Professional Designations

A professional designation is a good way to document your knowledge, skills, and abilities. A designation is even required for some careers. Courses in the Commerce program can help you meet the requirements for a variety of professional designations.

Additional coursework required for a professional designation can be taken while in the program, and further units of credit may be taken after graduation.

Some examples of designations and how you can work toward them in the Commerce program are given below.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The Finance Specialization has been recognized by the CFA Institute for membership in its University Recognition Program. This status is granted to institutions whose degree programs incorporate at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK). The Finance Specialization offers students the opportunity to obtain a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them to sit for the CFA exams.

Details for the CFA Scholarship Application can be found here.

Finance Electives and Career Choices can be found here.

Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)

Specific courses in McMaster’s Honours Commerce program are recognized as equivalents in the CPA Prerequisite Education Program (PREP). Graduates who have successfully completed these courses will be eligible to enter Core 1 of the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP).

McMaster’s Honours Commerce program (with specific courses) and the Graduate Diploma in Professional Accountancy program (when combined) constitute a CPA Accredited program.

DeGroote graduates who have completed all the CPA accredited courses (including the graduate diploma program) with a minimum of 60% in each and an average of 70% will gain direct entry into CPA PEP at the Capstone 1 (Integrative) Module. Candidates then complete Capstone 2 (Preparatory) Module and write the Common Final Evaluation (CFE) to complete the CPA program requirements. Visit the CPA website for more information.

Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP)

The DeGroote Commerce program offers all the courses required to fulfill the academic requirements of the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation. These courses have been accredited by the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario. Students who satisfactorily complete the courses are qualified to write the National Knowledge Exam (NKE).

Please review the temporary adjustment to HRPAs coursework requirements here.

Click here for the 2024 CHRP & CHRL Knowledge Exams Schedule.

Click here for the 2024 CHRP & CHRL Employment Law Exams Schedule.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) & Qualified Associate Financial Planner (QAFP)

The CFP certification is the world’s most recognized financial planning designation and is offered only by FP Canada. CFP professionals have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, experience, and ethics to examine their clients’ entire financial picture, at the highest level of complexity required of the profession and work with their clients to build a financial plan.

Specific courses within the Honours Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Commerce programs will satisfy FP Canada’s Core and Advanced Curriculum requirements leading to QAFP and CFP certification.

Visit for more information.