Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

By attending this program, you will:

  • Prepare for CIMA® certification — recognized by the financial services industry as the standard for advanced investment consulting — in an intensive program
  • Be on your way to earning a respected credential that communicates to clients and peers your high level of competency, professionalism, and investment expertise
  • Leverage the world-renowned expertise of Wharton finance faculty and get your questions answered in real time, with extensive access before, during, and after each session
  • Gain enhanced knowledge and master advanced investment techniques that can improve your practice and your clients’ overall experience
  • Grow your network by engaging and learning with an experienced group of peers
  • Extend your exam preparation with pre- and post-program readings carefully selected by Wharton faculty

Experience & Impact

In the investment world, the CIMA® certification reflects a high level of quality and credibility among your financial professional peers. The commitment and discipline required to achieve the CIMA designation will not only enhance your investment skills but also enable you to strengthen your relationships with clients. The education component at Wharton will prepare you to successfully take the CIMA® Certification Exam.

Wharton faculty — led by Jeffrey Jaffe, an expert on corporate finance, investments, and money management — apply their field-based research and the latest strategic insights on modern portfolios, as well as investment alternatives that are changing the face of investing today, such as private equity, commodities, and hedge funds.

Program Structure

This education program focuses on the topics required to prepare you for the CIMA® Certification Exam. Through highly interactive daily review sessions, you will learn to apply, process, and retain the information necessary to pass the exam. The program also includes exclusive pre- and post-program content to deepen and further your learning.

Wharton LIVE Programming

Real-time, synchronous peer learning

The live, virtual version of Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) Certification will be delivered online daily for two weeks. It will be taught by the same Wharton faculty who teach in the on-campus program. This education program offers, and requires, a high level of engagement through class discussion and faculty interaction. Participants will have direct access to Wharton faculty throughout the program, and engage in dynamic group work that helps reinforce the learning and enable networking among the peer community. This virtual program is a fully immersive and structured learning experience that culminates with new knowledge that can be put to immediate use.

Program Duration

Apr. 26 – May 7, 2021
9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EDT
Review sessions, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT

Daily Review Sessions

The virtual version of this education program will also include daily review sessions from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT, which will give you an opportunity to get to know the other participants and build your professional network.

Wharton Exam
This virtual program culminates with an exam on the last day from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT. After passing the Wharton exam, participants may then take the CIMA® Certification Exam. Participants who pass it join a select group of professionals who have earned this internationally recognized credential.

Wharton Executive Education’s instructors do not have access to the CIMA Certification Examination and cannot guarantee success on the Investment & Wealth Institute’s certification examination.

Faculty Expertise

During your pursuit of the CIMA designation, you will be taught by the experts who literally wrote the book(s) on the subjects.

Academic Director Jeffrey Jaffe — an authority on investments, corporate finance, and money management — is a co-author of the best-selling textbook Corporate Finance, now in its 11th edition. He is also the co-author of Corporate Finance: Core Principles and Applications.

Richard Marston’s Portfolio Design: A Modern Approach to Asset Allocation is a classic, informing and advocating for talented, highly skilled professional advisors who can outperform indexes. He’s also author of Investing for a Lifetime: Managing Wealth for the “New Normal," which serves as a guide to the main investment decisions one makes throughout a lifetime.

Craig MacKinlay shares research on the predictability of stock prices as co-author of A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street. In it, he reconsiders the “random walk hypothesis,” and directs investment professionals toward superior long-term investment returns through disciplined active investment management.

Program faculty share a passion for this material and, in particular, they enjoy teaching the investment professionals who regularly attend the CIMA® education program at Wharton.

Topics include:

  • Modern Portfolio Theory
  • Behavioral Finance
  • Alternative Investments
  • Asset Allocation
  • Manager Search and Selection
  • Investment Policy
  • Performance Measurement

Upon successful completion of this program, you may be eligible to receive credit toward Wharton’s Advanced Finance Program (AFP).

Convince Your Supervisor

Here’s a justification letter you can edit and send to your supervisor to help you make the case for attending this Wharton program.

Who Should Attend

The CIMA® certification program requires that you meet all eligibility requirements, including verified work experience, education, examination, and ethics. Before registering for the Wharton Executive Education program, you must submit a CIMA® application and fee to the Investments & Wealth Institute and undergo a background check.

INVESTMENTS & WEALTH INSTITUTE® is a registered mark of Investment Management Consultants Association Inc. (“IMCA”) doing business as The Investments & Wealth Institute (“The Institute”). CIMA® and CERTIFIED INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT ANALYST® are registered certification marks of IMCA d/b/a The Institute. As described in the CIMA Candidate Handbook, completion of an executive education program offered through a Registered Education Provider does not result in attainment of the CIMA certification nor does it award use of the certification marks. Completion of an executive education program results in a candidate becoming eligible to sit for the CIMA Certification Exam and thereafter to complete the remaining steps for certification.

Plan your stay in Philadelphia

Plan Your Stay

This program is held at the Steinberg Conference Center located on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Meals and accommodations are included in the program fees. Learn more about planning your stay at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus.


