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The CFA curriculum is grounded in the practice of the investment profession. CFA Institute periodically conducts a practice analysis process whereby members and employers provide information on current practice as well as anticipated future trends and the competencies that a new CFA charterholder needs in order to practice in the investment profession. The analysis results define the Candidate Body of Knowledge™ (CBOK) and determine how much emphasis each of the major topic areas receives on the CFA examinations. The CBOK is organized into ten major topic areas:

1. Ethical and Professional Standards
2. Quantitative Methods
3. Economics
4. Financial Reporting and Analysis
5. Corporate Finance
6. Equity Investments
7. Fixed Income
8. Derivatives
9. Alternative Investments
10. Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning

Two features of the CBOK are especially relevant the CFA examinations. 

The curriculum for each level of the CFA Program is organized primarily around a functional area:

  • The Level I study program emphasizes tools and inputs and includes an introduction to asset valuation and portfolio management techniques.
  • The Level II study program emphasizes asset valuation and includes applications of the tools and inputs (including economics, financial statement analysis, and quantitative methods) in asset valuation.
  • The Level III study program emphasizes portfolio management and includes strategies for applying the tools, inputs, and asset valuation models in managing equity, fixed income, and derivative investments for individuals and institutions.

Ethical and professional standards are covered at all three levels of the curriculum.

For full details please visit the CFA Institute Website.