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What is a ChFC®?

Advanced financial planning for every person and every need: that is the credo of the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designation program. ChFC® covers a must-have list of requirements for financial advisors, from knowledge on tax and retirement planning to special needs advising, wealth management, insurance, and more. If you are looking for financial classes online that will give you a stronger baseline understanding of what it takes to be successful as a financial consultant, ChFC® certifications for financial advisors can help open doors and expand your business while putting you in a position to branch out and take your chartered financial practice to the next level.


Why You Should Consider the ChFC®

Designed for immediate, real-world application, the financial planning strategies taught in the eight-course ChFC® designation program prepare you as a financial consultant to advise a full range of potential clients on a diverse set of subjects. Mainly delivered through our new Personal Pathway™ learning model, the ChFC® program will deepen your knowledge and broaden your chartered financial practice. Thanks to its flexible learning experience, engaging content, and unmatched support.

Join the more than 40,000 chartered financial professionals who have earned the ChFC® designation and position yourself as a go-to advisor for anyone seeking the latest and most comprehensive financial advice.

Personal Pathway™ courses open the first Thursday of every month. Enroll now for instant access to your digital textbook, syllabus and other learning resources.

What You’ll Learn

The ChFC® designation program covers the top challenges you’ll face as a financial consultant. Through a college-level curriculum focused on practical application and case studies, you’ll gain expertise in the long-standing fundamentals of the field and in today’s most in-demand specialized financial consultant services.

In the eight courses of the ChFC® designation program, you’ll study:

  • The financial planning process, including the role and responsibilities of a financial consultant
  • Risk management strategies, including mitigating the risks associated with insurance, human capital, liability, property, and wealth management
  • Income tax strategies, including planning for deductions, tax credits, capital gains and losses, taxation of life insurance, annuities, and partnerships, LLCs, corporations, and proprietorships
  • Retirement planning strategies, including choosing between and working with SEPs, SIMPLEs, IRAs, Roth IRAs, 403(b), and nonqualified deferred compensation plans
  • Investment strategies, including issues pertaining to return computations, diversification, securities markets, tax issues, portfolio management, and ethical practice
  • Estate and gift-tax planning strategies
  • Personal financial planning strategies
  • Specialized strategies, including aiding divorcees and blended families, financial planning for families with special needs, serving non-traditional families and LGBTQ clients, addressing the unique challenges associated with modern retirement income portfolios, and applying behavioral finance strategies as a chartered financial consultant
  • Early-career financial professionals seeking a foundational education and a designation that can boost their career. Field leaders are 59% more likely to hold a ChFC® designation
  • Financial consultants seeking to earn the ChFC® and sit for the CFP® exam. The first seven ChFC® designation courses fulfill CFP® Certification Education requirements
  • Financial consultants seeking to earn the ChFC® designation and prepare for future designations. ChFC® graduates need to take only three more courses to earn the CLU®
  • Mid-career professionals who want to augment their CFP® certification with the advanced knowledge of the ChFC® designation program course “Contemporary Applications in Financial Planning” (HS 347). Upon completion of HS 347, CFP® professionals will earn the ChFC® designation, allowing them to elevate their credentials with a single course.
  • CFP® professionals who are seeking CE credit. The ChFC® course “Contemporary Applications in Financial Planning” (HS 347) provides CE credit and earns CFP® professionals the ChFC® designation
  • Insurance professionals, brokers, retirement experts, financial consultants, and both home office and client-facing practitioners who desire a strong, foundational financial education and want to take financial classes online

Program Delivery

Personal Pathway™ puts you in control

Personal Pathway™ combines best-in-practice concepts and rich multimedia in a program that meets your professional needs. It puts you on a flexible, yet structured learning path with the tools you need to succeed.

Personal Pathway™ courses in the ChFC education program include:

  • Learning options that allow you to follow a structured 14-week path or work at your own pace and finish sooner
  • Digital textbooks equipped with online note-taking and flashcard creation capabilities
  • Rich interactive case studies and lesson reviews that incorporate text, graphics, and video elements
  • Weekly webinars available live or on-demand
  • Discussion forums that encourage social learning and facilitate networking opportunities
  • Preparatory quizzes that improve retrieval practices and support better learning outcomes
  • Expanded instructor support

All built on a platform that incorporates student-first technology!

