•  Online
  •  Hybrid
  •  30 Total Units

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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.

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.


  • 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.



FI 420
Personal Financial Planning
FI 421
Personal Investment Management
FI 422
Retirement & Employee Benefits Planning
FI 425
Income Tax Planning
FI 426
Estate Planning
FI 483
Risk Management & Insurance Planning

And one of the following:

FI 434
Cases in Financial Planning
FI 450
Practicum in Financial Planning

Take three 300- or 400-level graduate courses with FI prefixes (or other graduate course with program director's approval). Courses appropriate for careers in financial planning include:

FI 305
Financial Reporting & Analysis
FI 307
Financial Modeling
FI 344
Equity Analysis
FI 346
Derivative Markets
FI 350
Portfolio Management
FI 352
Technical Analysis of Securities
FI 360
Behavioral Finance
FI 424
Facilitating Financial Health
FI 430
Business Development in Financial Services
FI 448
Introduction to Financial Life Planning
FI 449
Coaching Skills for Financial Planners
FI 450
Practicum in Financial Planning
FI 460
Real Estate
FI 463
Real Estate Finance & Investment
FI 497
Internship in Finance
FI 498A-ZZ
Selected Topics in Finance

NOTE: Students who satisfy their electives by taking FI 424, FI 448, and FI 449, will also satisfy the course requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Financial Life Planning.

For the most up-to-date program information and course listings, visit GGU's catalog.



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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Jason J. Cotcher

Jason J. Cotcher

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Donald De Santis


Adjunct Professor
Golden Gate University
Clifton Larson Allen, LLP

Career Retrospective Dr. Dave Yeske

Dr. Yeske CFP®, Program Director for Financial Planning programs, is nationally recognized in his field.