Texas Tech University

School of Financial Planning

Mission and Vision Statement

The mission of the School of Financial Planning is to educate students to the highest standards of excellence; foster intellectual, ethical, and personal development; and generate the highest quality of meaningful research.

The School will excel as the national leader in higher education in personal financial planning and personal finance, manifesting excellence, inspiring confidence, and engaging the profession and society at large.

The School of Financial Planning will:

  • Achieve and maintain national recognition as the premier program, attracting the highest quality students and faculty.
  • Prepare students to be leaders, decision-makers, and scholars who are highly competent, articulate, ethical, principled, innovative, and confident in financial planning.
  • Generate quality research, thus expanding the boundaries of knowledge
  • Promote excellence in scholarly and professional organizations through faculty service in leadership roles.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in personal financial planning are registered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). The term CFP® professional identifies a financial planning professional who has met educational standards, passed the CFP® certification examination, satisfied a work experience requirement, and agreed to the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. The terms CFP® professional and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ represent the most respected professional certification in the financial services industry.

Personal Financial Planning Mission


The School of Financial Planning's origins date back to 1985 when William “Bill” Gustafson, Ph.D., launched majors in Family Financial Planning and Family Finance with two minors offered in finance. TTU's Personal Financial Planning program was one of the first 20 university programs registered by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. in 1986 and 1987. Jerry Mason, Ph.D. brought national attention to our program through student presence at national conferences and facilitating student placement within the financial planning profession. Texas Tech was the first CFP Board-Registered Ph.D. program in the nation in 2000. Graduates of the Ph.D. program have gone to universities to enhance existing programs and start new programs in personal financial planning. Over 60 graduates are now professors at colleges and universities and are serving the profession across the nation. Texas Tech became the national home of Archives for the History of Financial Planning in 2005. Dr. Vickie Hampton took the helm in 2009, and shepherded the program into a separate department in 2011 and then a school in 2020. We invite you to read more about our Journey to Excellence.

Program Structure

The academic structure of the program is organized around seven basic subject matter areas plus supporting courses in economics, communications, social sciences and a graded internship. The seven areas are financial planning fundamentals, risk management, investments, tax planning, retirement planning, employee benefits, and estate planning. The program prepares students to enter financial services careers stressing leadership, ethical behavior, and professionalism.

Already a CFP® professional? Students with upper-division undergraduate, graduate, or certificate coursework in a CFP Board Registered Program and those with an active CFP® certification are eligible to substitute the courses completed successfully in their prior education program with classes focused on financial health and wellness, charitable giving, teaching, and research. 

Program Growth

Our program began in 1985 with two majors in Family Financial Planning and Family Finance with two minors offered in finance in 1985. Today, the School of Financial Planning has grown and expanded to offering two undergraduate degrees (Personal Financial Planning and Applied Personal Finance), one undergraduate minor (Studies in Personal Finance), a master's degree in Personal Financial Planning with dual degree opportunities (MBA, JD, Accounting), and a doctoral degree in Personal Financial Planning. In addition to courses covering technical financial planning topics, students are required to take courses in financial psychology and have an opportunity to specialize in cutting edge areas with graduate certificates in Financial Health and Wellness and Charitable Financial Planning. Our curriculum is well-rounded, taught by leaders, human-focused, and evolving alongside the profession. Additionally, our expansion into online modalities and distance learning pedagogy has facilitated program growth across the U.S. and the globe.

CFP Board-Registered Programs

There are over 200 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and 15 in Texas with programs registered by CFP Board. Students graduating from a CFP Board-Registered Program are eligible to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination, one of four requirements to become a CFP certificant.