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UGA to offer online master’s program in financial planning

Lance Palmer FACS financial planning tax prep 2014-h.action
Lance Palmer

Athens, Ga. – Addressing the growing demand for financial advisers, the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences will begin offering an online master’s degree program in financial planning this fall.

The non-thesis degree program will prepare graduates to sit for the Certified Financial PlannerTM examination.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the projected growth rate of the financial advisers occupation is 27 percent between 2012 and 2022.

“There’s a great demand out there for a program like this,” said Ann Woodyard, an assistant professor in the college’s financial planning, housing and consumer economics department. “It’s tremendously exciting.”

The program, which Woodyard said is the only one of its kind in the Southeast, will be led by tenure-track UGA professors and research faculty and will offer courses in financial analysis, practice management and financial counseling.

A couple of demographic groups who might be interested in the program, she said, are people currently employed in the financial industry who want to advance their careers, as well as people exiting the military.

“A key factor in launching the program is to bring the university’s unique approach to financial planning to the worldwide community,” said John Grable, who is an Athletic Association Endowed Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences within the department. “There are literally thousands of people from around the world who want to study at UGA but can’t do it because of time, location and resource limitations. (With this program) we’re able to reach out to these people and bring them into our community of scholars.”

The two-year program will be offered in eight-week blocks, beginning this fall with courses on financial planning and analysis and wealth management.

“We have some of the best and brightest minds working on interesting research,” Grable said. “Our thought is to be as inclusive as possible in helping shape the direction of financial planning globally.”

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