CFA Qualification

How to Become a CFA Charterholder

Becoming a charterholder is a defining moment for many investment professionals and exemplifies a strong understanding of advanced investment analysis and real-world portfolio management skills. We outline everything you need to know to prepare for CFA® Program, so you can feel confident when enrolling.

How to Become a CFA Charterholder

  1. Pass CFA ExamsCFA Program contains three levels of curriculum, each with its own exam. Passing the exam for all three levels is a requirement to obtain the CFA charter. 
  2. Achieve Qualified Work ExperienceComplete work experience requirements before, during, or after participation in CFA Program. Your experience must be directly involved with the investment decision-making process or producing a work product that informs or adds value to that process.
  3. Submit Reference LettersIn support of your membership application, you will need to provide 2-3 professional references. References will be asked to comment on your work experience and professional character. 
  4. Apply to Become a CharterholderApply to become a regular member of CFA Institute. Once your application is approved and you have joined CFA Institute, you will have earned the CFA charter. 

Each year, we survey CFA Program candidates before and after the June exam to measure and improve the CFA candidate experience. The surveys ask for feedback across several areas, including exam preparation, curriculum, exam value, and employment outlook. 

Enrollment Criteria and Requirements for CFA Program

To become a CFA candidate, you must enroll in CFA Program and register for the Level I exam. In order to enroll you must meet all of the qualifications listed below. We have provided helpful information below to guide you through the enrollment process and to keep you on track for registration.