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B.S. Financial Planning

Become a trusted advisor with a financial planning bachelor’s degree

Finances can be confusing. Add in complicated financial products, government regulations and 78 million retiring Baby Boomers, and you’ll understand why qualified financial planning jobs are expected to increase faster than the national average. Franklin's Financial Planning degree program prepares you to help people reach their financial goals. You also can choose to specialize in a specific area of planning, such as debt payoff, education, estate, healthcare, income, investments, retirement and tax.

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IACBE Accredited

Our program follows best-practice standards for business education.

CFP-Certified Curriculum

Earn your degree and eligibility to sit for the exam.

Financial Planning Experience

Volunteer to counsel real clients -- and earn college credit.

Real-World Practitioners

Learn from working financial planning professionals.

100% Online Classes

Earn your degree around your schedule.

Experiential Learning

Learn from industry-standard software and real-life simulations.

Program Overview

Help families and small business owners achieve their financial future

Our transfer-friendly Financial Planning Major prepares you to be on the frontlines of this flourishing field. Our college for financial planning program equips you to become a personal financial advisor who can help families holistically plan their financial futures—or to specialize in a specific area, such as tax planning, estate planning, investment strategy, education planning, debt management, healthcare planning, or retirement savings and income planning.

Prepare for CFP certification while you earn your degree

Franklin’s Financial Planning curriculum is certified by the CFP Board; that means upon completion you’ll be eligible to sit for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™(CFP) Exam, the most prestigious certification in the field. To see how your education takes you a step closer to becoming a CFP professional, check out the CFP Certification Tracker. 
 

With Franklin’s Financial Planning Degree, you’ll build essential skills in six fundamental areas: principles of financial planning, risk management and insurance planning, investment planning, tax planning, retirement savings and income planning and estate planning. You’ll have the opportunity to master each area so you’ll be ready to competently deliver comprehensive financial plans to your future clients.
 

And because the financial planning major is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), the leader in outcomes-based accreditation in business, you know you’re earning a respected degree with value in the workplace.

Gain experience building financial plans using tools of the trade

Since practical experience is so valuable to clients and employers, our Financial Planning Major features hands-on project assignments and exercises designed to expose you to real-world scenarios faced in the field. For example, you’ll take part in a cutting-edge financial planning game in which you make a variety of personal finance decisions for characters in the game.
 

Throughout your Franklin coursework, you’ll apply financial planning techniques, procedures, and practices to case studies, generating solutions that solve real-world problems. You'll also learn how to use MoneyGuidePro™, a commonly used financial planning software in the industry, preparing you to take on client work right after graduation.

Learn best-practices from credentialed professionals in the trenches

Experienced financial planning professionals teach our courses, so you’ll benefit from their years of experience in the field, while learning to avoid their mistakes. Because our faculty includes highly respected practitioners, you’ll learn industry best-practices from credentialed professionals in the trenches. And since the financial planning degree program is different from self-study courses, all online financial planning classes provide weekly interactive sessions for lecture and classroom discussion.
 

Upon completion of the program, you’ll be prepared for a career in a variety of industries and organizations, including large financial services firms, boutique advisory practices, or as an independent financial advisor. Franklin graduates work for some of the world’s most well-known financial organizations, including Merrill Lynch, Huntington Bank, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Nationwide Insurance.

Earn your degree from a university built for busy adults

Earn your degree on your terms by taking classes 100% online or pursue available coursework at one of our Midwest locations. Regionally accredited and nonprofit, Franklin was built from the ground-up to satisfy the needs of adult learners. Our seamless transfer process and team of academic advisors will help ease your transition to becoming a student, while our flexible course schedules help to balance your education with work, family, and life. Get started on your future today.

*Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)

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Curriculum & Course Descriptions

124 Semester Hours
Fundamental General Education Core (24 hours)
English Composition (3 hours)

Choose a minimum of 3 semester hours from:

WRIT 120 - COLLEGE WRITING (4)
In this course, students acquire the writing competence necessary for conducting and presenting research. A variety of assignments, beginning with personal reflections, build upon one another, as students develop ideas that respond to, critique, and synthesize the positions of others. Students systematize and organize knowledge in ways that will help them in all of their courses. The course also emphasizes the elements of good writing style, appropriate grammar and mechanics, clarity of language, and logical and cohesive development. It culminates in submission of a documented research paper.

*If the course does not have a research paper component, WRIT 130 Research Paper, two semester credits, is also required.

Mathematics (3 hours)

Choose a minimum of three semester hours from:

MATH 215 - STATISTICAL CONCEPTS (4)
This course introduces the student to statistics with business applications. The course covers both descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics included are: measures of central tendency; measures of dispersion; graphical displays of data; linear regression; basic probability concepts; binomial and normal probability distributions; confidence intervals; and hypothesis testing. These topics will be covered using a basic knowledge of algebra and Microsoft Excel. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.

Choose either MATH 115 Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite. Both can count as a general education or University elective.

Choose either MATH 115 Introduction to Quantitative Reasoning or MATH 150 Fundamental Algebra as the prerequisite. Both can count as a general education or University elective.

*At least one mathematics or statistics course beyond the level of intermediate algebra.

Sciences (6 hours)

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

SCIE 210 - UNDERSTANDING SCIENCE: PRINCIPLES, PRACTICE, & THEORY (2)
Understanding Science: Principles, Practice & Theory is a two credit hour course that introduces students to the major themes, processes, and methods common to all scientific disciplines. Students will develop critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate all kinds of phenomena, scientific, pseudoscientific, and other. The focus is on the nature of science so students will develop an understanding of how science works and develop an appreciation for the process by which we gain scientific knowledge.
SCIE 211 - INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS & REASONING (4)
Introduction to Scientific Analysis and Reasoning is a four credit hour course consisting of three credit hours of lecture and one credit hour of laboratory. This course is an introduction to critical thinking on statistical and scientific claims. The student will develop the critical thinking skills necessary to analyze and evaluate popular sources of (mis)information and to better understand and evaluate all sorts of scientific claims and arguments. The focus of the course is on students developing thoughtful and critical use of scientific information and research to be able to separate truth from deception and make decisions that affect their personal lives and roles as informed and engaged citizens.

*Two science courses, with one having a laboratory component.

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 hours)

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

ECON 220 - INTRODUCTION TO MACROECONOMICS (4)
An introduction to economic theory involving the basic underlying causes and principles of the operation of an economic system. Emphasis is placed on studying the economy as a whole. Issues of inflation, unemployment, taxation, business cycles and growth are discussed in the context of the global economic system.
  • Choose an additional course from the Anthropology, Psychology, or Sociology discipline, or PUAD 295 American Government in Action.

*The six semester hours must come from at least two different disciplines

Arts and Humanities (6 hours)

Choose a minimum of 6 semester hours from:

HUMN 210 - INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC & CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS (2)
The goal of this course is to help you improve as a critical, logical thinker. You will be introduced to the art of formulating and assessing arguments according to the standards of logical thinking and critical analysis. You will discover how to apply these valuable skills to your studies and everyday life, learning how to overcome obstacles to critical thinking, and how to avoid being deceived by means of misleading reasoning.
  • Choose additional coursework from the Humanities discipline.

