CPWA® Certification Application Process


What you will learn, where you can earn your certification, cost, program format and how to apply.



CPWA® Certification Application Process


Prospective CPWA® candidates who are new to the program must submit an online application and fee. The online application takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Submission of an application will result in a background check conducted by Investments & Wealth Institute staff. Within ten business days, prospective candidates will be notified of official acceptance into the program.

Submit the certification application and meet the prerequisites, which are:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or one of the following certifications or licenses: CIMA®, RMA®, CFA®, CFP®, ChFC® or a CPA license.

  • Five years of experience in financial services at the time of certification. 

  • Successfully complete a comprehensive background check.

And select a registered education program:

  Chicago Booth   Yale Online 
Member US$7,295 US$7,295

Includes two-year membership







Depending on the registered education program you select, CPWA® coursework can be completed through a combination of self-study and in-person executive education, or completely online.

Upcoming Classes

Class Type Enrollment Deadline* Self-Study In-person Program **
Chicago Booth September 30, 2023 September 2023 - March 2024 March 18 - 22, 2024
Chicago Booth January 15, 2024 January - June 2024 June 10 - 14, 2024
Chicago Booth March 1, 2024 March - September 2024 September 9 - 13, 2024
Yale Online Ongoing Virtual Virtual

*Classes have limited capacity and may fill up before the enrollment deadline.
**Program dates subject to change and COVID-19 restrictions. If the in-person program cannot be held as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, then the program will be delivered virtually by livestreaming. 

Completion of the education program is a requirement for CPWA® certification. The content presented during the program is designed to be educational, and should not be solely relied upon for test preparation. Instructors do not have specific knowledge of exam questions.



Candidates must complete the CPWA® Certification Exam, a 4 hour-long, computer-based examination administered at local Pearson VUE testing centers or through Proctor U for online testing.

The exam is comprised of 135 multiple-choice questions.

Time Commitment:
To successfully prepare to sit for the Certification Examination, the recommended study time is 10-15 hours per week for approximately 6 months. Successful candidates report studying a total of 100-250 hours to prepare for the exam.




Once Investments & Wealth Institute receives successful exam results from the testing center, candidates will receive an email to complete the final steps:

  • Document a minimum of five years of verified work experience in financial services.
  • Sign a license agreement to adhere to the Investments & Wealth Institute's Code of Professional Responsibility and the appropriate use of the certification marks.
  • Pay initial certification fee. 


You have world-class choices about where to earn your CPWA® certification

Choose your path to become a Certified Private Wealth Advisor® . Not sure which educational provider program is right for you? Compare and choose from online, hybrid or in-person classes.


Registered Education Provider



Education Cost



Cost Includes
  • Application Fee & Background Check
  • Tuition and materials for online education program including online readings, videos and quizzes
  • The fee for one exam attempt is included with the initial CPWA® program fee
  • Application Fee & Background Check
  • Tuition and materials for online education program including online readings, videos and quizzes
  • Tuition and materials for in-person executive education program
  • Room and board for in-person executive education program
  • The fee for one exam attempt is included with the initial CPWA® program fee

100% virtual

90% self-study
10% in-person


Candidates study at their own pace and have access for up to one year

6 months self-study
4.5 days in-person

Upcoming Classes

Continuous enrollment

March 18 - 22, 2024
June 10 - 14, 2024
September 9 - 13, 2024



In-person workshop at the Chicago Booth School of Business, Gleacher Center

Test Prep


CPWA® Accelerator Pack



Information about the education programs can be found on the Registered Education Providers’ websites. All inquiries regarding the education program fees, class schedules, assessments and other policies, should be referred directly to Investments & Wealth Institute.

Firm-sponsored Classes

The Investments & Wealth Institute will partner with a firm to provide a private class option. Advisors should check with their firm’s education department to inquire about a firm-sponsored class or contact:

For information on private classes offered through Investments & Wealth Institute, contact sales@i-w.org.