Can you pursue CFA without a bachelor's degree?


Can you pursue CFA without a bachelor's degree?


Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is considered the highest finance distinction. The CFA charter is a designation given to those who have completed CFA Program and achieved qualified work experience.  

CFA Program comprise three-level exams that tests the fundamentals of investment tools, valuing assets, portfolio management, and wealth planning. To be eligible to take the Level I CFA Exam, you must either have a bachelor’s degree or be within 23 months of graduation month of your bachelor’s degree on the date of appearing for the Level I exam.  

However, there is one more eligibility criteria, that is less talked about and if you meet that, you can pursue CFA even without a bachelor’s degree.  

If you are a Chartered Accountant (CA) or a CA student without graduation and interested to take up CFA, this would have already made you excited, isn’t it? But if you are not sure, whether being a CA/CA student you should take up CFA, here’s an expert take on that - Watch it right away.  

However, if you’ve already decided to kick-off your CFA journey, continue reading below.  

There’s another entrance requirement for Level I CFA exam that can help you achieve your CFA Dream.  

“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.” 

Other things to note:  

  • 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. 

So, this means that three years of Practical Training / Articled Training period that that you undergo as a CA student allows you to take up the Level I CFA exam. The articleship must be completed before you register for the exam.  

No documents or proofs are required to be submitted at the time of registration. However, 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.  

Now, with the air cleared around whether you can take up CFA without a bachelor’s degree, when are you getting started 

Author 1FIN by IndigoLearn
1FIN by IndigoLearn

CIN: U74999TG2017PTC116012 | GSTIN: 36AAECI4332C1Z0 | PAN: AAECI4332C

2024 All Rights Reserved