An online master’s degree makes successfully completing such a program more convenient, especially for those with various personal life demands. College Choice has also put together a list of the most affordable grad schools.
A sampling of finance-related careers is listed below, some of which require a variety of personal certifications (including CFA, CFP, CMA, CTP).
- Accounting Manager
- Analyst – Financial, Budget, or Management
- Capital Investment Analyst
- Cost Analyst
- Credit/ Cash Manager
- Financial Consultant/ Advisor
- Financial Liaison with Business Units
- Financial Manager
- Fraud Examiner
- Government Accountant
- Government Auditor
- Internal Auditor
- Program Analyst
This college ranking focuses entirely on cost, ranking programs by the average in-state tuition for each college as recorded in the NCES (http://nces.ed.gov/) database. Note that some colleges charge a different per-credit-hour rate for their online courses and some do not. Some online degree programs also allow students to combine online and on-campus courses in their curriculum. For this reason, we have used the in-state tuition rate stated in NCES for each college for ranking affordability, which can lag behind by one AY (Academic Year). Each college entry provides both tuition rates and per-credit-hour rates.
Columbia Southern University
In-state tuition: $4,950
Out-of-state tuition: $4,950
Columbia Southern University offers busy working professionals an affordable degree that is within their reach. This school confers the Master of Business Administration in Finance, a fully online program designed specifically for business professionals. This university is nationally accredited by the DEAC, and it is a member institution of the CHEA.
Courses at CSU are taught in an asynchronous format, allowing students to create their own study schedules. While some deadlines are fixed, students are always able to speak with their classmates or instructors through the school’s online learning management system. Online tutoring and a 24/7 technical desk ensure that a student is given every opportunity and support system needed in order to complete their degree on time.
The M.B.A. in Finance requires a total of 36 credit hours for completion. Like many of the online schools on this list, there are no final projects or internships required for this degree. Sample finance courses include Public Budgeting, International Finance, and Corporate Finance.
This university has the lowest tuition rates for financial professionals in the country. With no hidden fees and textbooks being included in the rate, all students pay just $275 per credit hour. The DoD cap for military members is also in place here, ensuring that these veterans pay just $250 per credit hour when they use military tuition assistance.
type: private for-profit
#grads: 5,671 (100% take all online courses)
In-state tuition: $5,850
Out-of-state tuition: $5,850
Aspen University offers a large variety of online programs. For financial professionals, this school’s Master of Business Administration with a Finance emphasis is both affordable and flexible enough to meet their needs. This university is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
Although this degree is an M.B.A. degree and therefore covers a broad spectrum of business subjects, finance professionals will find this to be a great alternative to a specialized finance degree. This is because finance ought to be learned in the concept of the business world, where it is most oftentimes utilized by corporations. Some students will also find it helpful to learn about how other professionals in the business world see the industry, thereby making them valuable team players in any situation.
This degree requires 36 credit hours for completion. This includes a capstone exam. There are no requirements for internships, research papers, or a thesis. Sample courses include Innovative Finance and Venture Capital, Corporate Financial Management, and Business Finance.
This school has one of the lowest tuition rates out of all graduate finance programs. Students from all over the country pay the same flat tuition rate of $325 per credit hour. It is important to note that there additional fees for proctored exams and graduation, as well as the standard annual technology fee.
type: private for-profit
#grads: 1,341 (100% take all online courses)
University of Houston at Clear Lake
In-state tuition: $6,372
Out-of-state tuition: $13,788
The University of Houston at Clear Lake offers students the ability to get a flexible and affordable finance degree online. It confers the Master of Science in Finance 100 percent online with great tuition rates for all students. The university holds regional accreditation from the SACS COC.
This degree is available fully online; however, students can choose a blended format if they live in the area. This blended format lends itself well to internship opportunities, opening the doors to new employment for any professional who takes on the responsibility.
All courses are taught in an asynchronous format and are flexible enough that a student can complete the degree within 18 months with full-time study or take up to three years to complete the degree’s requirements. This format is also perfect for students who have a full-time day job or other personal responsibilities that keep them from attending traditional day classes online.
The M.S. in Finance requires 30 credit hours for completion, including a seminar. While projects are not required for this degree, students will have the option to choose a research paper or internship if they so choose. Sample online finance courses include Quantitative Methods in Finance, Real Estate Investment Analysis and Financing, and Corporate Finance.
