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Chartered Life Underwriter®

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Best For

Professionals with clients who need holistic insurance and risk planning.


<15 Months


Study the curriculum at your own pace, engage through virtual office hours, and receive support from the nation’s preeminent retirement planning thought leaders. Learn about Personal Pathway®.

100% Virtual


Starting at  

Five-course package available for $3,795

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Experience the CLU® Program

Life Insurance Expertise for Strategic Applications

Join Associate Professor of Insurance and Program Director David F. Pierce, MSFS, MSM, MA, AEP®, CLF®, ChFC®, CLU® along with program alum Jason Austell, MSFS, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CASL®, RICP®, AEP®, CAP®, ChSNC® for a video tour of the CLU® Program.

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Admissions Requirements

There are no prerequisite courses required to begin the CLU® Program, and no admissions requirements other than a high school diploma or the equivalent. Three years of experience in financial planning or a related profession are required to use the designation.

To receive the CLU® designation, you must:
1. Successfully complete the five required courses
2. Agree to comply with The American College Code of Ethics and Procedures

Participation in the annual Professional Recertification Program (PRP) is required to maintain the designation.

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Tuition & Scholarships

Program tuition can be paid on a per-course basis or packaged together at a reduced rate. Tuition covers your course fees, final exam, and course materials, including:

  • Downloadable, easy-to-follow content
  • Video lectures and expert interviews
  • Practice exams and assessment questions

Individual course: $925 
3-Course package: $2,495
5-Course package: $3,795

Scholarship opportunities for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their spouses, African American financial professionals, women, and other qualifying groups are available. Discover scholarship opportunities.  

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What You'll Learn

Life insurance is a vital part of holistic financial planning for both individuals and businesses, with its application as a key part of goal-based planning, business continuity, employee benefits, and estate planning. The CLU® Program offers an in-depth understanding of the practical, legal, and ethical aspects of life insurance and its techniques and tools.

Your learning outcomes for why life insurance is important include:

  • In-depth knowledge of life insurance concepts and law within the context of overall risk management
  • The necessary knowledge to help clients address their estate planning needs
  • An understanding of solutions that address the life insurance needs of business owners and professionals, including key person and related employee benefits
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Course Delivery

An Industry Gold Standard for nearly 100 years, experience the five-course curriculum at your own pace, engage through virtual office hours, and welcome support from the nation’s preeminent insurance planning thought leaders and our academic advising team. Learn why life insurance is important and the aspects of various insurance plans.

There are four required courses and one elective course (choose from five options) in the CLU® Program.

Unique program features include:

  • Elite faculty of nationally recognized academics, researchers, and practitioners
  • Comprehensive curriculum without knowledge gaps — supports a current, best-interest approach to life insurance planning
  • Personal Pathway® learning model is available for the full program
  • Modern e-learning with dynamic presentations and graphics, practice exams, and knowledge checks to both engage and help you retain the material
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Why Become a CLU®


Of CLU® designees indicate an improved ability to meet client needs.1


Of CLU® designees say their designation improves client conversations.1


Of advisors with a designation like the CLU® earn more than peers without one.1

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The CLU® is Right For You If:

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You Seek Credibility with Clients

Receive Practical, Legal, and Ethical Knowledge

Gain an in-depth understanding of life insurance's intricacies and applications to meet client goals in financial planning, estate planning, business continuity, key person, and related employee benefits.

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You Seek Academic Excellence

Experience The Gold Standard for Life Insurance

For nearly 100 years, the CLU® designation has been the top choice for financial professionals seeking knowledge on how to become and succeed as a professional utilizing life insurance as part of a holistic strategy or plan.

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You Want Recognition Among the Elite

Join a Peer Group of Planners Committed to Excellence

The CLU® Program has produced a powerful network of peers — with over 113,000 designees serving as life insurance planning specialists.

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Inside the CLU® Program

HS 323 The Tools and Techniques of Life Insurance Planning

Focuses on life insurance policies and annuities and their use in financial planning.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand individual insurance products
  • Examine the organization, operations, and investments of insurance companies
  • Determine how to advise based on client need  
  • Have a better understanding of insurance reserves regulation
  • Integrate tools and strategies for annuities

HS 324 Legal Aspects of Life Insurance

Examines legal rights and obligations of the policy owner and the insurance company.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Cover legal aspects of life insurance, including basic principles of contract law
  • Help the client with beneficiary designations and disposition of proceeds  
  • Understand policy provisions and the incontestable clause
  • Have a better understanding of assignments, ownership rights, and creditor rights
  • Examine the law of agency
  • Address unique aspects of advertising and privacy issues 

HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning

Provides a basic understanding of the estate and gift tax system.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand various aspects of estate and gift tax planning
  • Navigate transfers of property, either by trusts, wills, or power of appointment, and the use of the marital deduction
  • Determine valuation of assets and use of buy/sell agreements
  • Understand ethical standards
  • Qualify clients with interviews and fact finders
  • Develop personal estate plans

HS 331 Planning for Business Owners and Professionals

Covers tax and legal aspects of organizing a business while also providing a basic understanding of the estate and gift tax system.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand compensation planning for the business owner
  • Covers various aspects of business succession planning
  • Navigate estate planning and estate freezing techniques
  • Determine valuation of assets and use of buy/sell agreements
  • Understand the lifetime disposition of a business interest

HS 300 Fundamentals of Financial Planning (ELECTIVE)

Provides an overview of the financial planning process.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the analytical tools that aid in financial decision-making
  • Cover ethics and communication techniques
  • Develop education plans and funding  
  • Understand time-value-of-money concepts
  • Have a better understanding of financial planning applications
  • Examine regulatory issues
  • Address unique legal and economic environment for financial planning

HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning (ELECTIVE)

Focuses on the role of planning for risk management needs.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand fundamental principles of risk management
  • Cover principles of insurance
  • Evaluate risks in human capital, liability, and property along with financial wealth 

HS 321 Income Taxation (ELECTIVE)

Examines the federal income tax system with emphasis on the taxation of individuals.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand gross income and exclusions from gross income
  • Distinguish between deductions and tax credits
  • Calculate capital gains and losses
  • Examine taxation on life insurance and annuities
  • Address entity taxation of partnerships, LLCs, corporations, and proprietorships

HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs (ELECTIVE)

Strategies for selecting the right retirement plan for businesses and individuals.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Examine unique regulations for qualified plans, SEPs, SIMPLEs, and 403(b) plans
  • Understand nonqualified deferred-compensation plans
  • Choose the best retirement plan, especially for the small business, as well as design a plan that meets a client’s needs
  • Examine individual retirement planning techniques, including IRAs and Roth IRAs, Social
  • Security benefits, saving for retirement, and retirement plan distributions

HS 328 Investments (ELECTIVE)

Covers the principles of investing and their application to financial planning.

This knowledge will help you:

  • Evaluate risk analysis using risk and return computations
  • Reduce risk exposure through diversification
  • Understand the nature of securities markets and investment companies
  • Examine issues in the practice of portfolio management
  • Understand expected returns for various investments and tax issues in investing
  • See examples of ethical and practical investment considerations
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Anyone in the business should make the educational investment to obtain the CLU® designation. The coursework and curriculum were illuminating.

Joshua Golzalez, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®

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The program improved my understanding of the financial planning challenges people face every day and the financial solutions they need at all life stages. My experience with the program was a rewarding one: the curriculum was well-designed with relevant and insightful content; and the digital capabilities offered me convenience.

Andrew McGuire, CPA, CLU®


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Structured or Flexible? You Decide

Personal Pathway®

You get to decide which learning model works best for you. Choose from a more structured study path guiding you from week to week or a flexible learning format allowing you to study at your own pace and potentially take your exam faster.

Learn More
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Learn From the Who's Who of Life Insurance Planning

David F. Pierce

MSFS, MSM, MA, AEP®, CLF®, ChFC®, CLU®, Certified Financial Fiduciary®

Assistant Professor of Insurance, CLU® Program Director, O. Alfred Granum Chair in Practice Management

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Sophia Duffy

Sophia Duffy


Associate Professor of Business Planning

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James Karthaus


Assistant Professor of Financial Planning, CFP® Certification Education and ChFC® Programs

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Mark McLennon


Adjunct Professor of Business Planning

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Steve Parrish


Professor of Practice and a Scholar in Residence at the McGuire Center for Ethics

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Paul Wetmore

Paul Wetmore


Adjunct Professor of Insurance

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Frank Summers

Frank Summers


Adjunct Professor of Insurance

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There’s Even More to Explore

Download the Brochure

Read more about the CLU®

Access the Program Demo

Hear from a peer, a professor, and take a tour

Get Your Questions Answered

Visit our FAQ for on-the-spot answers

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CLU® Program FAQs

The Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) has been the industry gold standard for almost 100 years. It has stood the test of time and will continue to do so by remaining dynamic and relevant to the financial challenges of today.

The reimagined CLU® has been updated and enhanced in two ways.

Program requirements – As of April 4, 2022, the CLU® moved from an 8-course program to a more streamlined 5-course program. This provides students with a renewed focus on the topics and concepts needed to effectively navigate today’s insurance landscape.

Personal Pathway® curriculum revisions – Since we introduced the Personal Pathway® delivery model in June of 2020, students have been requesting that the core CLU® courses be redesigned as well. We are happy to announce that, as of July of 2022, students have been able to enroll in newly redesigned Personal Pathway® versions of the core CLU courses!

The revised and updated curriculum blends very well with our other dedicated credentials in retirement, wealth management, special needs, philanthropy, and financial planning. In addition, CLU® Alumni research confirms the quality of the CLU® Program and credential have been favorably enhanced with a renewed focus on the relevance of life insurance.

CLU® students will receive timely information, taught by top industry thought leaders that will be readily applicable to their clients. The reimagined CLU® focuses on the strategic application of life insurance and other tools, as a unique risk management device, at every phase of financial planning.  From income protection to tax favored wealth accumulation to estate conservation, and other complex planning concepts in trust, the CLU® curriculum is robust, thorough, and will prepare advisors for any challenge they meet in the field. 

Yes! If you have already earned the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®), Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®), or Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC®) designations, you will receive credit for the elective in the reimagined CLU®. Conversely, once you have earned your CLU®, you will have two courses that can be applied to your ChFC® or CFP® Certification Education Program studies.

For those holding the CFP® certification, it’s easy to transfer your existing credit to our programs and enable an accelerated path to CLU®. By filling out our Transfer of Credit (TOC) form, students may complete the CLU® Program with only three courses: HS 323, HS 324, and HS 331. You can complete the TOC form in My Learning Hub.

While The College’s CLU®, ChFC®, and CFP® Certification Education Programs offer different educational outcomes and areas of specialization, shared courses make it easy to grow in expertise and work toward completing multiple programs at once. The three programs share several common core courses, and all electives available in the CLU® Program are also part of the CFP® Certification Education Program and ChFC® Program. By earning the CLU® designation, you are six courses away from earning your ChFC® and five courses away from completing the CFP® Certification Education Program. Use this comparison chart to learn more about how you can expand your opportunities most efficiently.


1 The American College of Financial Services Designation Outcomes Study. 2017.