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Texas Tech University Doctorate in Financial Planning & Services

Financial Planning & Services is a concentration offered under the finance and financial management major at Texas Tech University. We’ve pulled together some essential information you should know about the doctor’s degree program in financial planning, including how many students graduate each year, the ethnic diversity of these students, and more.

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BS in Finance - Financial Planning

Whether you're looking to enter the field or change careers, SNHU's online financial planning degree can prepare you to pursue a wide range of jobs in finance, insurance, business and banking. The program is ideal for individuals with a solid mix of interpersonal and analytical skills.

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How Much Does a Doctorate in Financial Planning from Texas Tech Cost?

Texas tech graduate tuition and fees.

Out-of-state part-time graduates at Texas Tech paid an average of $748 per credit hour in 2019-2020. The average for in-state students was $339 per credit hour. The following table shows the average full-time tuition and fees for graduate student.

Does Texas Tech Offer an Online Doctorate in Financial Planning?

Online degrees for the Texas Tech financial planning doctor’s degree program are not available at this time. To see if the school offers distance learning options in other areas, visit the Texas Tech Online Learning page.

Texas Tech Doctorate Student Diversity for Financial Planning

Male-to-female ratio.

Women made up around 25.0% of the financial planning students who took home a doctor’s degree in 2019-2020. This is in the same ballpark of the nationwide number of 23.8%.


Racial-Ethnic Diversity

Around 25.0% of financial planning doctor’s degree recipients at Texas Tech in 2019-2020 were awarded to racial-ethnic minorities*. This is about the same as the nationwide number of 24%.


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

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Is it worthwhile to get a financial planning phd.

November 17, 2016 07:39 am 17 Comments CATEGORY: Personal/Career Development

Executive Summary

With over 75,000 CFP certificants, having an advanced designation is not the differentiator it once was in the marketplace. Instead, the successful growth of CFP certification, along with rising consumer awareness of the CFP marks, is turning the CFP into a minimum standard to be recognized as a professional, and those who really want to differentiate must pursue even most "post-CFP" certification instead.

In this week’s #OfficeHours with @MichaelKitces, my Tuesday 1PM EST broadcast via Periscope, we explore whether getting a PhD in personal financial planning is a good way to differentiate as an advanced practitioner... or rather, why a financial planning PhD is probably a bad idea for even sophisticated financial advisors.

Because the reality is that a financial planning PhD is really  not  just the ultimate advanced designation in financial planning. It's really a research  degree, with content that teaches students how to actually  do  real research, applying proper research methods and conducting the appropriate statistical analyses. A financial planning PhD doesn't actually teach much at all about how to  do  financial planning; in fact, most of the PhD programs will expect candidates to have already learned that before applying (and/or may have to take "pre-doctoral" courses just to get the requisite education first).

Instead, the real purpose of getting a PhD in financial planning is to teach  financial planning (at a higher education institution), or to do real research in financial planning. The good news is that there are a growing number of opportunities in both - in fact, the whole purpose of the origin $2,000,000 seed grant that the CFP Board made to Texas Tech's personal financial planning PhD program in 2000 was specifically to help create financial planning PhDs who could go create and teach in other financial planning PhD programs (which is exactly what happened). And there is certainly no shortage of applied financial planning research opportunities.

But the bottom line is simply to recognize that practitioners who want "advanced" financial planning designations should seek out post-CFP designation programs, or perhaps a Master's in Financial Planning . But a PhD is not just a more advanced designation; it's really a teaching and research degree, and is best suited for those who really  want  to teach and do research, either in lieu of becoming a financial planning practitioner, or perhaps as a second career for those practitioners who are ready for a fresh new challenge!

Michael Kitces

Author: Michael Kitces

Michael Kitces is Head of Planning Strategy at Buckingham Strategic Wealth , which provides an evidence-based approach to private wealth management for near- and current retirees, and Buckingham Strategic Partners , a turnkey wealth management services provider supporting thousands of independent financial advisors through the scaling phase of growth.