Additional General Education Requirements (12 hours)
COMP 106 - INTRODUCTION TO SPREADSHEETS (1)
This course focuses on using spreadsheets to solve business applications.
COMP 108 - INTRODUCTION TO DATABASES (1)
This course focuses on using databases to solve business applications.
PF 321 - LEARNING STRATEGIES (2)
This course prepares students to be successful lifelong learners both academically and in their chosen careers. Franklin courses require a high level of self-directed learning and focus on skills required in the workplace and the classroom that are easily transferable between the two environments. The course includes strategies for advancing communication skills, including the use of electronic tools to participate in virtual environments. The assignments and activities in the course are created to closely simulate teamwork found in the workplace.
COMM 150 - INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION (4)
By using applied critical and creative thinking, students in this course will develop a set of communication skills that will enhance their personal and professional relationships and endeavors. This course will focus on skill development in key areas such as self, perception, listening, verbal messages, conversations, relationships, conflict management, persuasion, and public speaking. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
OR SPCH 100 - SPEECH COMMUNICATION (4)
A basic public speaking course intended to improve the student's ability to think critically and to communicate orally. Theory and practice are provided in various speaking situations. Each student is required to speak before an audience, but class work also involves reading, gathering and organizing information, writing and listening.
WRIT 320 - BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL WRITING (4)
This is an advanced composition course that focuses on writing for business and professional purposes. Students will review the writing conventions commonly expected within business and professional environments, as well as strategies for analyzing rhetorical situations within those environments. Coursework includes analysis, revision, and research exercises, as well as substantial practice in composing business correspondence. The final project is an extensive, researched business proposal developed in stages and presented to the class. Students will be encouraged to relate course materials to their major programs and workplace experiences.
Business Core (28 hours)
ACCT 215 - FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING (4)
An introduction to accounting emphasizing how general purpose financial statements communicate information about the business corporation's performance and position for users external to management. Approximately one third of the course emphasizes how the accountant processes and presents the information and includes exposure to recording transactions, adjusting balances and preparing financial statements for service and merchandise firms according to established rules and procedures. The balance of the course examines major elements of the statements such as cash, receivables, inventory, long'lived assets, depreciation, payroll, bonds, and other liabilities and stocks. Concepts of this course are applied to Managerial Accounting (ACCT 225). Students are advised to avoid any time lapse between these courses.
ACCT 225 - MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING (4)
The study of management accounting for internal reporting and decision-making. The course introduces a business-management approach to the development and use of accounting information. Major topics include cost behavior, cost analysis, profit planning and control measures. Accounting for decentralized operations, capital budgeting decisions, and ethical challenges in managerial accounting are also covered.
BSAD 220 - BUSINESS LAW (4)
A study of the everyday legal problems encountered in business with emphasis on the areas of legal procedure, contracts, agency, employment law, business organizations and torts, with cases relating to these and other areas.
ECON 210 - INTRODUCTION TO MICROECONOMICS (4)
An introduction to economic theory involving the examination of how decision making by firms and individuals is shaped by economic forces. Emphasis is placed on demand, supply, market equilibrium analysis, and basic market structure models. The invisible hand as the driving force for economic decisions as well as market externalities are discussed. The class concentrates on providing a balanced approach to studying economic agents' behavior and the global implications and outcomes.
FINA 301 - PRINCIPLES OF FINANCE (4)
This course is designed to survey the field of finance and provide the foundation for more advanced finance coursework. Topics include sources of business and financial information, financial statement analysis, the time value of money, the nature and measurement of risk, financial institutions, investments and corporate finance.
MGMT 312 - PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT (4)
This course explores the basic concepts and processes of management. Students will explore the functional roles and processes of planning, leading, organizing, and controlling comprising the manager role. Students develop skills related to the manager function that are required in today's competitive environment.
MKTG 300 - MARKETING (4)
Theory, strategies and methods are foundational to the informed practice of marketing. Students investigate the importance of marketing to an organization or cause, the interrelationship of the difference phases of marketing, the marketing of goods versus services, analysis and identification of markets, pricing strategies and digital marketing tactics. Please note: A book fee will be included in your tuition charges for required course materials. Please see http://www.franklin.edu/financial-aid/tuition-fees /e-textbooks for specific charges.
University Electives (28 hours)

Any undergraduate courses offered by the University except developmental education courses.

