Financial counseling and planning

Financial counseling and planning

This curriculum prepares students for professional work related to financial counseling and planning (FCP). FCP is a growing career field and appeals to students who want to impact the lives of individuals and families through the complex process of financial decision making by providing advice on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement.

The financial and counseling undergraduate program at Iowa State University (ISU) is the only program of its kind offered in Iowa. Graduates of the program are prepared for employment in organizations committed to improving the financial capability of individuals and families.

  • research
  • private practice
  • law firms
  • extension and outreach services
  • credit and debt repayment agencies
  • banks and credit unions
  • financial planning firms
  • military financial counselor contracts
  • government agencies

Careers and internships

As a graduate of the financial counseling and planning program, you are well-prepared to guide clients in developing successful strategies to achieve your financial goals and to support clients as you work through your financial challenges and opportunities.  You are also able to pursue advanced educational options in graduate programs.

Graduate programs in HDFS

Career services
Prepare for your next job or internship with Career Services, where staff help you with job and internship searches, interview preparation, and resume/cover letter reviews.

Look at a list of career possibilities inside the financial counseling and planning industry.

Internships are available with various companies and firms. For more information, visit our careers and internship page.

To apply for internships and full-time positions, use CyHire, on-campus career fairs, career services, and talk to your internship (field experience) coordinator: Carolyn Steckelberg.

See where other students have interned. Visit Career Connections.

Program information

The Financial Counseling and Planning program is a CFP Board-Registered Program that meets specific criteria for educating individuals who wish to fulfill the education component for obtaining CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) certification. Earning the CFP® professional designation prepares you to be a more accomplished and effective adviser by providing the knowledge, credibility and expertise needed to set you apart.

The Financial Counseling and Planning program is also an AFCPE® Approved Education Program which offers students the opportunity to earn their Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) certification that enhances their degree and marks the highest standard of excellence in the field of financial counseling and education.

Financial counseling and planning

Curriculum requirements
2020-21 catalog requirements
General education selections

4-year plans
2020-21 sample 4-year plan

View class syllabi

Did you know?

According to the Department of Labor, employment in financial counseling and planning is projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026 – much faster than the average for other occupations.


Financial Counseling Clinic

Our department has the first-in-the-nation campus Financial Counseling Clinic. Students have the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning experiences in the Financial Counseling Laboratory and field experience. FCP students also have the option to complete the Financial Planning Capstone, which offers a real-world experience that prepares students to guide clients through life-cycle financial education to help them realize their goals and achieve lasting financial well-being.

Get involved

Study abroad programs

Are you considering a study abroad opportunity to broaden your educational perspectives and personal view of the world? We hope so! 

The HDFS department offers various international opportunities through the College of Human Sciences International Programs office.