Read more about Personal Pathway™ and our Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition & Fees

Personal Pathway™ courses include engaging live and self-study learning options — and no webinar fees — for one flat tuition rate:

  • Individual course: $810
  • Case-study course (HS 333): $1,010
  • Contemporary Applications in Financial Planning (HS 347): $1,490

8-Course Package

Includes: Full 8-course program, digital textbooks with online note-taking and flashcard creation, prep quizzes modeled on exams, live and on-demand webinars, student/faculty discussion forums, and more.

  Tuition Package Tuition Savings
8-Course Package $7,360 $5,400 $1,960

3-Course Package Savings*

*HS 333 and HS 347 excluded from 3-Course Package.

  Tuition Package Tuition Savings
3-Course Package $2,430 $2,150 $280


Required ChFC® courses:

  • HS 300 Financial Planning: Process and Environment
  • HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
  • HS 321 Income Taxation
  • HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs
  • HS 328 Investments
  • HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning
  • HS 333 Personal Financial Planning: Comp. Case Analysis
  • HS 347 Contemporary Applications in Financial Planning

Required ChFC® Courses:

HS 300 Financial Planning: Process and Environment

This course provides an overview of the financial planning process, including communication techniques, behavioral finance, financial planning approaches and applications, financial statement preparation and analysis, time value of money concepts and applications, education planning and funding, economics and the external environment, and ethics and standards of conduct. Additionally, the course offers a deeper understanding of the role and responsibilities of a financial planner, along with some analytical skills to aid in the financial decision-making process.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of and apply the steps of the financial planning process
  • Differentiate between various communication techniques used by advisors and understand how behavioral finance concepts can be used to improve client-advisor communications
  • Utilize the various financial planning approaches to quantify goals and provide actionable recommendations
  • Review personal financial statements, calculate financial ratios, and perform financial statement analysis
  • Build a foundation in quantitative techniques needed to calculate the present value and future value amounts, and solve for other relevant financial variables
  • Apply education planning and funding techniques to help clients achieve their goals
  • Build a foundation in basic economic concepts and understand how external factors may impact the financial planning process
  • Review and apply the ethics of personal financial planning within CFP Board, American College, and SEC frameworks

HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning

This course focuses on the role of planning for risk management needs. The topics covered in this course include fundamental principles and characteristics of risk management, credit risk and protection, and the concepts and applications of health insurance, life insurance, disability and long-term care insurance, annuities, property, liability insurance, and social insurance (Social Security).

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts and principles of risk management
  • Compare and contrast the different health insurance options available to clients in the individual and group marketplaces
  • Differentiate among the various types of life insurance, including term and permanent insurance
  • Discuss principles of disability income insurance and its place in insurance planning
  • Discuss the principles of long-term care insurance and its place in insurance planning
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the different types and proper use of annuities in insurance planning
  • Identify the sources and uses of homeowners, property, and liability insurance for both personal and business uses
  • Identify the sources of identity theft, review a consumers credit report, and utilize debt management techniques
  • Demonstrate an understanding of social insurance programs such as the Social Security benefits system

HS 321 Fundamentals of Income Taxation

This course examines the federal income tax system with particular emphasis on the taxation of individuals. The topics covered in this course include the fundamentals of income taxation, the taxation of income generated from personal, professional, and investment related activities, deductions, credits, basis rules, depreciation, the taxation of capital assets, nontaxable exchanges, passive activity loss rules, the alternative minimum tax, and the taxation of business entities.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of federal income taxation
  • Compare and contrast the taxation of income generated from personal and investment activities
  • Explain the taxation of income and expenses generated from employment and profit-motivated activities
  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of deductions against adjusted gross income with emphasis on itemized deductions
  • Identify different types of tax credits and compare and contrast tax credits with tax deductions
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how basis is determined for purposes of determining taxable gains and losses, and also explain the purpose of cost recovery through various depreciation methods
  • Identify the tax advantages that certain types of business assets receive when compared to assets used for nonbusiness purposes
  • Explain how provisions in the tax code allow for tax avoidance and tax deferral through certain property exchanges
  • Explain the complexities of the passive activity loss rules along with the purpose of the alternative minimum tax system
  • Compare and contrast the tax consequences of distributions from business entities, such as partnerships, S corporations, and C corporations, to their respective owners

HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs

This course focuses on helping businesses and individuals plan for retirement. The topics covered in this course include asset accumulation and distribution planning, qualified pension plans, qualified plan setup, administration, and termination, profit sharing plans, stock bonus and employee stock ownership plans, IRAs, SEPS, SIMPLEs, 403(b) and 457 plans, deferred compensation and nonqualified plans, Social Security benefits, and employee benefits.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Analyze the factors affecting retirement planning, such as determining the remaining work life expectancy, retirement life expectancy, annual savings needed, and understanding investment considerations
  • Understand the fundamental principles of qualified plans
  • Compare and contrast the various types of qualified pension plans and determine which is the most appropriate given the needs and goals of an employer
  • Compare and contrast profit sharing plans, stock bonus plans, and ESOPs along with the advantages and limitations of each
  • Understand the tax treatment of distributions from qualified plans
  • Describe the steps involved to install a qualified plan, requirements needed to administer a plan, and what events would call for the termination of a plan
  • Discuss the advantages, limitations, and taxation of IRAs and SEPs
  • Compare and contrast SIMPLE, 403(b), and 457 retirement plans along with the advantages and limitations of each
  • Discuss the taxation of nonqualified plans and compare and contrast Social Security claiming strategies given the impact of taxation and other limitations that may apply
  • Compare and contrast employee fringe and group benefits along with the advantages and limitations of each

HS 328 Investments

In this course, students learn about the principles of investments and their application to financial planning. The topics covered in this course include an overview of securities laws and market structure, asset classifications, the taxation of investments, risk and return, portfolio theory, investment decisions and attributions analysis, market efficiency and behavioral finance, fixed income security analysis, equity security analysis and valuation, alternative investments, investment companies, and derivative securities.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Understand the institutional framework surrounding investments, categorize investments by asset class, and evaluate the impact of taxation
  • Measure investment returns using various methodologies and quantify risk within a statistical framework
  • Apply the modern portfolio theory framework to the task of assembling portfolios and evaluating their performance
  • Evaluate portfolio performance using attribution and ratio analysis, and identify cognitive and emotional biases exhibited by investors along with their consequences
  • Understand how fixed income securities function and explain their role in structuring a well-diversified investment portfolio
  • Compare and contrast the various types of equity securities and the different ways to invest in these securities
  • Evaluate the factors that can affect the performance expectations of equity securities
  • Identify the features of valuing securities using absolute and relative valuation models, and identify different types of alternative investments, including the risks and benefits associated with this asset class
  • Identify the features of investment companies and evaluate fund selection techniques
  • Compare and contrast the features of derivative securities including forwards, futures, and options contracts

HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning

This course covers various aspects of estate and gift tax planning, including the probate process, an overview of basic estate planning documents, types of property interests, transfer strategies during life and at death, the use of trusts, generation-skipping transfers, charitable giving, the use of life insurance in estate planning, special elections, and other post-mortem planning strategies.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the steps in the estate planning and probate processes
  • Identify and describe the basic estate planning documents along with the advantages and limitations of each
  • Compare and contrast the most common types of property titling along with the advantages and limitations of each
  • Understand and apply the fundaments of the gift tax system and respective planning strategies
  • Identify and classify different trust arrangements and explain the advantages and limitations of each
  • Compare and contrast advanced strategies that can be used either during the life or upon death of the client
  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of the generation-skipping transfer tax system and respective planning strategies
  • Compare and contrast advanced charitable planning strategies along with the advantages and limitations of each
  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of the estate tax and respective planning strategies, and explain the benefits of the unlimited marital deduction
  • Demonstrate the advantages of using life insurance in estate planning and explain the benefits of various post-mortem planning strategies

HS 333 Personal Financial Planning: Comprehensive Case Analysis

This course applies students' knowledge and skill set in personal financial planning techniques to a comprehensive case study. Students will integrate into a prioritized comprehensive financial plan core financial planning disciplines of:
  • Retirement
  • Investment
  • Risk management
  • Income tax
  • Employee benefits
  • General principles
    * Students are eligible to enroll in the capstone course (HS 333) after completing the first 6 courses of the curriculum in both the CFP and ChFC programs (HS 300, HS 311, HS 321, HS 326, HS 328, HS 330). HS 333 is a course designed to bring together elements from all of the previous foundation courses, and prepares students to synthesize and apply their knowledge of the financial planning process, insurance, taxation, investments, retirement, and estate planning through the delivery of a comprehensive financial plan.

