Curriculum

Graduate Certificate - Financial Planning

Fundamentals

This course focuses on issues and concepts related to the overall financial planning process and establishing client-planner relationships. Students explore services provided to families, documentation required, and client and Certified Financial Planner™ licensee responsibilities. Students develop competencies for gathering of client data, determining goals and expectations, and assessing the client's financial status by analyzing and evaluating data. Emerging issues and the role of ethics in financial planning are an integral part of the course.

Core Courses

This course focuses on fundamentals of the estate planning process, including estate settlement, estate and gift taxes, property ownership and transfer, and powers of appointment. Students explore tools and techniques used in implementing an effective estate plan, ethical considerations in providing estate planning services, and new and emerging issues in the field. Students use case studies to gain experience in developing estate plans suitable for varied family forms.
This course is an in-depth study of risk management concepts, tools, and strategies for individuals and families. Students study life insurance, property and casualty insurance, liability insurance, accident insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, long-term care insurance, and government-subsidized programs. Students discuss current and emerging issues as well as ethical consideration in relation to risk management. Case studies provide experience in selecting insurance products suitable for individuals and families.
This course is an in-depth study of investment options for families and includes a look at common stocks, fixed income securities, convertible securities, and related choices. Students study relationship between investment options and employee/employer benefit plan choices. Integral to the course is students examining current and emerging issues and ethics.
This course focuses on in-depth information of income tax practices and procedures including tax regulations, tax return preparation, the tax audit process, the appeals process, preparation for an administrative or judicial forum, and ethical considerations of taxation. Students learn new and emerging issues related to taxation. Family and individual case studies provide students practice in applying and analyzing tax information and recommending appropriate tax strategies.
This course covers micro and macro considerations in retirement planning for individuals and families. Content includes a survey of various types of retirement plans, ethical consideration in providing retirement planning services, assessing and forecasting financial needs in retirement, integration of retirement plans with government benefits, and current research and theory in the field. Case studies provide students experience in retirement planning needs analysis.

Capstone Course

All other courses in the program must be completed as a prerequisite for enrolling in this course. Integrating both theoretical and applied concepts to a comprehensive personal financial plan and several smaller case studies, students illustrate their understanding of ethical considerations, regulation and certification requirements, written communication skills, presentation of technical issues, and professional responsibility.
Program Summary
Cost per credit hour:

2023-2024: $600
2024-2025: $610
Learn more about Tuition and Cost

Average time to complete:
Master's degree: 25 months
Graduate certificates: 16 months

36 Hours


18 Hours


18 Hours

University Contact
These campus coordinators can help you navigate Great Plains IDEA. Click on the university name to learn more about how Great Plains IDEA works at that campus. Iowa State Online
M.J. Kabaci
Stacy Duffield
Rae Ann Montgomery
Sarah (Heewon) Kim
Lisa King
University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

Hannah Adame's headshotAs a full-time high school Ag teacher, FFA Advisor, and two-sport coach, I excelled in the flexibility and structure of the Great Plains IDEA program. This program has allowed me to balance my school workload with my profession and responsibilities at the school. I have also benefited from the ability to apply what I am learning to my classroom and have shared my teaching experiences with classmates to create an integrated, immersive learning experience for others and myself.

– – Hannah Adame, Family and Consumer Sciences Education Graduate,
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