UCSB Extension made the decision on September 9, 2015 to discontinue the Professional Financial Planning Certificate Program in its current format. Each of the courses required for the program will be offered one more time over the next academic year, through September 2016, to ensure that all current certificate candidates have an opportunity to complete the program. The matrix below indicates the current schedule plan for the 2015-2016 academic year. We no longer are accepting new candidates for the program.

Many Americans are now responsible for their own financial future and are looking to professional advisers for assistance. The public is looking for a planner who has demonstrated a commitment to competency, and financial professionals want an established certification that sets them apart in a globally expanding financial planning profession.

This Professional Certificate Program Provides:

  • Educational requirements approved by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. to qualify for the CFP® Certification Examination.
  • Education and training to analyze and provide advice on all areas of financial planning including investment management, income taxation, insurance/risk management, employee benefits, retirement, and estate planning.

Intended Audience: Financial Planning professionals seeking to better perform their duties and/or advance their professional standing, individuals desiring core subject knowledge required to pursue the professional CFP® Designation, and individuals wishing to study specific subjects without applying for the certificate.

Additional Details

Federal Financial Aid Available:


Professional Financial Planning 2015-2016 Certificate Program Course Schedule
* PLEASE NOTE: Case Studies in Personal Financial Planning (ECON X425.10) replaces Professional Financial Planning Practicum. The Case Studies in Personal Financial Planning course is required for students applying for the Financial Planning Certificate on or after January 1, 2012. The CFP® exam now includes materials covered in Case Studies in Personal Financial Planning. All students are encouraged to enroll in this course.

This matrix lists courses we plan to offer during the time indicated and is subject to change. Additional courses may be offered; see current quarter’s catalog on the Web for the most up-to-date information.

Program Prerequisites

For those interested in completing the certificate program, it is recommended that, in addition to professional studies in communication, humanities, and social sciences, students have proficiency in college algebra, be able to perform financial and statistical analysis, and have a good working knowledge of the HP 12C calculator (especially as it pertains to finance) --that will be covered in Principles of Financial Analysis -- prior to enrolling in Portfolio and Investment Management

Certificate Requirements

Completion of 30 units: 8 required courses. Candidates for the certificate must complete all required and elective courses with letter grades of "C" or better. Most students take two to three years to complete the program; however, you may proceed at your own pace depending on how many courses are available each quarter. Students have five years from the date their first course ends to complete the program.

Recommended Course Sequence

It is recommended that students begin with Principles of Professional Practice and Principles of Financial Analysis, followed by the remaining courses as they are sequentially offered. Refer to the planned course schedule for recommended sequence of classes. Individual courses are open to non-certificate students who wish to study a specific subject area, as long as course prerequisites are met.

Course Credit

As the continuing education division of the University of California at Santa Barbara, UCSB Extension is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). All courses in the program are approved for professional-level, post-graduate credit. This type of credit is typically recognized by government and industry for full or partial tuition funding or reimbursement. Course units and/or CEU values are listed with the course descriptions.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is limited to 8 quarter units. Proposed transfer courses taken at other schools must be comparable in content and length to the UCSB Extension equivalent and must have been taken from an accredited college or university within the last five years. To determine whether courses taken at other schools will qualify, send a copy of the course title and description and the dates the course was taken along with the UCSB Extension course title equivalent(s) to the certificate advisor. The advisor will inform students whether the coursework is transferable. To activate the formal transfer of credit, students must have filed their Application for Candidacy in the certificate program and must request the school previously attended to send an official transcript to the certificate advisor.

Applying for Candidacy

To be accepted as a candidate in a certificate program, students must first submit the Application for Candidacy Form below and a one-time, nonrefundable filing fee of $100. Students will be expected to fulfill program requirements in place at the time candidacy is filed. Students will automatically be notified of acceptance once the application and filing fee are received. Allow four to six weeks for applications to be processed. Acceptance letters are mailed upon acceptance into the program.

Certificate candidates must notify the UCSB Extension certificate advisor by phoning (805) 893-3816 or by e-mailing when they receive the grade for their final course. Once your final grade is received and your records are checked to verify that you have met all program requirements, your certificate is processed and mailed to you. Duplicate certificates are available if requested in writing. There is a $22 charge for each duplicate certificate.

Program Cost

The total cost of the Professional Financial Planning Certificate Program is determined by the number of units required to complete the entire curriculum and the actual courses taken, particularly in the area of elective courses where tuition fees can vary greatly. Individual course fees are listed in the current UCSB Extension catalog and on this website. For planning purposes, an overall tuition cost has been estimated at $4,020. This figure is for course tuition fees only and does not include the costs of textbooks and/or materials. This cost figure is an estimate only and is subject to change without notice.

Tuition Reimbursement

Most UCSB Extension courses and certificate programs qualify for employer-paid tuition reimbursement. Be sure to check with your employer about any employee assistance programs that you may be eligible to receive.


CFP® Certification

The UCSB Extension Professional Financial Planning Certificate program fulfills the educational component of the Certified Financial Planner™ certification. Candidates for certification must have a bachelor's degree, in any discipline, from a regionally-accredited U.S. college or university, in order to attain CFP® certification.

UCSB Extension does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP® marks. Certification is granted solely by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to individuals who, in addition to completing an education requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met ethics, experience, and examination requirements.

For information on becoming a CFP™ certificant, contact the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. at: (800) 487-1497; fax (202) 379-2299; website; e-mail.

Course Formats/Locations

UCSB Extension offers the necessary courses to fulfill both the required and elective course requirements using local qualified professionals to provide the instruction.

Courses typically meet three hours per night, one night per week, with occasional Saturday classes, for ten to twelve week sessions and are scheduled during fall, winter, spring, and summer quarters. Courses are held in both Santa Barbara and Ventura.


The instructors who teach in this program are practicing professionals from the community. They are chosen for their personal commitment, academic background, teaching ability, and professional expertise. We provide students with the opportunity to comment on our instructors, our program, and our customer service at the end of each class. We welcome any comments that would assist us in improving the quality of instruction in our program.