Academic Equivalency Evaluation of CFA = Masters or Bachelors???

Does anyone know if CFA is deemed equivalent to Masters in Finance or Bachelors in Finance when an Academic Equivalency Evaluation is done. As a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite of CFA, the course itself requires 3 years of exams and 4 years of experience before designation, and contents are mostly equivalent to a MBA in Finance, I would assume CFA should be deemed equivalent to “Masters in Finance”? Any ideas guys?

Also, apparently an evaluation can be done by an independent company, so I guess one company could say it’s Bachelors and another could say Masters?

I’ve heard it referred to simply as a grad school equivalent, but I haven’t written any exams yet so can’t really say

This is thinking too much.

I’ve completed an MSF and the CFA far outpaces the depth and difficulty of any MBA or MSF program that I know of. In addition, the pressure of completing 3 comprehensive exams annually as compared to taking 2-3 exams in 8-9 classes adds pressure unheard of in any graduate program.

for the UK, see here:

I think it depends on the school. Also, it’s likely that most university programs don’t make you take as many subjects as the CFA, but have more content in specific topics.

Well, I guess the real test is to ask charterholders who were finance undergrads it the curriculum is all or almost all review or not.

My guess is that substantial parts of the material is new or goes more in depth than an undergraduate education, which would tend to suggest it is at least masters’ level, though possibly not on par with the very best masters programs.

Thanks guys - it’s very helpful!

I personally think it’s masters, but need to get it evaluated as such by an independent entity that’s why - looks like UK has agreed it’s Masters so we’re good I guess…

According to CFAI (link below), the UK is the only country that has given an official equivalency evaluation that ties to a university degree level. Australia and South Africa have also done evaluations, but they give equivalency to other designations, not bachelors or masters.

I would think the UK evaluation would satisfy anyone in US or EU.

L2 material goes way beyond anything recent finance undergrads that I’ve hired have seen in school.

L2 goes beyond most of what I saw in graduate school…

I taught an undergraduate investments and portfolio management course one year. My goal was to teach investment material (minus econ, quant, and corpfin, and some of accounting stuff which were covered in other courses) with the CFA L1 exam material as a rough guide. I was only able to get through about 2/3 of what I hoped, and even that was disturbingly shallow.

I think an undergraduate finance degree covers a lot of what appears in L1, albeit over a 4 year series.

Remember that as an undergraduate, a lot of what you’re learning is how to learn and organize materials so you can absorb it. This is one reason why someone who wasn’t a finance undergrad can master most of L1 in six months or a year, whereas the undergrad had to take 4 years to learn stuff (admittedly, there are also breadth requirements in some schools).

L1 was like having my undergrad finals all in 1 go

Some of the L2 material, namely corporate finance and options material, overlapped with some of the higher level finance courses I’ve taken in undergrad.

I work for a UK bank and I can confirm that CFA charter is considered a Postgraduate equivalent. (If that really helped!)


I would say that level I is nearly equivalent to a Bachelors degree (Which I have) but level II was far more in depth than any undergrad course I took.

Tell that to MIT. Grad programs are designed to be taken full-time; studying for the CFA isn’t. Saying it takes longer doesn’t mean much.

In terms of scope, CFA outpaces Msc/MBA but in terms of depth and rigour… CFA scratches the surface of almost every topic it touches