Plan Your Future in Finance
- $320/credit (120 total credits)
- Prepare to sit for the CFP® exam
- Transfer up to 90 credits
- No SAT/ACT scores required
- Program accredited by ACSBP
- Median annual salary of $94,170 for personal financial advisors1
Online Financial Planning Degree Program Overview
SNHU's CFP Board-registered online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance with a concentration in Financial Planning prepares students for a rewarding career, guiding people toward the achievement of their personal financial goals.
Graduates can receive required foundational knowledge in the main areas of financial planning including investments, retirement, estate planning, risk management and taxes.
The world of personal finance is changing rapidly. Driving the change are baby boomers, who are not only retiring in record numbers, but also living longer and shifting from pensions to personal investments. Couple that with rising retirement in the finance industry, and the result is an unprecedented demand for a new, diverse breed of financial planners.
Learn how to:
- Apply personal financial planning knowledge to achieve financial stability
- Develop financial plans for clients
- Explore domestic and global economic environments
- Analyze financial statements to forecast and meet organizational goals
- Use methodologies to make sound financial decisions
- Apply compliant ethical and legal strategies
Earning your financial planning degree at SNHU means you've met the educational requirement to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, one of the highest standards of excellence in the field. Our financial planning program is also registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., preparing you to take the CFP® certification exam.
It is also the only CFP® Board-registered program in New Hampshire.
Licensure and Certification Disclosures
SNHU has provided additional information for programs that educationally prepare students for professional licensure or certification. Learn more about what that means for your program on our licensure and certification disclosure page.
The bachelor's in finance with a financial planning concentration puts you in a powerful position for employment in banking, insurance, mortgage companies and credit card firms. Some financial specialists work solo as tax preparers, personal financial advisors or real-estate appraisers – though additional licensure requirements, which vary by state, can apply.
“The most successful advisors in the industry are the people strongest in interpersonal skills, who enjoy teaching, who like fostering the personal long-term relationships, and who have concern for the client,” said Brendan Mann, CFP® professional and finance adjunct faculty at SNHU. “You also need to have a certain intellectual level – CFP® certification is challenging. You’ll need aptitude and interest in analysis, as well as the ability to interact with families and balance the interpersonal and analytical sides.”
As an individual or as part of a financial team, with SNHU's online degree, you'll be prepared to take on jobs such as:
- Investment analyst
- Financial analyst
- Personal banker
- Account manager
- Risk analyst
- Financial consultant
Prospects for the job are stable. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment rates for personal financial advisors is projected to grow about 5% through 2030.1
Salaries are also optimistic. The BLS estimated an average salary of $89,330 in 2020, well above the national wages for all occupations.1
Though there are many different financial advisors, being a certified CFP professional may set you apart. The CFP Board notes that getting certified increases your chances of a competitive edge and career satisfaction, as well as customer satisfaction.2
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Financial Planning Degree
Why SNHU For Your Financial Planning Degree
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
As part of our mission to make higher education more accessible, we’re committed to keeping our tuition rates low. In fact, we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a regional accreditor, which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- U.S. News & World Report named SNHU the 2021 Most Innovative University in the North and one of the nation's "Best Regional Universities"
- Awarded the 21st Century Distance Learning Award for Excellence in Online Technology by The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 300,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU (according to a 2019 survey of 9,200+ online students). Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Expanding access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials:
- Completed free undergraduate application
- Prior transcripts, which we can retrieve at no cost to you
- Test scores are not required as part of your application
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
If you’re ready to apply, follow these simple steps to get the process going:
- Complete a free undergraduate application
- Submit any additional documents required
- Work with an admission counselor to explore financial options and walk through the application process
If you have questions or need help filling out your application, call 1.888.387.0861 or email email@example.com.
SAT/ACT Test scores are not required as part of your application.
Courses & Curriculum
The online finance degree is grounded in core business knowledge, which emphasizes communication, entrepreneurial thinking, collaboration, personal and social responsibility, as well as global orientation. The program culminates in a capstone experience that brings the numbers to life as students use cutting-edge technology and case studies to analyze and synthesize financial reporting data.
The program is "very project-based, where students work through a particular client profile," said Alan McKnight, CFP® professional and finance adjunct faculty at SNHU. "They learn not just the fundamentals of how, but also how to have the conversations on the potential problems or issues that a client will face. The (program) gives you an opportunity to practice on client profiles while learning the fundamentals.”
