Top Schools for Financial Planning Services

Find out which top schools offer programs in financial planning services, through which students learn about monetary and real estate investments, retirement planning, taxes and insurance. Read about the degree options at four top schools, and find a list of other universities that provide training for financial planners.

Aspiring financial planners can find relevant undergraduate and/or graduate programs in this field. Programs are generally offered in business administration and closely related subjects.

School Overviews

Noteworthy programs are offered at California Lutheran University, the University of Georgia in Athens, San Diego State University and Florida State University. Each of these was ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. Two of them also offer online programs.

California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks

School Highlight: CLU offers an accelerated online program option.

California Lutheran University was ranked 16th among regional universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report in 2017. The university is home to the California Institute of Finance, where students can pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Financial Planning. A graduate certificate program in the same field of study is also available. Students at the institute can join national financial planning organizations or network with financial planning companies.

University of Georgia in Athens

School Highlight: The financial planning department emphasizes experiential learning through internships.

The University of Georgia was ranked 18th among top public schools in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report. Through the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs in family financial planning, which can lead to a certificate, Bachelor of Science or Master of Science. Students seeking a master's degree in family financial planning can choose from a thesis or non-thesis option. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics is also available.

San Diego State University in CA

School Highlight: SDSU was ranked #74 among public universities for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.

San Diego State University (SDSU) was the first school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) to offer degree programs in financial planning. These include a Bachelor of Science in Financial Services with a certificate in personal financial planning and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in financial services. Graduate students can earn a Master of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in financial and tax planning.

Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL

School Highlight: The school offers a noncredit online certificate program designed for working professionals.

The certificate in financial planning program at FSU consists of seven online courses, in which students get an introduction to the field and study specific aspects of financial planning, such as insurance planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning. Upon completion, students will have met the educational requirements necessary to take the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certification Examination. For 2017, FSU was ranked #38 among public schools by U.S. News & World Report.

Top U.S. Schools with Financial Planning Services Programs

Here are some more schools with strong programs in financial planning services:

  • At Franklin University in Columbus, OH, the Leadership Center offers symposiums, presentations and activities to students and professionals.
  • New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ, houses the award-winning Student Investment Management Group.
  • Pennsylvania State University - Behrend in Erie, PA, has a campus-based Knowledge Park research facility that provides internship opportunities.
  • South Dakota State University in Brookings has over 12,500 students.
  • At Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX, financial planning students can apply for variety of scholarships.
  • At Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, students can analyze real companies in the Carroll Capital Markets Training and Trading Center.

Aspiring financial planners can find both certificate and degree options in the field at public and private universities around the country.

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