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Zoom Information Session: June 6 at 6:30 p.m. Join us for an information session to learn more about our new Certified Financial Planner Certificate. Joe DeFazio, Program Director, and Annie Shean, Managing Director, Online and Professional Studies, will touch on topics such as format, course content, instruction, costs, and registration. Ample time will be dedicated to questions and answers at the end.
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Executive CFP® Certification Financial Planning Education Program

Fully Online


Point Park University is proud to offer a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) Certification Education Programthe only fully online, live, instructor-led program in the region — taught by our Rowland School of Business faculty. 

Designed by the industry pros at Dalton Education, the curriculum ensures that you have the skills you need to succeed in the financial services industry. As a CFP®, you will send a clear message to both clients and employers that you are serious about meeting the highest standard of excellence in financial planning. 

CFP® status is granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board to candidates who have met the education, experience, examination and ethics requirements. Point Park University's program fulfills the education requirement and has been approved by the CFP® Board. It is designed for working professionals who hold a bachelor's degree or higher.

Questions can be directed to Program Director Dr. Joseph DeFazio

Program Overview

This live, instructor-led online program provides structured learning with the guidance of an expert. Comprehensive education resources including textbooks (e-book or print) and a question bank offer multiple ways to learn the content.

Classes meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Students can expect to spend 7.5 hours per week in class, plus additional self-study time. The program typically takes 9 months to complete and is divided into six courses:

Topics include:

  • Financial planning process
  • Best practices in communication
  • Time value of money concepts
  • The legal, ethical and regulatory issues affecting financial planners
  • Principles of risk management and insurance

Topics include:

  • Theoretical and statistical rationale for building a diversified portfolio
  • Measurement and calculation of risk and return metrics
  • Features of stock, bonds, cash-equivalents and alternative investments, such as real estate and derivatives
  • The application of these concepts when working with clients

Closely following the 1040 tax return, topics include:

  • What’s included and excluded from gross income
  • All deductions before adjusted gross income such as IRA contributions, business expenses and HSA contributions
  • Tax issues and strategies surrounding business entities, disposition of property, adjusting tax basis, AMT, passive activity rules, charitable contributions and tax minimization

Topics include:

  • Administration, taxation and distribution rules of public and private retirement plans
  • Characteristics of various plans including qualified, non-qualified and other tax-advantaged plans
  • Employee group and fringe benefits and the taxation of these benefit plans
  • The unique issues individuals face in retirement and how to determine which retirement plan to recommend to a client based on the client’s goals

Topics include:

  • An overview of estate planning laws and strategies
  • The various types of property interest and the probate process
  • Gift tax
  • How to align a client’s gifting strategy with their goals
  • The estate tax system, including what’s included and excluded from the gross estate, various deductions to determine the taxable estate, and calculating the potential estate tax
  • Strategies to minimize estate tax consequences through the use of power of appointment trusts, by-pass trusts and QTIP trusts
In the final course of the program, students learn and apply various approaches to analyzing, developing and presenting financial plan recommendations for clients. Course information is presented through a series of videos, including software tutorial and live virtual classroom sessions with the course instructor. Students use software to help prepare financial statements, conduct ratio analysis, and identify financial strengths and weaknesses. Through the use of representative case studies, students apply the knowledge and strategies they learned in earlier courses. The capstone course culminates with students preparing and presenting a comprehensive financial plan.


The cost for the program is $5,250, due at the start of the program.

Books are not included in this cost and range from $1,540 (e-book) to $1,757 (print). An additional $100 curriculum and online access fee is due to Dalton Education at the start of the program. 

Continue your exam preparation at a discount

Following completion of the education program at Point Park University, students may either sit for the CFP exam or pursue further exam-specific preparation with The Dalton Review®. Students who register for The Dalton Review® course now receive a $300 discount on the cost and pay $1195 when purchased together with the education program. 

Meet Our Faculty