In addition, he is a co-founder of the XY Planning Network , AdvicePay , fpPathfinder , and New Planner Recruiting , the former Practitioner Editor of the Journal of Financial Planning, the host of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, and the publisher of the popular financial planning industry blog Nerd’s Eye View through his website Kitces.com , dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning. In 2010, Michael was recognized with one of the FPA’s “Heart of Financial Planning” awards for his dedication and work in advancing the profession.

(Michael’s Note: The video below was recorded using Periscope, and announced via Twitter. If you want to participate in the next #OfficeHours live, please download the Periscope app on your mobile device , and f oll ow @MichaelKitces on Twitter , so you get the announcement when the broadcast is starting, at/around 1PM EST every Tuesday! You can also submit your question in advance through our Contact page !)

#OfficeHours with @MichaelKitces Video Transcript

Welcome, everyone! Welcome to Office Hours with Michael Kitces!

I want to talk today about advanced financial planning education.

For most of the history of financial planning, educational programs associated with advanced designations like the CFP certification or the ChFC marks  were the highest level of advanced education available. Unlike some fields that offer graduate level advanced education, though, most of these programs were typically taught as adult education certificate programs.

These adult education programs were created to teach the core knowledge (and maybe in the case of CFP marks, to specifically prepare you for the test), but not necessarily to develop 'advanced' practitioners. Most financial planning designation programs are functionally the equivalent of about a half a dozen undergraduate level courses at the most.

In the past 15 years, though,  we've seen the rise of actual college degrees in financial planning . Much of that growth was spawned by a visionary grant from the CFP Board to Texas Tech – which seeded $2 million in 2000 to the personal financial planning PhD program at Texas Tech University, and started the growth of higher education programs for financial planning.

The goal of the grant was to create PhD graduates from Texas Tech, who in turn could go out and create other PhD programs, since most higher education institutions require a professor having a PhD in order to teach in a PhD program.

Financial Planning PhD Programs [Time - 1:38]

Now, 15 years later, the education landscape looks very different. We've reached the point where there are as many degree based undergraduate and graduate programs in financial planning as there are adult education certificate programs!

We've also seen the rise of about a half a dozen Ph.D. programs. These include, the original Texas Tech personal financial planning PhD program itself, as well as PhD programs at the  University of Georgia ,  Kansas State University , and the University of Missouri  – each of which have had some faculty who received their doctorates from Texas Tech. More recently launched programs include Louisiana State University  and the new Ph.D. program at the American College of Financial Services taught by Dr. Wade Pfau , who many of you know from the world of retirement research.

With the growth of all these advanced programs in financial planning, I'm actually hearing more and more practitioners asking the question: is worthwhile to get a Ph.D. in financial planning?

So that's the question I want to tackle today. What's the relevance of a PhD in financial planning for a financial planning practitioner?

What Is A Financial Planning PhD, Really? [Time - 2:37]

To answer the question, first I think it's really crucial to recognize what a PhD actually is. A PhD is a professional research degree. It is not an advanced financial planning designation for practitioners.

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You'll see this distinction if you actually look at the curriculum of a PhD program. You may see some credit hour requirements for mastering the core financial planning body of knowledge, but many programs actually characterize these as pre-doctoral foundational classes – stuff they would've expected you to get in a Master's degree, but if you haven't, then you can do that first.

Within the PhD program itself, you'll often find courses that are heavily research oriented. You'll find courses on research methods, quantitative models, possibly even econometrics – all built around how you actually do research in financial planning.

A PhD program will culminate in a doctoral dissertation where you're going to do a very in-depth research study into something related to financial planning. Some programs will let you do a dissertation composed of three slightly smaller original research studies that you can later submit for journal publication (a "three papers" dissertation, rather than one mega study).

But I can't emphasize enough that the focus of financial planning PhD content is not advanced financial planning like a Master's degree might be. It's about actually doing research in financial planning!

