Dec 07, 2019  
2019-2020 Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Catalog

Advanced Financial Planning, Financial Life Planning Concentration, MS


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Program Information


The Master of Science in Advanced Financial Planning and Taxation is an innovative degree designed for financial planners who have already passed the CFP® examination and who wish to reinforce key planning skills, increase their expertise in the critical areas of taxation or estate planning, and add the academic weight of a graduate certificate and a master’s degree to their professional credentials. Partnering with the nationally known Golden Gate Bruce F. Braden School of Taxation, GGU’s financial planning program permits students to build on their CFP® background and move directly into advanced study in the field. This degree program is particularly well-suited for new or more experienced planners who aim to take their careers to a higher level.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

Declaring Program Concentrations

Students may declare concentrations when they have completed the coursework required for their desired concentrations, or after the “Last Day to Drop Course without Tuition Charge” (per the Academic Calendar) for their final terms, if they will be able to complete their concentrations in their final terms.

To be eligible to declare concentrations, students must have already completed the required concentration coursework, or be able to complete it in their final terms without requiring waivers, substitutions, or directed study courses, unless they are approved in advance by the department chair, program director, or dean.

Students may declare up to two concentrations in a given degree program. Students seeking to declare more than two concentrations will be required to appeal to the dean or vice president of academic affairs for approval. Students’ diplomas will list the concentrations that they had successfully completed at the time their degrees were conferred. Students may not declare additional concentrations after their degrees have been conferred.

The following concentrations are available:

Requirements for the Master of Science in Advanced Financial Planning

The MS in advanced financial planning and taxation (MS FPT) is a 10-course degree built around the Graduate Certificate in Taxation or the Graduate Certificate in Estate Planning, depending on the student’s concentration. The degree requires completion of 30 units of advanced program coursework, with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 “B” or better in courses taken at Golden Gate. Courses carry three semester units of credit unless otherwise noted. All course prerequisites must be satisfied prior to enrolling in a given course; prerequisites are indicated in the section “Course Descriptions.”

Applicants to this program must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university and have passed the Certified Financial Planner® examination at the time of admission. No foundation courses are required for this degree; passage of the CFP® examination provides adequate evidence of appropriate preparation for advanced study in financial planning and taxation.

Advanced Program - 30 units


Financial Life Planning Concentration - 24 Units


Electives - 9 units


  • Take three courses (9 units) of 300- or 400-level FI or PSYCH prefix courses.

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