United States Financial Planning Graduate Schools
Graduate Financial Planning Schools look at current financial technologies and how to effectively manage a financial services team. Participants could learn how to analyze, advise, strategize and apply financial theory to help individual clients meet their financial and retirement goals.
What Degrees Do Graduate Financial Planning Schools Offer?
Students could look for Graduate Financial Planning Schools to earn a Masters or PhD, and some universities may offer certificates as well. A graduate degree in financial planning could be a savvy investment for those who seek advancement in this niche field.i
Masters in Financial Planning programs frequently offer coursework to help students prepare to take the Certified Financial Planner exam. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Certifications can enhance a personal financial advisor’s reputation and can help bring in new clients.” i PhD programs, by comparison, usually involve in-depth research to further new knowledge in financial and retirement planning.
What Are CFP Schools?
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) schools are usually registered with the CFP Board. The financial planning graduate programs these schools offer could help prepare students for the CFP exam through a curriculum geared toward CFP standards.
To use the title “Certified Financial Planner”, students need to take and successfully pass this exam, and meet other requirements. The exam assesses participants’ ability to integrate and apply financial planning concepts in the context of real time situations.
The 8 principal areas of the CFP education blueprintii
- Professional Conduct and Regulation (E.g. Consumer protection laws, financial institutions, CFP Board practice standards)
- General Principles of Financial Planning (E.g. Cash flow, financing strategies, debt management)
- Education Planning (E.g. Financial aid, gift/income
- tax strategies, education financing)
- Insurance Planning (E.g. Principles of risk and insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, life insurance)
- Investment Planning (E.g. Portfolio development, measures of investment returns, risk, strategies)
- Tax Planning (E.g. Fundamental tax law, alternative minimum tax, tax reduction and management methods)
- Retirement Savings and Income Planning (E.g. Retirement needs analysis, Medicaid, regulations, social security and Medicare)
- Estate Planning (E.g. Marital deduction, postmortem estate planning, strategies to transfer properties)
Masters in Financial Planning Schools
Schools with Masters in Financial Planning degree programs may offer a variety of program choices. Some discuss the greater impact of finance while others focus more narrowly on client-financial planner relations and how to build investment portfolios. Read course lists to help steer you to a program and school that line up with your career goals.
Master of Science in Financial Planning
A Master of Science in Financial Planning (MSFP) program could help students fine tune skills in analysis as they study to prepare to sit for the CFP exam. Participants may be exposed to key financial planning courses and electives that aim to foster both broad and deep knowledge.
In some grad schools with MSFP programs, students are required to complete 30 credits and a capstone project. The capstone often has participants develop a financial plan for a hypothetical client.
Of the 30 credits (variable) 18 could be devoted to a financial planning core, and the remainder to FP electives.
6 MSFP core courses
- Professional Financial Planning Practice
- Investments and Capital Accumulation
- Benefits, Compensation and Retirement
- Trusts, Gifts, and Estates
- Financial Planning Process
- Federal Taxation of Income
Grad students could then use electives to tailor their MSFP program to their professional interests. For instance, a course in Investment Vehicles could provide insight into how to match things like life insurance policies and exchange funds with client goals, risk management, portfolio realignment and tax efficiency.
Other electives could include a for-credit internship where students could integrate prior classroom study with the real-world practice of professional employment. Usually, students need to write some type of documentory that details their experience.
Master of Science in Finance – Financial Planning
Financial planning is a sub-discipline within the wider context of finance, and this is usually how a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree is oriented. Students might be exposed to key financial principles in tandem with specific courses about the financial planning processes.
In some schools, a MSF curriculum requires students to complete 36 credits, the bulk of which are devoted to a compulsory core, and the rest, to a chosen emphasis. A final project frequently has students conduct research around an organizational issue where they come up with solutions to enhance its financial performance.
Graduates of a MSF program could develop an ability to use and interpret financial and other data to make business decisions that are both ethical and compliant. Students might also learn how to effectively communicate and compose clear financial reports.
5 core MSF topics
- Corporate Finance
- Financial Institutions, Money, Markets
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Risk Management
- Investment Theory and Practice
MSF in Investment Management: A focus in investment management could help students gain the knowledge to raise and manage capital for institutions or individuals. Investment Management classes could include Investing and Security Analysis, Global Investments, and Options and Future Markets.
MSF in Financial Planning: A focus in financial planning could help students meet academic requirements needed to sit for the CFP exam. Coursework might highlight the skills needed to develop financial plans, evaluate the appropriate principles, concepts, and frameworks for financial decision making.
Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning
A Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is often a concise set of a few graduate level classes in a single topic that could take less time than a full degree.
One example is the MPFP® Certificate at partner school, Bentley University. A Master Personal Financial Planner (MPFP®) Certificate might provide a firm foundation in financial planning topics, concepts and practice for students who already have a bachelors degree.
Each financial planning graduate school sets its own standards for admission. To more smoothly apply, check these details out well in advance and get your documents together.
To apply into a masters degree program in financial planning and services, students must first obtain a bachelors degree. It is not always necessary to have a bachelors degree in finance, but some programs may have this or other prerequisites.
PhD programs may admit students with a bachelors degree and/or graduate degree. In some cases, students might need to match their research interests with the university’s faculty.
Along with a completed application which includes transcripts and fee, applicants may need to submit GRE scores, a personal essay, resume and letters of recommendation.
Why Earn a Financial Planning Graduate Degree on Campus?
Today, many Graduate Financial Planning Schools offer courses in the evenings for the benefit of at-work and busy students. Campus programs could thus bring students into contact with other professionals and peers.
This interaction could be very useful, especially if students derive more confidence and an ability to network. Networking is a skill that could help a Financial Planner meet new clients.
DID YOU KNOW?
“Many personal financial advisors spend a lot of time marketing their services, and they meet potential clients by giving seminars or participating in business and social networking.”iii
Apply to a Financial Planning Graduate School
Find Graduate Financial Planning Schools by location and/or degree level. These filters could set you up with a list of partner programs that you could easily apply to right away. Use the on-page form to get started now.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm#tab-4 | [ii] cfp.net/become-a-cfp-professional/2015-job-task-analysis/2015-principal-knowledge-topics | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm#tab-2
- Purchase, NYPurchase, NY
"Financial leaders are needed on both Wall Street and Main Street. We will get you to your destination. "...
- Waltham, MAWaltham, MA
Master of Science and Advanced Certificate in Financial Planning...
- Bryn Mawr, PABryn Mawr, PA
American College, The
For those financial services professionals whose goal is to maintain the highest level of technical knowledge and practical application in serving the...
- Demorest, GADemorest, GA
The Master of Business Administration offers two specialty tracks: Managerial Leadership and Financial Services. Prospects are accepted from business...
- Cleveland, OHCleveland, OH
- New Rochelle, NYNew Rochelle, NY
Designed to prepare students for careers in operations of a Financial Services organization...
- Ames, IAAmes, IA
Iowa State University
On-line curriculum; program consists of 42 semester credit hours for the MFCS-family financial planning; or 18 credits for the family financial planni...
- Atlanta, GAAtlanta, GA
Georgia State University
- South Orange, NJSouth Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University
MS program focuses on one specific field requiring the support of "re-tooled" managers with updated skills and information in their respective areas.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
Metropolitan College Of New York
A 1 year, 45 credit degree program, with a built in study abroad component.
- Rockville Centre, NYRockville Centre, NY
Molloy College offers you the opportunity to study and explore - in-depth - the exciting world of business today.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
Designed for post-graduates who want to stay current, handle new responsibilities, or qualify for licensing and certificates...
- Lubbock, TXLubbock, TX
Texas Tech University
The Masters program in Family Financial Planning is accredited by the Board of Standards for Certified Financial Planners (BSCFP).
- Washington, DCWashington, DC
The George Washington University
Please see program description...
- Fullerton, CAFullerton, CA
California State University, Fullerton
- Bozeman, MTBozeman, MT
Montana State University - Bozeman
The school offers an online M.S. in Family Financial Planning through a consortium with 5 other universities.
- Albany, NYAlbany, NY
College of Saint Rose
The Advanced Financial Planning Certificate is intended for graduate students interested in personal...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
This certificate program has been established to meet the need for trained professionals who are able to plan, assess and evaluate a clientÆs financia...
- Daytona Beach, FLDaytona Beach, FL
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
This program can help you develop your expertise in this growing field and tap into the potential of this lucrative industry.
- Williamsburg, VAWilliamsburg, VA
College of William and Mary
The goal of public policy education at William & Mary is to provide individuals with the intellectual tools needed to improve the quality of policy making in the United States and abroad.
- Oxnard, CAOxnard, CA
California Lutheran University
This award-winning program benefits all professionals who already have their CFP and who still need to obtain their CFP.
- Thousand Oaks, CA
- Woodland Hills, CA
- Madison, NJMadison, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
The program is a six course, 14 month program and is the oldest, largest and most successful university-based program in NJ.