Graduate certificate programs teach students about various financial strategies. Students also study industry basics, such as percentage calculations, financial statements, compound growth, bond yield calculations and basic statistics. Students may be able to complete a fully online certificate program in 18 months.
Programs are typically offered through college and university continuing education and professional development centers. Consequently, these programs are often designed for individuals working in the financial sector or a related field or for those who have a relevant undergraduate degree.
Introduction to Financial Planning
Students learn about how to budget, save, manage debt and prepare financial statements. Other topics can include business law, economics, ethics and industry regulations.
This course examines Medicare and Social Security. Students also learn about the various types of retirement plans, investment strategies and distribution requirements.
Students study methods for managing risk. Insurance policies examined include life, home owner, long-term care, disability and automobile. Students also learn about employee benefits, such as flexible spending accounts and cafeteria plans.
In this class, students learn about taxes at the state and national level related to inherited property, trusts and gifts. In addition, students explore techniques for helping clients reach long-term monetary goals that can benefit their beneficiaries.
Classes may be offered via asynchronous and synchronous formats. Assignments and exams can be completed online. Students typically learn through a combination of textbook study, virtual lectures, discussion forums and instructional videos. For each course, students should expect to devote at least 10 hours per week toward study time.
Overview of Programs and Schools
University of California - Los Angeles
The University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) offers a distance learning Financial Analysis in Personal Financial Planning Certificate. This program includes 34 credit hours of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), three credit hours of legal ethics study and six credit hours of California Department of Insurance Continuing Education classes.
UCLA established in 1919, offers over 100 undergraduate programs and 200 graduate programs. UCLA Extension is one of the oldest continuing education providers in the nation and offers online certificate, credit and continuing education programs.
- Student Population (2015): 41,908
- Annual 2015-2016 Graduate Tuition (excluding fees): $11,220 for in-state students, $26,322 for out-of-state students
Florida State University
Florida State University (FSU) offers an online Certificate in Financial Planning, which is registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The program requires completion of seven courses. Graduates are prepared to sit for the CFP Certification Exam. Online classes in financial planning start each month on the first Friday and are 10-11 weeks in length.
FSU is located in the state capital of Tallahassee. The university offers more than 270 undergraduate, graduate, doctorate, specialist and professional degree programs through its 15 colleges. The Center for Professional Development at FSU offers online credit courses that culminate in certificates or degrees; non-degree programs are also available.
- Student Population (2015): 40,830
- Annual 2015-2016 Graduate Tuition (excluding fees): $9,684 for in-state students, $24,116 for out-of-state students
Online courses in financial planning can train students to develop feasible money management strategies. Interested students can find online graduate certificate programs offered through UCLA and FSU.