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U. of I. recognized as CFA Program Partner institution

3/24/2008

Jan Dennis, Business & Law Editor
217-333-0568; jdennis@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University of Illinois Master of Science in Finance Program has been named a CFA Program Partner, joining 54 other degree programs worldwide that meet the prestigious financial institute’s professional and ethical standards.

The designation signals that the 50-year-old degree program on the Urbana campus is closely tied to professional practice and well-suited to prepare graduates for careers in the investment industry, said Bob Johnson, deputy CEO of CFA Institute.

“Students in this program are exposed to concepts and principles that have been identified by investment experts as essential to the global practice,” said Johnson, whose organization has more than 94,000 members in 133 countries.

Degree programs recognized as program partners cover at least 70 percent of the standards for investment professionals set down by CFA Institute, which officials say also prepares graduates for three levels of testing required to earn the sought-after Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Fewer than one in five students who enroll in the testing program earn the CFA charter. Officials predict higher success rates for students who train at partner universities, with less time and effort.

“The CFA charter is highly valued not only due to its relevancy to the investment profession, but also due to the fact that the program of study upholds candidates and charter holders to the highest standards of ethics and professional conduct,” said George Pinteris, academic adviser for the U. of I. Master of Science in Finance Program.

Established in 1958, the university’s degree program is among the longest running of its kind in the world, offering a curriculum that can be completed after 12 months of  full-time study.

“We are honored to be part of the CFA Partner Program,” said David Ikenberry, chair of the finance department in the U. of I. College of Business. “The CFA designation is widely regarded as the most rigorous of professional finance qualifications, and is recognized globally as the pre-eminent professional program for those working in the investment industry.”

Editor’s note: For more information, call Lorena Nicholas of the U. of I Master of Science in Finance Program at 217-244-6550; e-mail lorenan@illinois.edu. Or call Jessica Galehouse, of CFA Institute-North America at 434-951-5376; e-mail jessica.galehouse@cfainstitute.org.