An online master’s in finance can help you grow your current career, or kickstart a new one in this rapidly growing industry.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19% growth rate in employment for financial managers by 2026, much faster rate than the national average, making right now a great time to earn your graduate degree in the field. An online master’s in finance can help you grow your current career, or kickstart a new one in this rapidly growing industry. These online programs provide the same coursework and learning experiences from their on-campus counterparts, often with the added flexibility of setting your own pace for earning your degree. Although many programs require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, some programs allow students from outside the discipline to take necessary prerequisite courses as part of their master’s degree. With such a wide variety of options out there for earning your online master’s in finance, this guide will provide you with examples of some of the best ranked programs available.
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Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has an established reputation as one of the top universities not only in the nation but also anywhere in the world. In the last two decades, it has begun to make its world-class educational resources through its Extension School, which offers an increasingly vast array of options for non-traditional students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Harvard’s extension program now offers a degree in Finance through its Master of Liberal Arts program, a flexible degree that allows students to pursue a number of interests.
Finance students can expect to acquire training in the fundamental principles of finance, such as financial planning, implementation, measurement, and investment. The primary stated objective of the program is for students to gain an understanding of core elements of organizational finance decisions, including accounting and financial statement analysis, principles of finance, investments, corporate finance, and business evaluations. Students will also build advanced knowledge of:
Mergers and acquisitions
International markets, and much more
In order to be admitted to the program, students must first complete three admission courses in order to demonstrate their ability to perform at Harvard’s standards. During the third course, students may apply for admission to the program. The degree requires 48 credits total, and at least sixteen of those credits must be taken on campus. For students who do not reside in the Boston area, the program offers intensive options.
Johns Hopkins University, one of the country’s storied institutions, is located in Baltimore, Maryland, and offers an online Master of Science in Finance. The program emphasizes the global nature of the practice of finance in the twenty-first century. Courses are taught by regular Hopkins faculty, and the program can be completed entirely online. Students in the Baltimore area can also elect to complete some of their courses on campus.
The program includes sixteen credit of business fundamentals coursework, including classes such as Accounting and Financial Reporting, Statistical Analysis, Business Communication, The Firm and the Macroeconomy, Economics for Decision Making, Corporate Finance, Investments, and Business Leadership and Human Values. Core courses include:
Financial Modeling and Valuation
The degree is designed to develop managers and specialists who understand the importance of transparency, responsibility, accountability, and fair and equitable treatment of shareholders for good corporate governance practices. A significant part of the finance curriculum is devoted to the CFA Institute’s Candidate Body of Knowledge, which prepares students to sit for the CFA exams. Other topics covered in the program include corporate finance and valuation, corporate governance, and securities analysis and investments.
The online master’s in finance at the University of Washington provides an opportunity for students to complete their degree remotely, with a concentration in computational finance and risk management. Online students in the program can opt to pursue courses full- or part-time, with part-time students generally finishing the program in about three years. The university functions on a quarter system, and part-time students generally take one class per semester, but may opt to take more and finish faster. Online students must sit for proctored exams in their home community for midterms and finals. Students can access and complete coursework asynchronously, with lectures from the face-to-face program offered live or for later streaming.
Indiana University, located in Bloomington, Indiana, is a public research university with one of the largest student populations in the country at nearly 50,000, including both undergraduates and graduate students. IU offers a fully online Master of Science in Finance that is designed to provide the ideal background in financial expertise for future CFOs—indeed, IU is the second leading producer of CFOs in the nation with 14 alumni in the Fortune 500 and S&P 500.
Students can expect to develop the financially-sound reasoning they need to achieve the strategic goals of your organization. The program is flexible; although it requires 30 credit hours, students have between fifteen months and five years to complete their program according to their own pace and schedule. This program covers a wide variety of topics, including:
Economics, and much more
IU also offers the option to pursue an MBA while pursuing the Master of Science degree through a dual degree option. This route ends up taking less time than it would if a student were to pursue each degree separately. Graduates of the MS program will be specialists in corporate finance and will be prepared to enter the workforce as a financial analyst or advisor, insurance underwriter, auditor, budget analyst, and more.
