Financial Planning Program

Description of Major

The College of Applied Studies offers a full bachelor of science degree and major in Financial Planning. This program aims to prepare students to become effective and successful financial planners and is registered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards . Upon graduation, students will be eligible to take the CFP® Certification Examination and be knowledgeable in both the academic and people skills required for financial planning practice. Students will learn from professors who have applied experience as well as academic credentials for Financial Planning.  The Financial Planning major courses can be taken fully online, which provides ultimate flexibility for students in their undergraduate studies.

The goals of the Financial Planning program include:

  • Prepare students for entry or advancement in their desired financial planning-related careers with integral financial knowledge and interpersonal skills
  • Provide students hands-on experience applying skills related to financial planning 
  • Help students develop quantitative and qualitative skills to be a critical consumer of research, financial policies, and related laws
  • Equip students with advanced knowledge of financial planning and building a foundation for their careers
  • Engage students in interdisciplinary coursework that further equips students in the applied skills necessary to be successful in financial planning-related careers – including courses from Entrepreneurship, Psychology, and Communication.

Additional skills to be developed from this program include student competencies of:

  • Integrating knowledge about financial markets, estate planning, tax laws, and risk management to develop financial and investment recommendations
  • Determining client goals and developing a comprehensive financial plan
  • Evaluating effectiveness of financial planning activities 
  • Understanding the importance of effective communication and interpersonal skills when working with clients of different backgrounds
  • Engaging with ethics in decision making
  • Utilizing applied skills from other academic fields to build a foundation for a fruitful financial planning career

Admission Requirements

In the first two years at FSU, students should take courses to complete the following requirements: General Education requirements, Multicultural Course requirements, and Prerequisite Coursework requirements. Some courses may fulfill requirements in multiple areas. Upon completion of lower-level coursework (or AA degree), to be considered for admission to the Financial Planning major (program is the same name as the major) students must successfully complete the pre-requisite coursework below with a C- or better and have a GPA of at least 2.0 (on a 4.0 system). Questions about admission? Talk to one of our advisors today! 

Prerequisite Coursework (21 hours; 7 courses)

The following courses must be completed with a C minus or better prior to entering the Financial Planning Major:

  • ACG 2021 (3) Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • ACG 2071 (3) Introduction to Managerial Accounting
  • CGS 2100 (3) Microcomputer Applications for Business or CGS X518 (3) Spreadsheets for Business
  • ECO 2013 (3) Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECO 2023 (3) Principles of Microeconomics
  • MAC 2233 (3) Calculus for Business and Non-Physical Sciences
  • STA 2023 (3) Business Statistics

Note: State-wide common prerequisites are always under review. For the most current information and for acceptable alternative courses, visit the “Common Prerequisites Manual,” available at the Florida Virtual Campus website.

Coursework in the Major

Once accepted into the Financial Planning program, students in this major must complete 39 credit hours in the core curriculum (which includes all courses required meet the education requirement needed to sit for the national CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ exam). Additionally, students must complete 21 hours of approved, interdisciplinary courses chosen from academic areas of Entrepreneurship, Marketing/Advertising, Human Development/Behavior, Organizational Management/Leadership, Communication, and Technology to enhance applied skills for financial planning. More specific information is listed below:

Required Core Courses (39 hours; 13 courses)

  • Introduction to Financial Planning 
  • Advanced Financial Planning 
  • Family and Consumer Economics 
  • Ethics and Financial Planning 
  • Personal Investment Concepts I 
  • Personal Investment Concepts II 
  • Personal Risk Management & Insurance Planning 
  • Personal Income Tax Concepts 
  • Psychology for Financial Planning 
  • Retirement Planning
  • Estate Planning 
  • Communication for Business and the Professions 
  • Career Readiness Seminar and Capstone in Personal Financial Planning

Required Specialized Interdisciplinary Courses* (21 hours; 7 courses)

All students choose courses that best fit their needs and interests across areas of Entrepreneurship, Marketing/Advertising, Communication, Human Development/Behavior Analysis, Organizational Management/Leadership, and Information/Technology.
*courses may vary in availability and may not be all available each semester. The approved course list below is a sample and will be updated on a semester-by-semester basis. Each semester, an approved list will be provided to students in the major each semester to help in academic planning. For local Panama City students some courses can be taken in-person if preferred. Questions? Our advisors stand ready to help build your academic plan.

