Best Online Master’s in Finance Programs

Looking to earn a master's in finance in 2021? Get the best programs, scholarship information, career statistics, and more.

Best Online Master’s in Finance Programs

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Master's in finance programs provide advanced business knowledge. Master's degree-holders may work as budget analysts, financial analysts, or financial advisors. Some degree-seekers pursue a master's in finance to qualify for high-level careers such as financial analyst, controller, or director.

Master's in finance programs consider applicants with strong GPAs and relevant bachelor's degrees or financial experience. Most programs cover econometrics and financial reporting. Possible electives and concentrations include corporate finance, investment management, and government finance.

This page lists the best master's in finance programs. Read on to learn about costs, common classes, and potential jobs for graduates.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Finance Degrees

What can you do with a master's in finance?

Many graduates work as banking or investment professionals. Others work in government or nonprofit finance.

What is the salary for a master's in finance?

Master's in finance graduates earn an average annual salary of $81,000, according to Feb. 2022 Payscale data.

What finance jobs pay the most?

Financial managers earn a median annual salary of $134,180, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top-earning 10% of these managers make over $208,000.

Why Get a Finance Degree?

Earning a master's degree in finance builds in-demand skills in financial strategy, risk management, and financial innovation. Companies need professionals who can use machine learning and big data to make financial decisions. Graduate-level finance programs provide valuable specialization for certain fields, roles, and industries.

Many online finance master's programs run asynchronously. Learners can complete coursework around their schedules.

How Much Does a Finance Degree Cost?

Master's degrees cost an average of $66,340, according to Many factors influence cost, including school type and learners' residency status. For example, master's degrees at private universities cost an average of $26,000 more than they do at public schools.

Master's programs usually require at least four semesters. Traditional programs require about two years to finish. Accelerated programs help students finish in 12-15 months by featuring shorter terms throughout the year. Most master's in finance programs include a capstone project, which may involve summer work.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online learners save money on commuting and residency costs. They also usually pay fewer university fees. However, online learners must still buy books and supplies. Some online master's programs require some campus visits. These visits may create travel and lodging expenses for out-of-state learners.

Other costs may include technology and graduation fees. Students may need to upgrade their internet or buy a new laptop. Depending on their desired career, graduates may need to budget for professional exams and licenses.

How Much Do Finance Majors Make?

Graduates with a master's degree in finance can pursue many high-paying business and financial jobs. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $72,250. The BLS projects jobs for business and financial professionals to grow 8% from 2020-2030.

Earning a finance master's degree can boost graduates' earning potential. Master's graduates may work as finance managers or finance directors. These professionals earn more than double the median annual salary of $41,950 for all occupations.

Courses for a Master's in Finance

A master's degree in finance typically requires 30-33 credits. Enrollees develop skills in data analysis, financial valuation, and econometrics. They also build communication skills that help them negotiate contracts and work on financial teams.

Most graduate programs encourage specialization and offer concentrations. Options may include risk management or investments. See below for three common classes in master's in finance programs. Keep in mind that classes vary by program.

  • Qualitative Research Methods for Finance

    This class covers statistical and data analysis techniques that financial professionals use for portfolio management and financial forecasting. Coursework helps prepare students for graduate-level study, including master's thesis or dissertation research. Learners use their prior statistics education in this class.
  • Financial Law and Ethics

    Enrollees study financial regulation-setting entities such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Students take classes in financial law, ethics, and policy. They study fiduciary responsibility, regulatory compliance, and contemporary ethical issues in financial practice.
  • Corporate Finance

    Students pursuing concentrations and careers in corporate finance usually take this class as part of their core requirements. Learners develop skills for financial valuation, reporting, and financial data analysis. Enrollees also learn about financial policies, regulations, and decision-making.

Featured Online MBA Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Career and Salary Outlook for Finance Majors

Professionals with a master's in finance degree may work in various industries. Many work for the government or nonprofits. Others work in banking and investments. Graduates may work as accountants, financial analysts, or financial managers. See below for some potential careers for master's in finance degree-holders.

