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Master of Science in Financial Planning

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Best For

Financial advisors and practice leaders seeking planning mastery skills.


14 Months


The College’s MSFP Program is 100% virtual other than required residencies. Learn more below.



Starting at $1995/course

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Experience the MSFP Program

Planning Mastery for Practice Leaders

Watch how this applied master’s degree program delivers unique value to professionals seeking to deliver the highest level of client service and develops masters in financial planning.

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Admissions Requirements

Prerequisites for this program include an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.

With a completed application, you will also submit a current resume and an unofficial transcript from the accredited institution that awarded your bachelor’s degree.

To receive the MSFP, you must:

  • Successfully complete 10 courses, four core residency and six concentration courses
    • Online courses are conducted asynchronously 
    • Live class sessions meet on campus in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 
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Tuition & Scholarships

Program tuition can be paid on a per-course basis. Tuition covers your course fees, final exam, and course materials.

Individual course: $1995

Scholarship opportunities for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their spouses, African American financial professionals, women, and other qualifying groups are available. Discover scholarship opportunities

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What You'll Learn

Earning a master’s degree expands your career options. It is beneficial for anyone considering an executive-level position. Whether you’re looking to work in financial planning or another specialization, the level of detail in MSFP courses will help your career.

The MSFP Program’s deep focus on a personal financial planning concentration also has four core residency courses that meet on campus, which allows you to start and end with a residency course.

Your learning outcomes include:

  • Actionable insights in tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning, education planning, and investment planning principles
  • Securities concepts that include t-bills, bonds, debentures, common and preferred shares, equities, and financial derivatives
  • Business succession planning strategies to achieve strategic business initiatives
  • Insurance and estate planning document evaluation, such as wills and trusts
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Course Delivery

Timing: Complete the hybrid program in 14 months. The curriculum includes online classes plus mandatory residency for core courses.

Unique program features include:

  • Specialized graduate-level coursework for a strong foundation in financial planning principles using sound, ethical, business practices
  • Comprehensive curriculum without knowledge gaps 
  • Elite faculty of nationally-recognized academics, researchers, and practitioners 
  • Modern e-learning with dynamic presentations and graphics, practice exams, and knowledge checks to both engage and help you retain the material 
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Why Earn a MSFP


Of consumers cited a financial advisor’s level of education as one of the top three characteristics they seek. Commit to advanced knowledge now.1


Of Americans want financial advice but aren’t sure where to get it. Be the resource they need.2


Of high-net-worth investors are looking for trust and estate planning. Is it a gap in your knowledge?3

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The MSFP is Right For You If:

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You Seek Credibility with Clients and Prospects

Deepen Your Acumen in Financial Planning

Specialize in key business concepts to develop the personal financial planning acumen that adds a new level of value to your client relationships.

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You’re Just Getting Started on Your Planning Journey

Experience Financial Planning and Its Application

The MSFP Program’s path supports financial analysts and associate advisors on their path to earn the CFP® certification.

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You’re Seeking Deeper Knowledge and Expertise

Experience Advanced Financial Planning and Its Application

Courses focus on current, top-of-mind issues that concern your clients.

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Inside the MSFP Program

MSFP 551 Intro of Financial Planning — Residency I

Introduces the broad scope of financial planning as it relates to personal goals and values as well as its role in the financial services industry.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the concepts of the financial planning process, the economic environment,  the time value of money, the legal environment, financial analysis, and ethical and professional considerations in financial planning
  • Examine careers in financial services, management of personal financial statements, time-value-of-money analysis, and calculator/computer applications
  • Evaluate insurance, Social Security, home-buying strategies, education funding techniques, investments, retirement planning, income tax, estate planning, and financial psychology

MSFP 559 Fund. of Estate Planning — Residency I

Presents an overview of the application of estate planning methodologies and policies to personal financial planning. Introduces estate planning tools and strategies to assist clients in developing, maintaining, and transferring wealth.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand professional role differences between financial advisors, CPAs, and estate-planning attorneys 
  • Evaluate gift and estate taxation and ownership of personal and real property issues 
  • Examine wills, letters of last instructions, and trusts and discuss trustees/personal representatives, their fiduciary responsibilities, and probate strategies
  • Evaluate implications for individuals, general/limited partnerships, closely held businesses, and corporations
  • Discuss life insurance funding, post-mortem planning, and creative estate planning strategies consistent with client goals and values along with charitable giving strategies

MSFP 536 Behavioral Finance — Residency II

Provides an overview of behavioral finance research and theory and how those apply to client-advisor relationships.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the theory of rational choice and see examples where people deviate from making a “rational decision”
  • Explore the effects of human emotions on financial decisions and the financial planning process
  • Learn how to use behavioral biases to help improve your client’s financial well-being

