We are not accepting applications for admission into the Executive Financial Planner Advanced Certificate Program at this time. Individuals with a bachelor's degree who are seeking to complete the coursework requirement for CFP® certification through SDSU are encouraged to consider applying for admission to our MSBA with a Concentration in Financial and Tax Planning Program.

Is it time to consider a career as a financial planning professional?

This CFP Board-registered certificate program is a step in achieving the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Upon successful completion of this 18-unit program, participants will be awarded an SDSU Executive Financial Planner Advanced Certificate, and will be eligible to sit for the CFP Board exam.

Estimated Cost Estimated Cost
Textbooks not included
Completion Time Min. Completion Time
18 Months
Course Format Course Format

Who Should Apply — Do you meet one of these criteria?

  • Financial services firm employees with client contact experience
  • Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, and CFAs
  • Accountants, financial advisors, and professionals
  • Individuals with advanced degrees or very substantial experience in finance or accounting
  • US military applicants with bachelors degrees and substantial leadership experience

Fully accredited by the AACSB International, SDSU's College of Business Administration conveniently offers the Executive Financial Planner certificate program. Students pursuing further graduate studies may apply units from this certificate toward the Master of Science degree in Financial and Tax Planning.

Financial Planner Certificate Requirements
Applicants eligible for the Executive Financial Planner program should have a bachelor's degree and two or more years of experience in the fields of financial services, finance, law, or accounting. Others will be considered on a case-by-case basis. To be admitted to the CFP program, candidates must meet the departmental and university admission requirements. Students who earn the Executive Financial Planner certificate will complete 18 units of coursework including FIN 522, FIN 590, FIN 651, FIN 657, FIN 705, and ACCT 503.

The following five financial courses rotate continuously: FIN 522, FIN 651, FIN 657, FIN 705, and ACCT 503. New students can begin the CFP program with any one of the courses.

After completing the five financial courses, students will take FIN 590 Personal Financial Planning Practicum. This course is offered two or three times per year, usually in concert with the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Board exam schedule.

SDSU offers three CFP Board-registered financial planning programs that qualify graduates to sit for the CFP Board's comprehensive exam. In addition to the six-course (18 unit) program described here, students may also qualify for the CFP Board exam by earning either of the following on-campus degrees:

  • B.S. in Financial Services with a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning
  • M.S. with a Concentration in Financial and Tax Planning

How to Apply
Visit the Executive Financial Planner website at https://business.sdsu.edu/financial-planning-certificate/requirements for admission requirements, and curriculum.

Please contact the Faculty Director Thomas Warschauer, Ph.D., CFP®, tom.warschauer@sdsu.edu for more information.

Two, three-unit certificate classes taken prior to matriculation may be transferable to the Executive Financial Planner Advanced Certificate program.

In order to earn an advanced certificate or master's degree, you must apply and be admitted to SDSU. For more information, please contact the Division of Graduate Affairs at gra@sdsu.edu, visit https://admissions.sdsu.edu/graduate or call (619) 594-5213.


Labor Analysis
Financial Planner — Nationwide

Job Postings
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CFP LogoThis CFP Board-registered certificate program is a step in achieving the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.

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 the CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The program provided me with an opportunity to get an amazing education and designation, while I still could produce at my current employment.
~ Adam Shaw, SDSU Financial Planning student


2021 Summer2021 Fall2022 Winter2022 Spring
ACCTG 0503 Federal Taxation of Individuals
Taxation of individuals, including income, deductions, credits, social security taxes, and property transactions.
ACCTG 0798 Special Study: ACCTG 798
Individual study. Maximum Credits: six units applicable to a master’s degree.
Course Date(s)

FIN 0522 Individual Insurance Management
Economic, legal, social, and ethical considerations of individual, business and group insurance including life, health, property, and liability insurance. Risk exposure and policy analysis.
Course Date(s)

Lynn Buchholz
FIN 0590 Personal Financial Planning Practicum
Preparation of family financial plans using comprehensive cases and/or real financial data. Financial planning software. Counseling and communication skills, behavioral finance, client psychology, practice standards, discipline and ethics.
Course Date(s)

FIN 0651 Seminar in Investments
Characteristics of financial markets and instruments. Contemporary as well as traditional approaches to problems of pricing individual securities; portfolio selection and analysis; techniques of analysis; measurement of risk; return, and investment values.
Course Date(s)

FIN 0657 Financial and Retirement Planning
Decision-making process and theory of individual financial needs. Retirement planning including Social Security. Education planning. Financial strategies that aid in meeting family goals.
Course Date(s)

Dana Lee Parks
FIN 0705 Seminar in Estate Planning
The scope and nature of estate planning. Identification and analysis of the environmental factors and those aspects of federal and state law affecting estate planning and taxation. Estate taxation and social policy.
Course Date(s)

Anne Wenger