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Financial Planning Degree Program

Degree in Financial Planning - Online Financial Planner Degree Program OverviewProgram DetailsWhy Choose Franklin

Help families and small business owners achieve their financial futures

Telling people what to do with their money is more than a little fun … it’s serious business. And a growing one at that. With 78 million Baby Boomers retiring within a highly complicated marketplace of financial products, the demand for financial planners is exploding.

In fact, financial planner and investment advisor jobs are expected to increase 18% by 2025, a rate faster than the national average.1

Franklin University’s 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 financial planning 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.

1Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)

Gain The Skills Employers Desire

  • Principles of Financial Planning
    • Identify immediate and long-range measures to increase income, reduce expenditures, and achieve financial stability
    • Counsel clients on financial problems, such as excessive spending and borrowing
    • Collect and analyze client financial status and assist with short and long-term goal setting
    • Work with clients to establish payment priorities, payoff methods, and estimated time for debt liquidation
    • Assist individuals and small businesses with budgeting and cash flow projections, offering counsel to avoid excessive borrowing and spending
    • Effectively apply CFP Board Financial Planning Practice Standards and Code of Ethics to the financial planning process
  • Tax Planning
    • Identify and recommend specific actions consistent with IRS Code to minimize tax liability and maximize after-tax returns
    • Construct tax-efficient portfolios that meet clients’ goals, risk tolerances, and timelines
    • Offset capital gains’ tax liability using techniques such as tax-loss harvesting
    • Coordinate clients’ tax and legal advisors to develop insightful strategies and techniques that maximize after-tax net worth
    • Evaluate various tax strategies and structures to determine appropriate action steps for each client
    • Leverage an understanding of tax implications of investment and insurance products, such as municipal bonds, annuities, and individual stocks
    • Prioritize action steps to assist clients in implementing tax-planning recommendations
  • Investment Planning
    • Leverage different security types, as appropriate, including individual stocks and bonds, ETFs, options, alternatives, and mutual funds in order to meet portfolio objectives
    • Develop clear opinions on investment products based on research beyond past-performance and surface-level risk evaluation
    • Apply portfolio management principles, such as modern portfolio theory, to maximize risk-adjusted returns of investment allocations
    • Evaluate capital market and macroeconomic landscapes to identify and articulate issues impacting domestic and international investment portfolios
    • Analyze and manage liquidity, interest rate and issuer credit risk of bonds, and bond portfolios
    • Capitalize on investment strategies, such as buy-and-hold, core/satellite and immunization, as well as more active management techniques, including tactical allocation, market timing, and sector rotation
    • Interface with mutual fund companies, investment carriers, and brokers on behalf of clients
    • Monitor investment accounts for adherence to investment and asset allocation objectives and policies, determining whether life changes, risk profile adjustments, or financial performance require portfolio adjustments
  • Risk Management & Insurance Planning
    • Identify and analyze maximum probable risk to clients’ assets and earning capacities
    • Integrate insurance components into a comprehensive financial plan
    • Assist clients in managing financial risk and achieving financial security in the areas of health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, and annuities
    • Develop and implement a small business insurance renewal strategy, generating and maintaining various reports to assist in the renewal process
    • Participate in insurance renewal negotiations with brokers and underwriters, overseeing administration and maintenance of insurance policy documentation and supporting information for all lines of coverage
    • Monitor and report on clients’ insurance programs, including risk management issues, industry developments, and potential impact on the clients’ organizations
  • Retirement Savings & Income Planning
    • Collect information on clients’ assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, and short- and long-term financial objectives to establish retirement plans
    • Employ simulations and other financial planning tools to stress-test portfolios and ensure a high probability of reaching client retirement income goals
    • Evaluate clients’ retirement needs, advising on ways to reach retirement goals
    • Use knowledge of tax-advantaged products, investment strategies, securities, and insurance vehicles to make investment recommendations
    • Understand the fiduciary responsibilities and legal and regulatory contexts that govern the financial planning industry in order to prepare retirement plans that best fit client needs
  • Estate Planning
    • Ensure proper estate planning so that clients pass as much wealth to heirs as possible with minimal death and estate tax erosion
    • Coordinate with estate planning attorneys on behalf of individuals and small business owners, developing a comprehensive asset protection plan
    • Develop spreadsheets and financial worksheets to assist in the analyses of cash flows, estate and gift taxes, insurance needs, and other relevant financial data
    • Implement estate plans, including interacting with third-party attorneys
    • Provide personal financial analyses, counsel, and advisory services with respect to wealth transfer and estate planning

Career Opportunities

  • Financial Advisor

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

    View Salary Trends
  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Income Tax Planning Advisor

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

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  • Wealth Management Advisor

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

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  • Risk Management Advisor

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

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  • Estate Planning Professional

    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.

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  • Personal Financial Specialist

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

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Employment Outlook

In 2015 there were 23,397 job openings related to Financial Planning. The previous year, 3,397 students completed programs in Financial Planning.

Occupations Job Openings (2015) Expected Growth
Personal Financial Advisors 12,185 30.07%
Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents 9,113 10.32%

Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) - October 2014

Our Recipe For Your Success

Academic & Industry Experts

Classes are taught and designed by credentialed professionals with real-world experience.

  • Programs are designed by combining the insight of industry leaders with the academic expertise of our faculty, ensuring what you learn translates into on-the-job success.

  • Academic concepts and theories are brought to life through our teaching faculty’s professional expertise, and can be immediately applied in your career.

  • Faculty with industry experience teach our courses, not graduate students or life-time academics, so you learn not only the theories behind the practice but also how to apply them in real-world situations.

Relevant & Consistent Curriculum

What you learn is a reflection of the program you choose, not the format in which it’s applied.

  • All programs are designed for learning outcomes to flow from the program level into actual coursework.

  • This top-down approach allows credentialed professionals to customize assignments based on trending industry topics without deviating from a program’s core outcomes.

  • Regardless of your professor or the format of your class, you receive the same quality education.

Hands-On Learning Experience

Franklin's coursework teaches not only theories and concepts, but also how they apply to practical situations.


  • Professional course designers ensure that class activities such as learning simulations, case studies, interactive videos, and group exercises are relevant and appropriate.

  • A curriculum development team is dedicated to making sure all courses are intuitively designed so content is taught in a logical manner that facilitates your success in the classroom and beyond.

Continuously Evolving Programs

Consistent program reviews ensure our programs stay at the forefront of industry trends.

  • Survey results and feedback from student and faculty assessments are reviewed regularly so that our programs are always improving and up-to-date.

  • A structured review process helps identify industry gaps that guide curriculum enhancements allowing our academic and industry experts to regularly implement new industry trends.

  • Regular assessment provides hard data that is used to improve student learning and teaching methods.

Get the details

View curriculum, read course descriptions,
and meet program faculty.

View Program Details