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MSBA in Financial & Tax Planning

Masters of Science in Business Administration - Financial & Tax Planning

The Master of Science degree in Financial and Tax Planning is a 30 unit program designed to provide in-depth professional financial planning education. The goal of this program is to provide the educational background for graduates to provide professional financial planning services at the highest level possible. This program attempts to provide the academic background students need to pass the examinations for the CFP certification, and much of the background for the CFA and Enrolled Agent professional designations.

Selecting Initial Coursework

Students granted a business administration bachelor's degree from an AACSB accredited program normally meet all course prerequites. Others may have up to 21 units of prerequisite classes. If you start in the fall you should select from Financial Counseling (FIN 657, only offered Fall), Benefits (FIN 523, only offered Fall). If you start in the Spring you should select from Estate Planning (FIN 705), Investments (FIN 651, has follow on classes), Taxation (ACCTG 503, has follow on classes) and Insurance (FIN 522).

If you have completed the Executive Financial Planning program you have taken the above classes, so you will select from the elective classes shown on the special advising sheet for Executive Financial Planner alumni.

If you were an undergraduate financial services major you will have a lot of electives so you can select from any listed electives and maybe others if you can rationalize their relevance to financial planning and your plans.

Official Program

When you are within nine months of graduation (but after you have earned 12 program units) you should file a "Program of Study" which is basically a contract with the university stating when you complete that coursework successfully, and meet the other requirements, you will graduate. Your Academic Adviser (Tom Warschauer) approves of and submits your official program to the Graduate Business Office and then they submit it to the University Graduate Division. Generally your program will contain 30 or 31 units (excluding prerequisites). Substitutions can sometimes be made to your official program, but a course with a grade less than a B- cannot be removed.

FIN 590

Your last Spring Semester (only) you must take a one unit class called FIN 590, Financial Planning Practicum. You will write a comprehensive Financial Plan on a "real client" that you select (not a family member). Your Comprehensive Examination (Plan B) will consist of your presenting and defending that plan before a faculty and practitioner panel.


Please see our graduate tuition page

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Certificate in Personal Financial Planning

In addition to the degree you may be awarded the SDSU Certificate in Personal Financial Planning. Anytime after you have completed Accounting 503, Finance 651, 705, 522, 523 and 657 with at least a 2.7 average, you qualify for the SDSU Certificate in Personal Financial Planning, which entitles you to sit for the Certified Financial Planner Licensing Examination. If you do not apply for the Certificate, it will not be awarded.


If you have additional questions, they can be addressed to the program's advisor Thomas Warschauer, PhD, CFP® at [email protected].