Personal Financial Planning
Certificate Program

Personal Financial Planning

A future by design

Enroll in Certificate View Individual Courses

Certificate Description

The only CFP™® Board-registered program in Silicon Valley

The only CFP® Board registered program in Silicon Valley. At its core financial planning is about goal setting and practical problem solving. Financial planning helps people plan for common, real-world challenges such as how much to save for retirement, whether or not to pay off a mortgage, and how to ensure college education.

UCSC Extension financial planning students gain a strong foundation in retirement planning, tax planning, risk management, estate planning, and investments that can be applied both personally and in a professional practice. Our training fulfills the educational requirements set by the Certified Financial Planning™ Board.

Upon successful completion of coursework, students may sit for the rigorous CFP® examination. Our program partners with the Financial Planning Association of Silicon Valley providing you with unique networking opportunities in the Silicon Valley Financial advising community.

Personal Financial Planning certificate program objectives:

  • Understand applied mathematical concepts for financial planning
  • Identify and solve estate problems from the financial planning perspective
  • Decode the retirement planning process, including how to determine the adequacy of your client’s resources and income
  • Apply risk management to financial decision-making
  • Understand the structure, regulation and operation of investment markets

Required Credits: Total Required: 8 courses (29.5 units)
Duration: A full-time student can complete the certificate in 6–12 months.


Course Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
1. Prerequisite Courses:
Applied Mathematics for Financial Planning 3.0
Personal Financial Planning, Survey 4.0
2. Required Courses
Employment Benefits and Retirement Planning in Personal Financial Planning 3.5
Estate Planning 3.5
Income Taxation in Personal Financial Planning 3.5
Investments in Personal Financial Planning: Principles and Methods 4.0
Risk Management in Personal Financial Planning 3.5
3. Capstone Course
Personal Financial Planning, Practicum 4.5
4. Required Certificate Review
Personal Financial Planning Certificate Completion Fee None

Requisite Knowledge

To pursue a certificate in Personal Financial Planning and take the CFP® examination, you should hold a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited U.S. college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Professional Development

CFP® approved

Our training grounds you in Certified Financial Planner™® Board education requirements that qualify you to sit for the rigorous CFP® examination.

Enrolled Agent program

A three-part series (8 units) designed to prepare you to study for the rigorous EA exam, network with fellow tax industry professionals and learn tax management skills. EA licenses are earned either by passing a comprehensive examination, the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE), which covers all aspects of the tax code; or after having worked at the IRS for five years in a position which regularly interpreted and applied the tax code and its regulations. All candidates are subjected to a rigorous background check conducted by the IRS.

Program Chair

Renee Snow, chair

RENÉE SNOW, Ph.D., CFP®, has worked as a Certified Financial Planner® for the past 20 years and has combined technical expertise with psychology and philosophy in service to her clients. She earned a M.S. in accountancy and worked eight years for a large regional CPA firm. Dr. Snow manages her own firm and specializes in tax planning, asset management, and the psychological aspects of wealth management. As a financial planning instructor at UCSC Extension, she grounds students in the philosophy of economics while giving them the practical tools to work in the financial services industry. The focus of her research has been an inquiry into the ancient texts of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism as they apply to financial management. Dr. Snow has published works in the areas of leadership and behavioral finance.

Enroll in Program

You are invited to declare candidacy in your certificate program as soon as possible so you can lock in the curriculum requirements and not be impacted by any subsequent program changes. Once you’ve declared candidacy, you have five years to complete the program.

Enroll Now

Certificate Inquiry Form

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Speak to a student services representative.

Call (408) 861-3860


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