CFP Program Requirements and Classes
The Financial Planning Certificate Program meets the education requirement needed for participants to take the CFP® Certification Examination.
The Financial Planning Certificate Program requires the completion of six courses* (for those who began the program prior to January 1, 2012, CFIN 206 is not required. If you have questions, contact the Program Coordinator):
- CFIN 201, Principles of Financial Planning and Insurance
- CFIN 202, Investment Planning
- CFIN 203, Tax Planning
- CFIN 204, Retirement Planning
- CFIN 205, Estate Planning
- CFIN 206 - Financial Plan Development Case Studies - Capstone Course
These MSU courses cover all of the topics on the CFP® Certification Examination.
*Grades are earned for each course. A cumulative "B" average is required for program completion. If a "B" average is not earned after all courses, proof of enrollment in a review course is required for students to be eligible to to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination.
This course is designed to introduce students into financial planning in addition to covering property, liability, life, health, and long-term care insurance. Students who successfully complete this course should understand the financial planning process, and CFP® Board’s Financial Planning Practice Standards and Code of Ethics. Moreover, they should understand the myriad of risks clients face and be able to analyze insurance policy provisions. Most importantly, students should be able to advise clients on matters relating to insurance, budgeting, and financing decisions such as whether to buy or lease an automobile.
This course is designed to indoctrinate students in the area of investments. Students who successfully complete this course should understand how our economy functions, the various investment vehicles available including how each one is taxed, the diverse types of investment risk, Modern Portfolio Theory, and asset pricing models including the Binomial Option Pricing Model. Most importantly, students should be able to guide clients on assembling a diversified portfolio of securities that fits the individual investor’s risk tolerance and tax situation.
This course is primarily designed to educate students in the area of personal taxation although some of the material pertains to the taxation of business entities. Students who successfully complete this course should comprehend relevant tax law in the Internal Revenue Code and how these laws affect their clients. Most importantly, students should be able to provide accurate guidance on how to minimize their client’s tax burden.
This course is designed to indoctrinate students in the areas of retirement planning and employee benefits planning. Students who successfully complete this course should be able to distinguish among the myriad of retirement plans and employee benefit plans, and be able to estimate benefits from Social Security and Medicare so they can advise clients on the various ways to supplement these benefits. In addition, students should be able to consult with firms on the establishment and maintenance of retirement plans. Most importantly, students should be able to give advice that will assist clients in selecting cost-efficient retirement plans and employee benefit plans that suit client needs and preferences.
The primary purpose of this course is to educate students in the area of estate planning although other topics such as education planning are also covered. Students who successfully complete this course should fully comprehend transfer taxes (gift, estate, and generation-skipping taxes) and the various ways property passes to others after death. Most importantly, students should understand the various methods of holding and transferring title in order to explain this to the client.
This is a capstone course intended to help students integrate the knowledge acquired in their previous financial planning courses through group analysis of comprehensive case studies. Students taking this course will be exposed to case analysis and integration of the six (6) major areas of personal financial planning (Fundamentals of Financial Planning, Insurance, Investment, Income Tax, Retirement and Estate Planning). Besides highlighting the skills and knowledge of financial planning that are represented in the full range of topics covered by the CFP® exam, we will review the quantitative and analytical skills needed to address complex financial situations. Using a case, students will develop and present a financial plan in a "real world" situation, ultimately presenting their plan to the instructor and class as the clients. The course will also provide students with an opportunity to develop the ability to recognize ethical dilemmas that may arise in financial planning practice and explore appropriate responses to those dilemmas, as reflected in the CFP® Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.