Choosing a Program

Determining which CAIA Association program is right for you will depend on several factors: What level of knowledge do you need? What is your current role? What path will your career take? And more. Compare our two programs below and assess for yourself:

Program Overview

The CAIA Charter is a rigorous, self-study education program designed for finance professionals who seek a high level of knowledge and demonstrated expertise in alternative investments. The CAIA Charter is recognized as the global benchmark in alternative investment education.

Who will benefit from taking the program?  

Anyone who wants to develop a deep level of knowledge and demonstrated expertise in alternative investments should pursue the CAIA Charter.

• Risk managers

• Analysts

• Portfolio managers

• Traders

• Consultants

• Business development/marketing

• Operations

• Advisors

How many exams will I need to take?

The CAIA Charter is granted upon completion of two levels of qualifying exams, combined with relevant professional experience.

How long will it take to complete the program?

A minimum of 200 hours of study time is recommended for each level (a total of approximately 400 hours).

When is the program offered?

Exams are offered in March and September, which allows Candidates to potentially complete the program in one year. The exams are available globally at proctored, computerized test centers.

What do I achieve by successfully completing the program?

You will earn the CAIA Charter and be eligible to join the CAIA Association. By doing so, you may use the CAIA designation to signal your expertise in alternative investments and join a global community of over 9,000 CAIA Charterholders in more than 90 countries.

What will my proficiency level in alternative investments be after completing the program?

After earning your CAIA Charter, you will be highly knowledgeable about alternative investments. The CAIA Charter conveys demonstrated expertise and global credibility in alternative investments.

Can I join the CAIA Association after successfully completing the program?

Yes, after passing the Level II exam, you are eligible to join the CAIA Association with relevant professional experience.

How do I sign up for the program?

Register Now 

Program overview



The Fundamentals of Alternative Investments Certificate Program is an introductory level, online course on alternative investments. The 20-hour, self-paced course is designed to provide a foundation of core concepts in alternative investments.

Who will benefit from taking the program?

Anyone who needs to gain a fundamental understanding of alternative investments concepts but does not require a deep level of expertise should pursue the Fundamentals of Alternative Investments course. The course is recommended for:

• Financial advisors, planners, and consultants

• Administration/operations personnel

• Sales and marketing personnel

• Legal counsel/compliance

• Accountants

• Media

• Anyone who wants to master a fundamental understanding of alternative investments

How many exams will I need to take?

There are no qualifying exams. However, each module includes a 10-question open book quiz which requires a 70% passing rate to move to the next module.

How long will it take to complete the program?

The program can be completed in approximately 20 hours. The curriculum is presented in one-hour long modules. No additional reading or studying is required.

When is the program offered?

Enrollment is open year-round. You may view the modules at your own pace.

What do I achieve by successfully completing the program?

You will receive a certificate of completion by the CAIA Association.

What will my proficiency level in alternative investments be after completing the program?

Upon completion you will demonstrate an understanding of core concepts in alternative investments.

Can I join the CAIA Association after successfully completing the program?

No, CAIA Association Membership is only available to CAIA Charterholders.

How do I sign up for the program?

Go to fundamentals.caia.org for individual enrollment. Get in touch for information about group enrollment.