CAIA Curriculum: An In-Depth Look

In a world of heightened market complexity, the distinction between traditional and alternative has blurred into a continuum, necessitating a comprehensive understanding of these converging dynamics — a new era of portfolio construction has emerged.

About the CAIA Curriculum

The global investment landscape has undergone a profound transformation since the inception of the CAIA Charter Program. And with it, a redefining of the very nature of institutional investing and reshaping the role of alternative investments within portfolio construction. As a professional body dedicated to creating greater alignment, transparency, and knowledge for all investors, the CAIA Association has incorporated this evolution within the CAIA curriculum.


It is updated annually, with revisions resulting in roughly 10-20% change in exam content. This revision process ensures the curriculum will reflect the most relevant and up-to-date industry analysis, tools, and best practices. 

The CAIA Association releases the revised curriculum at the start of the registration period in October for the following year. This updated curriculum then applies to the two exam cycles in that calendar year. For example, updated curriculum for 2024 exams was released in October 2023 and should be studied for the March 2024 exam and the September 2024 exam.

It is important to note that that exams are based exclusively on the curriculum
associated with that exam year. Use of prior editions is not recommended. 

Next is here. An Evolution in Learning


Beyond a singular focus on individual investment strategies, today’s investment professionals must wield a holistic proficiency encompassing an array of disciplines. From portfolio construction and thematic investing trends to geopolitical shifts, regulatory intricacies, and technological innovations, the modern investment landscape necessitates the multi-dimensional approach found within the CAIA curriculum.

For Level I, the curriculum takes a bottom-up approach to the alternative investments industry. The readings offer detailed insights into the variety of institutional-quality strategies spanning the alternatives universe. Upon completing Level I, Candidates should have working knowledge of the relevant strategies available for investment, along with the basic tools to evaluate them. 

The Level II curriculum takes a top-down approach and provides Candidates with the skills and tools to conduct due diligence, monitor investments, and appropriately construct an investment portfolio. In addition, the Level II curriculum contains Emerging Topic readings; articles written by academics and practitioners designed to further inform and provoke the Candidate’s investment management process. 

For additional details about the Level I and Level II curriculum - including learning objectives and keywords to support your studies, please review the Level appropriate Curriculum Companion


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What's new?

As shown in the infographics, 2024 saw substantial revisions in Level I along with a number of brand new readings in Level I and Level II. Many of the new readings covered topics that are of growing relevance and importance to institutional investors ensuring our candidates and members remain informed and up-to-date on the latest industry trends.

2024 Highlights: 

  • We prepared ten new readings on digital assets for Level I to provide an overview of the investment class and unique challenges they present to institutional investors.


  • In Level II we introduce a framework for investors to evaluate geopolitical “beta” and the risks it presents to long-term portfolio allocations.


  • Our new Level II reading explores what CAIA believes are the defining qualities for professionalism and how to operate with a client-first mindset.


  • We introduce the Hierarchy of Alpha to the Level II curriculum. This reading offers a means of evaluating and attributing performance across a variety of private market strategies.