2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    May 25, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Human Sciences (M.S.) - Family Financial Planning Specialization

Program Contact/Coordinator

Kathryn Morrison, Lecturer​
School of Health and Consumer Sciences
Wagner Hall 425, Box 2275A

Program Information

The online M.S. in Human Sciences – Family Financial Planning program will allow students to enhance personal finance knowledge, gain eligibility to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination, increase networking opportunities, and improve career options. Family financial planning is an emerging area with job opportunities in areas related to insurance, real estate, investments, retirement, tax and estate planning. Financial planners are increasingly in demand as Americans seek advisors to help manage their income, assets, and debts.

The curriculum consists of twelve 3-credit courses taken in any order with the Financial Planning Case Study course designed as a capstone to the program. The elective six credit-hours include supervised experiences or projects in family financial planning.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will communicate a financial plan with consumers and communities.
  • Students will recognize ethical standards for financial planners as prescribed by the CFP Board.
  • Students will demonstrate listening and counseling skills needed to help families with financial management.
  • Students will calculate time value of money calculation.

Accreditation, Certification, and Licensure

The Family Financial Planning graduate program is registered by the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Board of Standards. CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM are federally registered service marks of the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Board of Standards, Inc. They are granted by the CFP® Board to those persons who have fulfilled a comprehensive educational requirement, passed the CFP® Certification Examination, satisfied a work experience requirement and agreed to abide by the CFP® Board code of ethical conduct.

  • The graduate program in Financial Planning does not guarantee a student will pass the CFP® exam.
  • In earning the graduate program in Financial Planning through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA), students receive the education required to take the exam.
  • After completing the necessary educational requirements, students work with the CFP Board on examination, experience and ethics requirements for CFP® certification.

Certified Financial PlannerTM professionals have the satisfaction of helping people solve their financial problems and reach their financial goals. The CFP Board website at www.cfp.net has extensive CFP® certification information.

Students admitted to the Great Plains IDEA online degree program are advised 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.

  • Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, and CFP (with flame logo)®, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.
  • Great Plains IDEA institutions do not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and CFP (with flame logo)® certification marks. CFP® Certification is granted only by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to those persons who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met its ethics, experience and examination requirements.

Course Delivery Format

The online program has been developed by faculty from the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). Courses will be entirely Internet based and will be taught by faculty within the Alliance (Iowa State University, Montana State University, North Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University, and University of Missouri). Courses are offered fall, spring and summer semesters.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees

Master of Science Option A - Thesis 36 Credit Hours
  Option B - Research/Design Paper 36 Credit Hours
  Option C - Coursework Only 36 Credit Hours

Select one of the following options

Option A - Thesis

Option B - Research/Design Paper

Option C - Coursework Only

  • Electives Credits: 9

Coursework for Option C - Coursework Only requires 9 credits from the Electives courses listed below. Students choosing Option A - Thesis or Option B - Research Project instead of Option C, then choose any remaining credit hours from the electives list.

Total Required Credits: 36 (Option A, B, & C)

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE: Not Required
TOEFL: Department Requirements of 525 paper-based, 71 Internet-based
IELTS: 6.0
Duolingo: 100

Students enter the Great Plains IDEA program through application and admission to the South Dakota State University Graduate School. The Graduate School requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 for unconditional admission into any program. The program accounts for life experience as a part of conditional admission to the program. Three Letters of Recommendation from persons acquainted with the academic ability or professional competency of the applicant should be sent directly to Dr. Morrison at Kathryn.Morrison@sdstate.edu.

General Requirements

Graduate students should consult with their advisor before registering for graduate coursework.

For additional information refer to the Master’s Degree Requirements .