Bachelor's in Finance With a Financial Planning Degree Emphasis

Bachelor of Science in Finance with an Emphasis in Financial Planning

Offered By: Colangelo College of Business

A financial planning degree is a four-year undergraduate degree program that helps students learn about all aspects of financial planning from evaluating risk and investments to taxes, diversification and ethics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a financial planning bachelor's degree is typically required for financial advisor roles.1

Pursue an Emphasis in Financial Planning Degree Online or On-Campus at GCU

Grand Canyon University (GCU) offers students maximum flexibility by offering the bachelor's in finance with an emphasis in financial planning degree online or on-campus. Earning a financial planning degree emphasis is the first step toward a rewarding career as a trusted financial advisor helping people plan for their financial future.

The bachelor’s in finance with an emphasis in financial planning degree focuses on personal financial management, investing, retirement planning, taxes, estate planning, risk management, client communication and ethics. GCU leads with a Lopes First perspective embracing a student-centric culture that emphasizes higher purpose, conscious capitalism and academic success.

Students will learn about GCU’s Christian worldview and be able to articulate the important role finance professional’s have in helping people make ethical financial decisions that comply with all government and industry financial regulations.

Graduates of GCU’s emphasis in financial planning degree online or on-campus will meet both the coursework and the degree requirements to sit for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM exam - an important step in the path to CFP ® certification.

 

Get More Information

Loading Form

 

Financial Planners Help Others Achieve Financial Freedom

Financial planning is the process of creating a strategic roadmap for an individual’s money based upon their goals. It’s ongoing and not just for the wealthy. Financial planning helps guide people through their financial choices to help make their dreams a reality.

Financial planning is important as it helps people:

  • Understand and set goals for their money
  • Enjoy a better standard of living
  • Be prepared for emergencies
  • Adjust their plan through different stages of life
  • Achieve peace of mind
  • Plan for retirement
  • Protect their assets
  • Make tax-efficient decisions
  • Achieve their philanthropic and legacy-planning objectives

Benjamin Franklin’s quote can be applied here in personal financial planning. He said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”2 With solid financial planning, individuals can weather the storms of inflation or emergencies and create the life they’d always imagined. Financial planning provides a structure that allows people the freedom of choice.

Gain Financial Planning Skills Needed for Diverse Clients and an Evolving Market

Students will learn how to assess clients’ personal current and future financial needs, develop goals, evaluate alternatives and create a comprehensive action plan that’s in alignment with their clients’ values.

Financial planning degree graduates will be able to demonstrate cultural competence while working with diverse stakeholders and respect the cultural, social, personal values and differences of the people with whom they work and serve.

GCU’s on-campus and online financial planning degree program provides a comprehensive course list that includes the following topics:

  • Personal Finance
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Financial Risk Management and Insurance
  • Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits
  • Investments and Portfolio Management
  • Taxation
  • Estate Planning and Special Topics
  • Financial Plan Development and Behavioral Finance
  • Real Estate

Career Possibilities for Graduates With a Financial Planning Degree Emphasis

Graduates with a degree in financial planning might work as a planner or an advisor in financial planning firms, banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies or wealth management firms.

With GCU’s emphasis in financial planning degree online or on campus, you will be prepared for roles in financial services like:

  • Personal financial planner
  • Financial planning analyst
  • Financial investment analyst
  • Investment manager
  • Financial manager
  • Credit analyst
  • Loan officer

No matter the role, personal financial planners positively impact the lives of people and their families. If you love finance and helping individuals, a degree in finance focused on personal financial planning may be right for you. Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Finance with an Emphasis in Financial Planning degree at GCU.

Bachelor’s in Finance With a Financial Planning Degree Emphasis FAQs

Earning a finance degree can be your ticket to a satisfying and stable career in the world of finance, investing and business. In fact, according to U.S. News and World Report Best Jobs 2022, financial advisors rank 19th in Best Business Jobs.3

Financial planning skills such as strong communication, inquisitive and analytical thinking, natural problem solving and impeccable organization and planning allow financial planning degree graduates to counsel clients on their finances, create budgets, prepare retirement plans and offer investing advice. Financial planning degree graduates often continue their education with a master’s in finance to prepare for long-term career success across many industries.

