Illinois 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

  1. Professional Conduct and Regulation (E.g. Consumer protection laws, financial institutions, CFP Board practice standards)
  2. General Principles of Financial Planning (E.g. Cash flow, financing strategies, debt management)
  3. Education Planning (E.g. Financial aid, gift/income
  1. tax strategies, education financing)
  2. Insurance Planning (E.g. Principles of risk and insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, life insurance)
  3. Investment Planning (E.g. Portfolio development, measures of investment returns, risk, strategies)
  4. Tax Planning (E.g. Fundamental tax law, alternative minimum tax, tax reduction and management methods)
  5. Retirement Savings and Income Planning (E.g. Retirement needs analysis, Medicaid, regulations, social security and Medicare)
  6. 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

  1. Professional Financial Planning Practice
  2. Investments and Capital Accumulation
  3. Benefits, Compensation and Retirement
  4. Trusts, Gifts, and Estates
  5. Financial Planning Process
  6. 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

  1. Corporate Finance
  2. Financial Institutions, Money, Markets
  3. Financial Statement Analysis
  4. Risk Management
  5. 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.

Admission Information

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

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