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Institute of Personal Financial Planning

PFP Certificate Courses

The personal financial planning graduate certificate program consists of six courses for a total of 18 semester credit hours, with two program sessions beginning each year.

Scheduled Start Dates

  • January 7, 2018
  • August 12, 2018

The tentative schedule for the session beginning August 12th is below:


• Students with no prior financial planning background are highly encouraged to take PFP 624 Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning as a prerequisite.
• For official course descriptions, go to the course catalog, select "PFP" under the "Prefix" drop-down menu, and click "Filter” on the right-hand side of the page.

08/12/18 – 10/07/18PFP 766Insurance Planning3
10/21/18 – 12/16/18PFP 762Investing for the Family's Future I3
01/06/19 – 03/03/19PFP 764Estate Planning for Families3
03/17/19 – 05/12/19PFP 760Families, Employment Benefits, and Retirement Planning3
05/26/19 – 07/21/19PFP 772Personal Income Taxation3
08/11/19 – 10/06/19PFP 836Financial Planning Case Studies3

Program Requirements

PFP Personal Financial Planning Courses (18 credit hours)

  • PFP 766 Insurance Planning for Families
  • PFP 762 Investing for Family's Future
  • PFP 760 Families, Employment Benefits and Retirement Planning
  • PFP 722 Personal Income Taxation
  • PFP 764 Estate Planning for Families
  • PFP 836 Financial Planning Case Studies

Course Descriptions

Families, Employment Benefits and Retirement Planning, 3 credits (PFP 760)

This course deals with micro and macro considerations for retirement planning, including a survey of various types of retirement plans, ethical considerations in providing retirement planning services, assessing and forecasting financial needs in retirement, and integration of retirement plans with government benefits. (Ann Coulson, Ph.D., CFP®)

Investing for Family’s Future, 3 credits (PFP 762)

An in-depth study of investment options for clients, this course will include common stocks, fixed income securities, convertible securities, and related choices. Relationships between investment options and employee/employer benefit plan choices will be studied. Current and emerging issues, as well as ethics, will be integral parts of the course. (Ann Coulson, Ph.D., CFP®)

Estate Planning for Families, 3 credits (PFP 764)

An introduction to fundamentals of the estate planning process, this course includes property transfer, tax consequences, probate avoidance, powers of appointment, and various tools/techniques used in implementing an effective estate plan. (Ann Coulson, Ph.D., CFP®)

Insurance Planning for Families, 3 credits (PFP 766)

An in-depth study of risk management concepts, tools, and strategies for individuals and families, this course covers life insurance; property and casualty insurance; liability insurance; accident, disability, health, and long-term insurance; and government-subsidized programs. Current and emerging issues, as well as ethical considerations, relative to risk management will be discussed. Case studies will provide experience in selecting insurance products suitable for individuals and families. (Ann Coulson, Ph.D., CFP®)

Personal Income Taxation, 3 credits (PFP 772)

This course provides in-depth information of income tax practices and procedures including tax regulations, tax return preparation, the tax audit process, the appeals process, preparation for an administrative or judicial forum, and ethical considerations of taxation. New and emerging issues related to taxation will be covered. Family/individual case studies provide practice in applying and analyzing tax information and recommending appropriate tax strategies. (Ann Coulson, Ph.D., CFP®)

Financial Planning Case Studies, 3 credits (PFP 836)

This course examines professional issues in financial planning, including ethical considerations, regulation and certification requirements, communication skills, and professional responsibility. Students are expected to utilize skills obtained in other courses and work experiences in the completion of personal finance case studies, the development of a targeted investment policy, and other related financial planning assignments. (Ann Coulson, Ph.D., CFP®)