Family financial planning

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.

  • Master's degree. Master's of Family and Consumer Sciences (MFCS) with family financial planning specialization program: 36 credits
  • FFP certificate. Family Financial Planning graduate certificate program: 18 credits

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.

Why study family financial planning?

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.

About the program

University partnerships

Iowa State is a member of Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GPIDEA), 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.

GPIDEA Family Financial Planning Handbook.

Download the Family financial planning flyer.


Master's program

The MFCS with Family Financial Planning specialization online  program consists of:
  • 24 credits in core courses (8 courses)
  • 12 credits as elective courses (4 courses)
  • 36 total credits (12 courses) total

FFP Great Plains IDEA Course Planner

Practicum (part of the elective courses). Practicum credit consists of supervised work experience in family financial planning. You may take up to six credits of practicum, and the credit would count as an elective.


FFP graduate certificate program

The Family Financial Planning (FFP) graduate certificate program consists of 6 required 3-credit courses:
  • 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)

FFP Great Plains IDEA Course Planner

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

ISU course grid

Download an ISU course grid showing the required and elective courses for the master's and certificate programs.

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