School of Continuing Education
& Professional Development

About the CFP Program

Our program's courses are taught by financial service professionals who provide current information in a variety of financial planning areas. Individuals who successfully complete our program will fulfill the CFP Board 270 contact hour minimum education requirement and become eligible to sit for the CFP® Certification Exam.

Course modules in the CFP program include:

  • General Principles (38 hours)
  • Insurance Planning (38 hours)
  • Investment Planning (38 hours)
  • Income Tax Planning (38 hours)
  • Retirement Planning (38 hours)
  • Estate Planning (38 hours)
  • Capstone (45 hours)

Additional Information

General Principles of Financial Planning 38 Contact Hours
This course is designed to introduce students to the financial planning process. The course focuses on the general principles required to become a successful financial planner which include the ethics of the profession as well as the knowledge and skills required to prepare a financial plan.

Insurance Planning 38 Contact Hours
This course is designed to acquaint students with the principles of risk management and various types of insurance including casualty, fire, health, life, auto, home, disability. The principles taught prepare students to identify a client's risk exposure and select appropriate risk management techniques.

Investment Planning 38 Contact Hours
This course introduces the wide variety of investment vehicles that may be included in a client's portfolio. Topics include client assessment, tax considerations, economic factors, valuation methods, asset allocation techniques, portfolio performance evaluation and more.

Tax Planning 38 Contact Hours 
This course emphasizes the fundamentals of individual income taxation, the tax implications of various types of businesses, tax-advantaged investments, employee compensation issues and planning, alternative minimum tax, tax traps and more. 

Retirement Planning 38 Contact Hours 
This course provides a complete overview of retirement planning including retirement savings need analysis, qualified retirement plan design, Social Security, Medicare and more. In addition, group life, health and disability insurance; non-qualified deferred compensation; and other commonly provided employee benefits are examined. 

Estate Planning 38 Contact Hours 
This course covers planning and managing federal estate and gift tax planning and opportunities. The perspectives of a variety of parties are considered including heirs, fiduciaries, estates, trusts, beneficiaries, donors and donees. Topics include asset valuation, estate tax deductions, exemptions and credits. Significant time is given to the transfer of amount at death and the dispositive tools available to clients. 

Capstone 45 Contact Hours 
This course builds upon the material in courses. Emphasis is on the applications of financial planning concepts in an integrated planning environment. This "capstone-like" course utilizes case studies and mini-cases to tie together the various disciplines studied in the individual prior courses into a comprehensive financial planning process.

Zahn Associates, Inc.
In partnership with Miami Dade College-School of Continuing Education and Professional Development, Zahn Associates, Inc. assists with quality educational resources to financial professionals to enhance their journey to become a CFP® professional.

Glenn Downing has been involved in teaching the CFP® curriculum since 2006. He attended Ken Zahn’s live review in November of 2005 and has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional since 2006. He has taken seven academic cohorts through all seven modules of the education certification curriculum and been an instructor for various classes at Fidelity and TD Ameritrade in Dallas, the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, and Edward Jones in Raleigh. He also began teaching Live Review classes in 2019. Glenn is a founder and principal of CameronDowning Inc. a Registered Investment Adviser in Florida. In addition to his personal financial planning practice and CFP® instruction, he is a Board Member Emeritus of the Financial Planning Association of Miami, and a Board Member of the Estate Planning Council of Miami. He has been working in the financial services industry since moving to Florida in 1997.

Jim Benedek, JD, MBA, CFP®, CLU has been in the financial services industry for thirty years. He has worked for major financial institutions in the trusts and estates area. He has used his expertise in estate planning and financial planning to develop significant trust and investment management business. He currently has his own consulting practice where he works primarily with financial advisors and helps them build their business through trust administrative services.

There are no formal admission requirements to register for the MDC Certified Financial Planner™ Certification Education Program but students should have acquired knowledge in accounting, financial calculator protocol, finance, and economics through extensive education and professional work experience.

Candidates are required to have the following completed before obtaining the CFP® certification:

Bachelor's Degree
A bachelor's degree (or higher), or its equivalent, in any discipline, from an accredited college or university is required to attain CFP® certification. The bachelor's degree requirement is a condition of initial certification; it is not a requirement to be eligible to take the CFP® Certification Examination. After you pass the CFP® Certification Examination, you will be required to provide evidence (official transcript from the degree-granting institution) that you hold a qualified bachelor's degree or higher degree.

You have five years from the date you pass the CFP® certification examination to satisfy the bachelor's degree and work experience requirements. If you have not reported to CFP Board your attainment of an acceptable bachelor's degree or higher within this time frame, your candidacy for CFP® certification may be terminated. A one-time, three year extension may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Complete the Education Requirement
MDC's Certified Financial Planner™ Certification Education Program is a CFP Board-Registered Program. Our curriculum fulfills the CFP Board's 270 contact hour minimum education requirement. Individuals who complete our course will be eligible to sit for the CFP® Certification Exam.

Challenge Status: To challenge the educational requirement, candidates must hold a specific academic degree or professional credential accepted by the CFP Board and complete the Capstone course through the education program.

Transcript Review: Certain industry credentials recognized by CFP Board, or the successful completion of upper-division level college courses, may satisfy some or all of the education requirement set by CFP Board.

Pass the CFP® Certification Examination
The CFP® Certification Examination tests your ability to integrate and apply a broad base of financial planning knowledge in the context of real life financial planning situations. The CFP® Certification Exam is administered in a computer-based testing (CBT) format during three 5-day testing windows each year, with one testing window available each March, July and November. The exam is comprised of 170 multiple-choice questions, including stand-alone questions and sets of questions associated with short scenarios or more lengthy case histories. To register for the exam, complete the online application.

Meet the Experience Requirement

3 Year Option: A total of three years full time qualifying experience, or the equivalent 6,000 hours, is required to satisfy the 3 year Experience Requirement.

Qualifying experience for CFP® Certification must satisfy a two-part requirement.

2 Year Apprenticeship Option: CFP Board's Experience requirement may be satisfied by completing two years full-time, or the equivalent 4,000 hours of Apprenticeship Experience.

Qualifying experience for the CFP® Certification must satisfy a three-part requirement.

CFP® professionals agree to adhere to the high standards of ethics and practice outline in CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct and to acknowledge CFP Board's right to enforce them through its Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. When you have completed the education, examination, and experience components of the CFP® certification process, you will be directed to complete a CFP® Certification Application on which you will need to disclose information about your background, including your involvement in any criminal, civil, governmental, or self-regulatory agency proceeding by your employer or firm. CFP Board conducts a detailed background check for all candidates, including review of any disclosures made on the CFP® Certification Application. Matters that may or will bar you from obtaining certification are investigated in accordance with CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Authorization to use the CFP® marks will not be approved until the background check and any investigations are concluded successfully.

Schedule of upcoming courses (PDF)

Modules $850 per module*
Capstone: $950
$5,800 for the program (including $250 discount)

*Fees include National Underwriter Textbook and Zahn Supplemental Workbook.