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Notre Dame students excel on CFA and CPA exams

by Rachel Reynolds, Director of Feature Writing at Mendoza College of Business and managing editor of Notre Dame Business.

July 15, 2005

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Notre Dame business students set high standards in taking the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams, significantly beating national averages.

The official pass rate for Notre Dame CFA Scholars was 89 percent for the June 2004 Level I exam, far surpassing the global pass rate of 34 percent. The Notre Dame pass rate also outpaced the composite pass rate among 580 student scholars of 41 percent.

The CFA is a credential earned through exams by investment professionals and denotes an increased level of aptitude as well as adherence to ethics and standards.

“ We are very pleased with this very high pass rate which is due to highly motivated students, dedicated faculty, and a strong curriculum in the finance department,” said Professor Frank Reilly, Bernard J. Hank Professor of Finance.
The pass rate of Notre Dame graduate students taking the uniform CPA exam was 49.2 percent in May 2003, compared to a national average of 32.7 percent. The undergraduate pass rate of Notre Dame students was 43.8 percent, more than double the national rate of 17.6 percent. These numbers are based on the "Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination," which comes out once a year and is compiled by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

The CPA credential is a license that is earned through the successful completion of a 14-hour uniform examination and work experience. The examination tests a variety of topics, including financial accounting, auditing, taxation, ethics and business law.