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Best CFP Programs: Certified Financial Planning Bachelor’s Online

The Best CFP Programs Online Bachelor's Degrees
Best CFP Programs: Certified Financial Planning Bachelor’s Online
Rank School Location
1 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, New Hampshire
2 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama
3 Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia
4 Arizona State University Scottsdale, Arizona
5 Colorado State University-Global Campus Aurora, Colorado
6 University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona
7 University of Arkansas Grantham Little Rock, Arkansas
8 Norwich University Northfield, Vermont
9 Rochester University Rochester Hills, Michigan
10 Tarleton State University Stephenville, Texas
11 Reinhardt University Waleska, Georgia
12 Southwestern Adventist University Keene, Texas

We have ranked the best online bachelor’s degrees in Certified Financial Planning.

All schools included in this list have online cfp programs that are registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. The Certified Financial Planner Board (CFP Board) is a non-profit organization, and provides CFP certification.

The certification process includes a coursework requirement to become a certified financial planner. All of the online cfp programs included in this ranking meet the CFP Board’s education requirements, which makes them cfp board registered programs.

Graduates of any of these programs will have met the education requirement to take the CFP Board’s certification exam to obtain cfp certification. We’ve included online four-year bachelor’s programs and online Minor programs taken within bachelor’s programs.


About this ranking

This ranking is designed to help prospective students find the best online certified financial planning bachelor’s degree. We use a combination of data from the National Center for Education Statistics and a proprietary metric of academic influence from each school’s faculty and alumni in publications and citations to determine the school rank order. For more information about our methodology, see our College Calculator.

We’ve done the research to find the best online bachelor’s degrees in Certified Financial Planning to help you achieve the well-respected CFP certification. This ranking is designed to help a student or career changer find their one program in a college for financial planning.

According to data from the Certified Financial Planner Board, there are just under 100,000 certified professional financial planners in the United States. This includes personal financial planning.

If you’re considering an online cfp program, this is the perfect time to pursue an undergraduate degree. Professionals project the field will grow by as much as 5% in the next decade.

A professional certification can help graduates stand out from the competition. You’ll gain an in-depth background in personal financial planning and corporate financial planning.

Every cfp program in this ranking offers cfp board approved courses that prepare graduates to sit for the cfp certification examination. The cfp exam has a pass rate of approximately 60% – 65% on the first attempt.

Now is the right time to begin the CFP certification process by enrolling in a board certified online bachelor’s program. 

The first step is becoming informed as to the best cfp program degree options online. Then requesting information from the school about start dates, tuition amounts, and whatever questions you may still have about their online cfp program.

Then once you’ve found the right fit, enroll in an online cfp program that fits your needs and learning style.

What are online CFP Programs?

All of these bachelor’s degrees are registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board. This Board requires certain coursework to be completed in the certification process. All of these programs include the CFP Board’s required coursework as part of their online program.

According to the CFP Board:

“CFP coursework can be completed as part of a stand alone certificate program — or as part of an accredited degree program…All programs cover the required financial planning topics, but vary in style, length, and delivery method.”

CFP Board of Standards, Inc.

During your degree program, you’ll take foundational coursework to help you understand modern economic systems. You’ll delve further into coursework on investment planning, employee benefits, tax planning, risk management and personal financial planning.

These online cfp programs are often self study programs that are instructor led, with live classes, and offer the same live instruction as a traditional classroom setting. Some are self paced and can be done on your own time. The best cfp program is the best program that fits your learning style.

 If you choose to specialize, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on working with specific populations. These include families, non-profits, or large businesses. You’ll gain access to cutting-edge virtual financial tools. They frequently have an advantage once they enter the workforce. 

Ranking Methodology

This ranking was created using Successful Student’s ranking algorithm. This algorithm uses the following data points to calculate a school’s ranking placement:

  • Acceptance rate
  • Graduation rate
  • Cost of undergraduate tuition
  • Percentage of first time undergraduates awarded aid
  • Percentage of students who are fully online
  • Academic influence

The Best CFP Programs: Certified Financial Planning Bachelor’s Online

1.

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU’s online Bachelor of Science in Finance: Financial Planning is a CFP Board-registered program. It culminates with a capstone project that puts knowledge in a real-world context. They provide industry-leading software to prepare them to enter the workforce immediately.

The 120-credit program includes 18 free electives. The flexibility provides an exciting opportunity to customize the program to suit your interests.

Most graduates complete the education program in four years. SNHU also offers an accelerated degree program, which saves time and money. Graduates can earn a Master’s degree in as little as one year.

The program is fully asynchronous, with no set meeting times. The focus on business means entering any workplace with competence. Many can work while completing the online cfp program. This is the best cfp program due to the low tuition cost, and because the SNHU curriculum is taught by knowledgable faculty that can well prepare students to sit for the cfp board exam.

2.

