The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is a professional designation awarded by the CFA Institute. The CFA charter, perhaps the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world, demonstrates a mastery of a comprehensive body of knowledge important in the investment decision-making process. 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. 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, and portfolio management. Candidates are tested on all topic areas at each level.
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).
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. We are offering this program as one opportunity for our students to distinguish themselves in a competitive employment market.
At Fordham, the CFA Track is a sequence of undergraduate courses offered by the Gabelli School of Business. The courses have been designed to prepare a student to take the CFA Level I exam shortly after graduation. When possible, courses use the same textbooks and reference materials as the CFA curriculum. Also, questions from previous CFA exams are used on some course exams.
A candidate completing the finance courses in the CFA Track 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.
Because Fordham is a CFA Program Partner University, a certain number of students may be selected each year to receive CFA student scholarships. These scholarships are provided by the CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals that awards the Chartered Financial Analyst designation; they provide reduced costs for college or university students enrolling in the CFA Program. Students may not apply directly for a scholarship, but rather must be selected and sponsored by the Gabelli School’s CFA program director. Full details of the scholarship program are provided to students at the start of each fall semester.
For more information
To learn more about the CFA charter, please refer to the CFA Institute website. To learn more about the CFA Track at the Gabelli School of Business, please visit the CFA Track information on the Gabelli School of Business web pages.