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Personal Financial Planning

Ph.D. Program Overview

Program Overview

Students majoring in Personal Financial Planning receive comprehensive instruction in the theoretical foundations of financial planning, including investments, retirement planning, financial counseling practices, risk management and tax planning. The doctoral program at Texas Tech provides a rigorous foundation in theory and research methods in individual financial decision making to prepare students to teach and conduct research in financial planning at an academic institution. Texas Tech's Ph.D. program is the first and only Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning. Students who complete the Ph.D. will be eligible to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination.

A Ph.D. without master’s degree may be pursued if applicants meet specific criteria. Students who have master's degrees without a thesis will take additional classes on statistics and research methodology.

Ph.D. Minimum Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. program in Personal Financial Planning (PFP) is based on a comprehensive review of information submitted rather than any single factor. Decisions are based on a comprehensive review of the following criteria:

  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution,
  • GPA from undergraduate and graduate degree programs, GRE or GMAT scores,
  • TOEFL scores (international students only),
  • Copies of official transcripts,
  • Three letters of recommendation (Preferably from both academic and industry sources)
  • Writing Sample: Personal statement consisting of the following:
    • Identify the area of financial planning in which you would be interested in developing a specialization. Where would you like to be career wise in five years?
    • Identify your major research interests. How do you expect to expand that into a dissertation? Be sure to discuss grant funding, data availability, and possible outlets for publication and presentation.
    • What assets and strengths do you bring with you into your desired program? (Include educational experiences in addition to practical experiences).
  • Campus and/or telephone interview
  • Unique contribution as evidenced in applicant's resume or vita:
    • Special accomplishments in industry or academic pursuits,
    • Leadership experience and potential,
    • Other unique life experiences relevant to the pursuit of a graduate degree.

To apply to graduate programs in Personal Financial Planning, please 1) apply to The Graduate School and 2) complete the PFP Application and PFP Recommendation Forms (links below). For more details on how to apply for admission and scholarship opportunities, see Graduate Application Process (link below).

Prospective Students Current Ph.D. Students

Become a University Professor through Graduate Studies at TTU

Graduate Application Process


Recommendation Form

Assistantship Application

View Photos of PFP Activities!

Doctoral Programs: Required Steps from the Graduate School

Ph.D. Program for the Doctoral Degree

Evaluation Forms

Ph.D. Student Travel Policy

Travel Application Form

Preliminary Exam Intent Form

Qualifying Exam Intent Form

Application to Enroll in Ph.D. Finance Courses

Doctoral Candidates More Information

Dissertation Guidelines

Advisor Selection Form

Committee Selection Form

Graduate School Doctoral Forms

Graduate School Deadlines and Dissertation & Defense Requirements

For further information concerning program overview, requirements, career options and/or procedures, contact:

Dr. Michael S. Finke
Personal Financial Planning Department
Box 41210
College of Human Sciences
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409-1210
Phone: (806)834-5081
Fax: (806)742-5033