Certified Financial Planner

Our goal is to be the premier financial planning degree program in the state of New Jersey and in the northeastern United States.  Our facilities are arguably the best in the nation, we incorporate professional software into our courses, and we boast of having a hard working, humble, and diverse student body.


Business Administration - Financial Planning BS

The financial planning industry is expected to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the upcoming years.  The retirement of baby boomers, growing entitlements, longer life spans, and lower yields have created a greater need for professional financial planners to assist moderate and high net worth households to achieve their goals.

The Global Financial Services Institute is meeting this demand by developing a CFP® undergraduate degree program that provides requisite contemporary knowledge and tools for individual investors.  CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) is a professional self-regulatory organization that fosters professional standards and conduct in personal financial planning.

World Class Facilities

The program represents a unique combination of analytical and sales training.  Courses are offered through William Paterson University’s state-of the-art training facilities such as the Financial Learning Center trading floor as well as the Russ Berrie Institute of Professional Sales.   


The CFP® certification is the most widely recognized credential in the field for high quality standards and ethical practices.  It has become the national standard of professionalism for financial planners.

Graduates meeting the requirements of WPU's undergraduate program are awarded a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in Finance with a concentration in financial planning from the University.  The program is registered with CFP Board® to make students eligible to apply to sit for the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination upon completing their degree and the required courses.


Undergraduate Program

The core personal financial planning courses are required by the CFP® Board to enroll for the CFP® certification exam--an important step in establishing your professional credentials.  The personal financial planning core concentrates on insurance, risk management, investments, estate planning, and income tax.  The curriculum also encourages students to develop their interpersonal skills by recommending courses in public speaking, and professional sales.   


Course Listings

Intro to Personal Financial Planning

Personal Finance is an introductory course that surveys the financial planning process, profession, client interactions, time value of money applications, personal financial statements, cash flow and debt management, asset acquisition, education planning, overview of risk management investment planning and retirement planning, special circumstances, plan integration, ethics, and the business of financial planning.  Students will complete a case study.

Investment Analysis and Planning

This course provides the student with an understanding of the various types of securities traded in financial markets, investment theory and practice, portfolio construction and management, and investment strategies and tactics. 

Estate Planning

Estate planning focuses on the efficient conservation and transfer of wealth, consistent with the client’s goals. It is a study of the legal, tax, financial and non-financial aspects of this process, covering topics such as trusts, wills, probate, advanced directives, charitable giving, wealth transfers, and related taxes.

Retirement Planning

The intent of the retirement planning course is to provide individuals with knowledge of both public and private retirement plans. The public plans include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The private plans include both defined benefit and defined contribution plans and their regulatory provisions. The specifics of the various plans are analyzed as well as non-qualified deferred compensation plans.

Insurance Analysis and Planning

This course introduces students to risk management and insurance decisions in personal financial planning. Topics include insurance for life, health, disability, property and liability risks, as well as annuities, group insurance, and long term care.

Income Tax Analysis and Planning

A study of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code with emphasis on income taxation of individuals. Provides practice in the preparation of tax returns and the solutions of case problems. Concentrates on the problems of U.S. individual income tax, but taxation of corporations and partnership is also examined.


Recommended Additional Courses

Financial Services Selling

Develops understanding of financial service markets, competitive issues, trends, and client acquisition strategies. Students learn and practice individual and institutional needs based selling skills and market strategies used among banking, securities, insurance, and diversified professional services.

Internship in Finance

This is a cooperative education/field work experience. The mission of the internship program is to provide students with a valuable employment experience by working, uninterrupted for a significant amount of time, with a public, private, or governmental entity located in the student’s geographical area.

Professional Selling

Introduces the basic concepts and skills of professional selling, including customer analysis, communication skills, effective openings and closings, and customer relations.  Selling skills and concepts are developed through the extensive use of sales exercises, role-plays and presentations.

Public Speaking

Students learn the theory and skills of preparing and presenting public speeches. Emphasis is on practice and criticism of classroom speaking experiences.

Undergraduate students can declare their major at anytime, and use the six listed financial planning classes for their degree.  Upon completing the General Education Requirements, Business Core Classes, and the six required CFP® classes, a student will graduate with a BS degree in Business Administration: Financial Planning Concentration.


Dr. Lukas Dean





Important Links

William Paterson University Financial Planning Program Blog

Why choose a career in Financial Planning? (PDF)

Future Financial Planners Association (PDF)

How do I get certified? (PDF)