HS 347 Contemporary Applications in Financial Planning

This course examines the unique challenges associated with estate planning; special needs; divorce; business succession; behavioral finance; financial plan development; and retirement planning. Up-to-date content and compelling case studies provide students with a complex yet comprehensive understanding of financial planning in these important areas.

HS 249 Pathway to the CFP

This course provides an overview of the financial planning profession that align with the Certified Financial Planner designation. These include the 7 steps in the financial planning process, approaches to the practice of financial planning, regulation of financial planners, and ethics and standards of professional conduct.


To receive a Huebner School designation (including ChFC®, CLF®, CLU®, RICP®, and WMCP®), you must successfully complete all courses in your selected program, meet experience requirements and ethics standards, and agree to comply with The American College Code of Ethics and Procedures. 


Three years of full-time business experience is required for all Huebner School designations. The three-year period must be within the five years preceding the date of the award. An undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited educational institution qualifies as one year of business experience. Part-time qualifying business experience is credited toward the three-year requirement on an hourly basis, with 2,000 hours representing the equivalent of one year full-time experience. The following activities meet the required business experience qualifications included in the certification process.

       Insurance and health care

  • Field underwriting and management, including sales and service activities, supervision and management of persons involved in sales or services, or staff support of persons in these activities.
  • Company management and operations in positions involving substantial responsibility.

       Financial services and employee benefits

  • Client service and related management, including direct contact with clients, supervision and management of persons involved directly in the process of providing financial services or employee benefits, or staff support of persons in these activities.
  • Financial institution management and operations in positions involving substantial responsibility.


  • University or college teaching of subjects related to the Huebner School curriculum on a full-time basis at an accredited institution of higher education.
  • Government regulatory service in a responsible administrative, supervisory, or operational capacity.
  • Activities directly or indirectly related to the protection, accumulation, conservation, or distribution of the economic value of human life; these include the work of actuaries, attorneys, CPAs, investment advisers, real estate investment advisers, stockbrokers, trust officers, or persons in other similar occupations.

Enhanced Online Learning: Webinar Classes Available

For select courses, a webinar study option is available for those who want a more familiar classroom feel as part of their student experience. Attend weekly classes online and ask questions in real-time. Many of these webinar classes come complete with smartphone- and tablet-ready material. 

See the Student Resources and Policies page for comprehensive details on refund policies, learning policies, recertification information, and more.

Because the ChFC® certification shares common courses with the CLU® and CFP® designations, you have the option to work towards multiple designations at once. View this chart to see how these courses overlap — and how you can earn multiple designations faster.

Program Faculty

Ross Riskin
Ross A. Riskin

Associate Professor of Taxation

CFP® and ChFC® Education Program Director

Larry R. Pike Chair for Insurance and Investments

Chair of the NextGen Advisory Task Force

Matt Goren
Matt Goren

Assistant Professor of Financial Planning 

Michale Finke Chief Academic Officer
Michael Finke

Professor of Wealth Management

WMCP® Program Director

Director for the Granum Center for Financial Security

Frank M. Engle Distinguished Chair in Economic Security

Adjunct Professor Steve Parrish
Steve Parrish

Adjunct Professor of Advanced Planning

Co-Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income

Professor Kevin Lynch
Kevin M. Lynch

Instructor of Insurance

Clark/Bardes Endowed Chair in Retirement Planning and Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation

Thomas M. Brinker, Jr.

Adjunct Professor of Taxation and Special Needs Planning

ChSNC® Program Director

Director of the MassMutual Center for Special Needs

Professor Sophia Duffy, Associate Dean
Sophia Duffy

Assistant Vice President and Director of Regulatory Compliance

Assistant Professor of Business Planning

Jarrett L. Davis Distinguished Professorship and Chair in Finance and Accounting Planning Technology

Professor Gerald Herbison
Gerald J. Herbison

Adjunct Professor of Leadership and Practice Management