Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning

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Course Description: The Master of Science Degree Program in Personal Financial Planning is an accredited MS program offered via the College’s online education platform. 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 program begins with the six core disciplines of financial planning before exploring advanced topic areas that go beyond traditional education programs.

What benefits does the Master of Science Degree Program in Personal Financial Planning offer?

  • Graduates of the College’s Master of Science Degree programs report a 25% average increase in earnings after completing the program.
  • Competitive pricing. You can earn a graduate degree for less than $15,000.
  • All course content is based upon real-world scenarios and case studies.
  • Develop real-world critical thinking skills that you can immediately apply in your day to day occupation.
  • The program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Receive transfer credit from the CFP Certification Professional Education Program and other professional designations like the CRPC®, CRPS®, APMA® and AWMA®.
  • Study on your own time from anywhere in the world.
  • Learn from industry expert professors via interactive forums, video lectures, and case study projects.
  • An opportunity to obtain the MPAS® designation upon completion of the program
  • Military Friendly for current and former military personnel

"When I needed to contact instructors for additional clarification I found each experience to be helpful, effective, and enriching. The classroom discussions were informative because of  lively and enthusiastic participation by classmates and instructors. The program took me out of my comfort zone into relatively uncharted waters, gave me the tools and confidence to explore the topics, and  inspired me to use critical thinking both in and out of the classroom." – Terri A.

Course Details

Why Enroll?

How does the Master of Science Degree Program in Personal Financial Planning work?

The Master of Science program is delivered via a state-of-the-art asynchronous learning platform. This means that you can pursue your degree from anywhere in the world and study when it’s convenient for you. Your studies will revolve around real-world scenarios and cases with a focus on research and critical thinking skills. Our industry practitioner professors will help guide your progress via weekly assignments, research projects, and forum-style group discussions.


The program consists of ten 3-hours courses. Classes are held five times per year with sessions beginning every January, March, June, August, and October. Each course is eight weeks with a two-week break between classes.

Core Courses:

These are only required for students who are not currently CFP® Certificants or not interested in becoming one.


If you are interested in obtaining the CFP® Certification, we recommend enrolling into the CFP Certification Professional Education Program and transferring the credit into the Master of Science program. Upon doing this, you will receive credit for all of the core courses and will begin with the Advanced Courses.

  • PFPL510: Financial Planning Process & Insurance

    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.

  • PFPL520: Investment Planning

    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.

  • PFPL530: Income Tax Planning

    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.

  • PFPL540: Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits

    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.

  • PFPL550: Estate Planning

    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.

Students receive a Graduate Certificate in Personal Financial Planning

upon completion of PFPL510 – PFPL550

Advanced Courses:

  • PFPL560: Pre-retirement Financial Planning Topics

    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.

  • PFPL570: Portfolio Management for Personal Financial Planners

    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.

Choose 2 Elective Courses:

  • PFPL522: Behavioral Finance

    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.

  • PFPL524: Sustainable & Impact Investing for Financial Planners

    This course provides a unique introduction to the basics of impact, sustainable, worldview, and socially responsible (SRI) investing for financial planners and other investment professionals. Study is enhanced through a unique blend of instruction and a variety of real life case studies. In addition, the latest trends in this industry and effective communication to clients of your expertise in these investments are covered.

  • PFPL536: Applied Tax Planning

    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.

  • PFPL556: Applied Estate Planning

    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.

  • PFPL582: Retirement Planning Strategies (CRPC® Program)

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

  • PFPL583: Retirement Plan Studies (CRPS® Program)

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

  • PFPL584: Wealth Management Strategies (AWMA® Program)

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

  • PFPL585: Principles of Portfolio Management (APMA® Program)

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

  • PFPL592: Current Issues in Financial Planning

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

  • ECON532: Economics for Financial Planners

    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.

Final Case Study:

  • PFPL600: Case Study in Personal Financial Planning

    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.


The curriculum is based on a client-centered, problem-solving method using case studies to give you a hands-on approach to the material. The College’s highly qualified faculty is available via telephone or e-mail to support you in your studies.

Policies & Procedures:

A complete list of requirements, testing information, and the College’s complete list of Policies & Procedures can be found here.

Masters Program Start Dates:

The next Master’s sessions will be offered during the following dates. Each course is roughly 8 weeks with a 2-week break between sessions.

Start Date:

End Date:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Start Date:

End Date:

Monday, January 8, 2018

Thursday, March 4, 2018

Start Date:

End Date:

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Visit the College Calendar

Enrollment Process

Course Details

How do I enroll in the program?

To enroll in the program, click the “enroll now” button. You will be prompted to create an account and apply for the program. During the application process you will be given instructions related to your previous transcripts and potential transfer credits. Upon completion of the application process you will be able to enroll in your first course via the College’s eCampus.


Alternatively you can fill out and submit a printable application:


This form can be used to request transcripts from any previous institutions you may have attended:


All questions regarding the program or the application process can be answered by our enrollment specialists at 1-800-237-9990 x 3.

Enroll Now!

Download a printable application

Program Pricing:

Each 3 Credit Hour Course:



The College has a wide variety of program scholarships available. Visit our Scholarships Page for more information.


Enrollment Process

Master Planner Advanced StudiesSM

or MPAS® Professional Designation

Offered exclusively to graduates of our Master of Science Degree Program in Personal Financial Planning, the MPAS® designation is the most advanced professional designation in the financial services industry.


The MPAS® Designation is the College’s only completely graduate-level credential and focuses specifically on real world application for current practitioners.

Why choose the College’s MPAS® Graduate Designation?

  • The only entirely graduate-level financial credential in the industry
  • Advanced real-world studies that go above and beyond other certifications and designations
  • A focus on critical thinking skills with research-based coursework
  • Earn both a designation and a graduate degree while qualifying for reimbursement
  • An opportunity to bolster your own academic credentials

How do I earn the MPAS®?

The MPAS® is available to graduates of the College’s Master of Science Degree Program in Personal Financial Planning. Upon graduation, you can apply for the designation at any time.


There is no charge to initially obtain the designation; however, designees must complete three renewal requirements every two years. A detailed list of the requirements can be found on our designation renewal page.

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CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, and CFP (with flame logo)® are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. The College for Financial Planning does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM or CFP (with flame logo)® certification marks. CFP® certification is granted only by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to those persons who, in addition to completing an education requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met its ethics, experience, and examination requirements. Earnings amounts and increases cited relate to individuals already employed in the financial services industry.  They do not constitute guarantees of future results.


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