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Executive Certificate in Financial Planning

Kaplan LogoBe ready for the increasingly complex investing, insurance and retirement environment with the Executive Certificate in Financial Planning.

"With a growing demand for qualified personal financial planners, now is the time to become a Certified Financial PlannerTM professional. Whether you're just starting your education, looking to change careers or seeking to improve your professional status, CFP® certification can open the door to more and better opportunities." – CFP Board

Kiplinger recently reviewed 785 jobs and designated 10 high-salary jobs poised for strong growth in the coming decade – including "Personal Financial Advisor" as "Top 10 Best Jobs for the Future." The report cited a 23.8% projected job growth rate for financial advisors from 2016-2026, and noted that "Certification from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards enhances an advisor's credibility." - Kiplinger Today, August 2017

The University of Tampa’s Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies offers the Executive Certificate in Financial Planning program in collaboration with Kaplan Financial Education, a leading provider of financial planning and education materials having helped more than 13,000 financial professionals pass the CFP® certification examination. The University of Tampa is registered with the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards Inc. to fulfill the education requirements for CFP® certification.

Access CFP® Board's Career Center

Program Highlights

  • Convenient alternate weekend format
  • Compressed nine month schedule
  • "Live" classroom instruction
  • Instructors who themselves have passed the CFP® exam and are industry practitioners
  • Program registered with Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.
  • Graduates eligible for CFP® exam
  • Certificate earned from The University of Tampa, recognized for educational excellence

This program is especially designed for the following:

  • Established financial professionals seeking advancement in the industry
  • Working professionals seeking a career change to the financial services industry
  • Individuals seeking to better manage their assets, accounts and portfolios
  • Students who recently received a traditional undergraduate or graduate degree and desire to obtain additional valuable, recognized industry credentials

Want more information?

Click on the button below to request to talk in person or by phone with the CFP program director.
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The next series of classes will start in September 2019

Current series of classes: Sept. 7, 2018 - May 11, 2019

View full list of class dates and times for this series

(Location of the classes on the UT campus will be provided when you register.)


Register and Pay

Change a previously made registration

Full payment in advance of the start of your class is required. See below for pricing and payment information.

For information or questions, email

For a campus map, go to

Complete Your Education Requirements in as Little as Nine Months

All courses are completed over nine months of rigorous, part-time study with classes held on Friday evenings and Saturdays every other week on the campus of The University of Tampa in downtown Tampa. When you successfully complete the UT-Kaplan program, you receive a certificate of completion from The University of Tampa and are eligible to sit for the CFP® certification examination. Academic credit is not awarded for these classes, and academic credit is not recorded on a transcript provided by the University.

By successfully completing the program, you are preparing to be an informed, competent and ethical financial planner and a leader in the financial planning industry who is able to:

  • Apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated approach to real-life financial planning situations,
  • Advise individuals, families and small businesses on a variety of complex financial issues and
  • Develop and maintain tailored and comprehensive financial plans.

You should plan to complete all courses in the order they are delivered in your cohort for maximum value and for the most efficient preparation for CFP® certification. Since courses are offered only one time per year, missing a course in the cohort series will significantly delay your eligibility to take the CFP® certification exam. A maximum of two years is allowed to complete the certificate requirements.

Passage of the CFP® Exam is not guaranteed

The Certificate in Financial Planning program is designed to cover the key job knowledge topics as determined by the CFP Board. It does not include the CFP® exam. While the Executive Certificate in Financial Planning program is a CFP® Board registered program, it is not an exam preparation program. Passage of the CFP® exam by virtue of completing this program is not guaranteed, and no such warranty is implied or otherwise stated. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The University of Tampa does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and related design marks. CFP® certification is granted solely by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to individuals who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met ethics, experience and examination requirements.

Eligibility and Requirements

Applicants for the program must have completed...
  • Applicants for the program must have completed a four-year degree from an accredited institution of higher learning. Evidence of degree completion must be provided in the form of a transcript (unofficial transcripts are accepted). Transcripts may be submitted in advance of registering for confirmation of eligibility, but must be received no later than 10 days before the start of the class for which registered or within 24 hours if registering late. Transcripts are only accepted via email sent to Anyone seeking admission who does not meet this requirement may request admission subject to the discretion of the program director, or his representative, whose decision shall be final. When requesting exception, write to the CFP program director at with the reasons you should be accepted, and provide appropriate documentation and backup to support your case.
  • At least three years of professional work experience is preferred, though exceptions are possible.
  • A TOEFL examination for non-native speakers of English is not required, but students are expected to read, write and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program.
  • Non-credit professional certificate programs such as this are classified as part-time education programs. As a result, the University cannot sponsor international students for student visas (F-1) to enroll in certificate programs. However, current full-time graduate students and prospective international students who enter the U.S. on a valid visa are eligible to enroll. For more about non-U.S. citizen restrictions, contact the Office of International Programs.
  • Most exams in the program are administered online. Therefore, access to a computer with Internet connectivity is a program requirement.
  • Any requests for exceptions to these requirements must be made in writing to the program director at

Cost, Payment Options, Financial Assistance

Select from advance full-pay discount or three-pay plan

$4,495 with advance payment for entire cohort; that’s just $750 per course. Payment must be received before the start of the first course for this rate to apply.

Or pay in three installments of $1,625 each. Payment one due prior to start of first course, payment two due prior to start of third course and payment three due prior to start of fifth course. NOTE: This is a payment plan. By signing up for the program, you are committing to the entire program of study and full payment, even if you withdraw.