  • Accountants and Auditors

    These professionals analyze financial data and prepare financial statements, including tax-related documents. Companies may hire accountants and auditors to ensure compliance, analyze risks, and provide business advice to individuals or organizations. Accountants need CPA licensure.
  • Financial Analysts

    These analysts examine and evaluate financial data to help companies assess value and make financial decisions. Financial analysts prepare written reports, research economic trends, and provide investment advice. They often specialize in specific industries, regions, or product types.
  • Financial Managers

    These managers oversee financial health and supervise financial personnel. This career involves financial reporting, goal setting, and consulting with company executives. Financial managers analyze market trends and prepare financial forecasts and budgets. They often specialize in a sector or industry area.
Median Annual SalaryProjected Growth Rate (2020-2030)Description
Accountants and Auditors$73,5607%
Financial Analysts$83,6606%
Financial Managers$134,18017%

Source: BLS

Best Master's in Finance Degree

  1. University of Florida

    Gainesville, FL



    A public research university located in Gainesville, UF offers a master of science in finance (MSF). Students may choose from one of two combined degrees: a BS to MS in finance or a JD/MS in finance.

    The master's program includes 32 credits, with students specializing in corporate finance, financial markets, or investments. Students take courses such as business financial management, money and capital markets, measuring and managing value, and entrepreneurial finance.

    Current bachelor's students apply for the master's program with a 3.5 undergraduate GPA during the second year of studies. For law students, applications begin after acceptance to the law school, and students may apply up to 12 JD credits to the MSF. Law students must submit standardized test scores (LSAT) and a statement of purpose.

    UF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  2. The University of Texas at Austin

    Austin, TX



    A public university based in Austin, UT Austin's McCombs School of Business offers a master of science in finance. The program prioritizes financial modeling and technical, quantitative skills. Students can complete the program in about 10 months.

    Students begin the 36-credit curriculum with two courses: financial management and valuation. Students also participate in courses such as investment theory and practice, financial statement and security analysis, and intermediate accounting. Students take practicums for real-world skills application and study niche topics such as private equity, valuation of energy investments, and computational finance. All students can access career services and participate in STEM certifications.

    Students must possess an undergraduate degree and submit GMAT or GRE scores to begin the application process. UT Austin is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  3. Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore, MD

    A premier research university located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins offers a master of science in finance degree with a STEM-designated concentration in financial econometrics.

    The 36-credit curriculum offers students training with courses such as advanced corporate finance, big data machine learning, the firm and macroeconomy, and cryptos and blockchain. These unique approaches to finance prepare students for the realities of innovative new technologies and concepts facing the finance world. Students prepare to sit for the CFA exam and study a functional core of computational finance concepts in econometrics. Full-time students may take part in the official econometrics concentration.

    Students must submit GMAT or GRE scores to begin the application process and need an undergraduate degree showing quantitative preparedness from an accredited institution. Johns Hopkins is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  4. Vanderbilt University

    Nashville, TN

    A private research university based in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt offers a master of science in finance through the Owen Graduate School of Management. Students take two courses per seven-week module. Students can complete the program in about 10 months.

    The 33-credit program includes such course topics as financial modeling, corporate valuation, and professional development and communication. Students then choose a variety of electives from disciplines such as business or accounting. Topics may include applied investment management, accounting mergers and acquisitions, game theory and business strategy, or corporate restructuring for stressed firms. Students may also apply to the law school during their second year for a dual juris doctorate degree.

    The school strongly recommends that students possess prior work experience before applying. The school does not accept transfer credits. Students must submit GMAT scores, and the average GPA for accepted students is 3.65.

    Vanderbilt is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

  5. University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Madison, WI



    Located in Madison, UW offers a master of science in financial economics for students needing advanced quantitative analysis training for economics. Students receive training and mentorship from both the economics and finance faculty.

    Many students complete the 30-credit program in 3-4 semesters. Core courses include investment theory and practice, derivative securities, econometrics, and financial microeconomics. Students choose six credits of electives, including options such as mergers and acquisitions, machine learning for economists, international finance economics, and data analytics for economists.

    Students may submit GRE scores to strengthen an application, but the school does not require them. Applicants must also complete a math preparation form to record their ability to handle high-level mathematics. Students do not need to possess previous work experience. UW is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Featured Online MBA Finance Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

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