Finance and math seem to go hand-in-hand; however, most financial professionals need basic knowledge in algebra and order of operations. GCU’s degree in financial planning requires math-related skills such as algebra, statistics, trigonometry and probability. Math skills that are most crucial to finance majors are being quick with basic math and having a critical mind to understand financial statements and debt instruments.

In addition to having a clear understanding of business and finance skills, those who hold a degree in financial planning also acquire specific analytical and people skills to be successful. When clients look for a professional to help handle the most private parts of their livelihood, they also look for someone who is passionate, calm, able to explain complex information and options, transparent about fees and investment costs and their ability to handle highly stressful conversations in a personable manner.

Exact qualifications and exams that financial planners need to take depends on the type of services they will provide. For example, after earning your bachelor’s in finance, you may take the WMCP or CPWA for wealth management advising, RICP or RMA for retirement advising, licenses such as EA or CPA for tax advising and more. GCU’s degree in financial planning prepares graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to study for and take the CFP exam, which is designed to test your ability to apply a range of financial planning knowledge in real life situations.

Yes, a financial planning career is an excellent choice for those who enjoy holistic thinking, developing relationships with individuals and families, acting in clients’ best interest, solving problems, and providing guidance and advice. A financial planning degree is highly desirable because it has a lot of flexibility, it offers a variety of financial avenues to explore and provides a sense of personal fulfillment when helping clients reach their financial goals. The future of finance is rich with possibilities for those willing to seek and create new opportunities to thrive.

 

Retrieved from:

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Personal Financial Advisors in June 2022

2 Goodreads, Benjamin Franklin Quotes in June 2022

3 U.S. News and World Report, Best Jobs 2022 in June 2022

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $485 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
80 credits
Open Elective Credits:
0-6 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

This course provides the foundation of core knowledge within the field of information technology. Topics include technology-centric organizations, the type and role of fundamental information technology systems, data management to include privacy and security, e-business and m-business, hardware, software, and computer networks.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the practical application of descriptive and inferential statistics in business. Topics include probability, probability distributions, the central limit theorem, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression. Prerequisite: MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course provides students with skills to make rational, personal finance decisions. There is an emphasis on money management and the responsible use of credit. Strategies for wealth building and retirement planning are also introduced.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the use of managerial accounting data in the decision-making process. Topics include the use of cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis and relevant costs in decision making, using budgets and the balanced scorecard to evaluate performance, methods for setting prices of products and services, and analyzing capital investment opportunities. Prerequisite: ACC-250.

Course Description

This course focuses on the fundamental ideas of microeconomics. Students examine the market forces of supply and demand under different market structures in order to understand how economic agents make decisions about both consumption and production. The structure, conduct, and performance of markets are evaluated through analysis of consumer, producer, and societal welfare. Students explore the topic of factor markets in which the incomes of most workers and owners of capital and property are determined. Prerequisites: ACC-240 or ACC-250 and BUS-352.

Course Description

This course introduces models and practices used by contemporary marketers in fast-paced, dynamic domestic and global markets including the marketing concept and processes for developing, implementing, and assessing the effectiveness of marketing plans. Building from a foundational understanding of consumer behavior and marketing research, students examine the development and implementation of marketing mix strategies and tactics with emphasis on integrated marketing communications that effectively combine traditional advertising and promotion with digital marketing.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to managerial finance and the financial markets, analysis of financial statements, time value of money, interest rates, asset valuation, assessment of risk, cost of capital, and capital budgeting. Prerequisites: ECN-220, ECN-351, or ECN-361; and ACC-240 or ACC-250.

Course Description

This course focuses on the national economy by examining macroeconomic data measuring national income, the cost of living, production and growth, and unemployment. Students examine the basic functions of the monetary system and analyze the macro economy in terms of long-run economic productivity and growth and in terms short-run fluctuations. The influence and effect of macroeconomic policy is studied within the context of current events. Prerequisite: ECN-361.