Courses in the financial planning concentration may include:
- Advanced Personal Financial Planning
- Risk Management and Insurance Planning
- Estate Planning and Taxation
- Financial Plan Development
- Federal Taxation I
SNHU's CFP Board-registered BS degree program in finance with a concentration in financial planning has been designed to align with the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) undergraduate common professional component standards.
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
- Business core: Business programs require learners to complete the business core program, which includes a variety of business-specific courses. This program focuses on 10 core competencies to prepare you for success wherever you go.
- General education courses: All online bachelor's degree students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
- Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
- Save time and tuition: Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment with our Pathways to Math Success assessments.
Prepare for CFP Exam Certification
Information & Requirements
When you earn your financial planning degree at SNHU, you've met the educational requirement to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional - the highest standard of excellence in the field.
Our financial planning program is registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. and sets students up for career success, allowing them to gain the knowledge that will prepare them to take the CFP® certification exam.
The financial planning degree prepares our students to become client-focused professional financial planners who help individuals and families create, manage and transfer wealth efficiently.
Learn more about what it means to become a certified financial advisor.
The CFP® exam is held on one day over two three-hour testing sessions. It's offered in a computer-based format and administered in testing locations across the country.
To become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, you must meet four certification requirements: education, examination, experience and ethics. SNHU's BS in Finance with a concentration in Financial Planning meets the educational requirements to sit for the exam. The CFP® certification also requires fraud-related job experience, the amount of which is contingent on your highest level of education.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|BS in Finance - Financial Planning|
|Courses May Include|
|BS in Finance Financial Planning Online|
|ACC 201||Financial Accounting||Students will learn the steps of the accounting cycle and how to prepare financial statements in accordance with industry established rules and regulations. Students will develop skills needed to analyze financial accounting information, communicate this information to stakeholders, and understand the accounting procedures that produce this information.|
|ACC 202||Managerial Accounting||Students will explore the financial impact of short-term and long-term business decisions. By learning how accounting and other productivity information can be used to assess and improve performance of an organization, managers will be provided the essential information they need to execute growth strategies and select opportunities that create business value.|
|ACC 330||Federal Taxation I||In this course, students will learn about current US tax laws and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), as well as the relevant source documents, associated with federal tax returns for individuals. Students will research and apply the appropriate tax laws in relation to the specific circumstances and tax liabilities. Students will prepare federal tax returns and communicate various tax return information to stakeholders.|
|BUS 206||Business Law I||Students will examine the background, foundation, and ethical aspects of the United States' legal system as it applies to business organizations. Students will also learn the impact of torts, product liability, criminal law, contracts, sales, business organizations, and agency and cyber law in a business setting.|
|FIN 320||Principles of Finance||Students will examine the corporate finance discipline, including the financial management of organizations and the skills needed to make decisions about financing, investments, and dividends. Students will learn how the analysis of financing and investment options can inform decisions that add value to an organization and its investors.|
|FIN 325||Financial Statements and Reporting Analysis||This course introduces the importance of strategic analysis through the use of financial statements, the purpose of which is to assess the overall performance, effectiveness, and efficiency of the organization. Students in this course will learn the use, interpretation, and purpose of financial reports-including the balance sheet, cash flow statement, income statement, and statements of retained earnings-using practical strategies that will aid in decision-making.|
|FIN 350||Advanced Personal Financial Planning||In this course, students will be introduced to the comprehensive financial planning process and will develop financial knowledge on a range of financial planning concepts. The psychology of financial planning and best practices in the field will be explored. Students will analyze diverse client scenarios to determine and effectively communicate appropriate financial recommendations.|
|FIN 355||Risk Management and Insurance Planning||Examine strategies to mitigate financial risk through risk management techniques to protect income, assets and financial plans. Differentiate between insurance types and products and be able to conduct an insurance needs analysis to make informed client recommendations.|
|FIN 460||Estate Planning and Taxation||Examine estate planning techniques used to optimize an estate's value and to ensure a seamless transition of assets upon an individual's death. Explore appropriate questions to ask in order to collect the information needed for evaluation of, and recommended changes to, the estate plan. Students familiarize themselves with the different parties involved in an estate plan.|
