Earning a GMAT Waiver as a CFA Charterholder - Financial Analyst Insider
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Earning a GMAT Waiver as a CFA Charterholder

The CFA Exam is globally recognized as a premier designation for investment management professionals.  However, you might be surprised to learn that the rigor of the CFA Exam is even acknowledged by many prestigious graduate and MBA programs which grant a variety of exemptions, waivers, and even course credit based on the knowledge you demonstrated by passing the three levels of the CFA exam.  

The details of the waivers vary by school and program.  Some schools will waive the GMAT as an admission requirement for their MBA program. Other schools will provide exemptions for more limited graduate programs.  This page is intended to be a resource that highlights the various benefits and waivers available at each university's program.

These waivers are relatively recent and new schools are adding and revising their exemptions regularly.  

Earning an MBA without Taking the GMAT

I earned the CFA charter over 10 years ago.  Had a GMAT waiver been available at that time, I may have more strongly considered attending an MBA program.  I never tested strongly with standardized tests like the SAT, but for subjects that I was very interested in like finance, my performance was always very strong because of how interested I was in the subject.  

I imagine there are many people like me that don't test particularly well on standardized tests, but do exceptionally well on subjects they are passionate about.  Hopefully this page will serve as a good resource for students still in college or young professionals early in their career that might benefit from an MBA or graduate program, but don't love the idea of studying for another standardized test.  

Graduate Programs with Exemptions for CFA Charterholders

School

Waiver Details

Requirements

More Information

American University

GMAT not required

Applying for MS in Finance or MS in Real Estate and passed level I.

Boston College

GMAT not required & can apply for course credits

Waiver available to part-time students.  Full time students can apply for equivalency in lieu of course credits.

Boston University

*details not recently updated, but limited details at CFA Institute page.

Potential course waiver, but details not updated

California University, Berkeley

Course waiver

2 course waiver if you passed level III.

California University, Los Angeles

Course waiver

CFA charterholders eligible for 1 course waiver.

Concordia University

GMAT not required

Passed level I applying for MBA program.

Connecticut University

GMAT / GRE not required / *details not recently updated see CFA Institute reference.

CFA charterholders applying to MS in Financial Risk Management Program

Cornell University

Qualify for admission to Accelerated MBA program.

CFA charterholders are eligible to complete an MBA in 3 semesters instead of 4. 

Creighton University

*details not recently updated but see CFA Institute page.

Passed Level I and applying to the Masters of Investment Management and Financial Analysis program.

Dartmouth College

Course waiver / details not updated, see CFA Institute page.

CFA charterholders exempt from finance core requirement.

Drexel University

Course waiver

CFA charterholders can waive up to 10 credits

Duke University

Course waiver / details not updated, see CFA Institute page.

Waive finance course after passing Level III.

Emory University

GMAT waiver for Executive MBA program.

CFA charterholders eligible for waiver.

Iowa University

Course waiver

Waive some finance core courses by passing the CFA Level I exam.

Johns Hopkins University

GMAT / GRE waiver for dual government / MBA program.

Waiver for CFA charterholders

Kentucky University

GMAT / GRE waiver for 1 year MBA & Professional MBA program.

Waiver for CFA charterholders

Loyola University Chicago

GMAT / GRE waiver

Waiver for CFA charterholders

Massachusetts University

GMAT / GRE waiver for Flex & Professional MBA or MS in Accounting, Finance or IT programs.

Waiver for CFA charterholders

North Carolina University Chapel Hill

GMAT / GRE waiver for Executive MBA.

Waiver for CFA charterholders.

North Carolina University Wilmington

GMAT / GRE waiver for MS Finance or Investment Management.

Waiver for passing Level I.

Notre Dame University

Course waiver in Executive Nonprofit Program.

CFA charterholders eligible for course waiver.

Rhode Island University

GMAT / GRE waiver

Required to pass CFA Level II for waiver.

Sacred Heart University

GMAT / GRE waiver

CFA Charterholders eligible for waiver.

Seattle University

GMAT / GRE waiver for MS in Finance program.

CFA Charterholders eligible for waiver.

Seton Hall University

GMAT / GRE waiver for MBA or MS in Accounting.

CFA Charterholders eligible for waiver.

South Florida University

GMAT / GRE waiver.

CFA Charterholders eligible for waiver.

Suffolk University

GMAT / GRE waiver

Passing Level I exam for waiver.

Tampa University

GMAT / GRE waiver for MS in Finance.

Passing Level I exam.

Texas A&M University

Course waiver for MS in Finance program / details not updated, see CFA Institute page.

Passing Level I waives Finance and Econ courses.

Texas Christian University

GMAT / GRE waiver.

CFA charterholders eligible for waiver.

Virginia University

GMAT / GRE waiver for Executive MBA.

CFA charterholders eligible for waiver.

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