Undergraduate Certificate in Financial Planning

Financial Planning student in class

The Certificate in Financial Planning is registered under the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards, Inc. (www.cfp.net). Students who successfully complete the certificate program fulfill the education coursework requirement for CFP® certification and are eligible to take the CFP® Certification Examination. Certified Financial Planner™ professionals are uniquely qualified to deliver financial planning services to clients, helping them solve financial problems and design comprehensive plans to achieve their financial goals. CFP professionals are recruited by banks and trust companies, traditional brokerage houses, insurance companies, and financial planning firms. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the employment of personal financial advisors in the U.S. will grow 32% from 2010 to 2020, which is much faster than the average 10%.

The Certificate in Financial Planning is offered as a flexible and affordable program for working professionals whose responsibilities are (or will be) related to financial planning. Students take five financial planning courses; each course is four credit hours. The five courses cover the 72 principal topics required by the CFP Board, and incorporate the student-centered learning objectives for each financial planning principal topic.

The goals of the certificate program are to provide students with substantive training in all aspects of the financial planning process, to prepare them for personal financial planning positions, and to provide the education requirements needed to sit for CFP® Certification Examination. Successful students will be able to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated approach to real-life financial planning situations and develop comprehensive financial plans for clients.


Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of the certificate program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the content found within the Financial Planning curriculum and effectively apply and integrate this information in the formulation of a financial plan.
  • Effectively communicate the financial plan, both orally and in writing, including information based on research, peer, colleague, or simulated client interaction and/or results emanating from synthesis of material.
  • Collect all necessary and relevant qualitative and quantitative information required to develop a financial plan.
  • Analyze personal financial situations, evaluating a client’s objectives, needs, and values to develop an appropriate strategy within the financial plan.
  • Demonstrate logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to a specific problem.
  • Evaluate the impact of economic, political, and regulatory issues with regard to the financial plan.
  • Identify and apply the CFP Board Financial Planning Practice Standards to the financial planning process.



Admission Requirements:

Candidates for the Certificate in Financial Planning must have a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential (GED, TASC, or HiSET).


Please note: In order to obtain CFP® certification, candidates must also have earned a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a regionally-accredited college or university. The bachelor’s degree requirement is a condition of initial certification; however, it is not a requirement to be eligible to take the CFP® Certification Examination and does not need to be met before registering for the examination.


Prerequisites Courses to Enroll in Certificate:

 Students must have successfully completed the following three undergraduate courses prior to enrollment in the certificate program. In some cases, prerequisites can be waived by the Program Coordinator, Dr. Zhe Li, Assistant Professor of Business and Director of Certified Financial Planning Program.

  • ECON 101 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 102 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ACCT 220 Introduction to Financial Accounting


Curriculum Requirements (5 courses):

  • ACCT 428 Taxation
  • FINA 300 Fundamentals of Financial Planning and Insurance
  • FINA 321 Retirement and Estate Planning
  • FINA 400 Case Studies in Financial Planning
  • FINA 445 Investment


For further program information, please contact the Program Coordinator and Advisor, Dr. Zhe Li, Assistant Professor of Business and Director of Certified Financial Planning Program at zli@framingham.edu.