Students can earn their online master’s in finance at Penn State World Campus, the university’s distance learning arm. Coursework for the program takes place entirely online except for a five-day in-person residency at the university’s Great Valley campus near Philadelphia, which takes place after the completion of the fourth required course. Students enter and progress through the program as a cohort, taking classes with the same group of peers throughout the program. Courses include topics in current issues in corporate finance, analysis of financial markets, and managerial finance. The program is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Boston University, one of the country’s more prestigious private research universities, enrolls in excess of 30,000 students at its Boston campus and has a highly selective admissions process. BU offers an online Master of Science in Banking and Financial Services Management designed to prepare students for success in the fast-paced, dynamic financial sector.
Students in the program explore a wide range of topics, including investment analysis, mergers and acquisitions, securities markets, corporate finance, international economics, ecommerce practices, buyout transactions, financial statement analysis, and decision-making tools and strategies. Students will also acquire advanced knowledge of financial concepts, such as:
Time value of money
Discounted cash flows
Valuation of projects using net present value (NPV), and more
Other stated goals of the program are for students to acquire an understanding of portfolio management, the importance of correlations, utility functions, asset allocations, and optimal portfolio construction, as well as investment risk management, hedging strategies, credit risk, and counterparty risk. Furthermore, students will acquire proficiency in equity valuation, dividend discount models (DDM), relative valuation techniques, and free cash-flow discounting methods, and much more.
Auburn University, a public research university in Auburn, Alabama, is home to nearly 30,000 students who are enrolled in a wide variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Auburn offers an online Master of Science in Finance program that extends the same academic features as the on campus program. Students enrolled in the online MS Finance degree see the same lectures, have the same professors, exams and projects as the full time, on campus program.
The program is AACSB accredited, and it offers a convenient delivery method that allows students to complete their degree with no work stoppage. The program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework. A maximum of 6 graduate hours of credit can be transferred from another university with committee approval, and students choose to complete their program with either a thesis option or a non-thesis option. The thesis option requires four hours’ worth of thesis work, while the non-thesis option requires 30 hours of coursework only and a comprehensive examination. Coursework in the program covers all the principal areas of finance:
Financial institutions and markets
The objective is to produce graduates who are well qualified to assume professional positions or advance further in their career positions. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or college and must have completed core courses in economics, calculus and statistics. Admission is competitive, and the number of candidates accepted each year is limited.
Georgetown University offers an online master’s in finance in a unique blended format for students to pursue coursework online while also having opportunities to interact face-to-face with their classmates and instructors. In addition to asynchronous and synchronous coursework, students participate in a weeklong on-campus residency during their program. Georgetown offers the program in full- and part-time formats, so students can complete their coursework at a pace that suits them, with the full-time option aimed at students looking to pursue their graduate degree directly after earning their bachelor’s. The part-time program requires 32-credit hours, while the full-time option requires 36.
Ranked as one of the best graduate business programs by US News, the master of science in finance and economics at West Texas A&M University offers students the option to pursue their degree online, on-campus, or a hybrid of both. Students generally complete the 36-hour program in around two years, depending on their enrollment level. This online master’s in finance requires no GMAT scores for admission should applicants have at least a 3.0 GPA. Students must have proficiency in finance, accounting, and economics prior to beginning the program, but may also complete these undergraduate requirements at the university, or completing exams in those areas.
Creighton University, located in Omaha, Nebraska, is a private Jesuit university with an enrollment of approximately 8,000 students. Creighton offers an online Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis that delivers a respected graduate degree plus preparation for the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams. The program is fully accredited, and graduates can look forward to some of the highest-paying finance jobs as experts in both investment management and financial analysis.
