Students who receive a certificate in financial management can become financial managers, finance analysts, financial planners, or corporate finance consultants, as well as prepare for doctoral or professional programs in law and business.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are currently 555,900 individuals employed as financial managers in America, and their average annual salary is $121,750.†
Financial advisers are projected to grow by 7% by 2024.
Common financial management job tasks include:
- implementing cash management strategies
- determining credit ceilings
- providing guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions
- building financial models for cash-flow analysis
- devising financing and capital structure strategies
- researching and analyzing mergers and acquisitions
- researching capital budgets and other investment decisions
- analyzing portfolio investments and asset management choices
- developing and evaluating risk-management strategies
- generating cash flow forecasts and valuation estimates
Dalton Education provides online education opportunities for universities such as Northwestern University, ranked #3 on our list. Their online programs are designed to fulfill the education requirements for the CFP® Certification Examination. The benefits of enrolling in one of these programs include completing it at your own pace; the ability to complete it in nine months or less; and customized learning based on how much detail you know about a particular topic.
Other partnership universities include Pepperdine University, Wake Forrest University, the University of Miami, among others.
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The Best Financial Management Certificate Programs
1. University of California Berkeley Extension
UC Berkeley Extension’s Professional Sequence in Personal Financial Planning provides opportunities for the financial planning profession. Their specialized program of study allows the student to analyze and advise in all core areas of personal financial planning.
Students who complete this program are eligible to take the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Certification Examination.
The curriculum is overseen by an advisory board of investment, financial planning, and education leaders, and taught by working professionals with many years of practical experience in financial services.
Some of their online classes include Survey of Personal Financial Planning, Business Valuation, and Fundamentals of Risk Management.
2. University of California Los Angeles Extension
(Los Angeles, CA)
UCLA Extension offers an eight-course certificate program for students who are considering the financial planning profession or for current financial professionals who wish to expand their knowledge and career prospects.
The program fully meets the educational component for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Certification Examination.
Courses include Financial Analysis in Personal Financial Planning, Insurance in Personal Financial Planning, and Estate Planning, among others.
The accelerated online program at UCLA Extension is a six-course curriculum designed for financial professionals with relevant work experience and credentials. Students take five coures on financial planning plus the required Financial Plan Development capstone course.
3. Northwestern University, School of Continuing Studies
Northwestern University students can build on their school’s liberal arts framework and learn valuable skills related to corporate finance, capital market,s and securities pricing.
Founded in 2007, the Kellogg Certificate Program for Undergraduates prepares students for analytical roles at various types of organizations or graduate/professional programs in a variety of academic areas, including business, law, and economics.
Online classes meet twice weeklyand are self-paced (on the students’ own time). Courses include Investment Planning, Income Tax Planning, and Financial Plan Development and Presentation.
The partnership with Dalton Education ensures a high-quality curriculum and is led by outstanding faculty.
4. Boston University, Center for Professional Education
Boston University’s Center for Professional Education Online Financial Planning Program is a self-paced, online program designed to provide educational courses to complete the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Certification Examination.
The program is a multimedia, interactive, and self-paced educational experience that includes input and guidance from outstanding faculty drawn from major financial institutions in the Boston area. Students have access to the course for 21 months.
The program also offers an accelerated program that includes bi-weekly virtual classroom sessions, so students can complete it in just nine months. Some of the courses include Tax Planning, Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits, and Risk Management.
The Univeristy of Florida offers an online Certificate in Personal and Family Financial Planning (PFFP) designed for students interested in becoming a certified financial adviser, while offering the independence and convenience of online learning.
The program provides an online, virtual classroom designed for financial service practitioners, university students, and social/faith-based service agents who have the desire to learn the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, so students may sit for the the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Certification Examination upon completion.
Some of the courses include Family Financial Management, Personal and Family Insurance Planning, and Personal and Family Wealth Management.
6. University of California Irvine
The Certified Financial Planner Professional Education Program at the University of California irvine is a CFP Board of Standards–certified organization whose mission is to benefit the public by fostering professional standards in personal financial planning.
A certificate is awarded upon completion of eight required courses, each with a grade of “C” or above, for a total of 315 hours of instruction.