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

The University of Alabama

The Online Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences in Consumer Sciences, concentration in Family Financial Planning and Counseling program at the University of Alabama prepares students to sit for the CFP and AFC exams.

The University of Alabama offers online financial planning classes in an asynchronous format. Students occasionally attend live, streaming lectures and guest events from the university’s Alabama campus.

This is a human-centered program focusing on the relationships required to coach clients. Many choose this program because they hope to work with individuals or families.

You must earn 120-credits to graduate. The program is military-friendly. The school also offers grant assistance for those taking their first online class for free to determine if it’s a good fit.

A capstone project involving a real-world case study is required to graduate. You will use professional tools and work with meaningful data to prove you’re prepared to enter the workforce.

3.

Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Liberty University

Liberty University offers an Online BSBA in Business Administration: Financial Planning program. The course requirements are flexible without scheduled class meetings.

Liberty University is a Christian institution with classes that are formed from a biblical worldview. You will explore the world of financial planning through a Christian lens, focusing on ethics and integrity.

Upon graduation, alumni often become Christian financial planners. Liberty is a good choice for those who want to work with religious organizations. These can include churches and non-profit organizations.

Faculty integrate biblical concepts throughout the curriculum, including in general education classes.

Credit requirements: 120-credits to graduate.

Most finish the program in approximately three and a half years (or seven semesters). All courses are eight weeks in duration.

Liberty’s program is ACBSP accredited and prepares students to take the CFP exam upon graduation.

4.

Arizona State University

Scottsdale, Arizona

Arizona State university

Arizona State University offers the online Bachelor of Arts in Business – Financial Planning. Most financial planning courses are asynchronous. Classes are fully interactive.

While classes are flexible, with no set meeting times, all professors are real people who host virtual office hours daily. Students can access 24/7 live chat support, so they’re never learning alone.

Arizona’s online BA in Financial Planning is a 120-credit program. Students take 40 total classes that are 7.5 weeks each.

The program hopes to create leaders in the financial planning world. It emphasizes knowledge, problem-solving and real-world skills.

The program prepares students to take the CFP exam upon graduation. During your time in the program, you can choose to pursue opportunities for experiential learning, including in person internships in your area.

You can add this pre-professional experience to your resume.

5.

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Aurora, Colorado

Colorado State University Global

The program at Colorado State University Global is a full online Bachelor of Science program in Finance, specialization in Financial Planning.

This online degree includes the coursework necessary to sit for the CFP exam.

Students can take all their degree requirements online, including general education credits, and the school is transfer-friendly. 

The Bachelor of Science in Finance is a four-year degree that typically takes eight full-time semesters. All degree and certification courses are online and asynchronous, and many students work full-time while they finish the program.

Students enrolled in the Financial Planner specialization do not need to take any additional coursework to become eligible to take the CFP exam.

6.

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona offers a variety of educational opportunities in personal financial planning, including an on-campus Bachelor of Science in Personal and Family Financial Planning.

While the degree is a four-year program that fulfills the required CFP core curriculum, it also requires an industry internship, Professional Conduct and Fiduciary Responsibility course, and the SIE exam prep. Students undergo a comprehensive capstone project that yields work samples ideal for a job seeker’s professional portfolio. 

This program’s focus on Financial Planning meets the requirements for the CFP examination. All mandatory coursework is part of your academic plan. You should be able to complete this program during eight semesters of full-time coursework. 

UA also offers a minor (both in person and online) in Personal and Family Financial Planning, as well as two online certificate programs (for credit and not-for-credit). Students who finish either the minor or certificate coursework may also be eligible to sit for the CFP exam.

7.

University of Arkansas Grantham

Little Rock, Arkansas

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Grantham

It takes most students 38 months (or about three years) to complete the 120-credit online Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Planning degree from the University of Arkansas at Grantham. All classes are 100% asynchronous and last for approximately eight weeks. The program is IACBE accredited.

To graduate, students must finish a financial planning capstone project. You will use real-world tools to demonstrate the skills necessary for success in the field. You can use components in portfolios to stand out during the application process.

The program emphasizes sound decision-making. This focus helps students excel at problem-solving in financial and business domains.

There will also be an emphasis on clear communication. Communication is a transferrable, life-long skill that will benefit students in any position.

8.

Norwich University

Northfield, Vermont

Norwich University

Norwich University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Within that program, students can choose a professional concentration.

The online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Financial Services Management qualifies students to take the CFP exam. 

This program is ideal for transfer students with at least 30 extant credits or individuals who have completed military service. This degree is flexible, with multiple start dates. Some students complete the program in as few as two years. 

Norwich offers this program 100% online, but students can choose to participate in an optional in person residency program to meet classmates and peers. The program is asynchronous, and you can complete the requirements while working full-time. 

9.

Rochester University

Rochester Hills, Michigan

Rochester University

Students interested in Rochester University can enroll in the online Bachelor of Business Administration concentration in Financial Planning program.

Graduates will be eligible to sit for the CFP exam.