Major Area (28 hours)
FPLN 300 - PRINCIPLES OF FINANCIAL PLANNING (4)
An introduction to personal financial planning. Topics include the financial planning process, money management and investments, insurance needs, income tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning. Cases are used to illustrate important planning concepts, techniques and issues.
FPLN 405 - INVESTMENTS (4)
An examination of investment markets, transactions, planning and information. Topics include investment risk and return measures, debt and equity instruments, evaluation techniques, hybrid and derivative securities, mutual funds, real estate investments, tax planning and the investment process, and portfolio management.
FPLN 430 - TAX PLANNING (4)
An introduction to federal income taxation and the role of the tax code in financial planning for individuals, businesses, and business owners. Topics include the tax environment, fundamentals of income tax planning, the measurement of taxable income, the taxation of business income, individual income taxation, and the tax compliance process.
FPLN 440 - RISK MANAGEMENT & INSURANCE PLANNING (4)
An introduction to the techniques and issues of risk management and insurance for businesses and individuals. Topics include legal principles in risk and insurance, insurance contracts, personal property and liability risk, life and health risks, social insurance, insurance companies and product markets, insurance pricing, insurance taxation, government regulation of insurance, and professional ethics and market conduct.
FPLN 450 - RETIREMENT SAVINGS & INCOME PLANNING (4)
An introduction to retirement planning concepts, procedures, and issues for individuals, businesses, and business owners. Topics include understanding and evaluating client retirement objectives, qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, tailoring retirement plans to client needs, funding retirement plans and investing plan assets, retirement planning for individual clients, post-retirement monetary needs, tax considerations in retirement planning, and retirement plan distributions.
FPLN 460 - ESTATE PLANNING (4)
An introduction to the principles and techniques in estate planning. Topics include the use of living and testamentary trusts, joint ownership of property, life insurance, charitable dispositions, inter vivos gifts, and the marital deduction to efficiently conserve and transfer wealth, consistent with the client's goals.
FPLN 495 - FINANCIAL PLAN DEVELOPMENT (4)
This course is designed to provide a capstone experience, challenging students to apply financial planning techniques, procedures and practices to actual problems and cases.
Major Electives (4 hours)

Select 4 hours from:

    ACCT 390 - FEDERAL INCOME TAX I (4)
    An introduction to the federal income tax structure with emphasis on the individual taxpayer, including employee, sole proprietor and investor. This course also provides exposure to basic concepts that apply equally, or with slight modification, to taxpayers other than individuals. Major topics include filing status, exemptions, excludable and includable income, business and non-business deductions, disallowances, technical tax research, and computer problem applications.
    ENTR 395 - FOUNDATIONS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP (4)
    Foundations of Entrepreneurship is an introductory course that examines the theory, practice, and tools of entrepreneurship. Various entrepreneurship structures and how such structures result in different unique pathways to success are explored. Students will focus on the importance of developing an entrepreneurial mindset as they assess their individual values and determine their affinity for entrepreneurial thinking, while also reviewing the risks and rewards of entrepreneurial businesses in the context of their chosen entrepreneurial philosophy. Finally, students will identify and evaluate opportunities for new ventures, and consider a strategic approach for successful business plan development.
    FINA 340 - MONEY, BANKING & FINANCIAL MARKETS (4)
    This course provides an overview of the financial system. The roles of money, financial intermediaries, financial markets, and central banks are discussed in the context of global economy.
    FINA 403 - ADVANCED FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT (4)
    An introduction to advanced concepts and methods of financial management. Topics include risk and return, asset evaluation, capital budgeting, capital structure, business financial planning and working capital management.
    FINA 450 - GLOBAL FINANCE (4)
    An examination of financial management in the global economy. Topics include international financial markets, exchange rates, interest rates and inflation, exchange rate risk management, working capital management, capital budgeting, country risk analysis, long-term financing, and global strategic planning.
    FINA 480 - SPECIAL TOPICS IN FINANCE (1-4)
    This course is designed to address significant issues of current interest outside the regular Financial Management curriculum. The course topic will vary. The topic description will be published online in the Course Schedule each trimester the course is offered.
    FPLN 410 - FINANCIAL PLANNING INTERNSHIP (1-4)
    This course provides qualified students with an opportunity to receive academic credit for supervised professional training and experience in an actual work environment. This Internship is an ongoing seminar between the student, the faculty member and the employment supervisor. It involves an Internship Application and Learning Agreement, periodic meetings with the faculty representative, professional experience at a level equivalent to other senior-level courses and submission of material as established in the Internship Application and Learning Agreement. Participation cannot be guaranteed for all applicants.
    FPLN 499 - INDEPENDENT STUDIES IN FINANCIAL PLANNING (1-4)
    Independent studies courses allow students in good academic standing to pursue learning in areas not covered by the regular curriculum or to extend study in areas presently taught. Study is under faculty supervision and graded on either a Pass/No Credit or a letter grade basis (See the "Independent Studies" section of the Academic Bulletin for more details).
    PSYC 310 - THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT (4)
    This psychology based course provides evidenced-based information and application strategies for improving personal and professional adjustment and effectiveness. The purpose of this course is to enable students to address and utilize more of their inherent potential. Students will use a self-coaching model to apply principles and methods taken from a variety of current sources, i.e. emotional and social intelligence, multiple intelligences, and positive psychology and executive coaching. The primary course outcome will be a plan for effecting improved adjustment and performance in students' personal and professional lives.
    Additional Requirements

