As a student with a personal financial planning major, your goal will be to gain the expertise needed to pass the Certified Financial Planning exam. Becoming a certified financial planner opens the door to exciting careers in the financial services industry. Because the program is organized around key objectives outlined by the CFP Board of Standards, you’ll take core classes in taxation, investments, insurance, retirement planning and estate planning.
Points of Pride
CMU’s personal financial planning program offers you an in-depth, four-day CFP review immediately after graduation. The pass rate for the CFP exam for 2013 graduating seniors who participated in the review course was 78 percent, compared to a national average of 52 percent.
Put Your Degree to Work
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Personal financial adviser||$67,520 per year||27% (60,300 more jobs)|
|Financial analyst||$76,950 per year||16% (39,300 more jobs)|
|Accountant and auditor||$63,550 per year||13% (166,700 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Personal Financial Planning Major
The Personal Financial Planning major prepares students for a career in personal financial planning and personal financial consulting.
Total: 36 semester hours
Common Body of Knowledge Courses I
Essential Business Skills
Introduces students to the concept of a business, its disciplines, and essential business skills including decision making, team work, and oral and written communication. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Integrated Capstone-Strategic Management
An integrative capstone course applying and analyzing financial, marketing, supply chain and other business functions within a global strategic management perspective. This course may be offered in an online format. Prerequisites: 86 semester hours completed; BUS 300, 301; MGT/MKT 303; FIN 302; MKT 304; Tier 2 Admission to Professional Business Studies. Preference given to graduating seniors.
Common Body of Knowledge Courses II
Select one of the following:
Applied Business Statistics
Applications of statistical analysis to support business decision making. Covers collection of business data, analysis of business datasets, and presentation of results. This course may be taught in an online format. Quantitative Reasoning. Prerequisites: STA 282 or 382; 26 hours completed.
Business Process Improvement
This course applies principles and practices of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and other operations improvements that have been demonstrated to bring value to business. LSS builds on a business statistics foundation. Prerequisites: STA 282 or 382; 56 semester hours completed.
Required Courses I
Federal Income Taxation I
Basic concepts of federal income taxation, emphasizing individual taxpayers. Tax law covering taxable and excludable income, deductions, basis, tax-free exchanges, capital gains and losses, tax credits, deferral of tax, and depreciation. Prerequisites: 56 semester hours completed; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on signed major or minor. Recommended: ACC 202 or 255.
Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning
A professional course with emphasis on the personal financial planning process and the roles of health, property and liability insurance in financial planning. May be offered in an online format. Prerequisites: ACC 201 or ACC 250.
This course introduces students to risk management and insurance decisions in personal financial planning, including health, disability, property, liability, and long-term care risks and insurance. Prerequisites: ACC 201 or 250; BLR 202 or 235; STA 282 or 382; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on a signed major or minor.
This course covers issues that individuals face in retirement (money needs, life-styles, medical) and develops an understanding of both public and private retirement plans. This course may be offered in an online format. Prerequisites: FIN 307, FIN 310 or 315, 56 hours completed. Pre/Co-requisite: ACC 311.
FIN 445/BLR 445
Personal Estate Planning
Fundamentals of estate planning for personal use and professional training. Professional topics target applications in trust administration, accounting, and personal financial planning. Identical to BLR 445. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. This course may be offered in an online format. Prerequisites: FIN 302, 307; FIN 310 or FIN 315; 56 semester hours completed. Pre/Co-requisite: FIN 347.
Cases in Personal Financial Planning
Capstone personal financial planning course in client-centered personal financial planning. This course applies principles of personal financial planning in case studies. Prerequisites: FIN 317, FIN 347, completion or current enrollment in FIN 445; 56 semester hours completed; admission to Professional Business Studies.
Required Courses II
Select one of the following:
Investment Strategies for Personal Financial Planners
Investment strategies utilizing the Certified Financial Planner® learning objectives. Credit can be earned in only FIN 310 or FIN 315 but not both for the Personal Financial Planning major. May not be applied to Finance major or minor. This course may be offered in an online format. Prerequisites: 56 hours completed; FIN 302 or 332.
Principles of Investments
Provides students with basic knowledge about different investments and sources of information to enable them to make wiser investments and prepare to build portfolios. Prerequisites: 56 hours completed; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on a signed major or minor.
Select two courses from the following:
Real Estate Principles
An introduction to real estate practice, institutions and participants with a focus on investment decision making, valuation, and debt financing. Prerequisite: ECO 202 or ECO 203 or ECO 211 or ECO 213 or ENT 213.
Options and Futures
Survey of markets for futures and options on financial securities and commodities. Valuation of futures/options and application for hedging risk. Prerequisites: FIN 302 or FIN 332, FIN 315 56 semester hours completed; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on a signed major or minor.
Learn advanced methods of analyzing and valuing both debt and equity securities, as well as theories and techniques for combining assets into efficient portfolios. Prerequisites: FIN 302 or FIN 332; FIN 315; 56 semester hours completed; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on a signed major or minor.
Money and Capital Markets
Survey of money and capital markets, strategies for growth, and timing of financial policy. Prerequisites: FIN 302 or FIN 332; ECO 201 or ECO 204, ECO 202 or ECO 203; 56 semester hours completed; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on signed major or minor.
Internship in Finance
Enrollment confined to a limited number of students working in business situations for educational experience. Prerequisites: permission of the department chairperson; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on signed major or minor.
Role of financial manager in international corporations. Environmental problems of foreign exchange. Techniques for making investment decisions, financing marketing operations, long-term capital structure and flow of funds. Prerequisites: FIN 302 or FIN 332; 56 semester hours completed and admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on signed major or minor.
Analysis of the field of personal selling as a vital element of the promotional efforts of the firm. Prerequisites: MKT 300 or 304; 56 semester hours completed; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on a signed major or minor; or with approval from the Office of Undergraduate Business Studies. For students with a signed minor in Electronic Media Sales, BCA 265QR and 56 semester hours completed.