Becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ entitles you to use the distinguished CFP® mark, setting you apart in the financial services industry.
Duke University’s Certificate in Financial Planning program enables you to satisfy the CFP Board’s education requirement, which is one of four requirements necessary to sit for the CFP® exam. This program benefits both experienced professionals seeking to advance their careers and those entering the field for the first time. Taught by working professionals, our accelerated learning option allows you to master the eight major domains covered on the CFP® exam in nine months.
Upon successful completion of all required courses, you will receive a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Please note: While the Certificate in Financial Planning program is a CFP Board registered program, it is not a program geared toward teaching test-taking tips and strategies for passing the CFP® exam
Program Highlights include:
- Live Virtual format
- Convenient alternate weekend format
- Compressed 9 month schedule**
- Multiple Instructors who themselves have passed the CFP® Exam and are industry practitioners
- Online resources such as question bank/videos etc.
- Program registered with Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.
- Graduates eligible for CFP® Exam
- Certificate earned from Duke University, a recognized leader in educational excellence
*A US level 4-year Bachelor’s degree is required for admission to this program. Consideration for exception to the degree requirement may be considered depending on financial work experience. Contact the Program Manager to discuss.
**Due to holidays or other scheduling conflicts, this program may, on occasion, require class meetings on successive weekends.
General Financial Planning Principles, Professional Conduct, and Regulation
This course is an introduction to the concepts and profession of personal financial planning. The student will gain an understanding of the role and responsibilities of a financial planner, along with some analytical skills to aid in financial decision-making. Topics in the course include the financial planning process, securities regulation and licensing, CFP Board ethics, the economic environment, the time value of money, and planning for special situations such as a college education, the formation and operation of a closely held business, and disability. The course also previews wealth accumulation, tax, retirement, and estate planning techniques
Risk Management, Insurance, and Employee Benefits Planning
This course introduces you to the concept of risk management and its role in the financial planning process. Risk management includes all of the actions clients can take to minimize risk. Insurance is one of the key risk management options available and functions as an important tool for you to consider when evaluating the various risks to which your clients may be exposed. The material in this course discusses the various forms of property and casualty insurance, which include homeowners, auto, commercial, and professional liability insurance.
This course follows sound investment principles as a primary means of wealth accumulation for financial planning clients. In turn, the process of wealth accumulation provides the funds necessary to achieve many financial planning goals. In this course, you will learn investment concepts as well as effective investment planning strategies for helping your clients accumulate wealth. Asset allocation principles are reviewed, modern portfolio management theory is explained, and the importance of tax-efficient investing is considered.
Retirement Savings and Income Planning
This course deals with the single most important issue millions of people will be facing in the years to come: affording to retire. Normally, the amount of money necessary to achieve this goal is substantial and, just like the satisfaction of any other financial goal, requires significant planning. It covers determination of the retirement savings need and subsequently considers both government and employer-sponsored methods of providing for one’s retirement. Distribution options from corporate retirement plans are reviewed, as well as the suitability of an investment portfolio in ensuring a comfortable and profitable retirement.
This course discusses effective income tax planning strategies, whether personal or related to clients’ business interests. This course reviews tax planning basics—individual income tax calculations, deductions, exemptions, and credits. Key topics include the disposition of property, cost recovery, passive activity losses, charitable contributions, and alternative minimum tax. Because planners often assist clients who own businesses, the tax characteristics of various business entities and tax planning for those businesses are also discussed in this course. Finally, trust and estate taxation techniques are presented.
Once the wealth accumulation process is complete, distributing excess wealth is a primary goal for many financial planning clients. This course presents the challenges of effective estate planning raised by tax code changes. It begins with a consideration of the estate planning process and the documents of transfer. The course then addresses the unified transfer tax system and the calculation of an individual’s estate tax liability. Estate planning techniques such as trusts, marital and charitable deduction vehicles, and intra-family business and property transfers are then discussed. The course ends with a consideration of postmortem tax planning.
Capstone Case Course (Financial Planning Development)
Students taking this course will be exposed to case analysis and integration of the six (6) major areas of personal financial planning (General Financial Planning Principles, Insurance Planning, Investment Planning, Tax Planning, Retirement Planning, and Estate Planning).
- Instruction will be a combination of classroom and online learning.
- The classroom learning Instruction will be delivered over a series of sessions.
- Students will also be responsible to review online content, presenting material in each of the six major topic areas.
- Students will submit a final project consisting of a completed template and oral presentation.
This course meets on alternating weekends. Please see the schedule section on the program web page for exact dates.
- Four-year degree from an accredited university.* Any requests for exceptions to the above admissions requirements must be made in writing to the Program Director. Approval of exceptions are at the discretion of the Program Director.
- Computer literacy and access to a computer
- A valid email account, and fluency in English, including reading and writing.
- Resume or biography
- Tuition paid in full or loan approved prior to start date
*Students with a degree earned from a university outside the United States will need to verify eligibility of their institution with the CFP Board before applying for this program.
Applies Towards the Following Certificates
- Certificate in Financial Planning : Required Course