Program at a Glance
Advanced Financial Planning, MS
No GMAT or
Summer ’24 Early Application Deadline
The Master of Science in Advanced Financial Planning is an innovative degree designed for financial planners who have already passed the CFP® examination and who wish to reinforce key planning skills and increase their expertise in the critical areas of either taxation, estate planning, or financial life planning skills, while adding the weight of a master’s degree to their professional credentials.
GGU’s financial planning program permits students to build on their CFP® background and move directly into advanced study in their chosen field. This degree program is particularly well-suited for more experienced planners who aim to take their careers to a higher level.
The financial life planning concentration was designed and is taught by many of the founders of the field, while the taxation and estate planning concentrations are co-taught with the nationally known Bruce F. Braden School of Taxation.
- Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the equivalent from a recognized foreign (outside the US) institution, and provide official transcripts.
- Master’s degree holders only need to submit transcripts from previous graduate programs. However, applicants are encouraged to submit all transcripts to maximize transfer credit.
- Applicants whose native language is not English must meet the English Language Proficiency Admission Requirements.
- Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 2.50 should submit a statement of purpose and a resume.
The statement of purpose should address the circumstances that may have led the applicants to poor academic performance, what had changed and why they think they’ll be successful now.
- Applicants for the Advanced Financial Planning program must submit documentation showing that they have already passed the CFP examination.
Students are expected to possess proficiency in writing to ensure they can be successful in their course of study. Students may meet this requirement by satisfying one of the screening criteria listed under Graduate Writing Proficiency Requirement.
Waiver of Proficiency Requirements
The standard proficiency requirements above for the MS in Financial Planning will be waived for students who have completed the GGU Financial Planning Graduate Certificate within the last two years. In their place, the student is required to submit an official transcript of a completed undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited university of an English speaking country, and to have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0. The student’s transcript from the certificate program will also be considered in the admissions decision.
The Master of Science in Advanced Financial Planning requires a total of 30 units, including 6 units of core courses and 24 units of concentration courses.
Students may declare concentrations when they have completed the coursework required for their desired concentrations, or after the “Last Day to Drop Course without Tuition Charge” (per the Academic Calendar) for their final terms, if they will be able to complete their concentrations in their final terms.
To be eligible to declare concentrations, students must have already completed the required concentration coursework, or be able to complete it in their final terms without requiring waivers, substitutions, or directed study courses, unless they are approved in advance by the department chair, program director, or dean.
Students may declare up to two concentrations in a given degree program. Students seeking to declare more than two concentrations will be required to appeal to the dean or vice president of academic affairs for approval. Students’ diplomas will list the concentrations that they had successfully completed at the time their degrees were conferred. Students may not declare additional concentrations after their degrees have been conferred.
A structured graduate concentration program designed to prepare CFP-certificated students for a career in Estate planning and gift taxation. The concentration in Estate Planning gives CFP® students an intimate knowledge of estate law, such as lifetime gifting, marital deduction planning, and alternate forms of wealth transfer. In addition to estate planning, graduates with this concentration learn about dealing with the financial aspects of individual retirement plans and the laws surrounding taxation of trusts and estates as well as the interpersonal skills needed when dealing with such sensitive issues as estate planning and personal finance.Required Courses – 18 Units
Take two courses (6 units) of 300- or 400-level FI prefix courses.
Financial planning has the power to transform lives for the better and much of that power is found in the personal, internal realm. Research in psychology and behavioral finance has given us insights into what it takes to facilitate positive change in clients’ lives. This is the new frontier for financial planners and our innovative, research-based program is designed to equip you with the tools necessary to become an effective change agent in your clients’ lives. You will survey the landscape and meet the innovators who have been developing the tools and perspectives of financial life planning over the past 20 years. From financial therapy, to coaching skills, positive psychology, therapeutic interviewing, and behavioral finance, you’ll expand your knowledge and gain the ability to apply these powerful insights to your work with clients.Required Courses – 15 Units
Take three courses (9 units) of 300- or 400-level FI or PSYCH prefix courses.
A customizable graduate degree concentration designed to prepare CFP-certificated students for success in taxation.
Students who undertake the concentration in taxation will gain expert knowledge of taxation practices and policies. Paired with tax courses are a number of finance classes, which will provide students with a solid base in financial analysis and planning. Paired together, these course offerings allow graduates a firm grasp of both finance and taxes, so that they can implement a financial plan and understand exactly how taxation factors into all the varied aspects.Required Courses – 12 Units
Finance Electives — 6 Units
Take any two courses (6 units) 300- or 400-level FI prefix courses.
Tax Elective – 3 Units
Any course with a TA prefix.
General Elective — 3 Units
Any 300- or 400- level course.