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CFA Program: Is it right for me?

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Enrolment Requirements for CFA Program

To become a CFA candidate, you must enrol in CFA Program and register for the Level I exam. In order to enrol you must meet all of the qualifications listed below.

Bachelor’s Degree

Complete a bachelor’s program or equivalent program and have received a degree from the college/university. If you are not sure if your program is comparable, consult your college or university.

University Student

Your selected exam window must be 23 months or fewer before your graduation month for your bachelor’s degree or equivalent program. Understand that you must complete your degree program prior to the date of sitting your Level II exam.

Professional Work Experience

Have a combination of 4,000 hours of work experience and/or higher education that was acquired over a minimum of three sequential years and achieved by the date of registering for the Level I exam. The dates of education and professional work experience cannot be overlapping. If you have a combination of work experience and higher education to achieve the minimum hours and years, assume that higher education takes 1,000 hours per year.

Professional work experience does not need to be investment related.  Internships/articleships are accepted if they are paid. Work experience with your own business or your family business will qualify only if it is professional experience for which you are paid.

What does professional work experience mean? Professional work experience requires specialized knowledge, education, or advanced skills. Professional work experience requires the application of higher-level judgement and business skills, including:

  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Business communications
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Time management
  • Professional judgement
  • Analytical skills
  • Adaptability

Candidates applying to register for CFA Program without completing a bachelor’s degree must honestly evaluate whether their professional work experience has equipped them for the significant volume and depth of study demanded by CFA Program.

Please note that CFA Institute may request proof of education (copy of diploma, marksheet, any other relevant documents) and/or work experience (letter of employment, salary slips, any other relevant documents) to be submitted at any stage of your journey as a candidate or even after becoming a member in order to demonstrate entrance requirements were met. Failure to provide requested documentation relevant to entrance requirements may result in cancellation of a current exam registration, withholding of exam results, voiding of past exam results, and may lead to investigation and disciplinary action by the CFA Institute Professional Conduct Program.

CFA Institute requires that every CFA Program candidate have a valid international travel passport. Those without a passport will not be able to register or sit for exams.

CFA Program exams are only offered in English. Exams require English proficiency for reading comprehension and formulating answers to complex financial scenarios.

All candidates in CFA Program must complete a Professional Conduct Statement form to attest that they are in compliance with this requirement.

There are some countries with which CFA Institute cannot work. Review the OFAC Policy to check if there are any sanctions on your country.

Access Scholarship

The CFA Institute Access Scholarship Program is designed to make CFA® Program more available to individuals who may not be able to afford the full program fees.

What is the evaluation criteria?

While financial need will be strongly considered, awards may be based on a combination of factors, including financial need; the academic, professional, or other accomplishments of the candidate; obstacles overcome by the candidate; contributions to the local community; the candidate’s interest in pursuing the CFA charter; and other personal characteristics that indicate the individual is a strong candidate to receive an Access Scholarship and become a CFA charterholder.

What is the application approval process?

Applications will be reviewed and awarded by CFA Institute.

What are the scholarship rules?

Read the full Access Scholarship Rules.


Access Scholarship


Award Amount

CFA Program enrolment fee is waived and exam registration is reduced to USD250.



The scholarship application window is now closed. You can expect a decision no later than 31 July 2022. The next cycle will open in the fall of this year.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet the enrolment criteria and requirements for CFA Program.

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