Creighton is one of the top-ranked universities in the Midwest, and the online delivery format enables students from all over the country to take advantage of its program. The Heider College of Business at Creighton boasts accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the principal accrediting body for business education. Creighton’s rank among the best business schools in the country, along with accreditation by the AACSB, helps graduates stand out and get noticed by some of the top investment management firms in the world. The curriculum covers:
Ethics and professional standards in finance
Financial statement analysis
Portfolio management and performance measurement
Creighton’s program is one of only 36 university partners of the CFA, and Creighton is the only partner that offers a fully-online Master’s degree in the field. The curriculum of the Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis is built around the CFA Program and covers a significant portion of the topics of study for all three levels of the exam, including financial reporting and analysis; equity investments; alternative investments; quantitative methods; corporate finance; and portfolio management and wealth planning.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell, part of the University of Massachusetts system headquartered in Amherst, is a public research university with a student body of approximately 17,000 undergraduates and graduate students. UMass Lowell offers an online Master of Science in Finance through its Manning School of Business Finance Department and its Division of Online and Continuing Education. The degree is available fully online, but students in the area can take courses on campus as well.
Undergraduate non-business majors who have not previously taken undergraduate courses in Financial Accounting, Business Financial Analysis, and Microeconomics with grades of B- or better must do so prior to applying to this program. Students in Finance choose five courses among the following for their degree concentration:
Accounting Information for Management Decisions
Advanced Corporate Finance
Global Financial Markets and Monetary Policy
Advanced Portfolio Management, and more
The Master of Science in Finance, like all of the programs offered in the Manning School of Business, is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This accreditation is the highest level of accreditation for a business school and documents the commitment of the Finance Department, the Manning School of Business, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell to excellence in education and continuous improvement of programs to keep them rigorous and relevant.
Northeastern University offers a fully online master’s in finance with two unique specialization options in corporate or investment finance. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the program takes around 16 months to complete, and requires no in-person residencies. US News ranks Northeastern’s master’s in finance program as one of the top non-MBA business degrees in the country, with distinguished faculty members and a rigorous curriculum. Students can also pursue a dual MS in finance/MBA degree option at Northeastern, earning both degrees in half the time.
The University of Miami offers a few unique options for earning your online master’s in finance. Students can earn you MS in finance, or earn their MBA with a concentration in corporate finance. Both degrees offer the option to also earn certificates in financial decision making and corporate finance. The MS in finance requires a minimum of 32 credits, which students often complete the program in about 16 months. Students take a variety of courses in areas like accounting, economic theory, and marketing management. Faculty in the program hold synchronous online office hours to give students individualized attention as needed.
St. Joseph’s University is a Catholic university located in Philadelphia that enrolls over 8,000 students at its suburban campus. St. Joseph’s offers an online Master of Science in Financial Services, and prospective students will be glad to know that the program is both AACSB-accredited and CFP-certified. It is one of the only schools in the Philadelphia area to boast this qualification, and it will serve graduates well as they prepare to enter the highly competitive job market.
St. Joseph’s program offers students advanced credentials by building on their professional planning, analytical, and financial experience, balanced by ethical considerations and issues of social justice.The online program is offered in a variety of formats, including both 8-week and 15-week semesters. The courses cover a variety of disciplines, including
Law and ethics
Security analysis, and more
Coursework in the program includes classes such as Shareholder Value Management, Financial Institutions & Capital Markets, Portfolio Management, Personal Financial Planning, Tax Planning, Pension & Benefits Administration, Estate Planning, International Finance, Securities Analysis of Investments, Personal Insurance Planning, and Risk Management.
The University of Michigan Dearborn, one of the two satellite campuses of the Ann Arbor–based University of Michigan system, offers an online Master of Science in Finance that provides specialized education for dynamic careers in corporate finance, financial institutions and investment management. Two concentrations are available to students in the program: Corporate Finance or Investments. Both concentrations are designed to help students succeed in their chosen finance profession.
