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Complete Requirements for the CFP® Certification

Executive Certificate in Financial Planning

Increase your financial planning knowledge and prepare to earn your CFP® certification in this series of 7 online courses. Complete them at your own pace, whenever is most convenient for you.

As Baby Boomers retire and begin their estate planning, financial advisor jobs are expected to increase by over 30% through 2024. Position yourself as a leader in this growing field in the St. Thomas Executive Certification for Financial Planning program. In these seven online courses, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to be a more confident, competent and credible financial advisor. And our program is the first step toward earning your Certified Financial Planning™ certification.

Our OnDemand format makes it easy to fit studying into your busy schedule. Study at lunchtime, in the evenings or on weekends—whenever works best for you. This program is offered in partnership with Kaplan Financial Education. When you register for a course, Kaplan will be in touch to complete your registration and activate your OnDemand access.

Have Questions?

Please contact us. We can help you determine if this program is the right fit for you, and answer any questions you have.


Karen Locke

Program Manager
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Professor Jim Shovein talks with finance students.

Is This Program Right for You?

The Executive Certificate in Financial Planning program is designed for financial planners or advisors in all stages of their careers, who want to increase their credentials and advance their careers. This program is the first step in the process of obtaining your CFP® certification.

Common program participant titles and job functions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Client Service Manager
  • Wealth Advisor
  • Financial Lawyer
  • Managing Director
  • Sales Consultant
  • Client Service Associate

Executive Certificate in Financial Planning Courses

The Executive Certificate in Financial Planning program consists of 7 courses. Each course is completed OnDemand through a partnership between St. Thomas and Kaplan Financial Education. After completing the seven courses, you will earn the Executive Certificate in Financial Planning from St. Thomas as well as the educational credit requirement for the CFP® certification.

The program is designed to be completed in order. You must register separately for each of the 7 courses. Once enrolled in a course, you must complete it within 90 days.

Price: $749
CEUs: 6
Rolling enrollment with a start date prior to 6/30/19

Learn the concepts and dig into the profession of personal financial planning to understand the role and responsibilities of a financial planner.

Price: $749
CEUs: 6
Rolling enrollment with a start date prior to 6/30/19

Learn about risk management principles and types of insurance coverage – life, medical expense, and property/casualty policies, and long-term care and disability.

Price: $749
CEUs: 6
Rolling enrollment with a start date prior to 6/30/19

Explore risk-return concepts, debt and equity securities, and options and futures contracts. Evaluate investment alternatives and analyze expected return characteristics.

Price: $749
CEUs: 6
Rolling enrollment with a start date prior to 6/30/19

Learn effective income tax planning strategies, both personal and related to an individual’s business interests.


Price: $749
CEUs: 6
Rolling enrollment with a start date prior to 6/30/19

Explore how to determine retirement savings needs. Learn about government and employer-sponsored retirement funding, corporate retirement plans and investing for retirement.

Price: $749
CEUs: 6
Rolling enrollment with a start date prior to 6/30/19

Explore the challenges of effective estate planning. Learn about trusts, marital and charitable deduction vehicles, and intra-family business and property transfers.

Price: $749
CEUs: 6
Rolling enrollment with a start date prior to 6/30/19

This final course brings it all together – basics, ethical considerations, insurance, employee benefits, investment and income tax planning, and retirement and estate planning.

Benefits of This Program

Become a more effective advisor.

Whether you’re new to the profession or want to advance your career in financial planning, this program will elevate your practice.

Make yourself more marketable.

Your customers need to trust you with their financial future. Take the steps toward earning one of the most recognized and respected credentials in this industry, the Certified Financial Planner™ certification.

Complete in a flexible online format.

You are a busy professional. With our convenient online format, complete the program on your schedule – as long as it is done within the 90 day window per course.

Certified Financial Planner™ Certification

The CFP® certification is a valuable credential that prepares you to give better financial advice, increase your income, and gain more client trust.

There are 4 steps to complete your CFP certification:

In our program, you will satisfy the CFP® education requirement AND earn the St. Thomas Executive Certificate in Financial Planning. A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in any discipline from an accredited college or university is required for initial certification. There are also certain credentials that would allow you to waive some of the education hours. More about waiver requirements

This is a six-hour, pass/fail exam administered three times per year, in March, July and November. More about the exam

The CFP Board requires you to have 6,000 hours of professional experience related to financial planning, or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience that meets additional requirements. More about the experience requirement

The CFP Board requires professionals to adhere to the high standards of ethics and practice outlined in the CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct. More about the ethics requirement

Convenient On-Demand Format

You’re busy, which is why we offer this program in an online, OnDemand format. Work through the seven courses at your own speed, whenever it works best for you.

When you begin the OnDemand program, you will:

  • Purchase one course at a time
  • Have up to 90 days to complete each course
  • Take tests online. No need to go to an outside testing facility
  • Receive an e-Book with your course purchase
  • Access to online tools including Education QBank to prepare for the CFP exam, a study planner, and video lectures

Complete your self-study during lunch breaks, or on evenings or weekends. Start, stop and rewind your class as often as you like. We recommend you spend about 5 – 7 hours per week studying in the OnDemand portal, for 10 weeks. This ensures that you complete the course within the 90-day online access window.

Take the Next Step

St. Thomas Executive Education programs give you cutting-edge, practical knowledge and real-world skills you can apply at work the very next day. Gain the tools and techniques to be a more effective, strategic leader.
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The University of St. Thomas is registered with the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards, Inc. to fulfill the education requirements of the CFP® certification.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the marks CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.

*The University of St. Thomas does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING™ or certification marks. CFP certification is granted only by Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards Inc. to those persons who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met its ethics, experience and examination requirements.