Using A PhD in Financial Planning To Become A Professor [Time - 4:03]

Given these dynamics, what do you do with the financial planning PhD?

As the funding from the original CFP board grant indicates, one of the primary opportunities for getting a Ph.D. in financial planning is to teach personal financial planning, particularly in a higher education institution. And I think it's worth noting this is a really exciting time for the growth of financial planning as an educational discipline, as we grow the number of degree-based programs.

My gut is that in the coming decade we may actually see a shift where the requirements for financial planning education move up and require more college course work in financial planning. We already require a general bachelor's degree to get your CFP marks , but perhaps will require more actual content in financial planning. After all, when you compare financial planning to other more established professions - such as law, accounting, medicine - they all require graduate degrees to really master the content, and then you learn to be a practitioner as you get your experience and actually attain your license!

As financial planning grows and expands its body of knowledge, we may soon get there as well with an important caveat: If we actually require everybody who's getting CFP marks to get college education in financial planning, there are not enough professors to teach them all! Particularly not if we require coursework at the graduate level, which will require more PhDs to build more programs and continue to grow the field.

So for those of you who are practitioners and think a second career as a financial planning educator might be appealing, a PhD can be a very good path for you.

Doing Original Research With A Personal Financial Planning PhD [Time - 5:36]

The second alternative for what to do with a financial planning PhD is to actually do research .

To be honest, I think research in financial planning is woefully inadequate right now. There's so much we advise on that relies on rules of thumb instead of real, validated research. I think we're especially weak about this when it comes to the science of actually delivering financial planning.

You can even see it in our labels. It's common to call the technical stuff the "science" of financial planning, while the delivery is the "art" of financial planning (or the "soft side" of financial planning).

However, there's actually a hard science to the soft side of financial planning as well! If you look at fields like medicine and psychology, there is extensive research in the soft skills that relate to connecting with patients and giving people advice that helps change their behavior. When we look at financial planning, we don't even teach behavior change in most financial planning programs! It's certainly not a material part of the core curriculum.

Imagine all the research that can be done on the softer side of financial planning – not to mention all the stuff on the hard research side as well, such as retirement research, research on how to positively impact spending and saving behaviors, research on how to improve the psychology of insurance so people who actually need coverage would buy it, and research on how our financial literacy grows, develops, and changes over time.

For instance, there's fascinating research out there already on how our financial literacy tends to decline with age, though our confidence in financial literacy does not . We continue to be confident, even though we actually know less. That has all sorts of implications around how we might engage as planners, but you need research to validate and support it. As a financial planning PhD, if you want to go down that road, you can contribute to that research!

If there's one thing you take away from this, it is to recognize that a personal financial planning PhD is not an advanced financial planning practitioner designation – it's a research degree (or at least it's a teaching and research degree). It's something that you get if you want to be a professor that teaches financial planning, or if you want to be affiliated with a university that does financial planning research, or maybe you want to do your own independent financial planning research. It's not meant for simply being an advanced practitioner, and that's an important distinction.

In fact, realistically, if you don't like doing mathematical analyses, building models, working with giant spreadsheets, and learning how to use real number crunching software – recognize that you're probably not going to be very happy in the program. Good PhD programs are generally very quantitatively oriented. So at a minimum, be certain that you go into it with your eyes wide open about what it really entails because the cost is not trivial. A lot of PhD programs will cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

If you just want your CFP education as Eddie just noted [from Periscope], you can get a CFP designation and maybe pursue a Master's degree – most of which are structured as advanced practitioner degrees. But, a PhD is really something different. If your passion is teaching and research, go get a PhD If you're a practitioner that's maybe thinking about a second career and interested in conducting research, you may want to consider a PhD as a second career path. But, if you simply want to get a more advanced knowledge and education as a financial planning practitioner, look to graduate degrees and advanced designations – not a PhD!

So I hope that helps a little as some food for thought. This is Office Hours with Michael Kitces 1:00 p.m. East Coast time every Tuesday. Thanks for hanging out with us and have a great day everyone!

