Master of Science in Family Financial Planning

| Requirements | Course Descriptions | Tentative Course Rotation |
| Certified Financial Planner |

The Family Financial Planning Program offers a Master of Science degree in Family Financial Planning. Most students take three years to complete the masters program, taking one or two courses a semester. In addition, OSU offers a Graduate Certificate in Family Financial Planning. This 18 credit-hour graduate certificate program in Family Financial Planning is comprised of courses from the master's program and is designed for students who only want graduate coursework that meets the educational requirement to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination. At Oklahoma State University, students are concurrently admitted to both the Graduate Certificate program and the Master of Science program when they apply for graduate study in Family Financial Planning.

While engaging in the Family Financial Planning master's program or certificate program, you will:

  • Enhance your personal financial knowledge
  • Complete a master’s degree or graduate certificate from a major, accredited university
  • Develop competencies that will allow you to sit for the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) exam
  • Have a flexible schedule to meet your busy lifestyle

Master of Science Degree in Family Financial Planning

The Family Financial Planning (FFP) program consists of 36 credit hours. Currently, all courses are taught at least once each year. The FFP Certificate program consists of 18 credit hours and those courses are indicated below by an *.

Core Courses (30 hours)

  • HS 5303 - Fundamentals of Family Financial Planning
  • HS 5333 - Theories and Research in Family Financial Planning I
  • HS 5353 - Financial Counseling for Family Financial Planning
  • *HS 5403 - Estate Planning for Families
  • *HS 5453 - Retirement Planning, Employee Benefits & the Family
  • *HS 5553 - Insurance Planning for Families
  • *HS 5603 - Investing for the Family’s Future
  • *HS 5653 - Personal Income Tax for Family Financial Planning
  • *HS 5803 - Case Studies in Family Financial Planning
  • HS 5240 - Master’s Creative Component (Practicum)

* Certificate program required courses.

Elective Courses (6 hours) - Select two courses from the below list.

  • DHM 5503 - Housing and Real Estate for Family Financial Planning
  • HS 5343 - Theories and Research in Family Financial Planning II
  • HS 5483 - Military Family Financial Planning
  • HS 5703 - Professional Practices in Family Financial Planning
  • REMS 5953 - Statistical Methods in Education

Course Descriptions:

HDFS 5303 - Fundamentals of Family Financial Planning.
The nature and functioning of financial systems, including currencies, markets, monetary and fiscal policy, and supply and demand for land, labor and capital. Focus on the impact of global financial interdependence on individuals and families in the U.S. Current and emerging issues, as well as current research and theory relative to financial systems. Web-based instruction.

HS 5333 - Theories and Research in Family Financial Planning I.
Introduction of the social science of family finances. Focus on theories of family functioning, microeconomic theory related to family resource allocation decisions, the family as an economic unit, and the interaction of economy and families. Web-based instruction.

HS 5353 - Financial Counseling for Family Financial Planning.
Theory and research regarding the interactive process between client and practioner, including communication techniques, motivation and esteem building, counseling environment, ethics, and data intake, verification, and analysis. Legal issues, compensation, technology to identify resources, information management and current or emerging issues.

HS 5403 - Estate Planning for Families.*
Fundamentals of estate planning process, estate settlement, estate and gift taxes, property ownership and transfer, and powers of appointment. Tools and techniques in implementing effective estate plan, ethical considerations in providing estate planning services, new and emerging issues in the field. Experience with case studies in developing estate plans for varied family forms.

HS 5453 - Retirement Planning, Employee Benefits and the Family.*
Study of micro and macro considerations for retirement, planning. Survey of various types of retirement plans, ethical considerations in providing retirement planning services, assessing and forecasting financial needs in retirement and integration of retirement plans with government benefits.

HS 5553 - Insurance Planning for Families.*
Study of risk management concepts, tools, and strategies for individuals and families, casualty insurance; liability insurance; accident, disability, health, and long-term care insurance; and government-subsidized programs. Current and emerging issues and ethical considerations. Relationships between investment options and employee/employer benefit plan choices.

