Financial Planning, Undergraduate Certificate


The W. A. Franke College of Business

Beginning in Fall 2021, the Certificate in Financial Planning will be available Online.

This certificate is available to individuals who have interest in a financial planning career. Although this certificate is not limited to majors within The W.A. Franke College of Business, those who seek the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation must declare Finance as their major to ensure they are enrolled in the necessary classes to fulfill the CFP Board educational requirements. Financial Planners have the opportunity for rewarding careers, both personally and financially. The courses in this program will give students a comprehensive understanding of the financial planning process which include topics such as taxes, estate, retirement and income planning, and ethical procedures.

  • To receive an undergraduate certificate (at least 15 units) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject matter areas with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.

    Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program). See the "Details" tab for additional information.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Major GPA 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 121
Additional Admission Requirements Required

This program may lead to licensure.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Financial Planning Certificate is to provide educational curriculum to students that will satisfy the Certified Financial Planning (CFP) Board’s requirements. Typically, the CFP designation requires students to take additional courses in addition to their bachelor’s programs. However, with the Financial Planning Certificate, students will be able to complete all educational requirements in a typical four-year time period. Eventually, students earning a Finance major with a Certificate in Financial Planning will be eligible to sit for the CFP Board exam, which is a required component to earn the CFP designation. 

In order to be approved as a CFP Board Registered Program, we have developed the NAU Financial Planning Program. The CFP Board requires that their 72 Learning Objectives (LO) be included in the program courses. If students wish to earn a CFP designation they can earn the Certificate in Financial Planning (6 courses) and take 3 additional existing courses in the Finance area. The 9 total courses cover the 72 LO required by the CFP Board. By the end of the program, students will have knowledge of topics including investment planning, tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning, insurance and risk management, ethics, and financial plan development. While the Certificate in Financial Planning is included in the NAU Financial Planning Program, students can earn the Certificate separate from this program and are not required to meet the CFP Board education requirements. Through the Financial Planning Certificate, students will learn topics and skills that will help them succeed as a CFP professional. Additionally, students will learn how to write a comprehensive financial plan as it pertains to real-world clients and situations

Students will have countless career opportunities available to them post-graduation. With the CFP designation, students can choose to work for a firm or as individual business own. However, there are several opportunities that exist beyond the CFP designation. Some of these include positions within various types of financial institutions such as banks, investment firms, and the insurance industry.

Student Learning Outcomes

The relevant and innovative NAU Financial Planning Program curriculum includes the following student learning outcomes:

  • Students will learn concepts that fulfill the CFP Boards educational requirements including tax, estate, insurance, retirement, and investment planning.
  • Students will understand and demonstrate the importance of ethics and the fiduciary standard for financial professionals.
  • Students will distinguish collegiality and networking with faculty, peers, alumni, and financial planning professionals.
  • Students will develop a comprehensive financial plan for a client including the following
    • Insurance needs analysis (including disability, life, health, long-term care, property, and liability)
    • Education needs analysis and development of an education financing plan
    • Identification of tax reductions, management, and income shifting techniques and how they can benefit a taxpayer
    • Recommendations for appropriate estate planning tools to meet a client’s goals and objectives
    • Evaluation of client retirement needs and potential sources of income during retirement. Calculate and recommend an appropriate savings plan to meet the needs of the client
  • Students will become accountable professionals by holding them to rigorous standards and expanding their boundaries of knowledge with the financial planning process.
  • Students will get a sense of engagement and stewardship to ensure they learn in a diverse, high-quality environment, which urges them to act with integrity and professionalism.
  • The program will create greater employment opportunities for students that provide personally and financially rewarding careers.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • The W.A. Franke College of Business (FCB) offers more than a dozen undergraduate certificates, some of which are open to all Northern Arizona University students.
    For a list of certificates open to non-business majors, contact the Office of Academic Services in the FCB.
    The FCB does not accept upper-division transfer credits from programs not accredited by the AACSB (such as the University of Phoenix or the Bachelor of Business Administration program at NAU).
    You must complete 6 units of certificate coursework that are not used in your major, minor, or other certificates, and you must complete at least 60% of certificate coursework at Northern Arizona University.

Certificate Requirements
  • Take the following 18 units with a minimum gpa of 2.0:

    Please note that in order to meet the CFP Board education requirements you must take FIN 431 as part of your finance major core.
    This certificate is available only for those students with the Business Professional Program Milestone.

  • This certificate may only be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program. This certificate is not available as a stand-alone certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.