Entrepreneurship Area

  • ENT2000 Intro to Entrepreneurship (required)

Choose (1) from the following

  • ENT3203 Managing Growth
  • ENT3273 Family Business
  • ENT3283 Women and Minorities in New Ventures
  • ENT4014 Creating New Ventures
  • ENT4804 Psychology of Entrepreneurship

Marketing/Advertising: choose (1) from following

  • ADV 3001 Creative Strategy
  • ADV3008 Advertising
  • PUR 3000 Intro to Public Relations
  • PUR 3001 Writing for Public Relations

Human Development/Behavior Analysis: choose (1) from following

  • DEP 4404 Adult Development and Aging
  • INP3313 Behavior Analysis in Business and Industry
  • EAB 3703 Intro to Behavior Analysis
  • SOP 3004 Social Psychology

Organizational Management/Leadership: choose (1) from following

  • HFT 3240 Managing Service Organizations
  • LDR 2213 Leadership for Social Change
  • SPC 4445 Group Dynamics and Leadership

Communication: choose (1) from following

  • COM 3120 Comm for Organizing
  • COM 4561 Social Media Campaigns
  • SPC 3301 Interpersonal Communication
  • SPC 4360 Interviewing
  • SPC 4540 Persuasion
  • SPC 4710 Interracial/Intercultural Communication

Information/Technology: choose (1) from following

  • CGS 2821 Intro to Website Design
  • COM 4470 Desktop Multimedia
  • LIS 4380 Social Media Management

Computer Skills Competency: (0 hours beyond prerequisites)
CGS 2100 (3) or CGS 2518 (3) meets this requirement.
Oral Communication Competency: (3 additional hours)
Students must demonstrate the ability to orally transmit ideas and information clearly. COM 2080 Online Communication and Presence will fulfill the OCC requirement.
Language Requirement
All students must meet the foreign language admission requirement. Students do not have an additional language requirement for the B.S. degree. The B.A. degree requires proficiency in a foreign language through the collegiate intermediate (22XX) level.
Minimum Program Requirements - Summary
Total Hrs. Required 120
General Education 36
Major Coursework 60
Minor Coursework 0
Computer Skills 3
Oral Communication Competency 0-3
Other Coursework 0
Electives to bring total hours to 120


Dana Smith (Distance Learning students)

College of Applied Studies
Office Building 111
Panama City, FL 32405-1099
(850) 770-2266

Academic Coordinator 
Angie Sexton

College of Applied Studies
Office Building 108
Panama City, FL 32405-1099

(850) 770-2178


Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. All students should review the Academic Map for their major with their academic advisor to ensure they stay on track and eligible to remain eligible for their major.


  1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
  2. Half of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
  3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.



Financial Planning faculty

Joseph Krupka, DBA
Financial Planning Program Co-Coordinator
Accounting Program Coordinator
(Panama City)
Office B-107
(850) 770-2216

Diana Simpson, , PhD, MBA, CFP®
Financial Planning
Office 106
(850) 770-2246

Employment Information:

Salary Information: For more information go to: National Association of Colleges and Employers ( or the Occupational Outlook Handbook ( provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Representative Job Titles: Analyst, Auditor, Bank Officer, Business Consultant, Controller, Financial Planner, Financial Advisor, Independent Broker, Insurance Agent, Internal Revenue Agent, Investment Advisor, Stock Broker, Bank Officer

Representative Employers: CPA Firms, Banks, Investment Firms, Major Corporations, Small Businesses, Management Consulting Firms, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Governments: Local, State, Federal, Non-Profit Organizations.