Do I need to take the courses in the program in order?

The courses in the Financial Planning Certificate Program are numbered, but they do not have to be taken in chronological order. It is recommended that you take CFIN 201 Principles of Financial Planning and Insurance early in your studies.


What is your program's pass rate on the CFP® Certification Examination?

The pass rate has been above the national average for five consecutive years for participants who complete the Financial Planning Certificate Program with Minnesota State University, Mankato.


How much study time outside of class is there for each class?

The answer to this question varies, but most past students say for every hour in class they spent 1-2 hours outside of class studying.


How long does it take to complete the program?

The six courses in the program can be completed in 12 months.

Courses are offered on Thursdays from 3:00-6:00 p.m. or 5:00-8:00 p.m. (dependent on instructor preference) at the Minnesota State University Edina location.  Each course meets for 8 weeks. The courses will be offered in chronological order.


What is the cost of books and other supplies?

The per course cost of the texts averages about $150 per course. There are optional Keir Educational Resources materials which can be ordered and on average cost $80 per course. The suggested HP10Bii financial calculator averages $40.


Do I have to have the HP10Bii calculator?

If you are comfortable using another non-programmable financial calculator (i.e. HP 12C), you may use that, but the instructors will teach the students to use the HP 10Bii. For the CFP® Certification Examination, you will need a financial calculator with an internal rate of return (IRR) function for problems with unequal periodic cash flows. Calculators with alphabetic keys will not be permitted.


What if I have taken courses from another program?

If the program is registered with CFP Board, you can either transfer the courses into our program to receive a Certificate in Financial Planning from Minnesota State University, Mankato or you may apply for the CFP® Certification Examination with your completion certificates from the MSU program and from the other program. If the program is not registered with CFP Board, you must take all required courses from Minnesota State University, Mankato.


Are there tests at the end of each course?

You will be graded on the entire course, not just one exam. You will be given a final examination on your last class meeting and this will be a part of your final grade. There is not just one test at the end of each course as seen with self-study programs.


How do I apply for the CFP® Certification Examination?

When you successfully complete our program, you will be provided with the information on applying for the CFP® Certification Examination via U.S. Mail, including a list of topics that are tested on the exam.  

Minnesota State University, Mankato will submit your completion status to the CFP Board.  If you have courses from another Board registered program, contact Tammy Bohlke, Director of Workforce Education, while taking your last class from Minnesota State University, Mankato.


Do you assist in job placement after we complete the program?

We do not assist in placement after completion of the program, but periodically we receive job opening notifications and forward those onto our email list.

Minnesota State University, Mankato does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP registered logo and certification marks. CFP certification is granted by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to those persons who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met ethics, experience and examination requirements.


How do I obtain a transcript of my course?

A non-credit transcript of each professional development activity attended at Minnesota State University, Mankato is maintained for those individuals completing a program. Individuals can request a non-credit transcript by contacting the Center for Workforce Education at 507-389-1094 or


What is the cancellation policy for the program?

Notification must be received five (5) business days prior to the first class date for a refund to be processed. Notifications will be accepted using telephone, U.S. Mail, fax, e-mail, or hand delivery. Financial Planning Certificate Program ONLY: To receive an incomplete "I" in a given course, the student is required to notify the Director of Workforce Professional Education on or before completing 12 hours of the total 27 instructional hours (this is equivalent to 4 weeks in the online course). If an incomplete is received, the student will have 2 years to make up the coursework. The student may retake the exact same course (one-time) on a space available basis within that two year period.