To become an official candidate in the program, students pursuing the certificate must submit a Declaration of Candidacy. All requirements must be completed within five years after the student enrolls in his/her first course. To receive the certificate after completing all program requirements, students must submit a Request for Certificate.
Students not pursuing the certificate program are welcome to take as many individual courses as they wish.
7. University of Georgia, Terry College of Business
The Certified Financial Planner Program at University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business is an executive registered program of the CFP™ Board of Standards, Inc. Upon successful completion of this certificate program, students are eligible to apply for the CFP® Certification Examination.
The 12-month, controlled-pace program allows for built-in accountability. Students meets face-to-face one night a week every other week, supplemented with online classes in between to cover all personal finance essentials.
There are five courses that include Retirement Planning, Investment Planning, and Income Tax Planning.
8. North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University’s Certified Online Financial Planner Program is flexible, focused, and engaging. It covers the 89 topics required by the CFP™ Board of Standards to earn the CFP® Certification.
NC State’s highly interactive program stresses practical application. It also allows students to progress at their own pace, spending more time on topics they are unfamiliar with and less time on topics they already know well.
Some of the courses include Retirement Planning, Insurance Planning, and Developing the Financial Plan.
9. DePaul University, Continuing and Professional Education
DePaul University’s e-Financial Planning Certificate Program is a live, instructor-led, Internet-based financial planning program designed to meet the education requirement for the CFP® Certification Examination in only 11 months.
The online program contains six modules that include courses in Fundamentals of Financial Planning and Insurance Planning, Estate Planning, and Financial Plan Development.
The program is designed for anyone pursuing CFP® certification, including professionals in the fields of investment brokerage, insurance, banking, accounting, and the law.
Students may take classes from anywhere, and they can choose to attend regularly scheduled live classes or listen to the archived version at a time and place that is convenient for them.
10. California Lutheran University, California Institute of Finance
(Thousand Oaks, CA)
The Graduate Financial Planning Certification at California Lutheran University’s California Institute of Finance is designed for professionals who have an MBA or other business-related professional degree, such as a JD or CPA, or for those with significant experience in the financial planning field.
In order to be eligible for the Certificate program, students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution (or equivalent coursework). Successful completion of the courses is required to earn a Certificate in Financial Planning and to be eligible to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination.
There are eight courses, including Tax Management and Strategy, Risk Management and Insurance, and Financial Principles and Policies.
11. Florida State University, Center for Academic & Professional Development
Florida State University’s Center for Academic & Professional Development offers an online Certificate in Financial Planning in an interactive online environment.
This program is registered with Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) and its goals are to provide accurate and timely information in key areas of financial planning, and to meet the educational requirements of qualifying students to sit for their CFP® Certification Examination.
The program consists of seven courses that last 10–11 weeks, and includes such courses as Insurance Planning, Investment Planning, and a Capstone Course, among others.
The program is designed for those with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university and three years of personal financial planning experience, or else five years of experience.
12. University of Central Florida
University of Central Florida’s Certified Financial Planning Program provides the required education courses and prepares students to pass the certification exam in just 10 months. Students who successfully complete this program will fulfill the Certified Financial Planning ™ Board of Standards educational requirement for CFP® Certification Examination.
The program was established to meet the need for professionals who are able to plan, assess, and evaluate a client’s financial future through the development of a comprehensive financial plan.
The program’s courses are taught by financial services professionals who will provide the latest information available in a variety of financial planning topics, such as general principles, insurance planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.
13. Virginia Commonwealth University
The Onlne Executive Certified Financial Planner Program at Virginia Commonwealth University is an independent, self-study, online education program designed to fulfill the education requirements to sit for the CFP Certification Examination.
The program is designed to be completed in nine months, but may be completed in more or less time depending on a student’s schedule.
Students receive access to the program for nine months. A complimentary three-month extension is offered to all students immediately following the initial nine-month access. The program is a 36-hour intensive core classroom experience in the Dalton RealTime™ (Live Online).
The Masters Executive CFP Certifcation is a live, instructor-led, Internet-delivered program designed to meet the education requirements for the CFP Certification Examination. This accelerated program is taught by experienced financial planning educators from across the country who are prominent in their communities.