So what do you think? Do you have any interest in getting a Ph.D. in financial planning? Do you think we will continue to see research more heavily influence our industry? Are Master's degrees or advanced designations better options for most practitioners?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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November 17, 2016 at 12:21 pm

I appreciate your blog post on this topic, Michael, given that I’m currently a doctoral student at Kansas State’s Personal Financial Planning program. The impetus behind my decision to pursue a Ph.D. was 1) I was seeking a career switch from portfolio management to financial planning; 2) I needed to complete the CFP board education requirements to acquire the CFP designation; 3) I already have a master’s degree (in finance) and wasn’t interested in pursuing a second; 4) I’ve always had aspirations for learning and teaching.

The Ph.D. program, particularly at KSU, can be a fantastic option for existing or aspiring practitioners, who already have an advanced degree, and who seek to earn the CFP mark while expanding their horizons in subjects like financial therapy, applied behavioral finance, and money and relationships – skillsets that can absolutely be utilized from a practitioner’s standpoint. In fact, the hybrid nature of KSU’s program (mostly online with summer residency requirements) makes it perfect for current practitioners to stay working in the field or running their practices while pursuing a doctoral degree.

For the most part, I agree that a Ph.D. is primarily designed for educators and researchers. However, doctoral programs (like anything else in life) can be whatever you make of it. If you seek to use it to teach, then teach. If you want to be a researcher, then use it as a research degree. If you want to stay working in the field, or perhaps switch gears towards working as a financial therapist, the industry is currently working on licensing and credentialing requirements for practitioners looking to go that route.

The opportunities you have with a Ph.D. in financial planning are indeed endless, and I’m so excited to see where my program takes me.

phd financial planning texas tech

November 18, 2016 at 10:08 am

Thank you for being passionate about Financial Planning. We need folks like you to pioneer new ideas and strategies for the rest of us to copy and utilize for the benefit of our clients 🙂

With that said, the cheaper/quicker/easier route for a college graduate practicing planner to get their CFP will likely be to go through a non-degree program (e.g. certificate programs at American College and College for Financial Planning). As I’m sure you’d agree, a PhD may be overkill for the average reader of this blog.

I was one of the lucky few that knew I wanted to go into planning very early on so my undergraduate degree is in a CFP-approved program. I ended up getting my Master’s degree in personal financial planning from Texas Tech as well, but honestly it was more my ignorant method of delaying entering the job market (I didn’t want to go into the high pressure insurance sales jobs that were plentiful in my area). I don’t regret it since I’ve done fairly well, but I wouldn’t suggest that route for younger colleagues.

My suggestion for other millennials that are on the younger side and are interested in planning would be to take their degree and get nearly any job in financial services/banking. Get first-hand experience with clients and financial products/services. It may not be remotely close to that perfect fee-only pure planning job, but it’ll give you experiences to draw from. Then if you like it, take the steps needed for the CFP. I had a good number of classmates that ended up with a decade of student debt, but aren’t in the industry.

Side note: Kansas State is a great program. I had classmates that did their undergraduate work there and they were top-notch.

phd financial planning texas tech

November 27, 2016 at 8:59 pm

Millenialing – thanks for your input on K-State. I plan to eventually pursue a PhD, but currently I am getting my Masters while working full time; which I think is the best of both worlds.

On that note, I’m getting my masters at the College for Financial Planning and it is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (i.e. the credits transfer to major institutions). The first half of the program is the CFP classes (minus the capstone) and the second half is core/elective coursework on more advanced topics of financial planning like Social Security, health care, reverse mortgages, portfolio construction, etc. Overall the Master’s program can be completed in two years and is under $15,000.

That said, although the K-State PhD sounds promising, my only hesitation is that it’s not through an AACSB business school – just like Missouri, Georgia, and Texas Tech. When LSU started offering a financial planning PhD through their AACSB accredited business school (in 2014) I was really excited and planned to apply once I completed my Masters. Unfortuntely, however, they terminated the program after a year because they couldn’t get enough interest.

