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  •  30 Total Units

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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.


Core Courses — 6 units

FI 430
Business Development in Financial Services
FI 434
Cases in Financial Planning

Concentrations — 24 units

Students choose one of the following concentrations for 24 units:
  • Estate Planning
  • Financial Life Planning
  • Taxation



Graduates of the MS in Advanced Financial Planning program will demonstrate the following skills and capabilities:
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to maintain successful client relationship 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 principles of managing a financial planning practice.
  • Knowledge of the legal and regulatory environment in which financial planning occurs and familiarity with relevant licensing, reporting and compliance requirements.
Graduates with a concentration in Financial Life Planning will demonstrate the following skills and capabilities:
  • Advanced interviewing skills for uncovering client history, vision, and values.
  • Identify specific client behavioral biases and heuristics and adapt advice accordingly.
  • Advanced coaching skills for helping clients affect positive change and achieve goals.
  • Apply research on client trust and relationship commitment to develop and sustain highly-functional client relationships.
  • Apply research on the impact of money scripts to facilitate better financial health for clients.
Graduates with a concentration in Taxation or Estate Planning will demonstrate the following skills and capabilities:
  • Knowledge of essential tax principles and doctrines, including, but not limited to the following; and be able to critically apply these principles to practical situations:
    • Common law
    • Claim of right
    • Assignment of income
    • Realization
    • Constructive receipt
    • Related party transactions
    • Gross income
    • Tax benefit rule
  • The ability to identify tax issues, to research these issues, and to communicate effectively the results orally and in writing

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Featured Alumni

Derek Elrod

Derek Elrod, CFP®

MS, Advanced Financial Planning candidate

RB Capital Management

Career Retrospective

Dr. Dave Yeske CFP® is the Program Director for Financial Planning who received a major award from a national industry association.
Watch the video hihglighting his accomplishments.