14. Valparasio University
Valparaiso University offers an Online Executive Certificate in Financial Planning program. It is an independent, self-study, online education program designed to fulfill the education requirements to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination.
The program is designed to be completed in nine months, but may be completed in more or less time, depending on a student’s schedule. The program contains a highly interactive including video introductions for each module, instructor whiteboard examples and lectures, interactive games, exercises, homework, and exams.
This program is appropriate for anyone who cannot attend a regularly scheduled class or is a disciplined, self-study student.
Access to the program is granted for nine months, with a one-time complimentary extension.
Indiana Wesleyan University offers an Executive Certificate in Financial Planning. It is a self-paced financial planning program designed to meet the education requirements of the CFP® Certification Examination in nine months or less.
The program also includes recorded training sessions with Ron Blue, which are necessary to complete the education requirements for the Qualified Kingdom Advisor™ Designation. It is the only program in the country that meets the education requirements for the CFP® Certification Examination and the Qualified Kingdom Advisor™ designation simultaneously.
Students who complete this CFP Education program and attend the Dalton Review have a pass rate in the 80–90% range on the CFP® Exam. Materials are designed by former members of the CFP Board Council on Examinations.
There is extensive instructor interaction, and learning materials and exams are focused on the the CFP® Exam.
16. Bryant University
Bryant University offers an Online Financial Planning Certificate Program. Designed with the working professional in mind. I is comprehensive program that provides the tools and information necessary to assist clients in accumulating, conserving, and transferring personal wealth to achieve their goals.
As a CFP® Board registered provider, the program satisfies the educational requirements to earn the CFP® Certification upon passing the exam.
The content of the program is streamlined to enhance long-term memory retention, thereby making CFP® certification education as manageable and efficient as possible.
The program includes seven courses, including Investment Planning, Tax Planning, and Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits.
17. University of California Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley Extension
(Santa Clara, CA)
UC Santa Cruz’s Silicon Valley Extension (located in Santa Clara, near San Jose) offers the Professional Financial Planners Program. Instructors are either leading CFP® practitioners or subject matter specialists in law, insurance, or financial planning mathematics.
The program offers offers comprehensive grounding in everything a student must study to fulfill the Certified Financial Planner® Board of Standards’ education requirements.
Coursework covers all the essential topics required for the CFP Board examination, including investments, risk management, employment benefits, retirement planning, and income tax and estate planning.
The teaching team brings unique expertise and depth of knowledge into the classroom, ensuring that students receive the latest information and insight into real-world skills and practices.
18. Minnesota State University Mankato
Minnesota State University Mankato offers the Financial Planning Certificate Program. The program offers flexibility, as courses are offered each session at a variety of locations.
The university employs highly qualified faculty who are experienced financial planning professionals with either CFP® certification, or CPA, ChFC, or JD credentials. Students who successfully complete all six courses with a “B” average receive an MSU Certificate in Financial Planning.
The FPC program offers instructor-led online courses with structure to keep students on track and with the ability to choose a time during the week that is convenient.
Some of the online courses include Principles of Financial Planning and Insurance, Tax Planning, and Retirement Planning.
19. Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University offers the Online Executive CFP® Certification Education program. It is an independent, self-study, online education program designed to fulfill the education requirements to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination.
The nine-month program may be completed in more or less time, depending on a student’s schedule. Students complete the program at their own pace via highly interactive content, including video introductions for each module, instructor whiteboard examples and lectures, interactive games, exercises, homework, and exams.
There are no prerequisites and no admissions process for the Arkansas State University program; however, a general knowledge of finance terms and an understanding of financial planning issues are desirable.
20. Saginaw Valley State University
(University Center, MI)
Saginaw Valley State University offers the Online Executive CFP® Certification Education program.
Students can customize their educational experience by supplementing their program with additional study aids, such as a live, end-of-course review, a live, online, instructor-led summary of the most important concepts in the course, and the Dalton Review for CFP® Certificate Examination, which is considered the premier CFP® review course in the country.
The program is self-paced, offering six courses that allows students to view coursework and study at their own pace, with Internet-delivered instruction. It is a highly interactive program with videos, interactive games, exercises, homework, and exams.
Access to the program is granted for nine months, with a one-time complimentary extension.
†US Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm ⮭