UHCL offers students competitive tuition rates. In-state students pay $366.50 per credit hour for this degree. Out-of-state students pay $964.67 per credit rate. Like with many other online schools, financial aid is available and students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
#grads: 3,479 (11% take all online courses; 26% take some online courses)
In-state tuition: $7,380
Out-of-state tuition: $7,380
Gardner-Webb has a strong reputation for its business programs, and now busy working professionals all over the world can earn them without ever leaving home. The Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance is perfect for financial professionals interested in advancing their career. This university is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
The M.B.A. with an emphasis in Finance at Gardner-Webb requires 36 credit hours in total and has a main focus on general business. The finance emphasis in this degree serves to provide a context in which finance is viewed in the business world. There are no projects or portfolio requirements for this degree. Sample courses include Risk Management and Insurance, Intermediate Corporate Finance, and Personal Finance.
Gardner-Webb students will pay a tuition rate of $817.22 per credit hour if enrolled full-time in its online degree programs. Part-time students pay just $422 per credit hour. These rates can increase and decrease depending on a student’s course load every term, so they are encouraged to look through the tuition rates for their courses prior to enrolling. Financial aid, loans, and grants are available if a student is eligible. Military discounts are also available.
type: private nonprofit
#grads: 1,693 (35% take all online courses; 17% take some online courses)
Charleston Southern University
In-state tuition: $7,500
Out-of-state tuition: $7,500
While not known specifically for online degrees, Charleston Southern University has created an exceptional suite of programs that will fit the budget and scheduling needs of any busy student. This school confers the Master of Business Administration with a Finance Emphasis 100 percent online. This university is regionally accredited by the SACS COC. The degree itself is independently accredited by the IACBE.
CSU offers students a variety of flexible options for their degree. The M.B.A. with a Finance Emphasis can be completed in less than two years with part-time study. Students will also be able to take part in asynchronous courses, meaning that while there are deadlines for their assignments, they will not be required to sign in for live lectures. This can help students who have a full-time job or other responsibilities that keep them from attending classes on a set schedule.
The M.B.A. with a Finance Emphasis requires 33 credits for completion. There are no internships, projects, or portfolios required for this degree. Sample finance courses include International Finance and Monetary Policy, Macroeconomic Policy in a Global Economy, and Financial Statement Analysis.
CSU is also very affordable for students, which removes the fiscal hindrance that keeps many professionals from pursuing a graduate degree. The current tuition rate, regardless of residency status, is $243.43 per credit hour. This number can be further reduced if students apply for financial aid, loans, and grants.
type: private nonprofit
#grads: 440 (76% take all online courses; 10% take some online courses)
Kaplan University-Maine Campus
In-state tuition: $7,680
Out-of-state tuition: $7,680
Kaplan University’s Maine Campus hosts a variety of business-related master’s degrees. It is here where busy students can find an affordable and convenient Master of Finance that comes with its own concentrations. It is the perfect professional degree for students who aim to advance themselves in this field. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
The M.S. in Finance at Kaplan comes with two concentrations. The Financial Analysis concentration is for students who are interested in pursuing a career in accounting and financial forensics; these careers generally lead to employment in government agencies and law firms. The Financial Planning concentration offers working professionals the ability to focus on insurance and estate planning; many students will go on to work as financial planners on their own or within a company.
This program requires a total of 56 credit hours and includes a portfolio and a capstone requirement. The concentrations are included in the total amount of credit hours needed; however, if a student wishes to fulfill the general requirements, the remaining 16 credit hours will come from electives. Sample courses include Estate Planning and Insurance Financial Analysis, Corporate Finance, and Banking and Management.
The Master’s in Finance has one tuition rate for most students; Maine students are the only exception to this rule. The current tuition rate for this program is $460 per credit hour. There are discounts available for military service members and their families. International students are also given a discount. All other students are eligible for reduced tuition rates through the use of financial aid, loans, and grants.
type: private for-profit
#grads: 83 (99% take all online courses; 1% take some online courses)
University of Maryland-University College
In-state tuition: $8,244
Out-of-state tuition: $11,862
The University of Maryland-University College is known as one of the preeminent online educational systems in the world with branches both here in the United States and in Europe. For American working professionals, this school is the home of the Master of Science in Accounting and Financial Management, a professional degree that offers students the ability to become leaders in both fields. This university is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.
