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FAQ - Certified Financial Planning

Can I take more than one course per semester?
Yes, but the courses are rigorous. For example, the Income Tax Planning course can be quite demanding and it is recommended that it be taken in a term by itself.  However, each individual student’s situation is unique with regard to the demands on his/her time and the level of knowledge in each area. It is ultimately up to the student to determine his/her ability to take more than one course per semester.

Should the courses be taken in any specific order?
NCPR 500 Personal Financial Planning should be taken first. In addition to topics related to personal finance, the course provides an introductory overview of the topics covered in the other courses in the program.

Can the Capstone course be taken at the same time as another course?
No. The Capstone course can only be taken after completion of all six courses in the program. 

Are there prerequisites to apply for admission to earn the Certificate in Certified Financial Planning, or to enroll in the individual courses?
Individuals who have completed an undergraduate degree are invited to apply. College seniors, who have met program entry requirements, are eligible for admission to the program.  It is recommended that students have a working knowledge of finance, financial accounting, statistics, economics, and business law and ethics. 

Can I enroll in just a few courses? I’m not interested in applying to and earning the certificate.
Yes.

Can I take courses before applying for admission to the program?
Individuals must apply to and be offered admission to earn a certificate. A maximum of two courses that will count towards satisfying the requirements for the certificate may be taken at SCPS prior to admission. 

Can I transfer credit into this program from another institution?
Individuals can transfer one course for academic credit from a regionally accredited college or university. The transfer course must have been taken within the last three years. Official transcripts and course syllabus are required for an analysis of the content, level, and comparability of the transfer course, as well as the quality of the student’s performance with a grade of B- or better.  Official transcripts with a request for transfer of credits can be sent to SCPSadmissions@virginia.edu or School of Continuing and Professional Studies, 104 Midmont Lane, PO Box 400764, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4764 Attn: Admission Services 

What exactly does it mean to earn a certificate?
Certificates offer discipline-specific courses that can help you acquire new skills for professional advancement or a career transition. In particular, the Certificate in Certified Financial Planning prepares you for taking the CFP Board exam.

Is this a registered program with the CFP Board?
Yes, it is.  Upon your successful completion of our certificate program, the University will notify the CFP Board. To learn more about becoming a CFP professional, please visit the CFP Board's web site.

Where are the courses offered?
All the courses are offered face-to-face in the classroom at the University of Virginia’s Academic Center in Falls Church. 

What is the student pass rate on the CFP exam?
Currently, 100% of our students who have taken the CFP exam have passed.

What type of jobs can I expect in this field?
Personal financial planners assess the financial needs of individuals and assist them with investments, tax laws, and insurance decisions.  Financial planners help their clients identify and plan for short-term and long-term goals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for financial analysts is expected to grow 16 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growing numbers of financial planners will be needed to assist the millions of workers expected to retire over the next decade.

Still have questions?  We're here to help!

Answers to those questions asked most frequently about our school by our prospective students can be found here.  If you don't find what you're looking for, please don't hesitate to contact us.  

* The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements.

Faculty Spotlight

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By teaching financial planning, I'm giving my students the opportunity to similarly impact their clients’ lives.
A photograph of Jim Simos

Jim Simos

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING

With decades of experience across multiple industries including commercial real estate and financial planning, Jim’s most impressive credential might be this: of the first 28 students he taught in the SCPS Certified Financial Planning preparatory certificate program, all 28 passed the CFP exam on their first try. Merging his dedication to learning with his aptitude for financial planning, Jim is committed to impacting both the career prospects and financial futures of his students.

Read more
University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies
104 Midmont Lane PO Box 400764, Charlottesville, VA 22904