IRA University

This six-week online course provides the tools to build a solid IRA knowledge base and become certified as a Certified IRA Specialist (CIS) I. Topics include establishing an IRA, contributions, Traditional and Roth IRA distributions, and portability.

Course Overview

Each week consists of a self-paced eLearning module (45 to 60 minutes), followed by a 90-minute interactive webinar on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. CT to help participants apply their knowledge from the eLearning module. If you’re unable to attend, webinars are recorded for on demand viewing. After completing IRA University, attendees have the opportunity to earn their Certified IRA Specialist I (CIS I) designation for no additional cost.

Week One – Getting Started Webinar

  • IRA University guidelines and expectations
  • How to access eLearning modules
  • Exam requirements
  • eLearning homework assignment

Week Two – IRAs – Benefits and Contributions

  • IRA definition
  • IRA contribution eligibility
  • Contribution deadlines
  • Contribution limits
  • Tax advantages
  • eLearning homework assignment

Week Three – Establishing an IRA

  • Opening an IRA
  • Naming beneficiaries
  • IRA opening documents
  • eLearning homework assignment

Week Four – IRA Distributions Overview and Roth Distributions

  • IRA distribution taxation
  • Roth distribution ordering rules
  • Documenting Roth IRA distributions
  • Reporting Roth IRA distributions
  • eLearning homework assignment

Week Five – Traditional IRA Distributions

  • Traditional IRA distribution taxation
  • Required minimum distribution rules
  • Documenting a Traditional IRA distribution
  • Reporting a Traditional IRA distribution
  • eLearning homework assignment

Week Six – Portability

  • Differences between transfers, rollovers, direct rollovers, and indirect rollovers
  • Determining the transaction type
  • Documenting transfers, rollovers, direct rollovers, and indirect rollovers

Fast Track

You can earn both the CIS I and CIS II designations in less than 12 months with Fast Track.
Step 1 – Register for IRA University and the CIS I exam.
Step 2 – Register for Ascend and the CIS II exam. Using a special coupon code, save $402 on your Ascend registration (coupon code provided in your IRA University registration confirmation email)
Step 3 – Participate in the IRA University six-week blended course and pass the exam to receive your CIS I certification.
Step 4 – Attend Ascend and pass the exam to earn your CIS II certification.

Registration Fees

Your investment for the full six-week IRA University is

Registration Fee $1,199
CIS Exam ($299 value) Included
Fast Track: IRA University and Ascend Registration $2,196


You should attend this course if you

  • are new to IRAs,
  • need a refresher, or
  • want to earn the CIS I designation.

Professional Development

Attending IRA University is one of the ways you’re able to become a CIS I. To learn more, visit our CIS Certification page.