Course Description

This introductory course explores fundamental concepts in risk management and insurance. Students learn to identify and mitigate commercial and personal risks through the use of financial products, including insurance and other financial instruments. Prerequisites: MAT-251 and FIN-350.

Course Description

This course provides a study of the theory and practices of accounting for income taxes of corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and individuals. Prerequisite: ACC-370 or FIN-350.

Course Description

This course provides students with knowledge of the rules and options of qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, public plans (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid), and employee benefit plans. Students learn to evaluate characteristics that are key in retirement plan selection for individuals and business owners. Distribution planning, tax implications, and regulatory considerations are discussed. Students analyze paths and tools toward financial independence and make recommendations within a financial planning context. Other employee benefits, such as medical plans, life insurance, disability insurance, and flexible spending accounts, are evaluated. Prerequisite: FIN-350.

Course Description

This course studies stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and other investment vehicles, and their application in investing. The securities market and trading procedures are discussed. The course introduces portfolio theory that is applicable to both professional portfolio management and individual investment decisions. The application of portfolio theory to corporate investments and diversification is also introduced. Prerequisite: FIN-350.

Course Description

Drawing upon real-world management situations, this course is a study of individual and group behavior in organizations through detailed coverage of the functions of management, individual differences/diversity, leadership, motivation, decision making, organizational design, and organizational change and development. Emphasis is placed on how an understanding of organizational behavior leads to effective management practice.

Course Description

This course includes principles of family estate planning and client communication. Estate planning documents, gifting strategies, incapacity planning, property ownership, transfer methods, and taxation are covered. Students learn aspects of client communication and psychology, including principles of nonverbal communication, counseling, and the impact of planner and client values, attitudes, and biases. Money conflicts and crisis situations are also discussed. Prerequisite: FIN-350.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course is a comprehensive study of the legal and ethical issues of concern to business, including those areas of the U.S. legal system that are most relevant to business, such as the law of torts, strict liability, intellectual property, and contract law. It explores the role of ethics and values in business decision making and approaches these subjects from the perspective of the stakeholders as opposed to an economic interpretation of the firm and its responsibilities.

Course Description

This course explores life and health insurance. The principles of life and health insurance and their applications will be discussed. Students will learn how insurance products protect in the event of a death or medical issue. Prerequisite: FIN-350.

Course Description

This course is an advanced study of investments and their application in investment portfolio management. The course develops and emphasizes portfolio theory that is applicable to both professional portfolio management and individual investment decisions. The application of portfolio theory to corporate investments and diversification is also discussed. Prerequisite: FIN-450 or FIN-375.

Course Description

In this introduction to the real estate industry, students learn about the risks and rewards associated with investing in and financing both residential and commercial real estate. This course includes concepts and techniques relevant to a variety of careers related to real estate. This course also provides students with a better understanding of real estate for their own personal investment and financing decisions. Prerequisite: FIN-350.

Course Description

This course is a synthesis of concepts learned throughout the financial planning program. A series of case studies enhances the ability to integrate and apply knowledge and skills from core financial planning domains. Students gain experience in the financial planning process, client biases and behavioral finance issues, professional standards, and ethics, and written and oral communication. Effective financial analysis techniques and client communication are employed to create and present a financial plan in accordance with a client's values and objectives. Implementation, evaluation, and updates of the plan are also addressed. Prerequisites: FIN-451, FIN-440, FIN-355, ACC-460, and FIN-431.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course serves as the capstone experience in business and management that includes the gradual development of a comprehensive and integrative business plan. This course is designed to assist students in their development as managers, servant leaders, and successful strategic thinkers. Management, marketing, accounting, finance, economics, global perspectives, law, and political issues are covered during this course. Prerequisites: MGT-420 or MGT-422HN; FIN-210 or FIN-350; and MKT-245 or MKT-315.

Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

Scroll back to top