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    Continuing and Professional Education

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    Financial Planning Certificate Program

    Since 1999, our program has been widely recognized as an assurance of skills in financial planning—the skills that clients and companies seek.

    Through DePaul's Financial Planning Certificate Program, you'll learn how to plan, assess and evaluate a client's financial future through the development of a comprehensive financial plan. Completing the six required modules in the program will also prepare you to become professionally certified as a financial planner. Our courses are held virtually and are recorded for future viewing.

    Courses in this Program

    Who Should Attend

    The Financial Planning Certificate Program is designed for anyone pursuing CFP® certification, including professionals in the fields of investment brokerage, insurance, banking, accounting and the law. In addition, professionals from other industries who want to make a career change and are looking for rigorous instruction in financial planning are encouraged to enroll.


    DePaul's Financial Planning Certificate Program offers:

    • Exceptional instruction- All modules are taught by professional financial planners with either CFP® certification or other appropriate professional license or designation. Our instructors use CFP Board standards as the framework for the modules and add their own exercises, case studies and handouts. This results in courses that combine sound financial planning theory and practical skill development.
    • Convenient location and scheduling- Modules are offered online and on campus on a quarterly schedule. For students who seek maximum flexibility, enroll in a virtual course and attend from the comfort of your own home. Classes are recorded for future viewing. Or, enroll in our in-person classes which are held at DePaul's Loop campus located in the heart of downtown Chicago. In-person classes are offered on weeknights to accommodate working students.
    • Proven student success- In addition to preparing for the exam, our program equips you to succeed in today's competitive profession of financial planning.

    Professional Affiliations

    The Financial Planning Certificate Program is certified by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., to provide you with the educational component of CFP® certification. It provides an overview of what might be ultimately tested in the certification examination, but this is an education program, not an exam-prep program.

    DePaul University does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP (with flame logo)® certification marks. CFP® certification is granted only by CFP Board to those persons who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met its ethics, experience and examination requirements.

    Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.


    What prior education do I need for this program?
    While there is no official prerequisite requirement, CFP Board requires an undergraduate degree to award CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you have a four-year degree before enrolling in the program.

    Are there fees if I register late?
    All registrations are due seven calendar days before the course start date. Any registration submitted after that date will be charged a mandatory $75.00 late registration fee.

    Can my tuition be reimbursed by my company?
    Some students receive at least partial reimbursement from their employers. In addition, your company may be able to take advantage of the Employee Education Assistance Act (IRS Code, Section 127), which may allow for partial or full reimbursement of your tuition. To find out if you qualify, check with your supervisor or company's human resources department.
    If your employer is funding your tuition, you may qualify for payment deferral. To request payment deferral forms, please contact our office at (312) 362-6300 or

    May I transfer courses into the DePaul program?

    We accept courses from any CFP Board-Registered Program. Requests must be made in writing to the Program Manager, and an official transcript of record from the school must be sent, along with course descriptions from the school's catalog. The Program Manager will give final approval. You must complete four or more of the courses with DePaul in order to receive our Financial Planning Certificate.

    What is the schedule?

    The Financial Planning Certificate Program is comprised of six required modules. Each class meets one time per week in the evenings from 6:00 to 9:30 pm. Modules are offered four times throughout the year. Average program completion time is 18 months.

    Do I have to take the modules in order?

    The modules are designed to be taken in sequence, but it is not required. You may take the modules in whichever order best fits your schedule and current needs. However, students unfamiliar with tax concepts are advised to take Income Tax Planning prior to Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits and Estate Planning. The Financial Plan Development module should be taken after the first five modules.

    Will there be homework?

    The amount of homework varies by instructor and course. Typically students in the program are expected to spend 5-10 hours a week outside of class time on each required module.

    Will it be a problem if I need to miss a class?

    The majority of our students works full time and has personal obligations. If you need to miss a class, you will have access to class notes and the opportunity to make up any missed quizzes. Several absences may result in a lower grade. The attendance policy for each module is determined by the instructor.

    How much does the program cost?

    Each module costs $900. The total program fee is $5,400 (textbooks not included).

    Do I need to purchase a textbook?

    Yes, each module uses 1-2 textbooks. Textbooks are not included in the cost of tuition and are available for purchase at the DePaul University Loop Campus Bookstore located at 1 E. Jackson Blvd or online from any online vendor. 

    What are the educational requirements to obtain the CFP® Certification?

    CFP Board outlines the Principle Topics that must be mastered through formal study in a CFP Board-Registered Educational Program. The length of the program must be equivalent to at least 18 semester credit hours. DePaul University's Financial Planning Certificate Program is approved and registered by the board.
    A bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university is also a requirement for CFP® certification.
    CFP Board outlines the educational requirements here.

    Do you offer a follow-up review in preparation for the CFP® exam?

    We do not offer a Comprehensive Review for the CFP® exam. However, there are a variety of review providers specifically for the CFP® examination.

    Will I automatically receive CFP® certification after completing the program?

    The DePaul University Financial Planning Certificate only fulfills the education requirement of CFP Board. In addition to the education requirement, to obtain CFP® certification, CFP Board also stipulates that you must:

    • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
    • Pass the CFP® Certification Examination
    • Meet the experience requirement of at least three full years of qualifying full-time work
    • Pass CFP Board's Candidate Fitness Standards and Background Check
    • Pay certification fees
    Questions regarding the exam, required experience or any other requirements should be directed to CFP Board at

    Is there a minimum grade point average to take the CFP® Certification Exam?

    No set grade is required at this time. The only requirement is that you pass each of our courses.

    Can I waive out of a course?

    Individuals with prior education in one or more of the major personal financial planning areas who seek a course waiver(s) may apply for a Transcript Review through CFP Board. Click here to learn more. Waivers are granted by CFP Board only.
    Additionally, CFP Board offers the Challenge Status, in which certain degrees and professional credentials will automatically allow students to apply for the CFP® Certification Examination without having to complete an education program. However, all challengers are still required to complete a financial plan development (or “capstone”) course.
    The following degrees and credentials have been approved by CFP Board as meeting most of the educational requirements: CPA, ChFC, CLU, CFA, licensed attorney, Ph.D. in business or economics or Doctor of Business Administration, CFP certification from the Financial Planning Standards Board Lts. (FPSB) Affiliate located in your territory of residence outside the U.S. The challenge process is outlined here.

    Does this program qualify for financial assistance through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)?

    No. At this time, this program has not been approved by the ILLINOIS workNet initiative for workforce training grants. Please contact Workforce Development for more information.

    Why choose DePaul's Financial Planning certification program?

    DePaul University Continuing and Professional Education has offered the Certificate Program in Financial Planning since 1999.  Our modules are taught by top-flight financial services professionals who provide the latest information available on the topic areas.

    What is the difference between a certificate and a certification?

    A certificate is earned after completion of a course or a series of courses. Certificates are usually awarded by a training provider or an educational institution. Certification typically includes an experience, an educational component and requires passing an exam. Certifications are awarded by governmental and/or professional agencies and often require recertification to remain certified.

    For More Information, Contact:

    Isabel Avalos

    Phone: +1 312-362-5295

    Information Sessions

    CPE Financial Planning Certificate Program Information Session
    June 15, 2023 at 5:00 PM Sign up for this info session!

    Upcoming Class Offerings

    To see these class offerings, click on the links under the Courses in this Program section on this page (click here to jump to that section).

    Program Brochure

    Paper Registration

    If you wish to register for a class via a paper form, click here.

    Student Policies

    Click here for a list of our student policies.

    Contact Us

    For general inquiries, please email us or call 312-362-6300.