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Financial Planning, MS

Program at a Glance

Program

Financial Planning, MS

Format

Online, Hybrid

Total Units

30

Requirements

No GMAT or
GRE Required

Summer ’24 Early Application Deadline

March 17

Program Overview

Become a financial planner, investment adviser, or money manager who helps clients reach their life goals. GGU graduates are ethical problem-solvers that have all the educational requirements necessary for the premier Certified Financial Planner™ designation or CFP™ examination. Faculty are experienced practitioners in their fields who will also teach you relationship-building skills that will give your clients a better outcome. GGU also offers a 100% online option to accommodate students with busy lives.

This degree is designed for students who aspire to become financial planners, investment advisers, or money managers, or who may be interested in one of the many elements of this broad and rapidly-growing field. By pursuing a financial planning education at Golden Gate University, students will move into the 21st century equipped with the latest skills, with appropriate professional credentials, and with advanced academic degrees. This course of study also satisfies the educational requirements necessary for the premier Certified Financial Planner™ designation.

Skills to Improve the Lives of Your Clients

The work of the financial planner is best viewed through a “quality of life” lens: How can one assist one’s clients in achieving their life goals and realizing their dreams? There are important technical issues to be addressed: What tax structure is best suited for my client? What asset allocation provides the desired risk/return profile?

Many of the critical questions have to do with the kind of life the client envisions, and how the client’s emotional and psychological predispositions facilitate or obstruct the development of successful financial plans. It is the overarching objective of the Master of Science in Financial Planning to ensure that our graduates have both the technical skills and the relationship skills needed to create and deliver financial strategies that will support their clients’ progress towards their most important life goals.

Online courses allow students to pursue a strictly online financial planning degree. Students can apply for admission, sign up for classes, communicate with professors and other students, and access all course information online at any time. This allows you to study financial planning from the comfort of your home, rather than having to find a financial planning school nearby that fits in your schedule.

Admission Requirements

  • 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.

Proficiency Requirements

Math Proficiency

Intermediate Algebra (Math 20); See Graduate Mathematics Proficiency Requirement for more information.

Writing Proficiency

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.

Curriculum

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the master of financial planning degree program will possess:

  • The skills and knowledge of financial planning that are represented in the full range of topics covered by the CFP™ examination.
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to maintain successful client relationships and to work effectively with colleagues, individually or in teams.
  • The quantitative, analytical, and technical skills needed to address complex financial situations.
  • The ability to apply their knowledge to real-world problems in financial planning.
  • Knowledge of the legal and regulatory environment in which financial planning occurs and familiarity with relevant licensing, reporting, and compliance requirements.
  • The ability to recognize the ethical dilemmas that may arise in financial planning practice and familiarity with appropriate responses to those dilemmas, as reflected in the CFP™ Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.
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