PhD in Financial Planning

Earning a doctorate in financial planning can help prepare you to conduct research as a finance professor. Learn about the prerequisites and typical coursework for a Ph.D. program in this field, as well as job options and career prospects for financial planning. Schools offering Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Ph.D. in Financial Planning Program?

A doctoral degree in financial planning is distinct from a master's degree in financial planning; while master's degree programs in financial planning prepare you to pursue certification as a personal financial advisor, doctoral degrees prepare you for research-based work, usually in academia. It is important to note that skills learned in master's degree programs are often included in the first years of doctoral study in financial planning, while the latter years focus on research.

In a Ph.D. program in financial planning, you'll learn the theory behind the practices of financial decision-making for individuals, including retirement planning, risk management, counseling practices, investments and tax planning. Many programs currently focus research on financial practices during economic decline, preventative techniques and preemptive protection. You'll likely also learn to analyze, evaluate and ultimately recommend public policies that might affect the financial future of individuals; in this way, graduates of this degree program are public advocates. A Ph.D. in Financial Planning usually takes 3-5 years to complete and culminates in a dissertation, a work of substantial original research overseen by an advisory committee.

Research Fields Retirement planning, risk management, economic decline, preemptive protection
Requirements Bachelor's or master's degree, preferably related; work experience may be required or helpful
Common Courses Tax policy, policy writing, tax preparation, long-term investing, social security
Career Opportunities Postsecondary teacher

What Are the Prerequisites?

You'll need a bachelor's degree before applying to a doctoral program in financial planning. Some schools require a master's degree or at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as finance, accounting, social work or economics. Some programs also enforce a work experience requirement, preferring applicants who've practiced in the field.

What Types of Courses Will I Take?

Courses combine finance, social work, research methodology and economics. You might also take more specific classes, including:

  • Tax preparation
  • Tax policy
  • Retirement and social security
  • Long-term investing
  • Policy writing

What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get?

Most graduates of doctoral programs in financial planning work in academia as professors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the employment rate for all postsecondary teachers to increase by 13% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Business teachers at the postsecondary level, which includes but is not limited to professors of financial planning, brought in a median annual wage of $74,090 as of 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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