Program Overview

Certified Financial Planner On-Campus, CFP Certificate Program

The Northwestern University Certified Financial PlannerTM program offers multiple CFP-Board-approved classes to fit your work/lifestyle. We have designed each program to meet your needs, whether you are a career changer or longtime planning professional. Participants who pass all required courses will receive a certificate of completion from Northwestern University, one of the world’s top universities, which they can proudly display on their wall and share with their clients.


Registration is open for Fall 2017 courses.

  • FN_EXTND 313-0 Income Tax Planning Register by September 5

  • FN_EXTND 315-0 Estate Planning Register by September 7

  • (New Cohort) FN_EXTND 300-0 Intro to Financial Planning — Register by September 12

  • FN_EXTND 320-0 Financial Plan Development and Presentation (Capstone) — Register by September 13

View full course schedule HERE. Save your seat today!


Is financial planning the right career for you?

Hear from CFP® professionals about their career paths and the rewards of being a Certified Financial PlannerTM.

On-Campus Program: Weeknight

The weeknight program offers a skills-based approach, with assessments designed to simulate the daily life of a successful planner. Our instructors worked closely with the CFP Board to design this new curriculum.

Frequency and Location: Once a week on our Chicago campus (Wieboldt Hall, 339 E Chicago Avenue), plus some online assignments. 

Time to Completion: As little as 14 months when students take concurrent classes. (Due to the course workload of this program, taking more than two courses per term is not recommended.)

Required Courses:

  • Introduction to Financial Planning
  • Insurance Planning
  • Investment Planning
  • Income Tax Planning
  • Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits
  • Estate Planning
  • Financial Plan Development and Presentation

Program Schedule:

VIEW PROGRAM COURSE SCHEDULE*

Courses are held according to the posted schedule, but may be subject to change.

*NOTE: The Financial Plan Development and Presentation (Capstone) course is only offered during the Spring and Fall terms. Please plan your schedule with this in mind.

Best option for:

  • Career changers
  • Students who like meeting their instructor and peers in person
  • Professionals of all levels who want a more traditional learning experience

    CFP® Exam Review

    Northwestern University School of Professional Studies has selected The Dalton Review® as the exclusive review for our CFP® certification education programs. The Dalton Review provides students with a high quality curriculum and is led by outstanding faculty. To learn more, visit our exam preparation page.

    Online Programs: Instructor Led and Self-Paced

    Frequency and Location: "Live" courses meet twice weekly; self-paced are on your own time.  All courses are online.

    Time to Completion: Approximately nine months 

    Required Courses:

    • Introduction to Financial Planning and Insurance Planning
    • Investment Planning
    • Income Tax Planning
    • Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits
    • Estate Planning
    • Financial Plan Development and Presentation

    To learn more, visit our partner Dalton Education.

    Best option for:

    • Professionals who have worked as a financial advisor or planner
    • Students who want the option to take classes from anywhere "on the go"
    • People comfortable with technology and those that are highly self-motivated

      CFP® in the News

      News Release:

      NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES MAINTAINS CFP BOARD-REGISTERED PROGRAM STATUS CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN FINANCIAL PLANNING

      Chicago, April 1, 2016 – Northwestern University School of Professional Studies in Chicago has maintained registration with Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) to provide a financial planning certificate program.  An independent certifying organization, CFP Board owns the CFP® and Certified Financial PlannerTM certification marks, which it awards to individuals who meet its education, examination, experience, ethics and other requirements. Students completing the financial planning program at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies will have met the Education requirement for CFP® Certification Examination administered by CFP Board.

      Certified Financial Planner ™ and federally registered CFP® (with flame logo) are certification marks owned by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Northwestern University does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™; and 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.

      Core Courses:

      • FN_EXTND 300-0 Intro to Financial Planning
      • FN_EXTND 301-0 Insurance Planning
      • FN_EXTND 312-0 Investment Planning
      • FN_EXTND 313-0 Income Tax Planning
      • FN_EXTND 314-0 Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits
      • FN_EXTND 315-0 Estate Planning
      • FN_EXTND 320-0 Financial Plan Development and Presentation