  • Forms of payment accepted include all major credit cards, personal and corporate check, employer voucher and money order. Direct funds transfer not currently available. International students whose government or embassy will pay for the program should make arrangements in advance with the program director; email
  • Cost of text books and CFP® exam not included. Textbooks are estimated to cost about $500 (plus shipping and tax). Students are also required to have a financial calculator. See more about these requirements in the Textbooks and Financial Calculator section below.

Financial Aid
Program fees are not eligible to be paid with traditional degree-earning University or federal financial aid, including VA benefits. You may be eligible for a personal loan through Sallie Mae, such as the Smart Option Student Loan.

CFP Board offers financial assistance grants, including the Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Scholarship for those seeking the CFP® certification who can demonstrate financial need and/or are individuals who represent underrepresented populations within the financial services profession (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation). The scholarship is a $5,000 award for those pursuing a certificate program and a $10,000 award for those pursuing an undergraduate degree. Information and application details are available at The Center for Financial Planning.


    Instructors are chosen for their knowledge and experience...

    Instructors teaching in the program are chosen for their knowledge and experience in their area of instruction, so they are able to deliver the best possible experience for the students. Since students in the program often have valuable experience, instructors encourage students to incorporate and convey their real work life applications. All instructors are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree and CFP® certification and/or a graduate degree in the field in which they teach. Other instructor certifications/qualifications may include CLU, CFA, ChFC, PFS, RFC, Series 4, 6, 7, 24, 53, 63, 65 and 6, and a doctorate in a business discipline. Instructors are trained to teach in the program by Kaplan Schweser and are not necessarily on the faculty of The University of Tampa.

    Course Descriptions

    Fundamentals, Investment Planning, Income Tax Planning and...

    Fundamentals and Ethical Considerations and Insurance and Employee Benefits
    Introduces the theory and practice of financial planning. Students receive an overview of specific areas of financial planning such as income tax planning, investment planning, retirement planning and estate planning. In addition, the course presents topics on the concepts of time value of money, education and retirement funding, and insurance planning. A financial calculator is required for this course.

    Investment Planning
    Introduces investment strategies, portfolio allocation theory and application, debt and equity securities, and portfolio management strategies. This course also emphasizes the importance of determining a client's risk tolerance and goals and then managing an investment portfolio that incorporates a client's level of risk, while achieving financial goals.

    Income Tax Planning
    Focuses on the federal income tax system. Topics include gross income inclusions, exclusions, deductions, exemptions and credits. This course considers the income taxation of individuals, sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLC's and corporations (including S corporations), and the course presents students with taxation avoidance and minimization alternatives.

    Retirement Planning
    Includes the comprehensive study of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, other tax-advantaged plans and employee benefits. In addition, the course presents an overview of Social Security, disability and health care programs.

    Estate Planning
    Provides an introduction to estate planning and the taxation of estates for the purposes of financial planning. In addition, the overall tax implications of gifts and bequests are presented in a manner that provides students with taxation avoidance and minimization techniques to be used when planning a client's estate.

    Capstone Case Course
    This course is a case analysis and integrates the five major areas of personal financial planning, including:

    • Fundamentals and Ethical Considerations and Insurance and Employee Benefits
    • Investment Planning
    • Retirement Planning
    • Income Tax Planning
    • Estate Planning

    Students examine the financial condition of individuals or families in a real-world application of the financial planning topics that have been covered in the previous five courses. Students have the opportunity to develop a financial plan and present their recommendations. The course is an excellent preparation tool for professionals entering the field and for case-type questions on the CFP® certification examination.

    Textbooks and Financial Calculator

    Read before purchasing textbooks...

    A financial calculator is needed and teaching in class is done using the Hewlett Packard 10BII+ (usually about $35 at office supply stores). If you are proficient with another financial calculator, you welcome to use that in class, but the HP10BII+ model is recommended so you can more easily follow along with their instructor.

    There are six courses within the program. You are responsible for ordering your textbook materials prior to each course. The following order options available:

    • Automated Course Material Shipment
      • If you elect Automated Billing and Shipping you won’t have to remember to order your materials prior to each course. You will be billed and shipped material 35 days prior to the start date of your course. To start your Automated Course Material Shipment, call (888) 450-4681. It is recommended you call at least three weeks prior to your first course start date.
    • Or, Order Materials Prior to Each Course
      • Prior to each course, order the material that corresponds with the upcoming course by calling (888) 450-4681.
        Or, log-in to your online portal (not currently activated) and place your order at least three weeks prior to each course start date.

    Please note that September Programs conduct Retirement Planning before Income Tax Planning. Prices and editions are subject to change without notice.

    General Financial Planning Principles, Professional Conduct, Regulation and Risk Management, Insurance and Employee Benefits Planning

    • Understanding Your Financial Calculator, 6th Edition
    • General Financial Planning Principles, Professional Conduct, and Regulation Textbook
    • Insurance and Employee Benefits Planning Textbook
    • Qbank and Core Lecture Video Access

    Price: $159 (plus shipping) with optional eBook add-on: $40 (per textbook)

    Investment Planning

    • Investment Planning Textbook
    • Qbank and Core Lecture Video Access

    Price: $79 (plus shipping) with optional eBook add-on: $40

    Tax Planning

    • Tax Planning Textbook
    • Qbank and Core Lecture Video Access

    Price: $79 (plus shipping) with optional eBook add-on: $40

    Retirement Savings and Income Planning

    • Retirement Savings and Income Planning Textbook
    • Qbank and Core Lecture Video Access

    Price: $79 (plus shipping) with optional eBook add-on: $40

    Estate Planning

    • Estate Planning Textbook
    • Qbank and Core Lecture Video Access

    Price: $79 (plus shipping) with optional eBook add-on: $40

    Capstone Case Course

    • Personal Financial Planning Cases and Applications, 9th Edition

    Price: $93 (plus shipping)