Certificate Program in Financial Planning

Program Requirements

Class Fast Facts

DURATION 10 months, 1 yr or 2 yr
FORMAT Multiple formats available
TUITION $4995, $1150 per term or $675 per class

The SMU Certificate Program in Financial Planning is designed primarily to train those currently employed in the financial services industry who would like to build upon their prior professional experience and expand the breadth and value of their services.

All registrants must have earned a bachelor's degree before beginning the course. No particular major or emphasis is required.

The CFP Board requires candidates for CFP® certification to hold a bachelor's degree before they receive the CFP® certification. Refer to CFPBoard's Web site for more information regarding the CFP® certification.

Students must take courses in numerical order by term, and are required to enroll in the Fundamentals 101 course in their first quarter of the Program. For part-time students, those taking one course each quarter, the Fundamentals course must be their first. For full-time students, those taking two courses each quarter, the Fundamentals course may be paired with one other course, but must be taken in the first term.

Requirements for Completion

In their first quarter of the program, all students are required to enroll in the Fundamentals 101 course. Pacesetter Path students may pair it with Investments 103. All Students must take the CPFP courses in numerical order per term, and must complete courses with a grade of 'C' or better. For part-time students (Traditional Path), those taking one course each quarter, the Fundamentals course must be their first. For Pacesetter Path students, the Fundamentals course may be paired with one other course, but must be taken in the first term.

Students can be expected to spend at least 6 hours a week, outside of class time, on each required course. Students have 5 years from the first day of their first course to matriculate.

Transfer of course work from another CFP Board Registered-program to the SMU Certificate Program in Financial Planning is possible. Requests must be made in writing to the Program Director, and an official transcript of record from your school must be sent along with course descriptions from the school's catalog. Final approval will be made by the director. Students must complete at least fifty percent of their coursework in the SMU program (including the capstone course Financial Planning Strategies and Case Studies), exclusive of transfer credit, to qualify for a certificate. To download the transfer form, click here.

Students are highly encouraged to attend an Information Session prior to their first quarter. To enroll in a free Information Session, click here.

Get Started!

  • Choose a starting date. Students may join the SMU Program in April or September on the main campus in Dallas, or in January at SMU-in-Plano.
  • Choose a track. Students may elect to take one course per quarter, on the Traditional Path, or take 2 courses per quarter on the Pacesetter Path (at a discounted rate). Students in the SMU CPFP in Plano program move through the program one course at at time, at an accelerated pace; each of the seven courses in the program are taught in 6-week modules. For an overview of the course paths, click here.
  • Enroll in an Information Session. Offered throughout the year, these 1-hour sessions are packed with information about the SMU Program and the CFP® certification process. Register now.
  • Meet program instructors, view prerequisites and course fees.
  • Complete the program application. Click here to complete the SMU program application process.
  • Register for class. After the application has been approved, students may enroll online, by phone, or by fax. Traditional Path and Plano students begin the program with course 101; Pacesetter Path students begin with courses 101 and 103.

Learn more about discounts for SMU students for the Kaplan Financial live and online review courses.

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.

SMU does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® and CFP (with flame logo). 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.

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