Overall, I’m not saying K-State or the other financial planning PhD programs are bad, but unfortunately academics is often based more on pedigree than actual intellect and skill. With that in mind, the ugly truth is that a PhD from an AACSB business school will lead to a higher salary and more opportunities (both short and long term) than a PhD from a human sciences school; which ultimately means from a personal career perspective you may want to consider a PhD in finance, accounting, or economics instead and later circle back and teach financial planning to undergrads in a business school. However, if you are truly passionate about a PhD in financial planning, then go do it, but realize the limit you’re placing on your personal career. And that’s not to say those limits can’t be broken, but it will be considerably more difficult since your degree is not from a business school.

Hopefully this will change within the next few years and more AACSB business schools will start offering a PhD in financial planning while financial planning programs from non-business schools are terminated, but until then you’ll either have to go the finance/accounting/economics route or follow your passion for a PhD in financial planning but face the uphill battles.

November 28, 2016 at 1:07 pm

DJ, you are correct that KSU’s doctoral program is not AACSB accredited, but the Ph.D. program is not really a “business degree.” It is housed under the department of Family Studies and Human services because the focus of the program is the soft side of financial planning (i.e. financial therapy, money and relationships, applied behavioral finance).

I encourage you to check out the most recent research on Ph.D. financial planning programs. A recent study performed by the CFP Board highlighted that 63 percent of higher education institutions cared less about hiring financial planning Ph.D’s from AACSB-accredited institutions and gave more weight to coursework, experience, and personal characteristics.


phd financial planning texas tech

January 11, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Just to piggy-back on this comment: personal financial planning degrees at K-State, Mizzou, UGA (don’t know about TTU) are converts from what was Consumer Economics. That’s why they are not in the business schools.

Don’t want to get into the optics/politics of non-business school faculty teaching a financial discipline (i.e., financial planning), but for anyone considering a PhD in personal financial planning: look at the numbers in that article very carefully. There’s a big difference between “somewhat likely” and “very likely.” Also, only slightly more than 50% of reporting schools were AACSB-accredited (and not all AACSB schools necessary pay top dollar). Only another 19% were ACBSP accredited (which pay lower than AACSB schools). So about 30% had no business school accreditation (hard to tell what they pay — they could be unaccredited business schools, but they could also be non-business school programs like K-State that actually pay pretty well, although half of what a new finance professor would make at a top 70 business school). What does all that mean? It means that chances of getting a job at a nationally-ranked business school aren’t great with this degree.

That’s not to say it isn’t worthwhile: there are obviously a number of programs that are looking for grads from these programs. (Seems like a few positions open up each year). These are going to be at smaller regional schools (just look at the list of CFP Board registered programs to get an idea). There are some really impressive people and students out at Utah Valley University, for example. But do not undertake one of these PhDs thinking that it is going to open doors to finance departments at ____ State University or its peers where you will be earning a paycheck on par with an Assistant Professor of Finance. (Many salaries at these schools are public information, by the way, so don’t take my word for it — look it up.)

phd financial planning texas tech

December 22, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Actually, if you take some finance courses in the K-state Ph.D. program, you will be qualified to get a AACSB business school position. But I would actually argue your premise that the salaries are higher. Financial planning professor salaries are creeping up, largely due to the groundbreaking research being done.

January 11, 2017 at 9:32 pm

I am finishing one of the PhD programs listed above, and it does not qualify one to teach at an AACSB school. At many of the (ranked) business schools the CFP program is a certificate program taught by adjuncts that have professional experience and meet minimum education requirements. When hiring a tenure-track Assistant Professor, the nationally-ranked AACSB business schools pretty much hire only candidates with a PhD in Finance from (top ranked) business schools.

There is the AACSB bridge program — but if you look at UF’s site (for example) you will see that placement is not very good, and most folks who do have teaching jobs actually had their academic position before they started the program.

