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Master’s in Personal Financial Planning

Online Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning

The Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning is designed for individuals who are interested in pursuing their CFP® certification while also earning a graduate degree. This one-of-a-kind program utilizes our industry-leading study materials, but in an entirely new way. Rather than exam preparation, the Master of Science (MS) curriculum focuses on practical application.  MS students learn via group discussions, writing assignments, and case study projects. This hands-on approach provides students with a deeper understanding of the subject matter and unique real-world insights.

The program begins with the core disciplines of financial planning before exploring advanced topic areas that delve deeper into these topics and more. Upon completion of the five core courses and a case study course, students are eligible to sit for the national CFP® exam. In only four more courses you can earn a fully accredited Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning, the highest level of financial education possible.

Program at a Glance

Flexible, Online Format

The MS-PFP program requires a total of 30 credit hours. It consists of 10 courses that are worth three credit-hours each. Eight of the courses are required while two of the courses are electives. 

 

Course content is delivered through an innovative online format to give you the flexibility to achieve your next education goals.


Sit for the CFP® Exam

As a CFP Board-approved master’s program in personal financial planning, our graduate degree fulfills the education requirements for CFP® certification.

 

To sit for the national CFP® certification examination, the first five courses of our 10 course program and the final case study must be completed. 

Stackable Credit

If you have already completed your required education for CFP® certification through the College, you may qualify for up to 15 hours of transfer credit toward the Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning program, which could put you halfway toward earning your master’s degree.

Graduates of certain professional designation programs offered through the College may also qualify for transfer credit.

 

Learn more about stackable credit that may apply.

Personal Financial Planning Program Details

Program Curriculum

The Master of Science degree program in Personal Financial Planning is tailored for financial planners who are interested in expanding their knowledge beyond typical financial licensing and credentials. The curriculum is based on a client-centered, problem-solving method using case studies to give you a hands-on approach to the material.

A minimum of nine (9) credits must be eared in Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning degree coursework with the College for Financial Planning. You must complete 30 semester credits with a minimum 3.00 grade point average to complete the program.

Your studies will emphasize the traditional areas of financial planning and then expand into specialized instruction. Students even have the opportunity to pursue specialized certificates in portfolio management, retirement planning, or estate planning.

To sit for the national CFP® certification examination, the first five courses of our 10 course program and the final case study must be completed. 

Course Sessions

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility as you pursue your Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning online.

  • Courses are 8 weeks long.
  • A minimum of 135 hours of study per course is recommended (approximately 17 hours per week).

 2021
Fall Term I
2021
Fall Term II
2022
Spring Term I
2022
Spring Term II
2022
Spring Term III
Starts OnAug 16Oct 25Jan 10March 3June 6
(Term dates)(8/16/21 to 10/10/21)(10/25/21 to 12/19/21)(1/10/22 to 3/6/22) (3/21/22 to 5/15/22)(6/6/22 to 7/31/22)

Required Courses for the MS-PFP Program

The program consists of ten (10 courses) comprised of:

  • Eight (8) required courses and
  • Two (2) elective courses

The eight required courses include:

This course covers the introduction to financial planning as well as insurance needs of clients. The planning process is introduced utilizing a case study and crafting necessary documents. Another couple is introduced in the second week to review their college funding plan then principles of insurance and risk management are covered. This course applies the concepts of a variety of insurance needs to the financial planning process through readings, discussions, and assignments using mini case studies. Disability income, long-term care, life, and property & life insurance topics are specifically explored throughout this course.

A wide variety of investment alternatives are covered in this course, including domestic and foreign securities, mutual funds, and fixed-income assets. Modern portfolio theory, risk and return, and company valuation are explored and calculated. A financial calculator is required for this course.

Emphasizing the fundamentals of individual income taxation, this course delves into the tax implications of various types of businesses, tax-advantaged investments, employee compensation issues and planning, alternative minimum tax, tax traps, and other taxation subjects.

This course covers the major concepts related to personal retirement planning. The focus is on coordinating qualified plans and IRAs, Social Security, executive retirement plans and pre-retirement employee benefits to create comprehensive retirement plans that will provide your clients with long-term financial security. Special emphasis is placed on the process of selecting an appropriate retirement plan for a given employer.

Basic estate planning concepts and techniques are covered in this course. Subjects such as the estate planning process, client interaction about estate planning, basic legal estate planning documents, trusts, lifetime transfers, gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer taxation, life insurance planning, and charitable giving.

By analyzing retirement plan issues for a hypothetical couple planning to retire within 15 to 20 years, students analyze a wide range of issues facing individuals preparing for retirement. The course also presents a variety of methods to better assist clients in resolving the issues that may be faced when preparing for or after retirement.

The investment planning process between a financial planner and a client is covered in detail. The course covers the theory of investment management, security valuation, and portfolio management, including the analysis of investment risk and return and portfolio performance evaluation. The course exposes the student to a balanced presentation of both the theoretical and practical aspects of investment management through analysis of a case study.

This course completes a student’s requirements for the Masters of Science in Personal Financial Planning degree through analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating a case study. Addressed are integrated retirement, investment, income tax, and estate planning issues. Utilizing independent or literature research, students research and create options and a final recommendation for a hypothetical family.