The M.S. in Accounting and Financial Management is a wide-berth degree; this means that it offers broad and advanced courses in both accounting and financial management. This is a great degree for students who are interested in fulfilling the educational requirements needed to sit for the CPA exam, or just wish to advance their career in financial management. It is important to note that CPA requirements vary from state to state and therefore students will need to ensure they meet the current standards for their home state.
This is a 36-credit hour degree that does have a capstone requirement. All courses are delivered asynchronously with exams being the only time that a student must be logged into the school’s internet portal. Sample courses include Financial Accounting, Financial Management in Organizations, and Long-Term Financial Management.
UMUC has some of the lowest tuition rates in the country. Maryland residents currently pay $458 per credit hour while out-of-state students pay $659 per credit hour. Additionally, military service members, their spouses and out-of-state federal employees and their families enjoy a reduced tuition rate. Financial aid is not only available, it is encouraged for all students.
#grads: 12,893 (91% take all online courses; 5% take some online courses)
In-state tuition: $8,964
Out-of-state tuition: $8,964
Brenau University offers financial professionals the chance to get an affordable online degree that will meet their needs. This school confers the Master of Business Administration in Finance, a degree that holds independent accreditation from the ACBSP. The university is fully accredited by the SACS COC, a regional accrediting body.
Finding an ACBSP-accredited online program that offers a finance concentration is difficult and that’s why Brenau University is such an important addition to this list. With six start times a year and the ability to choose how many courses to take each term, students are free to choose their own schedule, making it easier to actually complete the degree and advance their career. Sample courses for the 45-credit MBA Finance program include International Finance, Investments, Corporate Risk Management.
This degree is reasonably priced for all students. The current tuition rate is $652 per credit hour, regardless of residency. There is also a military discount, where active-duty service members pay just $250 per credit hour and their family members enjoy a ten percent discount on all program rates. Financial aid is also available.
type: private nonprofit
#grads: 1,311 (47% take all online courses; 9% take some online courses)
Colorado State University-Global Campus
In-state tuition: $9,000
Out-of-state tuition: $9,000
Through its Global Campus, Colorado State University offers a Master’s in Finance for working professionals. This program is available 100 percent online and requires no internships or practicums, making a great fit for busy students. The affordability of this school is one of the main reasons it is one of the most affordable finance programs for any student. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
The Master in Finance at CSU-Global was created for students who already have some work or education experience in the field. However, the school has taken steps to make a more inclusive online degree in finance that offers students from business-related fields the chance to specialize in this industry.
One of the best features of this finance degree is how flexible it can be. The degree has monthly term starts, and each term is taught in the eight-week accelerated format. In addition, all courses are taught every term and are asynchronous, so no student will fall behind if they need to take a term off in order to deal with personal or professional obligations.
The Master in Finance requires 36 credit hours for graduation and can be completed in as little as one year. There is also a capstone project required. Sample courses include Principles of Finance, Financial Markets and Institutions, and Bank Management.
CSU-Global Campus also offers affordable tuition rates for students. No matter where a student resides, the current tuition rate for this degree sits at $500 per credit hour. And with the school’s tuition guarantee, online students can be assured that once they enroll in the Master’s of Finance program, their tuition rate will not increase so long as they remain enrolled at the school and have good academic standing.
#grads: 2,643 (100% take all online courses)
In-state tuition: $9,864
Out-of-state tuition: $9,864
Concordia University’s Wisconsin branch has all the trappings of its big sister: strong curriculum, respected faculty, and even a well-rounded online portal. This extends the graduate offerings for finance. This school confers the Master of Business Administration in Finance. This school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC. The College of Business is also independently accredited by the IACBE.
The MBA with a finance concentration (15 credits) is a great alternative for graduate students who are interested in getting this popular degree with a focus in the field they are most interested in. While finance concentrations aren’t available as a standalone certificate to put on a resume, the knowledge students will receive and the distinction on the diploma will definitely make them more valuable candidates in whatever job they pursue.
No GMAT nor thesis is required for this 39 credit program. Courses are self-paced and take 8-10 weeks. Sample courses include Real Estate Investment, Financial Institution Management, Securities Analysis.
Although Concordia is known as primarily a private institution, it is known for also being one of the most affordable universities in the nation for finance students.The current tuition rate is $682 per credit hour for 39 credits. The total cost of attendance for this degree, which can be earned in three years with part-time study, is estimated at around $26,000. This amount can be further reduced by transferring in credits or with financial aid, which is encouraged by the school for all students.
type: private nonprofit
#grads: 3,931 (40% take all online courses; 5% take some online courses)