Beginning this fall, Spalding’s School of Business offers the new graduate concentration in Financial Planning within the MS in Business Communication (MSBC) program. Financial planners work one-on-one with their clients to develop strategies and plans for a secure future. This may include paying off debt, saving for retirement, meeting short-term financial targets, and long-term wealth management.

The degree fulfills the educational requirement to sit for the CFP ® Certification Examination that leads to the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Students who successfully complete the concentration may also sit for the and the Accredited Financial Counselor® exam, which is offered through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education®. The CFP ® is the gold standard in personal financial planning and holding this certification allows attorneys to expand the services offered to their clients.

In the School of Business, we strive to ensure our offerings provide a strong return on investment for our students. As any educational endeavor requires a time and financial commitment, students should expect to emerge with skills that make them competitive in the job market. The Financial Planning concentration fulfills that expectation.

According to the US Labor Department, employment of personal financial advisors and planners is projected to grow 7% through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Significant job growth and security are anticipated for financial advisors partly due to the large percentage of our population that is aging. As large numbers of baby boomers continue to enter retirement, more are likely to seek planning advice from financial advisors. Also, longer lifespans equate to longer retirement periods, adding even more demand for financial planning services. The 2021 median annual wage for personal financial advisors was $94K.

Financial planning remains steady despite the economic downturn and COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Americans report feeling more prepared working with a financial advisor during a recession, and CFP professionals report a rise in prospective clients during COVID-19 (CFP Board). Being a financial planner helps many achieve a greater level of work-life balance, which employees are seeking more and more from their chosen profession.

The path to becoming a CFP ® reaches many in the student population. It is a lucrative field for our traditionally aged students to pursue once they complete their undergraduate studies, but it is also appeals to the adult learner. Those already in the financial profession will add credibility to their consulting practice while those looking to make a career change can pursue this opportunity with few barriers to entry. The inclusivity of this degree is a point of pride for our school. It does not require an undergraduate degree in business or the GRE or GMAT.

Currently, Spalding is the only university in Kentucky to offer a Master’s degree with a concentration specifically for Financial Planning. Our Financial Planning concentration program combines the triple bottom line of business—people, planet, profit—with the key knowledge you’ll need to become a trusted financial advisor. You’ll be ready to help others make important financial decisions in their investments, savings, mortgages, insurance, estate planning, retirement and more. As a graduate of Spalding’s School of Business, you’ll be qualified and ready to accept a job offer for a number of positions, including Financial counselor, Financial planner,      Risk analyst, and Estate planner.

The concentration in Financial Planning focuses on academic and practical competencies relevant to financial advisors. Graduates of this concentration will be able to:

  • Address challenges, best practices, and industry standards relating to financial planning.
  • Apply strong critical thinking, decision-making, presentation, and writing skills build upon the synthesis of knowledge.
  • Provide problem articulation, situation definition, strategic planning, and implementation.
  • Analyze and present data to clients.

 Degree Requirements

You’ll take five financial planning concentration courses (15 credit hours) in addition to the general requirements of the MSBC program, for a total of 30 credit hours.

Concentration Courses include:

  • Tax I: Individual Taxation
  • Behavioral Economics & Finance
  • Risk Management & Estate Planning
  • Investments & Retirement Planning
  • Financial Plan Development

For more information please contact Dr. Robin Hinkle at [email protected].

The new Financial Planning concentration is applicable to any industry for students of any major

The Master in Business Communication (MBC) adds a new track in Financial Planning. The MBC program, which prepares future and current business leaders to think and lead differently, developed the financial planning track for professionals interested in developing skills of financial advisors. The financial planning track is one of five program concentrations, including marketing, sports management, human resource management and general business administration. Dishant Pandya, Assistant Professor of Economics and Financial Planning, introduces this program to bring financial planning education to every student, not just finance majors, such as full-time working professionals and those wanting to excel further in their careers.

Dr. Pandya: My name is Dishant Pandya, I teach at Spalding University for finance and economics. That’s my area of expertise. And I’ve been here for the last nine years. And I wanted to start a program where it touches every one’s life. This one kind of service that is sorely lacking in society. I feel like this is one where people understand how to help other people, and how to manage money.

Todd: I work full time, the classes were at night, the classes are once a week, the coursework I could complete on the weekends. So that was very important to me, because I do have to work full time. And I was able to pursue this while still working on this degree.

Dr. Pandya: This pathway will help students provide that trust.

Todd: It’s a growing industry. And it’s, it’s really the industry about relationships and building relationships with clients. And that was very appealing to me.

Dr. Pandya: So one of the benefits of being at Spalding is that it’s a very small institution with a very small university. I don’t want you to call me Dr. Pandya. Like call me Dishant.

Todd: The faculty is very knowledgeable. They are very generous with their time calling, you know, after class, meeting after class, helping with other things outside of class as far as interviews and job leads. I’m very happy with all the staff here.

Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. Today’s featured faculty member is Dishant Pandya, Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance in the School of Business. Read bios of the School of Business’ faculty here.

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?

I like the small class sizes, so I can connect with my students. I usually am able to connect with them because I get them all the way from freshman through senior year. By then we have a stronger relationship than just student and teacher, so I get emails after graduation about where they work and what they are doing.

What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research?

I teach economics and finance here at Spalding. I have my master’s in economics, and I am currently getting my doctorate in finance. We just started a Certified Financial Planning concentration for the Business Administration major, which helps students manage other people’s money. This a new program that we just started this year, and I am excited about it. Spalding is the only university in Louisville where you can concentrate on financial planning as part of your undergraduate degree.

LEARN MORE | School of Business programs
BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION CONCENTRATIONS | Details on marketing, financial planning, sports management, HR Management
MS IN BUSINESS COMMUNICATION | Learn about Spalding’s innovative alternative to the MBA

Why is business a good option for new students to consider as their major?

No matter your education or major, business is always something you need. Even if you go into a different field or degree program, you should at least take some basic business, finance and economic classes. With economics, I like to tell students that they should be able to listen to a political message on the news and realize if the information is true or not. With finance, you always want to be able to manage your own money and not rely on someone else to do it.

What is an interesting thing that you keep in your office?

I have a lot of interesting things in my office like Yoda, Dumbledore and Darth Vader figures, and it’s always a mess.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I always tell my students that in 10 years you should be able to make more money than me and that if you aren’t, then you need to find another job. So, when students tell me they are making more money than me I am really happy.

At Spalding, we like to say, “Today is a great day to change the world.” How do you think your role at Spalding is helping you change the world or the world of your students?

I am hoping my economics and finance classes allow students to manage their own money but also help their family members manage their money. It’s kind of like the saying, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for his lifetime.” That’s the same thing I am hoping for with my students.

FACULTY FOCUS FRIDAY ARCHIVE | Read all our professor Q&As