Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

By attending this program, you will:

  • Be on your way to earning CIMA® certification — recognized by the financial services industry as the standard for advanced investment consulting—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
  • Extend your exam preparation with self-study materials carefully selected by Wharton faculty
  • Take an exclusive investment math knowledge quiz and review concepts as needed
  • Grow your network by engaging and learning with an experienced group of peers

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 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 program prepares you for the CIMA® exam in three segments. First, you will gain access to self-study program content approximately two months prior to the classroom segment. It includes mandatory readings, an exclusive investment math knowledge quiz, a math review, and a calculator guide/tutorial. Expect to spend approximately 60 hours on this self-study segment before the start of the live online sessions.

During the two weeks of live online instruction, you will spend the morning in the classroom and in the late afternoon/early evening, attend highly interactive daily review sessions that will help you apply, process, and retain the information needed to pass the exam. This program segment concludes with a day of guided review followed by a Wharton exam on the final day.

The third segment involves a review of materials that include an electronic copy of the Investment Advisor Body Of Knowledge (published by Investments & Wealth Institute and Wiley). Participants are directed to specific sections of the book for study. Faculty generally recommend spending at least 50-100 hours preparing for the final certification after they complete our live online sessions. This segment concludes within 90 days when you take the CIMA® exam.

Wharton LIVE Online Programming

Real-time peer learning with deep faculty engagement and global networking

Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) Certification is delivered live online daily over two weeks. During the two weeks of live online instruction, you will spend the mornings engaged in classroom lectures from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The highly interactive daily evening sessions from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. expand on the morning session by providing additional concepts and tools, reinforcing key concepts discussed in the morning and providing extensive opportunity to practice working with program material. These sessions will help prepare you for the exam. They also provide an opportunity to get to know the other participants and build your professional network. This program segment concludes with a day of guided review followed by a Wharton exam on the final day.

Participants are required to attend both the morning (9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EDT) and early evening (5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) sessions to fulfill the requirements of the course.

The program will be taught by the same Wharton faculty who teach in the on-campus program. 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.

Program Duration

New dates coming soon

Wharton Exam
This program culminates with a guided practice session followed by a Wharton exam on the final day from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. EDT. Those who pass it should continue their study with review materials provided by Wharton faculty and Investments & Wealth Institute. They must also register for and take the CIMA® Certification Exam within 90 days. Participants who need to retake the Wharton exam will be notified of retesting dates one and two months following the initial test date.

Wharton Executive Education instructors do not have access to the CIMA® Certification Exam, and although we provide comprehensive instruction and review, we cannot guarantee a passing score.

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.

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.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.

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.


Itamar Drechsler

Itamar Drechsler, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Co-Academic Director

Ervin Miller-Arthur M. Freedman Professor; Professor of Finance, Co-Director, Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research, 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 Quinley Liang & Quinley Wealth Management

Robert Luna CEO, 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 Alard Wealth 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 Peery Chief 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 Cipro Programming Director, Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts


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 Wharton program is comprised of three segments: Two are self-guided and one is led by Wharton faculty in our online classroom. Expect to spend approximately 60 hours on the mandatory self-study segment before live online sessions begin.

Online classroom hours are as follows:
Week 1: Monday–Friday 9 a.m–12:15 p.m.
Week 2: Monday–Wednesday 9 a.m.–12:15 p.m.; Thursday 9:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m. (Includes practice exam and review); Friday 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. LIVE exam

Online review sessions are held from 5:00–7:00 p.m.

Faculty generally recommend spending at least 50–100 hours preparing for the final certification with the provided self-study materials after they complete our live online sessions.

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

The exam is multiple choice.

How long does it take to receive my score after completing the program?

You will be notified of your score within three days.

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 retest?

You will be able to retake the Wharton exam one or two months after your initial test. Notification of new test dates will be sent shortly after the initial test.

When can I take the CIMA® Certification Exam?

Wharton will notify the Investments & Wealth Institute® when you have successfully completed the education component: they will in turn notify the third-party exam administrator that you are eligible to sit for the CIMA® Certification Exam. You must take the exam within 90 days of completing the educational component.

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

The Wharton program is currently under a curriculum and format review by the faculty. By August of 2022, we should have more details to share so please check back in at that time. In the meantime, please contact Ashley Vargas at to discuss your options.

New dates coming soon

Prices are subject to change.

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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