Students appreciate that this program provides them with a firm foundation in Business essentials that may apply to their work in the financial sector. 

This program is available in online and hybrid formats. It is a four-year degree requiring a total of 120 credits. Forty-two credit hours will be in business, and eighteen credit hours will be in financial planning. 

Students have 25 free elective credits to use toward specialization. It is possible to complete the entire degree online. 

10.

Tarleton State University

Stephenville, Texas

Tarleton State University

The online Financial Planning concentration at Tarleton State University is a brand new offering.

Students pursuing an online Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance can choose to add a Financial Planning concentration to their degree. This addition allows students to meet the CFP requirements and sit for the exam upon program completion. 

The BBA in Finance is a four-year, 120-credit degree offered online, in-person at TSU’s Stephenville campus, or in a hybrid format. Consult your advisor to learn how to pursue Financial Planning as a hybrid degree. 

TSU prides itself on its study abroad programs and offers on-campus opportunities to gain real-world experience in the field.

11.

Reinhardt University

McCamish School of Business & Sports Studies

Waleska, Georgia

Reinhardt University

Reinhardt’s online program in Financial Planning is through the McCamish School of Business & Sports Studies.

Students enrolled in any major in Reinhardt’s business school can choose to concentrate in Financial Planning

Students take courses using a hybrid model. Some are on-campus classes, while others are online and asynchronous. Students will create a portfolio of work to meet program requirements. 

The Financial Planning concentration is an accompaniment to a four-year degree. Students typically spread the required courses out across all eight full-time semesters. All seven required classes take eight weeks to complete. 

12.

Southwestern Adventist University

Keene, Texas

Southwestern Adventist University

Students at Southwestern Adventist University can pursue an online Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Financial Planning.

The CFP certification’s required coursework is part of this program’s course requirements. The BBA is a four-year degree and takes three to four years to complete. 

Students will take seven, eight-week courses in financial planning, totaling 21 credit hours. You must also take 48 business credits during your program.

The business core, the financial planning courses, and cognates make up the 78 credit hours.  Additionally students take the general Education requirements (English, History, etc.). There are 120 total credit hours required to graduate.

The BBA degree is offered on-campus only, online, or in a hybrid format. Southwestern Adventist University is a Christian institution. Professors teach all coursework through a biblical lens, including coursework in business and finance. 

Salary information

Certified Financial Planners earn $68,864 per year, according to payscale, with the upper 90% earning $114,000. Certified financial planners do need the cfp designation. To get the cfp certification online bachelor’s degrees are available.

For prospective students who wish to pursue online education programs, the minimum education requirement is a bachelor’s. An on-campus or online cfp certificate program will also prepare students to become cfp professionals. But even with a cfp certificate, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is still required to obtain the certification. On-campus and online certificate programs are available at colleges and universities, and many are cfp board registered programs.

Financial Managers earned $131,710 as the median average salary in 2021. This field is projected to grow by 17%, adding 118,200 new positions by 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Financial Advisors are projected to increase by 5% within the next ten years. If you start a four year degree in financial planning today, you’ll be eligible for one of nearly 12,600 new jobs by the time you graduate. Personal Financial Advisors earned $94,170 as the median average salary in 2021, according to the BLS. Financial Advisor positions don’t need the cfp certification from the cfp board. To become a financial advisor an education program in Finance at the bachelor’s degree level is sufficient.

Financial planners may also want to look into be coming a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). Graduates who have met the education requirements to take the cfp certification are only one class away from meeting the ChFC designation.

One key difference in a CFP and ChFC is that the cfp program route has one test at the end of the program, whereas the ChFC program has a test after each course is finished. The ChFC certification program is taken online at The American College of Financial Services. The American College of Financial Services also offers continuing education curriculum for maintaining the ChFC designation.

Financial planning is a dynamic field with plenty of room for advancement, and now is the ideal time to start your bachelor’s degree and choose your college for financial planning.

Financial Aid is potentially available to those who may qualify within their online program. People who want to study money management, risk management, tax planning, employee benefits, and investment planning can take online cfp certificate programs as well.

Going to college for financial planning and getting a master’s degree could provide a competitive advantage. The best cfp program online is one that is a cfp board registered program, which can include a certificate program, a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree.

For those who have a bachelor’s degree, but may need additional instruction, there are other programs available. Dalton Education offers individuals exam prep through their Dalton Review.

More resources

College data sources

  1. Southern New Hampshire University
  2. The University of Alabama
  3. Liberty University
  4. Arizona State University
  5. Colorado State University – Global Campus
  6. University of Arizona
  7. Reinhardt University
  8. Norwich University
  9. Rochester University
  10. University of Arkansas at Grantham
  11. Lesley University
  12. Tarleton State University
  13. Southwestern Adventist University
  14. Southern Wesleyan University
  15. National Center for Education Statistics
  16. AcademicInfluence.com: See our College Calculator for more Information on our ranking methodology.