Financial Planning, Undergraduate Certificate

Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting

The W. A. Franke College of Business

This certificate is available to individuals who have interest in a financial planning career.  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, investment and retirement planning and ethical procedures.

This program is registered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

  • 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 21
Major GPA 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 121

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 beyond 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 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. The 7 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 owner. In addition, there are several other opportunities that exist with the CFP designation including positions within 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.

Certificate Requirements
  • This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate. Federal financial aid cannot be used if the certificate is completed as a stand-alone certificate.

Additional Information
  • 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.

  • 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 50 percent, or 11 units, of certificate coursework that are not used in your major, minor, or other certificates, and you must complete at least 60 percent of certificate coursework at Northern Arizona University.