|FIN 485||Financial Plan Development||In this course, students will demonstrate the ability to synthesize and apply financial planning knowledge and skills through the development and communication of a comprehensive financial plan. Students will build expertise in general principles of financial planning, investment planning, risk management and insurance planning, tax planning, retirement savings and income planning, estate planning, and the psychology of financial planning. This course will also provide students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of professional conduct and regulation.|
|INT 113||Introduction to International Business||This course is the foundation for business in a global context with an emphasis on applications. It offers a survey of fundamentals and principles of management in the context of globally oriented firms and primarily presents an assessment of the differences between business in domestic and international context. The course explores fundamental issues in business in an increasingly interdependent world; including management principles and techniques in a global context. Themes constituting fundamentals of international business such as economic, political, cultural and social environment of business; organizations that facilitate international business and organizational structures; trade theory; government influence on trade; international business modalities and entry strategies into foreign markets, global financial system as well as the emerging issues related to international business; are also explored.|
|IT 210||Business Systems Analysis and Design||This course provides students with the necessary level of information technology education relative to understanding the uses and roles of information systems in business organizations. Students receive instruction on the information concepts and methodologies associated with the development of business information systems, and their effective application to the solution of business problems. Students learn the major issues of managing information technology in the contemporary business environment and the relationship between organizations' structures and information technology. Team approaches are utilized along with structured computer laboratories and cases using spreadsheet and database management tools. Writing intensive course.|
|MKT 113||Introduction to Marketing||This course examines the organization's functions for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers. These functions, designed to meet customers' needs and organizational goals, include marketing research, environmental monitoring, target market selection, product selection, promotion, distribution and pricing.|
|OL 125||Human Relations in Administration||The human relations skills that managers need to develop interaction skills that contribute directly to effective human resource management and the development of higher productivity are studied. Skill areas include leadership, motivation, communications, group dynamics, organizational development, management by objectives, and stress and time management. Students learn techniques for becoming more effective managers, subordinates, peers and persons. Students are introduced to the international aspects of human relations.|
|OL 421||Strategic Management and Policy (Capstone)||Business School Capstone Course. This interdisciplinary approach to the study of the process of strategic management includes strategic analysis planning, implementation, evaluation and control from the perspective of top management in profit-making U.S. and international corporations, and public and non-profit organizations. Text and case studies are used extensively. Writing and team intensive course. Experience with Microsoft Office or equivalent is required.|
|Total Credits: 120|
Minimum Hardware Requirements
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
Tuition & Fees
As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 30 credits|
|Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*||$675||$225||$6,750|
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do with a degree in financial planning?
A degree in financial planning can lead to a career as a certified financial planner, known as a CFP®, which is a role that individuals involved in financial decisions can benefit from.
Handling money is an important task from single parents to the CEOs of large businesses. A financial planner helps them to organize and understand where their money comes from, where it goes and what they should do with it along the way.
You could be helping a small-town clerk be sure her town can afford what they need, or you could be helping a family manage their expenses as two children go into college, or advising a young graduate on the best steps for a healthy financial future.
A degree in financial planning can lead you to a wide array of career experiences because of how many people benefit from an expert's eyes on their budget.
Is financial planning a good career?
A career as a certified financial planner is an excellent choice for those who enjoy working with people and mathematics. The CFP Board states that it was founded to help every American access quality financial advising.3 You may find satisfaction from helping others in your work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may meet with clients to advise them of investments to make, changes they may need to keep their finances and future healthy, or guide them through planning for retirement or sending children to college.1
The BLS also reported the median annual wage for personal financial advisors was $89,330 in 2020, with some professionals earning over $100,000 salaries.1 Adding to that, the job growth rate is about 5% through 2030.1
If you're ready to take the first step in becoming a certified financial planner, securing both your financial future and many others', you can start by applying for SNHU's BS in Finance with a concentration in Financial Planning. The process is quick and simple – and there's no application fee.
Which CFP program is best?
It's important to choose a program that is verified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) to ensure you're prepared for the CFP exam.
The certification also requires a bachelor's degree or higher, so choosing a degree program that also serves to teach you financial planning makes your path efficient.
At SNHU, our Bachelor of Science in Finance with a concentration in Financial Planning is approved by the CFP Board.
Additionally, an online financial planning program is relatively uncommon, according to Brendan Mann, CFP® professional and finance adjunct faculty at SNHU – meaning these courses can give you quite the advantage.
