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 courses in the program will also prepare you to become professionally certified as a financial planner.

For More Information, Contact:

Kristine Emrich
  • Email:
  • Phone: (312) 362-6292
  • FAX: (312) 362-8764

Information Sessions

To learn more about the Financial Planning Certificate Program, please attend one of our free information sessions.

CFP® Certification

Since 1972, CFP® certification marks have become the most widely recognized financial planning credential among consumers. Research by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. shows that clients of CFP® practitioners are more satisfied. Having CFP® certification sets financial planning professionals apart from the crowd and assures that their clients know that they are trained professionals. DePaul's Financial Planning Certificate Program is designed to provide the knowledge and prerequisite coursework to fulfill the education requirement set by CFP Board and to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination.

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 courses 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 courses and add their own exercises, case studies and handouts. This results in courses that combine sound financial planning theory and practical skill development.
  • Convenient locations and scheduling- Courses are offered on a quarterly schedule at DePaul's Loop, O'Hare and Naperville campuses. Students can make up missed classes by joining a class session at another campus. Classes are offered on weeknights to accommodate working students and online for students who seek maximum flexibility.
  • Proven student success- Graduates of our program consistently outperform the national average for first-time test-takers of the CFP® Certification Examination. In addition to preparing for the exam, our program equips you to succeed in today's competitive profession of financial planning.


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.


DePaul offers continuing education units (CEUs) to each student upon successful completion of their course. Each 10 hours of in-class participation = 1 CEU. As of January 1, 2015, DePaul no longer offers the CE/CPE credit from the Illinois Department of Insurance or the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for the DePaul University Continuing and Professional Education Departmental Student Policies.
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.
May I transfer courses into the DePaul program?
We accept courses from any CFP Board certified 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 classes with DePaul in order to receive our Financial Planning Certificate.
What is the schedule?
Each of the six required courses in the Financial Planning Certificate Program consists of 11 weekly 3.5-hour sessions. The 11th week of FPEC 101-105 is a proctored final exam.
Do I have to take the courses in order?
The courses are designed to be taken in sequence, but it is not required. You may take the courses 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 course should be taken after the first five courses, or concurrently with the fifth course.
Will there be homework?
The amount of homework varies by instructor and course. Typically students in the program are expected to spend at least 10 hours a week outside of class time on each required course.
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 are encouraged to make it up at one of the other campuses - the curriculum is uniform and the same lessons are taught in the same week at each campus. If you are not able to attend another class, you will still receive the class notes and have the opportunity to make up any quizzes you miss.
Do I need to purchase a textbook?
Each module uses a workbook and a textbook. The workbooks are included in the cost of tuition, but the textbooks must be purchased separately.
Textbooks are available for purchase at the Chicago Loop Campus Bookstore, (312) 362-8792, and online at The bookstore arranges the books under the headings FPEC 100-200, online the books are found under the FPEC department.
Suburban campus students can purchase textbooks online at
What are the educational requirements to obtain the CFP® Certification?
CFP Board outlines 89 integrated financial planning 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?
Currently, 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.
What is the challenge process?
Certain degrees and professional credentials will automatically allow students to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination without having to verify the education requirement. However, CFP Board recently required that all challengers must complete a financial plan development 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. For details on the challenge process, please refer to CFP Board's Guide to CFP® certification. For a booklet, call CFP Board at 800.487.1497.
Why choose DePaul's Financial Planning certification program?
DePaul University Continuing and Professional Education has offered the Certificate Program in Financial Planning since 1999. Alumni of DePaul's program frequently exceed the national average pass rate on the CFP® certification exam. Our courses are taught by top-flight financial services professionals who provide the latest information available on the topic areas.


Online registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Add the course you are interested in to your shopping cart and proceed to checkout. Registration is also available via phone, fax or mail. An Adobe Acrobat PDF of the registration form is provided for your convenience.

Course Availability

Required Fees Price
Registration - This program is NOT FREE. Students must pay for each component course.$0.00