Earning a Master's Degree in Financial Planning and Services

Earning a Master's Degree in Financial Planning and Services

Everything you need to know about a master's degree program in financial planning and services.

Overview of Financial Planning and Services

If crunching numbers is your life and you have a desire to help other people with efficiently manage their finances, you may want to consider a career in senior financial services. A master's degree in financial planning and services provides students with knowledge of the latest financial technologies and how to effectively manage a financial services team.

It is common for individuals to pursue a master's degree in order to earn a promotion. It is a great tool to use as a stepping-stone to advancing in your career. Some students pursue their masters degree in order to change careers, as a degree in financial planning and services provides students with advanced knowledge in the subject. Other students choose to pursue a master's degree in financial services before moving on to get their PhD.

Applying for a Master's Degree Program in Financial Planning and Services

In order to apply to a master's degree program in financial planning and services, students must first obtain a bachelor's degree. It is not necessary the you hold a bachelor's degree in finance, but a related field in business is desirable. If you did not major in business during your undergrad, at least having a few courses in mathematics and computers will help your chances of being admitted to the program. Students who have a few years of work experience in financial services have the best chances of being admitted to the program.

Standard requirements for obtaining a master's degree include submitting your transcripts, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, personal statement and letters of recommendation. The standard minimum GPA for admittance into a master's degree program in financial planning and services is a 3.0, however some programs admit students who had a lower GPA in college.

How to Choose a Financial Planning and Services Master's Degree Program

When choosing a master's degree program in financial planning and services, it is a good idea to have your ultimate career goal in mind. Some programs take a generalist approach, providing students with information on all aspect of advanced financial planning and services. Other programs specialize in one particular type of service, such as international financing, investments and securities, or public finance.

Some programs focus on theory and others take a more practical approach to instruction. Programs that focus on theory provide students with the framework of knowledge to handle real-world situations and may be best for those who plan on earning their PhD in finance. However, programs that focus on practical teaching prepare students to move directly into a management position.

If you need to keep your full-time job while earning your master's degree, you have a few options to consider. Night and weekend classes are a great option for students who cannot attend classes in a traditional weekday format. However, if you are also caring for a family, you may want to consider attending online graduate school. An online master's degree program in financial planning and services provides students with the flexibility to maintain their responsibilities while pursuing their degree.

What to Expect in a Master's Degree Program in Financial Planning and Services

A master's degree program in financial planning and services provides students with a background in business and advanced courses in financial planning theory. Examples of courses that a student may take include insurance planning, financial accounting and reporting, individual financial planning, trusts and gifts, retirement and employee benefits planning, portfolio management, client relations, strategic investing and planning, estate planning, etc.

You should expect to analyze case studies demonstrating real-life situations that a financial manager might deal with. Case studies help the student understand various problems that may arise in the occupation, so they are better equipped to handle those situations after graduation. They also can help the student during their internship.

Typically, you need to complete a thesis in order to earn your master's degree. Your masters thesis is essentially an in-depth research paper on a specific subject of your choice. You should choose to write your thesis on something that you have a deep interest in, as you will be working on the research for a significant portion of your degree.

Top 10 Grad Schools for Financial Planning and Services

  1. Brigham Young University
  2. American College
  3. Baker College Center for Graduate Studies
  4. Southern Methodist University
  5. DePaul University
  6. Western Kentucky University
  7. Western Michigan University
  8. Bentley University
  9. Boston University
  10. University of Akron, Akron



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