January 18-19, 2001

Authorization to Offer an Option in Family Financial Planning under the MS Degree in Health and Human Development: Montana State University - Bozeman


THAT:  The Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes Montana State University - Bozeman to offer an Option in Family Financial Planning under the MS Degree in Health and Human Development.


EXPLANATION:   The Great Plains-Interactive Distance Education Alliance (known as the Great Plains-IDEA), a consortium of six land grant universities, including Montana State University, Bozeman, developed an on-line family financial  planning curriculum leading to a masters degree in family financial planning with sufficient course work included to allow students to take the examination to become a Certified Financial Planner.  At MSU, the degree is a new option under the existing MS degree in Health and Human Development.  The program consists of forty two (42) semester credit hours.  The reason for establishing this option as a consortium program is that no single university in the region (Mid-West or West) has enough appropriately trained PhD faculty to conduct a high quality masters level program in this specialty.  By joining together, the consortium has available approximately 12 PhD-prepared faculty who are trained in family and consumer economics and who can teach the courses and provide advising to the masters level graduate students.  This program represents the first time at Montana State University that an entire masters degree has been delivered under a consortium arrangement and using distance delivery technology.

The national demand for family financial planning professionals is estimated to be well above average, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, a publication of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The Handbook identifies the following jobs available for workers with a background in financial planning:

  • Securities and commodities sales representatives
  • Financial sales representatives
  • Fee-only financial planners
  • Financial planners working for insurance, brokerage, banking, or other financial services companies
  • Company human resources divisions working with pension plans, retirement plans

No degree program that combines a masters degree plus the course work to allow the student to take the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam exists in the U.S. except for this Consortium program.

Proposed Starting Date: Autumn 2001