“You’ll get a leg up on other graduates with this curriculum, and you’ll be well ahead touting this rare commodity and opportunity to specialize," he said. "SNHU is one of the rare universities that offers it online.”
This program not only teaches you the skills necessary to pass the exam, but also gives you well-rounded skills in finance so you can make plans with many other financial systems in mind. You may take courses to learn risk management and insurance planning, taxation or human relations in administration. This prepares you to work with clients who have multiple different kinds of investments and interests, large and small.
Additionally, you get access to SNHU's student resources such as the career development team and tutoring services. You'll have support on your way to certification that could help you enter your career as a CFP with confidence.
How much do CFP® courses cost?
Costs vary depending on where and how you're learning.
Online courses often fit more lives at a lower cost. At SNHU, our tuition for online bachelor's degree programs is one of the lowest in the nation. The standard tuition rate is $320 per credit hour. This totals about $38,400 for a 120-credit degree program. (Though for many students, the total tuition investment becomes less, as many have previously attended other institutions and can save money by transferring credits into the program.)
We're also dedicated to making higher education accessible, so we have a wide variety of financial aid options that may be able to help reduce your cost. Our Student Financial Services team can help you develop a financial plan to borrow and pay wisely, much like you could be doing for others in your future career as a CFP.
So for the investment outlined, you not only prep for the CFP exam but you earn your BS Finance with a concentration in Financial Planning at the same time.
Which one is better, CFA or CFP®?
Both credentials are a great choice for someone who wants to work in finance. It all depends on your preferred type of work.
As the CFP Board states, a CFP® works with individuals or small groups, while a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) would work within bigger organizations that make large investments, such as banks or insurance companies, and analyzes these investments.2
Someone working as a CFP may find a more personal connection to their work, especially if they help families and young adults plan for their financial futures. If you prefer designing strategies for healthy financial decisions for everyday people, earning a CFP certification may be the right choice for you.
Alternatively, earning a CFA is an especially high distinction in the investments industry. This is a globally recognized standard of skills that could allow you to work with businesses all over the world. And if you like a challenge, this is a highly competitive industry and position.3
You can even earn both credentials, as they pair well together. Having the skills to work both small-scale and large-scale is a valuable trait. With both certifications, you can address the full scope of your clients' financial life – whether the small family wants to invest in big stocks or the organization wants to take smaller budgets into account, you may have the right skills to bring to the table.
Being able to work on multiple levels can allow you to do the majority of the work yourself with no need to employ other services to fill knowledge gaps. This helps build a stronger relationship with clients too.
Whether you're a CFA, a CFP or both, you can be working in a great industry.
How long does it take to get a financial planning degree?
The length of time it takes you to earn a financial planning degree is up to you and your schedule.
At Southern New Hampshire University, you can attend full time (2 classes per term) or part time (1 class per term). Undergraduate terms at SNHU can fly by, as they're only 8 weeks long. You can work with your academic advisor on a timeline for getting your degree.
The length of time it takes to earn your bachelor's is also dependent on transfer credit. Most SNHU students have brought in credit from other colleges or life experience, and they come here intent on finishing their degree.
Fortunately, SNHU has a generous transfer policy that allows you to put up to 90 credits toward your bachelor's here. If you're able to transfer in the full 90, that means you only have 10 classes left to get to the finish line.
At SNHU, success is on your schedule. When you submit a free application, you can have the admission team perform a transfer credit evaluation – also for free. From there, you can make an informed decision about your time at SNHU.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2, 3)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm (viewed Feb. 25, 2022). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 Certified Financial Planner Board, on the internet, at:
- https://www.cfp.net/why-cfp-certification/why-get-certified (viewed Feb. 25, 2022)
- https://www.cfp.net/about-cfp-board/mission-and-priorities (viewed Feb. 25, 2022)
- https://www.cfp.net/get-certified/certification-process/education-requirement (viewed Feb. 25, 2022)
- https://www.cfp.net/get-certified/certification-process/exam-requirement (viewed Feb. 25, 2022)
- https://www.cfp.net/why-cfp-certification/career-guide/what-makes-cfp-certification-different/how-does-cfp-certification-complement-my-cfa (viewed Feb. 25, 2022)
3 CFA Institute, CFA Program, on the internet, at https://www.cfainstitute.org/en/programs/cfa (viewed Feb. 25, 2022)