CAIA Exam Curriculum

Curriculum Overview: The CAIA Charter exam curriculum is revised regularly to incorporate relevant, practical industry developments, and the latest academic research. The curriculum consists of two exam levels, taken in succession.

CAIA Level I Exam Topics

Professional Standards and Ethics

  • Professionalism
  • Integrity of Capital Markets
  • Duties to Clients
  • Duties to Employers
  • Investment Analysis, Recommendations, and Actions
  • Conflicts of Interest

Introduction to Alternative Investments

  • What Is an Alternative Investment?
  • The Environment of Alternative Investments
  • Quantitative Foundations
  • Statistical Foundations
  • Measures of Risk and Performance
  • Foundations of Financial Economics
  • Benchmarking and Performance Attribution
  • Alpha, Beta, and Hypothesis Testing
  • Regression, Multivariate, and Nonlinear Methods

Real Assets

  • Natural Resources and Land
  • Commodity Forward Pricing
  • Commodities: Applications and Evidence
  • Operationally-Intensive Real Assets
  • Liquid and Fixed-Income Real Estate
  • Real Estate Equity Investments

Hedge Funds

  • Structure of the Hedge Fund Industry
  • Macro and Managed Futures Funds
  • Event-Driven Hedge Funds
  • Relative Value Hedge Funds
  • Equity Hedge Funds
  • Funds of Hedge Funds

Private Equity

  • Introduction to Private Equity
  • Equity Types of Private Equity
  • Debt Types of Private Equity

Structured Products

  • Introduction to Structuring
  • Credit Risk and Credit Derivatives
  • CDO Structuring of Credit Risk
  • Equity-Linked Structured Products

Risk Management and Portfolio Management

  • Cases in Tail Events
  • Investment Process, Operations, and Risk
  • Due Diligence of Fund Managers
  • Portfolio Management, Alpha, and Beta


Level I Topic

Approximate Exam Weight

Professional Standards and Ethics 15-20%
Introduction to Alternative Investments 20-25%
Real Assets including Commodities 10-20%
Hedge Funds 10-20%
Private Equity 5-10%
Structured Products 10-15%
Risk Management and Portfolio Management 5-10%


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CAIA Level II Exam Topics

Asset Allocation and Institutional Investors

  • Asset Allocation Processes and the Mean-Variance Model
  • Tactical Asset Allocation, Mean-Variance Extensions, Risk Budgeting, Risk Parity, and Factor Investing
  • The Endowment Model
  • Pension Fund Portfolio Management
  • Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • The Family Office Model

Private Equity

  • Private Equity Market Structure
  • Private Equity Benchmarking
  • Fund Manager Selection and Monitoring
  • Private Equity Operational Due Diligence
  • Private Equity Investment Process and Portfolio Management
  • Measuring Private Equity Risk
  • The Management of Liquidity

Real Assets

  • Real Estate as an Investment
  • Real Estate Indices and Unsmoothing Techniques
  • Investment Styles, Portfolio Allocation, and Real Estate Derivatives
  • Listed Versus Unlisted Real Estate Investments
  • International Real Estate Investments
  • Infrastructure as an Investment
  • Farmland and Timber Investments
  • Investing in Intellectual Property


  • Key Concepts in Commodity Markets
  • Allocation to Commodities
  • Accessing Commodity Investment Products

Hedge Funds and Managed Futures

  • Managed Futures
  • Investing In CTAs
  • Relative Value Strategies
  • Hedge Funds - vs. : Directional Strategies
  • Hedge Funds - vs. : Credit Strategies
  • Volatility, Correlation, and Dispersion Products and Strategies
  • Hedge Fund Replication
  • Funds of Hedge Funds and Multi-Strategy Funds
  • Hedge Fund Operational Due Diligence

Structured Products

  • Regulation and Compliance
  • Structured Products I - vs. : Fixed-income Derivatives and Asset-backed Securities
  • Structured Products II - vs. : Insurance-Linked Products and Hybrid Securities


Level II Topic

Approximate Exam Weight

  Multiple Choice Constructed Response
Professional Standards and Ethics 0% 10%
Current and Integrated Topics 0% 10%
Asset Allocation and Institutional Investors 8-12% 0-10%
Private Equity 11-15% 0-10%
Real Assets 13-17% 0-10%
Commodities 5-7% 0-10%
Hedge Funds and Managed Futures 18-22% 0-10%
Structured Products 5-7% 0-10%


Exam Registration & Fees