Itamar Drechsler

Itamar Drechsler, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Co-Academic Director

Associate Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Nikolai Roussanov

Nikolai Roussanov, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Co-Academic Director

Moise Y. Safra Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Interaction between asset pricing and macroeconomics

Craig Mackinlay

A. Craig MacKinlay, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Joseph P. Wargrove Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Asset pricing models, behavior of futures prices, econometric modeling, stock market behavior

Richard Marston

Richard Marston, PhDSee Faculty Bio

James R. F. Guy Professor Emeritus of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Foreign exchange risk management, international asset pricing, international investments


Christopher QuinleyLiang & Quinley Wealth Management

Robert LunaCEO, Surevest Wealth Management

I was interested in the CIMA certification and am very glad I chose Wharton’s program. I gained a lot of practical insights from the course that will help me with my exam and my role at UBS analyzing investments and portfolios. In addition to all the detailed terms presented in the class, I learned what to look for in a fact sheet and how to approach wholesalers and evaluate a financial product when they pitch it to me. Wharton’s presenters were great — very knowledgeable and easy to understand. Listening to them gave me an academic perspective that made me want to learn more. I’ve already recommended Wharton’s program to colleagues in investment sales and strategy."

Veronica AlardWealth Strategy Associate, UBS International

The week I spent in this program was one of the more productive weeks of my career. The program is a near-perfect blend of diverse faculty, current and relevant theory, and solid fundamental strategic analysis. The tools I acquired will pay dividends for years to come."

Shane PeeryChief Financial Officer, Cherokee & Walker, Inc.

Attaining my CIMA certification is about building more credibility with clients and peers. Being able to interpret attribution and formulating your own commentary allows for more independent thought when discussing our investment strategies and providing insight on how it may fit into a client’s portfolio. I always understood the basic concepts of this material, but after my Wharton experience, I really knew it and could define it in intricate detail. Now I can dig deeper into the numbers and fully explain the returns and process, and how our strategies may complement a client’s portfolio in a clear and defined manner.

It was a complete and total professional experience. Wharton’s faculty was very detail-oriented. The time and effort Wharton put into the overall planning of every aspect of this class was impressive. The peer interaction across the board was also impactful — you had many other asset managers and advisors ranging in age from their late 20s to the early 50s. The diversity of the points of view in the program was invaluable."

Andrew CiproAssistant Vice President, Scout Funds


How do I apply for the CIMA® certification?

What are all of the necessary steps to earn the CIMA® certification?

How do I register for Wharton’s educational component?

Once you have been accepted by the Investments & Wealth Institute®, please fill out the application on Wharton’s website.

How long is Wharton’s educational component?

The program starts Monday morning and ends Friday by 12:30 p.m.

What is the format of Wharton’s exam for the educational component?

For the live virtual version of the program, the Wharton exam will be multiple choice. For the on-campus version of the program, the Wharton exam is a written test based on qualitative and quantitative aspects of the education program.

How long does it take to receive my grade after completing the class?

Grades are typically released within three to four weeks.

Do I have to pass the educational component exam to proceed to the CIMA® Certification Exam?


If I do not successfully complete the educational component exam, where can I take the make-up exam?

You can take the make-up exam on the Friday of any subsequent program. Please note that the make-up exam is only offered at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus.

When can I take the CIMA® Certification Exam?

Wharton will notify the Investments & Wealth Institute® when you have successfully completed the education component, who will in turn notify the third-party exam administrator that you are eligible to sit for the CIMA® Certification Exam.

Where can I take the CIMA® Certification Exam?

The exam is administered at more than 170 Pearson VUE testing centers throughout the United States.

What is the time frame to complete the CIMA® certification process?

Pace is determined by the individual applicant. Typically, the process takes three to six months; however, you have up to a year to complete it.

How long does it take to become certified after passing the CIMA® Certification Exam?

Candidates must document a minimum of three years of verified work experience in the financial-services industry, pass a second background check, pay an initial certification fee, and complete a license agreement before certification is complete.

Contact the Institute directly for process and timelines at or at 303.770.3377, option 2.

All questions regarding the CIMA® certification process should be directed to:

The Institute’s Certification Department
Phone: 303.770.3377, option 2

Any questions regarding Wharton’s registered educational component content can be directed to:

Megan McAnany

Date, Location, & Fees

April 26 – May 7, 2021LIVE Virtual$4,8509:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EDT
Review sessions, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT

Download the program schedule, including session details.

Download ScheduleApply Now

Hotel Information

Fees for the on-campus program include accommodations and meals. Prices are subject to change.

International Travel Information »

Plan Your Stay »

In Partnership With

Investments & Wealth Institute

Contact Us

If you are interested in starting the CIMA® certification process, or for more information about the Investments & Wealth Institute™'s advanced certification qualifications, please contact the Institute directly via email or by phone +1.303.770.3377.

Schedule a personalized consultation with Wharton Client Relations to discuss your professional goals.


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