Elective Courses for the MS-PFP Program

The program consists of ten (10 courses) comprised of:

  • Eight (8) required courses and
  • Two (2) elective courses

Students choose from the following elective courses:

This course covers economic issues relevant to financial planners, including monetary and fiscal policies, economic growth, international trade, currency exchange, and investment decisions. The relevance and use of a variety of economic indicators are also covered.

This course explores behavioral finance and its impact on creating portfolios. Various biases are explored and then applied to real-world case studies. Also explored is the psychology of money, money scripts and disorders, and how past experiences can impact how people view and handle money on a day to day basis.

This course provides students with a strong background in the application of income tax concepts, calculations, and planning techniques specific to middle and higher-income taxpayers.

This course examines selected issues related to estate planning in a case study-driven format. These include both tax and non-tax aspects of planning for disability and death. Short-answer questions on hypothetical situations are on the weekly assignments.

The Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM or CRPC® Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

The Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM or CRPS® Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

The Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM or AWMA® Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

The Accredited Portfolio Management AdvisorSM or APMA® Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

The Chartered SRI CounselorSM or CSRIC® Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-hour elective course in the MS program.

The Accredited Behavioral Finance ProfessionalSM  or ABFPSM Designation Program is graduate-level and can be used as a 3-credit elective course in the MS program.

This course examines current, unique, and/or advanced topics in financial planning. The culmination of this course will be a well-researched paper.

Tuition and Fees

Application Fee: $35

Tuition: Tuition for each course in the program is $1,400.00 

For more information on the Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning fill out the form below

Application Process

  1. Submit a completed Graduate Degree Application with non-refundable application fee
  2. Order official transcripts directly from the college/university where the undergraduate degree was earned and have it sent directly to the Registrar’s Office. Transcripts submitted to the College from the student will not be accepted. 

College for Financial Planning
Attn: Office of the Registrar
9000 E. Nichols Ave Suite 200
Centennial, CO 80112
Registrar@cffp.edu

 

Please note:

If your native language is not English and/or your post-secondary education was completed from a school outside the U.S., you must demonstrate English language proficiency by achieving a minimum score of 85 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. The College for Financial Planning code assigned by the test provider (ETS) for reporting TOEFL scores is 7126. You must identify the College using this code on the day the test is taken or submit a follow-up request. Score reports must be received by the College directly from the ETS test provider. For more information, visit the TOEFL test website at www.ets.org/toefl.
If you attended an institution outside the U.S. you are required to obtain a comprehensive equivalency report for educational purposes from an approved third party evaluation agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). A list of approved agencies may be found on the NACES website at www.NACES.org.

Evaluation reports must be received by the College directly from the evaluation agency. Student copies are not accepted. If you are petitioning for review of potential transfer credit, a course-by-course evaluation needs to be completed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office for review. If you are not petitioning for transfer credit a document-by-document evaluation is sufficient.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning

Unlike most other programs and courses, grades for the MS program are not solely based upon final examinations. Instead, students are graded on a variety of scheduled assignments, research projects, papers, group discussions, and examinations.

A complete listing of all graduate degree program grading policies may be found in the  Graduate Degree Program Student Handbook.

Completing the Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning requires a total of 30 credit hours. It consists of 10 courses that are worth three credit-hours each. Eight of the courses are required while two of the courses are electives. 

There are five Master of Science Degree Program course sessions held each year. Classes begin roughly every 10 weeks. The classes last for eight weeks each, and there is a two-week break between classes.

Students currently enrolled in a program offered by the College for Financial Planning® - a Kaplan Company can view academic policies in our Academic Catalog

The Master of Science Degree in Financial Planning is an accredited program by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Full details can be found on the HLC website. This degree program is also approved as an education requirement by the Certified Financial Planner (CFP)* board for those looking to sit for their CFP Certification.

*The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP), is a Washington, D.C.-based independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to benefit the public by granting, upholding and promoting the Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) certification.

Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning requires the following:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • The equivalent bachelor's and/or graduate degree from a foreign Institution*

A complete listing of all graduate degree requirements may be found in our Academic Catalog available here.

The MPAS® is a unique designation available only to graduates of the College’s Master of Science Degree Program in Personal Financial Planning. It is ideal for individuals who are employed at firms that exclusively reimburse for designations and certifications. 

Upon graduation, you can apply for the designation at any time. There is no charge to initially obtain the designation; however, designees must complete renewal requirements every two years to maintain it. A detailed list of the requirements can be found on our designation renewal page.

Refunds are calculated for students in accordance with the refund policy. The full program policy can be found here.

There are multiple programs and courses that may be eligible for transfer credit into the Master of Science Degree Program in Personal Financial Planning:

  • Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor,  APMA® 
  • Accredited Wealth Management Advisor, AWMA®
  • Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, CRPC® 
  • Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist, CRPS® 
  • Chartered SRI Counselor, CSRIC™
  • College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company CFP® education program

For more information on transfer credit please view our Academic Catalog on our policies and forms page for details.

Interested in a Master of Science in Financial Analysis?

The College for Financial Planning®a Kaplan Company offers a Master of Science in Financial Analysis (MSFA) online program. Coursework is aligned to the the learning outcomes of the CFA Institute's CFA Program, helping concurrently prepared candidates for the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) exam. 

Learn More