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  • Master of Science in Family Financial Planning


This program helps working professionals who already have bachelor's degrees start careers assisting people with personal finances. The program is conducted in cooperation with the Board of Standards for the Certified Financial Planner program. Successful students will be eligible to take the Certified Financial Planner Certification Examination.

The Family Financial Planning program is offered through the Great Plains Distance Education Alliance, a consortium of six midwestern and western land-grant universities, including:

  • Iowa State University
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • North Dakota State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Montana State University

MSU Family Financial Planning students can expect to take approximately 2 to 3 three-credit online courses from each of the participating institutions throughout the course of their degree, benefiting from shared resources and shared intellectual expertise.

Students choose one of the six institutions as their home, where they are officially enrolled as graduate students. Advisors are faculty members from the home school. Students enroll in all courses through their homes. Neither coursework nor cost varies by institution.


  • This 36 credit-hour master's degree program in Financial Planning consists of eight 3-credit core courses and twelve credits of elective course work. Students work with their academic adviser on appropriate course selection and sequence.


Core Courses

  • HDFP 515, Insurance Planning for Families
  • HDFP 520, Investing for the Family's Future
  • HDFP 525, Retirement Planning, Employee Benefits and the Family
  • HDFP 530, Estate Planning for Families
  • HDFP 540, Personal Income Taxation
  • HDFP 545, Financial Theory and Research I
  • HDFP 555, Financial Counseling
  • HDFP 572, Financial Planning Case Studies


  • HDFP 510, Fundamentals of Financial Planning 
  • HDFP 550, Housing/Real Estate
  • HDFP 560, Professional Practices
  • HDFP 575, Professional Paper
  • HDFP 576, Professional Practicum
  • HDFP 594, Seminar


MJ Kabaci, Ph.D.
Director/Instructor/GP-IDEA Campus Coordinator
Montana State University
Department of Health and Human Development
(678) 654-8546 (cell)
[email protected]

Kimbree Redburn, MS
[email protected]

Why Choose Montana State University as Your Home Institution?

Advisors in the Department of Health and Human Development have a reputation for being very attentive to caring for the student's well-being in a holistic way. While the teaching is rigorous and requires both effort and intellect, we understand that the class is only one element in an overall life. Given that we value the individual and family, the student is viewed in the context of his or her multiple roles. Advisors provide both a listening post and a source of advice for students. Out here in the West, we are known for being friendly and genuine and we accomplish that, even online.

Use of the Certified Financial Planner™ Designation

CFP™ and Certified Financial Planner™ are federally registered servicemarks of the Certified Financial Planner of Standards, certified Financial Planner™ designation. The right to use the marks CFP™ and Certified Financial Planner™ is granted by the CFP Board to those persons who have met its rigorous education standards passed the CFP Certification Examination, satisfied a work experience requirement, and agreed to the CFP Board Code of Ethics and Personal Responsibility. Only persons registered with CFP Board are permitted to sit for the CFP Examination. CFP™ certification and license are issued only by the CFP Board.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many credits are required for the CFP preparation courses?

We offer six three-credit courses (18 credits in all) to fulfill the education requirement to take the exam to become a Certified Financial Planner:

  • Investing for the Family's Future
  • Retirement Planning
  • Personal Income Taxation
  • Insurance Planning for Families
  • Estate Planning for Families
  • Financial Planning Case Studies

See more Frequently Asked Questions about the Family Financial Planning program.

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