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Personal Financial Planning Certificate

The need for financial planning services is at an all-time high, with the profession projected to grow 15 percent through 2026*.

MSU Denver’s Personal Financial Planning Program will prepare you to pass the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Exam, and provide the insight you need to become a successful personal financial planner.

Classes are limited in size, with registrants selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. CFP practitioners who are active in the profession teach the classes.

Class Schedules

Each class meets one night a week for 13 weeks from 6-9 p.m. at the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver. It is recommended that the classes be taken in sequential order, beginning with FPI, but it is not required.



FP I: Financial Planning Fundamentals

  • Tuesdays, August 27 – Decemer 13 (no class September 3 or November 19), from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Instructor: Marla Mason
  • Price: $525
  • Location: KC 308 (Auraria Campus)

FP III: Investments

  • Mondays, August 26 – December 2 (no class Labor Day, September 2), from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Instructor: Keith Fevulry
  • Price: $475
  • Location: AD 135 (Auraria Campus)

FP VI: Estate Planning

  • Tuesdays, August 27 – November 19, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Instructor: John Phillips
  • Price: $475
  • Location: KC 305 (Auraria Campus)

The seven courses listed below are all required to obtain the Personal Financial Planning certificate. It is recommended, though not required, to take them in order. 

  • FP I – Financial Planning Fundamentals – Provides the framework for operating in a financial planning environment by introducing the student to the process which governs the activity for all the financial planning disciplines. A brief overview of the six program subject areas (insurance, investments, income taxes, retirement planning, and estate planning) is provided to help you evaluate your client exposures and weaknesses. An introduction to time value of money concepts, and legal, ethical, and regulatory matters that affect planners will also be covered.
  • FP II – Risk and Insurance – Discusses the principles of risk management with particular emphasis on the use of insurance as an effective risk transference mechanism to combat risk. This course presents the basics of life, disability, health, automobile, homeowners and liability insurance, and underscores the critical elements found in all of these contracts. Policy comparison, needs analysis, and product recommendation are the focal points of discussion in helping clients determine their insurance needs.
  • FP III – Investment Planning – Defines and analyzes the investment parameters of your client, investment vehicles used, and investment recommendations prescribed to develop a client investment portfolio. This includes stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurance-based investments, futures, options, foreign investments, real estate, and tangible assets.
  • FP IV – Tax Planning – Emphasizes your role in the tax planning process by covering the income tax return, and identifying various financial planning exposures that exist and could potentially affect your client. Underlying the content will be discussions on the fundamentals of individual income taxation, tax implications of various types of businesses, planning for the acquisition disposition of property, tax-advantaged investments and tax planning for the family.
  • FP V – Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits – Identifies critical issues and providing adequate solutions to meet the varying retirement needs of your clients. Topics include how much retirement savings your client needs to meet long-term objectives, retirement accumulation (the various retirement plans in the marketplace), retirement distribution (the best ways to minimize income taxes when withdrawing money), personal tax-deferred retirement programs, qualified plan design, government sponsored plans, and employee benefits.
  • FB VI – Estate planning – Identified the process needed to develop an estate plan by identifying the fundamentals of federal gift and estate taxation. Various estate distribution strategies will be covered with an emphasis in estate reduction techniques. This includes intra-family and business transfer, characteristics of wills, risk of dying intestate, the use of contracts and disclaimers, post mortem planning, and the operation of law.
  • FB VII – The Capstone Course – Students will apply what they have learned in the previous classes in a case-study format, identify financial planning exposures, and develop appropriate solutions. While the capstone course is not offered at MSU Denver, the Finance Department refers students to several options for completion online or in Denver.



Candidates for the Personal Financial Planning Certificate program should hold a bachelor’s degree, or have previous relevant work experience in the financial services industry.

To successfully complete the program, students must successfully pass each course.

In order to obtain the Certificate in Personal Financial Planning, you must successfully complete all seven courses (FPI-FPVII). If the student transfers from another board-registered CFP program, MSU Denver will accept a maximum of two classes, and still allow the student to obtain the certificate. If you have taken the majority of the classes at another program, you can still take the needed courses through our program. However, you will not receive the Personal Financial Planning certificate from MSU Denver.

To transfer credits into the program, you will need to submit official documentation of classes completed (including the letter grade earned) from the director of the prior program or University registrar.

Transfer credits will be awarded for:

  • Classes completed at a CFP board accredited institution within five years of the transfer request date.
  • Classes completed with a grade of ‘C’ or better.


If you need to cancel your registration, please notify us prior to the start of class for a full refund or credit toward future classes. No refunds will be made after the second class session.


If you have questions on how to register for the Personal Financial Planning certificate, please contact Becky Poskin at or 303-721-1313.

If you have questions about the course schedule, grades or certification, or any other questions related the program, please contact Wendy Walker in the Finance Department at or 303-615-0707.

*U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.

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