Juris Doctor/Master of Personal Financial Planning
Dual Degree Program

The Department of Personal Financial Planning and the School of Law offer an integrated program in which students may obtain both a J.D. degree from the School of Law and a M.S. degree in Personal Financial Planning (FINPLN). The Program is registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. and graduates may sit for the CFP® examination.

Normally, students require three years to complete the requirements for the J.D. degree and at least a year to complete the requirements for the M.S. degree. With careful scheduling of courses, this plan of study may be completed in as little as 3 ½ years.

Students pursuing the Dual Degree Program must be admitted separately to both the School of Law and the FINPLN Program. The School of Law requires the LSAT admissions test; FINPLN requires the GRE or admission to the School of Law.

Dual Degree students normally spend their first year in the School of Law, and in their second begin to enroll in courses in both schools. This first year in the School of Law provides an understanding of the basics of the study of law, and the underpinnings for further study.

School of Law Required Courses

(89 hours required for graduation)

First Year

Second Year Second or Third Year

Students in the Dual Degree Program must take a total of at least 83 hours of law credit. Six hours of credit in FINPLN may be counted toward the J.D. degree to achieve the 89 hours required for graduation.

Personal Financial Planning Required Courses

(19-25 hours required for graduation)

  • FINPLN 7000: Problems (take FINPLN 2183: Intro to Personal and Family Finance (3) for two hours credit) (2)
  • FINPLN 7960: Readings (take FINPLN 3283: Financial Planning: Computer Applications (3) for two hours credit) (2)
  • FINPLN 7382: Financial Planning: Insurance (3)
  • FINPLN 7383: Financial Planning: Investments (3)
  • FINPLN 7386: Financial Planning: Employee Benefits and Retirement Planning (3)
  • FINPLN 7393: Financial Planning: Estate Planning (3)*
  • FINPLN 8483: Family in the Economy (3), OR
  • FINPLN 8486: Social Policy and the Family Economy (3)
  • FINPLN 8450: Research (3)
  • Accounting 4353, Taxation (3)**

*In lieu of taking FINPLN 7393, Financial Planning: Estate Planning (3), students may substitute Law 5555, Estate Planning & Taxation (3)

**In lieu of taking Accounting 4353, Taxation (3), students may substitute all of Law 5375, Basic Federal Income Taxation (3); Law 5916, Taxation of Property Transactions (3); and Law 5465, Corporate Taxation (3).

Note that the above substituted law courses may be counted as part of the 83 hours of required law credit necessary to complete the J.D. degree.

Also note that before enrolling in Law 5916, Taxation of Property Transactions (3), or Law 5465, Corporate Taxation (3), the student must have taken Law 5375, Basic Federal Income Taxation (3). Before enrolling in Law 5555, Estate Planning & Taxation (3), the student must have taken both Law 5375, Basic Federal Income Taxation (3), and Law 5560, Estates and Trusts (4).

Master's Research Project

Students must complete and defend a Master's research project in Personal Financial Planning, normally undertaken in conjunction with FINPLN 8450, Research (3).

Students in the Dual Degree Program who have a topic that is sufficiently law-related may elect to concurrently enroll in Law 5875 (Research) for three credit hours and undertake a joint project whose subject matter and length will satisfy both the Master's paper requirement in FINPLN as well as the requirement for Law 5875. In this case, Law 5875 would be an elective in the J.D. program, and the faculty member overseeing Law 5875 would serve as an outside reader for the FINPLN Master's project.

Tax Certificate

Students in the Dual Degree Program in FINPLN can also complete the requirements for the Certificate in Tax at the School of Law. In addition to the eleven hours in taxation that may be applied toward the MS in FINPLN (see above), students in the Dual Degree program may qualify for the Certificate in Tax by completing Law 5915, Tax Research (1), and one additional tax course. For more information on the Tax Certificate, contact the School of Law.

Sample Course of Study

The following course of study demonstrates how a student might design a program to complete the Dual Degree requirements in 3 ½ years. Actual course offerings, the semester when offered, and other requirements are subject to change. Official course lists and requirements are available from both departments. Students are strongly advised to consult with academic advisors at both schools before designing their course of study.

Application Procedure

Students wishing to pursue the J.D./M.S. Dual Degree Program must meet the admission requirements and be admitted separately to both the School of Law and the Department of Personal Financial Planning. For further information on the admission requirements of both colleges, consult their school catalogs. As soon as possible, students should file a Statement of Intention to pursue the J.D./M.S. Dual Degree Program with the Associate Dean of the Law School and with the Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Personal Financial Planning. The Statement of Intention may be a short letter simply stating the intention to pursue the dual degree. Students who have not submitted a Statement of Intention may not be considered Dual Degree candidates eligible to receive the benefits of the combined course of study.

Year 1:
Fall Semester (15) Winter Semester (16)

Year 2:
Fall Semester (15)

  • FINPLN 7000 Problems (2)
  • 5220 Constitutional Law (4)
  • 5280 Professional Responsibility (3)
  • 5375 Basic Federal Income Tax (3)
  • ***Law Elective (3)
Winter Semester (15)
  • FINPLN 7960 Readings (2)
  • 5260 Evidence (4)
  • 5325 Advanced Tax (2)
  • 5240 Criminal Procedure (3)
  • 5560 Estates & Trusts (4)

Year 3:

Fall Semester (15) Winter Semester (15)
  • FINPLN 7386 Financial Planning: Employee Benefits & Retirement Planning (3)
  • FINPLN 8483 Family in the Economy (3), OR
  • FINPLN 8486 Social Policy and the Family Economy (3)
  • 5465 Corporate Taxation (3)
  • *** Law Electives (6)

Year 4:

Winter Semester (11)

Regulations

  1. The M.S. course of study in FINPLN assumes that students have completed certain prerequisites before enrolling in the M.S. program. These prerequisites are:
    1. A course in introductory economics
    2. a basic statistics course
    3. a basic accounting course
    Students who have not completed these prerequisites will need to complete them before enrolling in FINPLN courses at the 7000 or 8000 level.
  2. A student who wishes to withdraw from the Dual Degree Program must notify both the Associate Dean of the School of Law and the Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Personal Financial Planning. Dual Degree candidates who subsequently decide to pursue only the M.S. or J.D. degree must complete the chosen degree program in its entirety and subject to the same requirements as students not pursuing a Dual Degree.
  3. Law students who receive credit under the Dual Degree Program for taking FINPLN courses may not receive credit toward the J.D. degree for taking other courses outside the School of Law.
  4. Student honors and class ranks at the School of Law will be computed based solely on law courses.
  5. The School of Law cannot award credit for any class taken before enrollment in the School of Law. Dual degree candidates must therefore enroll in the School of Law before taking any FINPLN courses to be counted toward the J.D. degree.
  6. Students are strongly advised to consult with academic advisors at both schools before designing and undertaking their course of study.
  7. The listing of courses above does not constitute a binding commitment that the courses will be offered during the student's course of study or that the graduation requirements will remain unchanged.
  8. Students in the Dual Degree program are subject to the same rules and regulations that apply to all students in the School of Law and in the Department of Personal Financial Planning.

More Information

Department of Personal Financial Planning,
Deanna L. Sharpe, Ph.D., CFP®
Director of Graduate Studies
CFP® Program Director
239 Stanley Hall
School of Law Office of Admissions,
103 Hulston Hall
Columbia, MO 65211