypical candidates who could graduate in or shortly before April 2024. Requirements to register for the Level II exam (students must have graduated before the exam date) and to ultimately earn the CFA charter remain unchanged, including the work-experience requirement.

Details will be released to prospective candidates beginning the week of 14 November 2022, when registration for the August 2023 exam cycle opens. 

About CFA Institute

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organization is a champion of ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. Our aim is to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economics grow. There are more than 190,000 CFA charterholders worldwide in more than 160 markets. CFA Institute has nine offices worldwide and 160 local societies. For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter at @CFAInstitute.

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