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CFP: Certified Financial
Planner Certification

Take the required CFP Board-approved courses to help you prepare for the CFP exam.

Many Americans turn to financial planners for guidance on money management and investing. However, only a select group have met the rigorous requirements to become Certified Financial Planners. University of Maryland Global Campus offers this program to help prepare you to earn this unique certification.

CFP professionals specialize in everything financial, including budgeting, taxes, insurance coverage, retirement planning, and saving for education. A career as a CFP professional offers great opportunities for personal growth, satisfying work, and high pay. It is a perfect fit for those seeking a rewarding career in finance or a second career after service or retirement from the military or government.

Preparation for CFP Certification

If you want to qualify to sit for the CFP exam, you must fulfill all requirements laid out by the CFP Board. You must have a bachelor’s degree, have worked as a financial planner, and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Take an approved course of study authorized by the CFP Board, such as the six UMGC CFP courses outlined below.
  • Challenge the CFP Board requirements because you already have the requisite experience as a financial planner and therefore only need to complete the capstone course,
    (3 Credits, FINC 490), to sit for the CFP certification exam.

If you are currently a UMGC student, you can take CFP Board–approved courses that meet the criteria needed to fulfill the educational component required to sit for the CFP exam. But you do not have to currently be enrolled at UMGC to take these classes. Our course of study is available to any individual that is interested in earning the CFP certification. Please note that completing CFP courses at UMGC does not guarantee that you will pass the CFP exam.

The CFP Board–approved course of study at UMGC will qualify you for the CFP exam. CFP designation is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the premier certifications in the personal financial planning industry. Through your coursework, you'll learn specialized skills in financial management and planning.

You are required to take six courses (18 credits total) approved by the CFP Board in preparation for the CFP exam:


  • (3 Credits, ACCT 323)

  • (3 Credits, FINC 321)

  • (3 Credits, FINC 340)

  • (3 Credits, FINC 352)

  • (3 Credits, FINC 355)

  • (3 Credits, FINC 490)

If you are minoring in personal financial planning, you will already have been required to take five of the six required courses (all listed except
(3 Credits, FINC 340)).

Please note that only CFP program credits from a registered CFP Board Program can be transferred to the UMGC CFP Program.

There are four components outlined by the CFP Board that you must meet to acquire initial certification to become a certified financial planner, known as the four “Es”:

  • Education
  • Examination
  • Experience
  • Ethics

Because the CFP certification requirements may change from time to time, please visit the CFP Board website to review the details of each of the four components.

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About the CFP Board

The CFP Board is a nonprofit organization that sets and enforces the professional standards of the education, examination, experience, ethics, and other requirements for CFP certification.

Upcoming Exam Dates

The CFP Board has all you need to know about upcoming exam dates and CFP certification requirements.

Contact Us

Our helpful admissions advisors can help you choose an academic program to fit your career goals, estimate your transfer credits, and develop a plan for your education costs that fits your budget. If you’re a current UMGC student, please visit the Help Center.

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