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Professional designations

Professional designations demonstrate expertise in specialized areas and signal that you have acquired skills and knowledge to a particular industry standard. At Rotman Commerce, students commonly consider the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) designations. 

If you are considering a career in professional accounting, we highly recommend that you pursue a CPA designation. CPA Ontario is the governing body in Ontario for individuals who have completed the intensive CPA certification program. Consult the following resources to find out more about the steps to obtain your CPA designation and the benefits of a CPA.   

As a CFA program partner, Rotman Commerce is part of a distinguished list of 128 institutions from around the world. Each institution has demonstrated that its curriculum covers a significant portion of the Candidate Body of Knowledge  and that it embraces the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. The partnership signals to potential students, current students and the marketplace that Rotman Commerce’s curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well suited to preparing students to write the CFA exams.  

The following summary outlines specific benefits to our students; information about the CFA Institute; and how the Rotman Commerce curriculum meets the Candidate Body of Knowledge requirements. The partnership is with the program and not a specific specialist; it’s possible for students to cover the curricular knowledge by completing any of the three specialists, although the Finance & Economics specialist aligns most closely to the requirements.   

If you’re in your final year of academic studies and planning to write the CFA Level I Exam in December or June, you can participate in the Rotman Commerce CFA Exam Prep Series. This series includes:  

  • A CFA Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct Workshop
    The CFA Institute’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct is a key component of its mission to lead the global investment profession and is critical to maintaining capital market integrity and the public’s trust in the financial market. This workshop examines several investment scenarios based on real cases where you’ll be challenged to consider various courses of action to address complex issues based on the CFA Code of Ethics and Standards.  This session also offers practice exercises to help you prepare for the CFA Practice Exam. 
  • A CFA Level I Practice Exam  
    As part of the CFA program partnership, Rotman Commerce students can write the CFA Level I Practice Exam. There are two offerings of this exam, which take place a few weeks prior to the CFA Level I Exam.  Event information and registration will be available on the RC Portal so watch your email and the RC newsletter for information.  

More information on the CFA: 

Rotman Commerce has two dedicated CFA faculty advisors who are CFA charterholders and professors who teach both graduate and undergraduate finance courses. They possess a wealth of industry knowledge and teaching experience and are dedicated to helping students learn more about the CFA program.  

  • Maureen Stapleton, Associate Professor of Finance, Teaching Stream 
    Professor Stapleton teaches courses in financial markets and investments. Her interests include asset allocation, pension funds, mutual funds and ETFs. She has 25 years of industry experience in investment analysis and institutional portfolio management and holds the CFA designation and is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute. She is a former Director of the Toronto CFA Society and a past President of Women in Capital Markets.  
  • Craig Geoffrey, Assistant Professor of Finance, Teaching Stream 
    Professor Geoffrey is a CFA charterholder who teaches courses in corporate finance and capital markets theory and is active with student competition teams. His interests include market microstructure, asset pricing and behavioural finance. Prior to his teaching career, he spent over 10 years working as a proprietary equity trader. 
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