Financial Planning Certificate

Financial Planning Certificate

The Certificate in Financial Planning is a Registered Program with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board). This program provides an introduction to personal financial planning and includes the areas of insurance, taxes, investments, retirement planning and estate planning.

This certificate indicates completion of the educational coursework component of CFP Board’s CFP® certification program.  To be authorized to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and certification marks, individuals must complete additional examination, experience, ethics and other requirements.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP (with flame logo)®, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.


Required Course
FIN 330 Personal Financial Planning  
ACCTG 310 Federal Income Taxation ACCTG 211 or FIN 301
FIN 420 Introduction to Investments FIN 301
FIN 430 Estate Planning FIN 330 and ACCTG 310
FIN 450 Retirement Planning  
FIN 491  Financial Planning Capstone 
(effective SU 12)
FIN 330, FIN 420, FIN 450 and concurrently with 
FIN 430
* Students must earn a "C" or better in each of the required courses to earn the Certificate in Financial Planning.


Recommended Schedule By Semester

Sophomore Year
Junior Year
Senior Year
FIN 330

ECON 102 or ECON 104

ACCTG 310 FIN 420 FIN 450 FIN 491
 ACCTG 211 SCM 200 FIN 301   FIN 430    



Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the financial planning program available in the evenings or weekends? 
A: No

Q: Can the financial planning program be completed via the internet? 
A: No 

Q: What prerequisites are required before entering this program? 
A: There are no prerequisites required to enter this certificate program. However, there are prerequisites for some of the required courses in the program. These prerequisites are identified in the required course table above.

Q: Can credit be given for courses taken at other institutions? 
A: The prerequisite courses can be completed elsewhere. The seven courses in the financial planning program must be taken here. 

Q: Can I use courses from more than one institution to complete the educational requirement to obtain the CFP(R) certification? 
A: Yes, but you will be required to justify to the CFP Board of Standards that you have covered all of the required topics. 

Q: Will I be a Certified Financial Planner (TM) professional once I complete your program? 
A: No, the CFP(R) certification is granted by the CFP Board of Standards and you must meet all of their requirements. Successful completion of our program fulfills only the educational requirement. 

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the trademarks 
CFP ®, Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Financial Planner ® in the U.S., which it awards to individual who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. Penn State does not certify individuals to use the CFP ® , Certified Financial Planner ™ and marks. CFP ® certification is granted solely by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to individuals who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met ethics, experience and examination requirements. 


For specific information about the program or about the CFP® Certification, contact Rick Hedderick at

To apply for this certificate program, see the Registrar website.

The college also offers a four-year degree in Finance.