Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) Certification

Program Overview

The Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) Certification is the only credential of its kind designed specifically for financial professionals seeking to distinguish themselves as advanced investment consultants. It requires successful completion of the educational component followed by a passing score on the CIMA® Certification Exam.

Today, investment professionals turn to Wharton’s program for good reason. The weeklong immersive experience with Wharton finance faculty enables you to ask questions in real time and grow your network of industry peers. The program includes daily review sessions and carefully selected pre- and post-readings that help enhance learning and retention.

Prof. Jeffrey Jaffe talks about the CIMA curriculum

Academic Director Jeffrey Jaffe talks about the CIMA® curriculum.

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 one-week program on Wharton's Philadelphia campus (meals and lodging included)
  • 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 over the course of a week
  • Extend your exam preparation with pre- and post-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 this professional 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 such as private equity, commodities, and hedge funds that are changing the face of investing today.

Program Structure

This education program presents a semester’s worth of material in one week, focusing 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.

Faculty Expertise

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

Wharton Exam

Wharton’s program culminates with an exam on Friday. 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.

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

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

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


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?

It 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 certification@i-w.org 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
Email: certification@i-w.org
Website: investmentsandwealth.org

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

Megan McAnany


Jeff Jaffe

Jeffrey Jaffe, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Associate Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate finance, investments, money management, and the effects of information on the behavior of security prices

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

Date, Location, & Fees

The October 2019 session is closed. Please email for more information.

October 7 – 11, 2019Philadelphia, PA$6,850

January 27 – 31, 2020Philadelphia, PA$6,850

March 30 – April 3, 2020Philadelphia, PA$6,850

July 13 – 17, 2020Philadelphia, PA$6,850

Download the program schedule, including session details.

Download ScheduleApply Now

Hotel Information

Fees for this 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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