I’ll tell you what I wish I knew a few years ago: if you really want to be a professor and teach at a business school, then get a PhD in Finance from a good program. If you’re really passionate about financial planning research, you can still do that. These financial planning programs hire Econ and Finance PhDs. Finance programs do not hire Financial Planning PhDs.

January 12, 2017 at 6:51 am

Not that I would want to teach anyway (I do a lot of court testimony and a Ph.D. holds up better than a couple of master’s), but I, too am in the K-State program. There is specifically a track at my school for those who would like to teach at AACSB schools. Also, there are a couple of good private school (AACSB-accredited) that are looking specifically to start a financial planning MBA track and are looking for Ph.D. graduates in Financial Planning, one at the school where my wife is a professor.

Once again, not my thing, but I know a few people who have structured their plan of work that way.

Most mid-career financial planners would find the pay cut (even at the associate and full professor salaries) appalling. My wife’s spending habits wouldn’t let me take that pay drop.

phd financial planning texas tech

November 17, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Masters of Taxation is another option. I am in the program at Golden Gate University. It is kicking my butt. Fairly large law component.

phd financial planning texas tech

November 19, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Got the masters in 1991. Much much better than CFP but very limited in material in the real world. And since 1995 .almost the entire knowledge base changed with the internet and personal computers. And it keeps happening over and over again almost each and every year. The degree ‘forces’ one to recognize that the demand is everyday and that one has to do additional investigation to keep up. MPT has been shattered, long term care is a mess, et al. Then we have behavioral elements never previously addressed. Now we have the DOL which is clueless, Same with SEC and NAASA.. The designations are severely limited save for the CFA- but that effort is also suspect at times and certainly does not incorporate finanical planning. The MS is now a minimum but how to stay current is a bear. More so if one addresses insurance- which must be done for retirement.

phd financial planning texas tech

November 21, 2016 at 9:05 am

I completely agree with Michael that the value of the CFP marks has shifted over the years. Our firm has been kicking around the Ph.D. route for the past couple years to improve our “intellectual capital” and differentiate from the CFP a bit. However, I feel the CPWA (certified private wealth advisor) may be more representative of our firm. Does anyone have any insight to the CPWA and if they felt it was worthwhile? Thanks.

phd financial planning texas tech

November 21, 2016 at 9:50 am

Marc, See https://www.kitces.com/blog/what-comes-after-cfp-certification-finding-your-niche-or-specialization-with-post-cfp-designations/ for some further thoughts on CPWA (and other post-CFP designations). – Michael

November 21, 2016 at 11:34 am

Thanks, Michael. Much appreciated.

phd financial planning texas tech

November 24, 2016 at 9:18 pm

Are the American College and Kansas State the only online PhD. programs?

November 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Fred, yes those are currently the only two financial planning doctoral programs offered asynchronously. Although, keep in mind that American College’s Ph.D. program is not CFP-board approved.

November 29, 2016 at 9:35 am

Thanks. From reading your post and others; I have a lot I need to know about programs before I jump in with both feet.

phd financial planning texas tech

December 14, 2016 at 5:09 pm

i typically don’t post but with so many credentials in the market i would say it depends on the purpose. if you are interested in the educational knowledge, expertise, and furthering your thirst for knowledge that’s one point. Note: i chuckle when i meet advisors that display many designations on their business cards or letterhead – its a waste – Who are you? Clients don’t know what the alphabet soup means. Are you an expert in all these areas and disciplines? whats your sole focus? Also, we have enough designations out there, don’t need more in the world. Does it help build trust when you see five or six designations on a business card? questionable. The most recognizable credentials in the industry are CPA, CFP, CFA, JD, CLU, ChFC. If you want PHD on your card, go for it – do it for the right reason. I think i have a PhD camera on my iphone – Press Here Dummy. it auto focuses, and one click its a simple picture. Why a PhD is the question i would ask someone – no right – no wrong! keep up the blogs, love them

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