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Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning


Advance your professional career in financial planning with our Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning.

Diploma Example

Enhance Your Financial Planning Expertise in as Little as 20 Weeks

The Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning consists of four courses, each lasting five weeks. It offers students an in-depth knowledge of financial markets and investment management and helps students develop greater skills in financial planning. It may be useful for students considering a career as a financial advisor. Personal financial advisors provide advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes and retirement to help individuals manage their finances.

The curriculum for this certificate offers an opportunity to develop students’ analytical approaches and critical thinking abilities through hands-on coursework led by faculty with real-world experience.

The 12 credit hours earned in this program are transferable to the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program.

Certificate in Financial Planning

Financial Planning is a Growing Profession

Employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.1 The primary driver of employment growth will be the aging population. As large numbers of baby boomers approach retirement, more are likely to seek planning advice from personal financial advisors. Also, longer lifespans will lead to longer retirement periods, further increasing demand for financial planning services.

In addition, the replacement of traditional pension plans with individual retirement accounts is expected to continue. Many people used to receive defined pension payments in retirement, but most companies no longer offer these plans. Therefore, individuals must save and invest for their own retirement, increasing the demand for personal financial advisors. 1

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Personal Financial Advisors, on the Internet at (visited November 05, 2017). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning Prerequisites

While an Undergraduate degree is required, students earning a bachelor’s degree in fields other than business will be considered. Prospective applicants should demonstrate prior academic knowledge or professional experience for the certificate they apply for.

Courses in the Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning

Foundational Courses

MSF 500W
Financial Markets
3 Credits

This course explores the features and functions of the key financial markets along with the institutions that serve the markets. Specifically, this overview compares and contrasts the equities, debt, money and mutual fund markets. It analyzes the individual markets, as well as the interaction among them. The course also focuses on the Federal Reserve System: its integration with the investment market industry and how it affects economic conditions.

MSF 510W
Investment Management
3 Credits

This course provides in-depth analysis of the securities industry. It will describe and compare the different types and features of advanced securities such as mortgage-backed, asset-backed, and derivatives. The course introduces a securities market model describing the various participants such as banks, brokers, insurance companies and investment advisors. Within this model, business and system requirements for investment management and trading, custody and securities processing and securities accounting are described in detail.

MSF 580W
Insurance and Risk Management
3 Credits

This course identifies and evaluates business and personal risk using insurance as a risk management tool. Students will study introductory and advanced topics in risk management as well as life, health, property and liability insurance with their related legal and compliance issues.

Elective Courses (one course from below)

MSF 505W
Managerial Finance
3 Credits

This course deals with managing business funds and planning their use to accomplish organizational objectives. The primary objective of this course is to introduce the fundamental skills required to manage the financial aspects of a business as well as create and maintain organizational value. The main topics include: time value of money; financial statement analysis; valuation concepts; Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC); capital budgeting techniques; uncertainty and trade-off between risk and return; and the Security Market Line (SML). A basic working knowledge of a financial calculator and/or Microsoft Excel is necessary to successfully complete the course.

MSF 540W
International Finance
3 Credits

International Finance will introduce students to global financial markets and operations of multinational firms. Topics to be discussed will include foreign exchange markets, international financial markets, international banking, international trade tariff and quotas, Euromarkets and investment decisions in the global marketplace.

More About the Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning

  • The credits earned in this finance certificate program are transferable to the Master of Science in Finance program if a student elects to continue his or her education after completion of a certificate.
  • While an undergraduate degree is required, students earning a bachelor's degree in fields other than business will be considered.
  • Prospective applicants should demonstrate prior academic knowledge or professional experience for the certificate they apply for.
Tuition Rate Cost Per Course* Total Program
General Public $1,974 $7,896
Partners and Family Members $1,595 $6,380
Veterans and Dependents $1,595 $6,380
Military Servicemembers and Dependents $1,525 $6,100
First Responders and Family Members $1,525 $6,100
Additional Fees
Fees Cost
Graduate Application $75**
eResources $85 per course

* All prices are subject to change. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for the most up to date pricing.
** Application fee waived for partners and immediate family members; military servicemembers and dependents; veterans and dependents; first responders and immediate family members.

Withdrawal and Refund Policy

Please refer to the Academic Catalog for withdrawal and refund policy information.

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