MSFP 650 Capstone Case Development—Residency II

Applies student knowledge and skill set in personal financial planning techniques to a comprehensive fact pattern.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Develop and integrate core financial planning disciplines for retirement, investment, risk management, and employee benefits
  • Better understand integrated analysis, data, and presentations

MSFP 554 Income Taxation

Explores the strategies used by financial planners to help clients achieve greater tax efficiency.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss income tax concepts and calculations and income tax research methods
  • Understand gross income realization, exclusions and deductions, passive activities, and alternative minimum tax
  • Evaluate tax considerations of business forms, taxable and non-taxable property transactions, compensation planning, family tax planning, audit risk, and dealing with the IRS

MSFP 555 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning

Introduces the application of insurance planning and evaluates risk exposure, legal aspects of insurance, and policy analysis for property and liability along with life and health, employee benefits, social insurance, insurance regulation, and principles of insurance taxation.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Understand career issues, contractual and agency legal issues, and insurance distribution systems (including the internet)
  • Evaluate insurers, personal risk assessment, risk strategies, and alternative risk transfer approaches
  • Discuss life insurance programming and product analysis, key-person insurance, business continuing applications, and life insurance use in income and estate tax planning
  • Cover other insurance products (e.g., health, disability, general liability, property, and casualty)
  • Analyze HMOs, group insurance plans, workers compensation, relevant aspects of social security, negligence issues, errors & omissions policies, and professional ethics

MSFP 557 Retirement Planning

Covers retirement planning and employee benefits while addressing accumulation and distribution phases along with various types of retirement plans.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Explore employer-provided retirement plans (pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus, ESOP, 401(k), 403(b), 457, SEP and SIMPLE plans as well as nonqualified deferred-compensation and stock option plans, Social Security, and IRAs
  • Evaluate employer medical plans, group term life and disability insurance plans, cafeteria plans, and flexible spending plans 
  • Explore the advantages and disadvantages of various types of plans and provide an understanding and skills necessary to assess the costs and benefit of such plans from a client’s perspective, whether they are employers or employees
  • Evaluate client-specific goals, identify key issues, and recommend appropriate solution

MSFP 558 Investment Planning

Provides two major areas of investment planning: security analysis and portfolio management.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Examine financial markets; the concept of risk/return; modern portfolio theory that includes market efficiency and behavioral finance; integrate investor objectives and their risk tolerance; asset allocation decisions; and performance evaluation
  • Examine security selection and timing of financial and real securities; selection and trading of common stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds; issues concerning macroeconomics, industry and sector analysis; alternate (qualitative and quantitative) methods of valuation; timing of buy/sell decisions portfolio hedging; and alternative investments

MSFP 615 Advanced Estate Management/Planned Giving

Presents an overview of basic gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax law and tax computation processes.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss the ownership and taxation of transfers of property during a lifetime and at death in addition to marital, charitable giving, and life insurance planning
  • Understand family business entity planning and buy/sell agreements 

MSFP 631 Advanced Retirement Planning Issues

Examines current issues relevant to helping clients save for retirement savings and ensure adequate retirement income that lasts throughout a lifetime.

Upon completion of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Focus on retirement savings issues, including the retirement savings crisis, determining retirement needs, motivating clients to save, and maximizing savings through tax strategies
  • Address the issue of choosing an appropriate income strategy and also when to claim Social Security benefits
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Learn From the Who's Who of Financial Planning

Chia-Li Chien


Associate Provost, Undergraduate & Graduate Programs
Associate Professor, Succession Planning

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Timothy Belber


Adjunct Professor of Estate Planning
Charles E. Drimal Estate Planning Professorship

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Russell DeLibero

Russell DeLibero

PhD, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®

Adjunct Professor

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Sophia Duffy

Sophia Duffy


Associate Professor of Business Planning

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Michael Finke

Michael Finke


Professor of Wealth Management, WMCP® Program Director, Director for the Granum Center for Financial Security, Frank M. Engle Distinguished Chair in Economic Security

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Jason E. Heller


Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Finance in the MSFP® Program
Professor in the CLF® Program

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Jim Petersen


Roger Hull/James S. Bingay Chair of Leadership, Chartered Leadership Fellow (CLF) Program Director

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Robert Steen

Robert Steen


Adjunct Professor of Financial Planning

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Kimberly Turner


Adjunct Professor of Financial Planning

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Jeffrey Hatchman


Adjunct Professor of Estate Planning

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There’s Even More to Explore

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Read more about the MSFP

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Know what a College education entails


1 The American College of Financial Services Financial Security Consumer Study. 2022.

2 Study conducted online by the The Harris Poll and disseminated via intelliflo. March 2, 2022.

3 PwC HNW Investor Survey. 2022.