West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics is the newest member of the CFA (Chartered Financial AnalystŪ) Institute University Recognition Program. WVU’s recognition makes it one of only 20 currently recognized universities in the CFA Americas Region, and one of only 33 in the world.

The program positions students to obtain the CFA designation, which has become the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world. Additionally, two faculty members — Dr. Victor Chow and Dr. Alexander Kurov — recently attained their charters.

WVU’s Master of Science in Finance program has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge and placing emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice within the program. Entry into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program signals to potential students, employers, and the marketplace that WVU’s master’s program in finance curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well-suited to preparing students to sit for CFA examinations. Through participation in this program, WVU is eligible to receive a limited number of student scholarships for the CFA program each year.

“Students in these programs study the Candidate Body of Knowledge, which include knowledge, skills, and abilities that investment experts worldwide have identified as essential best practice,” said Stephen Horan, Ph.D., head of University Relations & Private Wealth for the CFA Institute. “By mastering the fundamentals of the CFA Program, as well as the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, these future investment professionals join us in our mission to promote the highest standards of ethics, education and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.”

CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and administers the industry gold standard CFA charter. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. CFA Institute has more than 110,000 members in 139 countries and territories, including 100,000 CFA charter holders.

“Our recognition through the CFA program exemplifies the commitment and quality B&E has in the area of finance,” said Dr. “Jose “Zito Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean, WVU College of Business and Economics, “and there are no two better individual examples of that commitment and quality than Drs. Chow and Kurov. They and the entire Department of Finance are to be congratulated for these outstanding achievements.”

The College’s master’s in finance is an intensive 12-month program that starts online during the summer and ends the following summer with an internship. The program provides a combination of macro and microeconomics, corporate responsibility and ethics with nine finance courses that provide graduates with a thorough understanding of material in the CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge.

“We designed (the program) this way,” said Dr. Victor Chow, who has served as program coordinator since its inception in 2009. “We knew that we’d like our students to have this professional knowledge and skill. The CFA curriculum provides students a tremendous benefit. It shows our College and department’s commitment to be one of the most excellent of programs. That’s our goal and we will continue with that.”

The program is designed to prepare students to pass the CFA exam. To receive a CFA charter one must pass three rigorous exams, a process that can take up to four years and an average of 300 hours of preparation for each exam. Dr. Chow and Dr. Kurov received their charters in September, and were recognized at the October meeting of the CFA Institute’s Pittsburgh Chapter.

Of the three graduating classes of the MS in Finance program, 45 students have passed the first exam, 20 have passed the first two exams, and 10 have completed all three exams to receive their charter, the gold standard in the investment industry.

“The finance faculty has worked hard to create a truly excellent master’s in finance program at WVU,” said Dr. William Riley, chairman of the WVU Department of Finance. “We’ve had 50 students graduate from the program over its short three-year history. I’m pleased that this hard work and dedication has been rewarded by the CFA Institute in their inclusion of WVU in their University Recognition Program.”

The CFA Program sets a standard for developing the skills, standards, competence and integrity of financial analysts, portfolio managers, investment advisers and other investment professionals worldwide. It is widely considered the investment profession’s most rigorous credentialing program. Administered in English, the CFA curriculum and examinations are identical worldwide. Fewer than one in five candidates who begin the program successfully complete it and go on to earn the coveted CFA charter, the “gold standard” for investment professionals.

For more information on WVU’s master’s in finance program, please visit be.wvu.edu.

-WVU-

rn/10/24/12

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CONTACT: Dr. William Riley, WVU College of Business and Economics
william.riley@mail.wvu.edu or 304.293.7885