HS 5603 - Investing for the Family’s Future.*
Evaluation of investment markets for the household. Analysis of how families choose where to put their savings. Using the family’s overall financial and economic goals to help make informed decisions about which investments to choose.

HS 5653 - Personal Income Tax for Family Financial Planning.*
Information on income tax practices and procedures including tax regulations, tax return preparation, tax audit processes, appeals process, preparation for an administrative or judicial forum and ethical considerations of taxation. New emerging issues related to taxation. Family and individual case studies practice in applying and analyzing information and recommending appropriate tax information and recommending appropriate tax strategies.

HS 5803 - Case Studies in Family Financial Planning.*
Prerequisites: 5303, 5403, 5453, 5553, 5603, 5653 or consent of adviser. Professional issues in financial planning including ethical considerations, regulation and certification requirements, communication skills, and professional responsibility. Utilization of skills obtained in other courses and work experiences in the completion of personal finance case studies, the development of a targeted investment policy, and other related financial planning assignments.

HS 5240 - Creative Component.
Prerequisite: consent of associate dean. An in-depth application of theoretical models and philosophies related to area of specialization.


DHM 5503 - Housing and Real Estate for Family Financial Planning.
Overview of the role of housing and real estate in financial planning process from a theoretical perspective. Taxation, legal aspects, mortgages, and financial calculations related to home ownership and real estate investments. New and emerging issues in the context of housing and real estate. Role of ethics in financial planning including housing and real estate.
HS 5343 - Theories and Research in Family Financial Planning II.
Prerequisite(s):  HS 5333. Microeconomic theory as it relates to family resource allocation decisions, theories of household behavior, the lifecycle hypothesis, behavioral economics, behavioral finance, theories of behavioral change, and psychological theories of family well-being. Focus on empirical research investigating household financial decision-making. Web-based Instruction.
HS 5483 - Military Family Financial Issues.
An overview of topics relevant to the financial planning process, adapting topics to address the unique needs of and resources available to military service members and their families. Topics include status of service member; financial readiness; financial, risk, investment, tax, retirement and estate management; record keeping; cash flow management; credit and debt management; savings; education planning; and special topics. Web based instruction.
HS 5703 - Professional Practices in Family Financial Planning.
Challenges of managing financial planning practices, including business valuation, personnel, marketing, client services, ethics and technological applications. Relying on theoretical as well as applied approach, analysis of case studies that provide relevant, practical exposure to practice management issues, with strong emphasis on current research findings. Web-based instruction.
REMS 5953 - Statistical Methods in Education.
Statistical methods needed by conductors and consumers of research in education and the behavioral sciences. Introduction to interpretation and application of descriptive and inferential statistics.

* Courses required for CFP certification

Tentative Course Rotation: Click here

Certified Financial Planner

On completion of the program, our courses provide you the education to meet the requirements to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., a professional regulatory organization, fosters professional standards in personal financial planning so that the public values, has access to and benefits from competent financial planning. CFP Board requirements for certification are:

  • Education
  • Examination
  • Experience
  • Ethics

The Great Plains-IDEA Family Financial Planning online degree curriculum is registered with CFP Board and satisfies the CFP Board's topic requirements. Successful completion of the curricula meets the education requirements prerequisite to the CFP® Certification Examination. This is not a guarantee you will pass the exam, only that you will meet the education requirements to take the exam.

After completing your educational requirements, you will work with the CFP Board on examination, experience and ethics requirements for CFP® certification. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, you will have the satisfaction of helping people solve their financial problems and reach their financial goals.

CFP Board website at has extensive CFP certification information. We advise students admitted to the Great Plains IDEA online degree program to obtain the Guide to CFP Certification. The guide includes an application for the exam, exam fee information, exam procedures and information on the required work experience.
Offices of CFP Board are located at:

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.
1700 Broadway Street, Suite 2100
Denver, Colorado 80290
Phone: 303-830-7500
Fax: 303-860-7388
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

“Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP (with flame logo)®, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.” Oklahoma State University does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP (with flame logo)® marks. CFP certification is granted solely by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to individuals who, in addition to completing an education requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met ethics, experience and examination requirements.