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CFP Schools and Universities in the U.S.

Students can choose among CFP schools based on whether or not they already hold undergraduate degrees and the type of program in which they're interested. Possible majors include financial services, business administration, financial planning and accounting.

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Earning the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) credential requires a combination of education, experience and examination. All candidates must possess bachelor's degrees to sit for the CFP exam, though the degrees do not have to be in financial-planning-related fields.

Top 10 Business Schools

While not specifically financial planning degrees, the below schools offer business degrees with opportunities to concentrate on finance:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees, In-state (2015-2016)*
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $49,536 Graduate: $34,268
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $46,704 Graduate: $49,272
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $13,431 Graduate: $13,431
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $13,856 Graduate: $20,966
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $47,750 Graduate: $40,984
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 4-year, Public Master's Graduate: $17,094
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $50,665 Graduate: $41,371
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $8,591 Graduate: $11,074
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate Undergraduate: $9,806 Graduate: $10,934
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's Undergraduate: $47,929 Graduate: $47,765

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Critria

Students interested in certified financial planner programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Students who already hold bachelor's degrees in unrelated fields might want to seek out schools that offer complete specialized financial planning programs, typically offered as graduate certificate programs that last 1-2 years.
  • Those who do not already hold bachelor's degrees can opt to complete bachelor's degree programs that fulfill both degree and CFP educational requirements simultaneously.
  • Some CFP programs offer night, weekend or online coursework options for students needing scheduling flexibility.
  • Consider a school's reputation and ranking in published school rankings.

Holding a bachelor's degree is necessary to sit for the Certified Financial Planning exam. Degrees in finance or business typically provides the right preparation for this.

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