Take the next step to earn your CFP® credential.

Program Fast Facts

  • Start date: September 23, 2024
  • Mondays and/or Wednesdays
    6 — 9:30 p.m.
  • On Campus
  • 11-24 months
  • 675-875 per course

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on the path you choose, it will take 11 to 24 months. There are seven courses in the program. Students on the Traditional Path may complete the entire program in approximately 24 months by taking one course each quarter, while those on the Pacesetter Path may finish the program in as little as 12 months by taking two courses each quarter with Tax Planning taken as a stand-alone course. Students who choose the Intensive Path, which begins in January, complete the program in 11 months.

Successful completion of the SMU CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificate program meets the educational requirements established by the CFP Board to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination. The examination is administered three times per year in March, July and November.

Students finishing in the winter quarter (March) may apply to sit for the July exam. Students finishing in the spring quarter (June) or summer quarter (September) may apply to sit for the November exam. Students finishing in the fall quarter (December) may apply to sit for the March exam. For more information, please visit www.cfp.net.

A bachelor's degree is required for admission into this program. Exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis during the application review process. For information about the CFP Board requirements for certification, refer to the CFP Board website.
SMU CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificate courses are noncredit. However, as a CFP Board-registered program, attendance is recorded and grades are issued. To receive a Certificate in Financial Planning from SMU, you must successfully complete all seven courses with a grade of “C” or higher.
Self-Reporting for Insurance licensees:
CPFP102 Insurance and Risk Management, CFPF 104 Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits and CPFP 106 Estate Planning are eligible for Continuing Education credit. To obtain credit please contact the SMU Continuing and Professional Education office for the appropriate reporting form and procedures.

For CPAs:
The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy has set the guidelines that allow the licensee to determine which Certified Financial Planning Certificate course will enhance their professional competency, and thus, which to submit for CPE credit. To review these guidelines, visit the Texas Administrative Code, Rule 523.102, CPE Purpose and Definitions.
Tuition does not include the cost of textbooks. Students should purchase the most recent editions online. Required books are not available at the SMU Bookstore. The cost of each book ranges from approximately $80–$160.
Transfer of course work from another CFP Board Registered-program to the SMU Certified Financial Planning Certificate Program may be considered. Requests must be made in writing to the Program Director for final approval. Requests must be accompanied by an official transcript including course descriptions from the school’s course 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), to qualify for a certificate. Download the transfer form.