    All students are required to pass College Writing (WRIT 120), either Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121) or Learning Strategies (PF 321) and either Speech Communication (SPCH 100) or Interpersonal Communication (COMM 150) prior to enrolling in any other course at the 200 level or above. Either PF 121 or PF 321 must be taken prior to the first BLF course, or it may be taken concurrently with the first 15-week BLF course. Students who enroll at Franklin with 30 or fewer hours of transfer credit are required to pass Basic Learning Strategies (PF 121) in place of Learning Strategies (PF 321). Students must also meet the University algebra competency requirement.

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    Program Details

    Career Opportunities

    Employee Benefit Consultant

    Employee Benefit Consultants plan, administer, and manage group benefits, including compensation, health and life insurance, and pension or 401(k) retirement plans

    Estate Planning Professionals

    Estate Planning Professionals help individuals plan the disposal and distribution of their assets upon death, creating wills, trusts, and other provisions to ensure the integrity of financial legacies.

    Financial Advisor

    Financial Advisors counsel individuals and organizations on their investment opportunities and options in order to achieve short- and long-term financial goals.

    Income Tax Planning Advisor

    Income Tax Planning Advisors assist corporations and individuals file accurate tax returns in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations.

    Investment Consultant

    Investment Consultants review personal financial statements, determine individual investment objectives, and evaluate risk profiles in order to suggest investment options to reach short- and long-term financial goals.

    Personal Financial Specialist

    Personal Financial Specialists review financial data and investment goals in order to recommend appropriate asset selection strategies.

    Retirement Counselor

    Retirement Counselors advise organizations on the types of pension and 401(k) retirement plans available to employees, and may set up and administer these plans as required

    Risk Management Advisor

    Risk Management Advisors assess investment and insurance for liability, identifying ways to mitigate risk and implementing strategies to minimize loss.

    Wealth Management Advisor

    Wealth Management Advisors oversee corporate or individual assets to ensure that asset values increase in accordance with financial goals and objectives.

    Employment Outlook

    18%

    From 2015-2025 jobs in Financial Planning are expected to increase by 18%

    All Occupations

    2015
    23,397 jobs
    2025
    27,608 jobs
    Show Details >

    Personal Financial Advisors

    2015
    12,185 jobs
    2025
    15,849 jobs

    Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents

    2015
    9,113 jobs
    2025
    10,053 jobs


    Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) - June 2016

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