Professional Development and Certification

Student working on their laptop

Success as an accounting and financial management professional requires much more than technical skills. Between your accredited coursework and professional development activities and events, the School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) will help you focus on improving measurable skills employers demand.

Students at SAF can work towards the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) designations throughout their undergrad, preparing to complete them after graduation.

Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)

CPA logo graphic with text reading "CPA Accredited"

Waterloo's School of Accounting and Finance programs have received the highest level of national accreditation through CPA Canada.

In 5 years, you’ll earn:

  • 2 degrees - an undergraduate degree in AFM or Biotech/CPA or Math/CPA and a Master of Accounting (MAcc) graduate degree
  • up to 16 months of professional work experience which may be applied towards CPA’s 30 months of required relevant practical work experience
  • the ability to write the Common Final Examination (CFE), the last exam for the CPA designation, immediately following successful completion of your MAcc

Your AFM or Biotech/CPA or Math/CPA + MAcc degrees fulfill:

  • the academic course requirements for CPA Ontario
  • the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP, a 2-year program) that includes:
    • the 2 CPA core integration modules
    • 2 professional areas of study
    • all 4 CPA elective modules are offered during MAcc
    • the 2 CPA capstone modules

Learn more about registering for CPA certification.

SAF Alumni on the CFE Honour Roll

SAF alumni have distinguished themselves on the Common Final Examination (CFE) Honour Roll, formerly the Uniform Final Examination (UFE). The honour roll recognizes individuals with exceptional scores on the three day CPA certification exam.

CFE Honour Roll Alumni Recipients(PDF)

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

CFA logo with text reading "University Affiliation Program - CFA Institute"

The School of Accounting and Finance's AFM and CFM programs are recognized under the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program.

  • The AFM and CFM curriculums fulfill a minimum of 70% of the CFA Program Level 1 Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK). They cover academic theory, current industry practice as well as ethical and professional standards to provide a strong foundation of advanced investment analysis and portfolio-management skills.
  • AFM and CFM students in terms 3B, 4A, or 4B have access to all levels of the CFA Program sample exam.
  • Students have access to 23 CFA Program Awareness Scholarships worth $1,000 each year to help cover enrolment fees and standard registration fees.

In 4 years, you’ll earn:

See a visual representation of the CFA accreditation pathway.

Learn more about the CFA Level exams.

Chartered Business Valuator (CBV)

CBV logo with text reading CBV - Chartered Business Valuators Institute

Waterloo Master of Accounting (MAcc) students receive advanced standing in the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators (CICBV) program of studies through:

  • Successful completion of ACC 606 Business Valuations
    • CICBV will grant course exemptions from its Level I - Introductory Business Valuation and Level II - Intermediate Business Valuation courses to students

Learn more about the Chartered Business Valuator (CBV) designation.

Professional Development

Success as an accounting and financial management professional requires much more than technical skills. The School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) offers professional development activities that will help you focus on improving skills employers demand.

SAF hosts a number of professionally related events each year. Our goal is to help you successfully navigate opportunities. Common themes for these events include:

  • Inspiring your industry awareness,
  • Building your workplace skills,
  • Enhancing your professional image,
  • Charting your professional pathway
  • Launching your career in accounting and finance


  • Launch Your Career (LYC)
    • A 1-day event geared towards preparing first-year SAF students for successful co-op experiences.  Through an agenda of interactive activities and workshops, this professional development event will help you develop your professional image and networking skills and introduce you to the co-op recruitment process.
  • Co-op Ready 
    • A 1-day event designed for SAF students entering their second year of undergraduate study. The aim of the event is to make you “co-op employer-ready”. Through an agenda of activities and events, Co-op Ready delivers an integrative, industry-focused professional development experience that will lead to success on the job. 


Past professional development workshops have included: 

  • Professional Designation information sessions: CFA, CBV, and CPA
  • Industry guest speakers on special topics in accounting and finance: bond rating, investment banking, portfolio management, and internal auditing


Past networking and relationship building events have included:

  • Employer-student networking events featuring 6-12 employers: Opportunities in Accounting and Finance Night
  • Practice job interviews, with designated professionals
  • Employer information sessions, which are on-campus recruiting events hosted by an employer looking to hire Waterloo students directly into their organization. These sessions are held by Centre for Career Development (CCD).