Family Financial Planning – Master’s


Family financial planning is a rapidly growing industry in need of rising leaders. Individuals who can help successfully manage wealth now and for the future are in high demand.

Our programs are registered with the CFP Board of Standards and the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning allowing for progress toward leading certifications in financial planning and financial counseling.

The family financial planning online programs prepare you to work in the growing financial planning field. Financial planners work in the following environments:

  • In companies such as banks, insurance companies, and brokerage firms
  • In employee benefits and pension departments of all types of corporations
  • In their own personal practice, with their own clientele

Diverse career specializations

Real estate
Retirement planning
Personal taxation
Financial counseling
Community education

Interested in learning about job opportunities for certified financial planners? Learn about them on the Certified Financial Planner job board.

University partnerships

Iowa State is a member of Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GP IDEA), a consortium of universities that have come together to offer fully online degree programs. Family Financial Planning through Iowa State University and the partnership of Great Plains IDEA means you interact with leading faculty nationwide.

GP IDEA Family Financial Planning Handbook.

Download the Family financial planning flyer.

Admissions Requirements


The MFCS with Family Financial Planning specialization online program consists of:

  • 24 credits in core courses (8 courses)
    • FFP 520: Financial Theory and Research I
    • FFP 535: Financial Counseling
    • FFP 540: Estate Planning for Families
    • FFP 545: Families, Employment Benefits, and Retirement Planning
    • FFP 555: Insurance Planning for Families
    • FFP 565: Personal Income Taxation
    • FFP 583: Investing for the Family’s Future
    • FFP 595: Financial Planning Case Studies (take 1 semester before graduation)
  • 12 credits as elective courses (4 courses)
    • FFP 525: Financial Theory and Research II
    • FFP 530: Fundamentals of Family Financial Planning
    • FFP 541: Housing and Real Estate
    • FFP 550: Military Personal Finance
    • FFP 570: Professional Practice in Family Financial Planning
    • FFP 590: Seminar (topics vary)
    • FFP 591: Practicum
  • 36 total credits (12 courses) total

FFP Great Plains IDEA Course Planner: Master’s Program

Completion of this degree will prepare you to sit for the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) examination.


Non-degree credits

You may take up to nine graduate credit hours as a non-degree seeking student before being formally admitted to the program. If you are interested in taking courses as a non-degree student, please start with the Admissions Office and contact

MFCS graduate program information
(Questions about admission, registration, etc.)

Dawn Risdal

2624 Howe Hall
537 Bissell Road
Ames, IA 50011-1096

Academic issues
(Questions related to academic progress, such as advice on courses, timing of courses, career path, etc.)

Dr. Jonathan Fox

1317 Palmer
2222 Osborn Dr
Ames, IA 50011-1041