University of Charleston

University of Charleston

Business man using calculator with business graphs and charts in office.

Financial Planning

  • duration

    4 Years

  • format


  • location


Program Overview

This major will prepare you for positions within the financial services industry, business administration, and leadership, as well as to become a trusted financial advisor. Students will develop a valuable and in-demand skill set involving theory-based financial knowledge, effective analytical tools, and the ability to calculate and apply critical finance-related reasoning with a strategic mindset.

Freshman applicants with a 2.5 or higher high school GPA and transfer students with a 2.0 or higher cumulative college GPA are eligible for general admission to UC and will gain direct entry into this program. Students may apply online or download the admissions application.


Program Highlights

  • This program is registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board).

  • You will participate in an active Financial Planning Student Organization with engaging events and activities year-round

  • A commitment to diversity. There is a significant lack of diversity in the financial planning profession – and we consider this matter seriously. We believe a more diverse workforce is crucial to the future success of the financial planning profession.

Program Outcomes

  • Job Opportunities

    Potential career opportunities include:

    • Registered Investment Advisor
    • Accounting/Tax Registered Investment Advisor
    • Banking Industry
    • Life and Disability Insurance Companies
    • Property and Casualty Insurance Companies
    • Independent Broker/Dealer
    • Academia/Research
  • Expected Job Growth

    Qualified financial planning jobs are expected to increase as the number of investors seeking professional advice increases in the next decade.

  • Career Options

    Our program is designed to get you ready for a career in financial planning and advising, and to work as a financial manager, consultant, or in a variety of jobs in the banking industry.

Note: “Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP® in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.”

A commitment to diversity

Diversity is severely lacking in the financial planning profession – and we take that seriously. We believe a more diverse workforce is crucial to the future success of the financial planning profession.

Networking with local professionals

The Financial Planning Program at UC has solid support from professionals in the community. Each spring students, professionals, and faculty gather to network and celebrate the financial planning profession and students’ successes.

Financial Planning Profession Banquet

Additional Information

Which areas of mathematics are utilized by financial planners?

A solid understanding of compounding and the time value of money is foundational to investing and borrowing. Some basic principles of economics and statistics is helpful as you work with clients to reach their financial and life goals.

What abilities do effective financial planners employ in their profession?

Effective financial planners are personable and adept at building rapport with their clients. Having a full understanding of your client’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the ability to communicate their goals, is imperative. Financial planners should also have excellent analytical and critical thinking skills, strategic planning abilities, and problem-solving prowess.

Which examinations do financial advisors typically undertake?

In order to become a certified financial planner, you must pass a regulatory exam administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board). These exams will generally vary depending on your career path. Various careers in financial planning such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC), or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), require the completion of focus-specific exams.

How do I know if a financial planning degree is right for me?

Do you enjoy helping people? Financial planning is a people helping people business. If you are interested a fulfilling and well-paid career helping individuals and families reach their financial and life goals then a degree in financial planning could be right for you.

What happens if it takes me longer than four years to earn my degree in financial planning?

Four years is generally all it takes to earn a degree from most of our programs. However, if more than four years are necessary to complete your degree, it is best to check with your academic advisor and the financial aid office regarding extensions or additional assistance.

What qualifications are needed to enroll in the financial planning program?

Freshman applicants with a 2.5 or higher high school GPA and transfer students with a 2.0 or higher cumulative college GPA are eligible for general admission to UC and will thereupon gain direct entry into this program.

What career options are available with a degree in financial planning?

A financial planning degree can grant access to a variety of career options including (but not limited to) financial advisor, portfolio manager, retirement planner, financial analyst, insurance broker, and tax consultant.

Current Financial Planning Advisory Committee Members for the School of Business.

  • Marc D. Arnold, CFP®, Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
  • Michael Black, Committee Chair, Partner, Jarrell Black & Co
  • John Burdette, Owner, Fourth Avenue Financial
  • Christopher Erlewine, CFP®, CRPC®, Buckingham Strategic Wealth
  • Rossitsa Getskova, MBA, VP and Portfolio Manager, United Bank
  • David Lanham, ’64, CFP®, AIF®, Co-Founder & Managing Director, LOC Investment Advisers
  • Taylor W. Raab, Financial Advisor, Raab Wealth Advisors at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC
  • Wes Richardson, CFP®, CLU®, Managing Partner, Northwestern Mutual
  • Shoba Sampath, ’86, CFP®, CLU®, Equitable Advisors
  • Drew Tardy, CLU®, ChFC®, McKinley Carter Wealth Services
  • Jason Thompson, ’86, ’92, MBA, Senior VP & Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
  • Kelly L. Whitlock, Senior Vice President and Wealth Advisor, Truist Bank

Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

Jacob Tenney
Jacob Tenney, Ph.D., CFP®

Assistant Professor and Director of Financial Planning