Applicants to the program do not necessarily need to have a prior undergraduate major in finance or previous work experience; the program is looking primarily for students who have strong quantitative and analytical skills. Students can complete the program entirely online, on campus, or any combination of the two. Students may also enroll on a part-time basis if needed. Full-time students can complete the program in 12 months. Core classes include:
Topics in Corporate Finance
Corporate Valuation and Strategy
Derivatives and Risk Management
The Corporate Finance concentration is designed to prepare students to work with businesses’ financial tactics and strategy. The concentration requires 10-11 courses or 30-33 credit hours. The Investments concentration prepares students to analyze investments, construct investment portfolios, and advise clients on investment selection and portfolio strategy. Calculus is a prerequisite for one of the advanced courses, and the program also requires 10-11 courses or 30-33 credit hours.
Colorado State University-Global Campus offers a Master of Science in Finance, which offers training in practical, real-world skills such as communication, critical thinking, and people skills, as well as hard skills like research, financial record-keeping, and business analytics. All these skills will be valuable to a future in finance.
The program is designed to train students both in broad business skills and those specific to finance and accounting. Students will gain experience in guiding organizations and individuals through their long- and short-term financial decisions and track and monitor financial accounts. From financial analysts to treasurers, people with financial skills are among the most sought after employees in today’s business world. Indeed, graduates have gone on to become:
Chief Financial Officers
Risk Management Consultants
Students can also receive training in accounting, which provides preparation in understanding the framework of fiscal responsibility, accuracy, and decision-making. Through study of the foundations of accounting, students will learn basic techniques as well as more advanced financial management, tax preparation, and auditing.
American University is a private research university located in Washington, DC. It is a selective school that offers a fully online MBA program through its Kogod School of Business. It is designed for domestic and global business professionals who want to start or advance their career regardless of whether they just finished their bachelor’s degree or are seeking to further their education mid-career.
American engages students across the broad domain of business, including accounting, finance, marketing, international business, and analytics, in preparation for a managerial career path. Finance students at American can opt to concentrate their degree in Finance, one of six available paths of concentration in the program. Students selecting to concentrate their studies in finance may go on to a career in general management, governance, risk management, and project and corporate finance. Suggested courses include:
Forensic Accounting: Fraud Examination & Litigation Support
Financial Statement Analysis
Business Insights through Analytics, and more
At American students can design their own concentration by selecting electives that best suit their professional experience and aspirations. American’s MBA is a student-centered program, with Kogod faculty leading courses that explore the importance of interpersonal relationships and collaborative learning. American emphasizes the importance of connection over competition and focuses on practice-based, experiential learning.
The University of Houston Clear Lake offers a 30-credit hour online master’s in finance that students can complete in about eighteen months. Generally, students take two classes at a time for fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students can also choose to pursue a concentration in healthcare administration with an additional four courses. Courses in the core curriculum include managerial economics, corporate finance, and commercial banking, with elective options in portfolio management and real estate investment. Students also complete a graduate capstone course. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The University of Colorado Denver, a public research university and part of the University of Colorado system, offers both online and on campus degrees for its nearly 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students. UC Denver offers a Master of Science in Finance and Risk Management through its Business School, which is nationally respected for its curriculum and expert faculty. The program is both theoretical and practical.
In addition to online classes, UC Denver also offers evening classes for those who happen to live in the area. Students can combine online and on campus courses as best suits their schedule. Small class sizes encourage deep and meaningful learning interaction. Examples of available electives in the program include:
Security Analysis and Firm Valuation
Futures and Options
Mergers and Acquisitions
The MS in Finance and Risk Management program is an excellent preparation for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program, and it provides the specialized knowledge students will need in this highly competitive field. The program has been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. This status is granted to institutions whose degree program(s) incorporate at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK), which provide students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them well to sit for the CFA exams.
Texas A&M University-Commerce offers a master’s degree in finance online that requires just 30 credits for students with a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Students without necessary bachelor’s prerequisites can complete the program with an additional nine credit hours. The online master’s in finance at Texas A&M Commerce also offers the unique opportunity to pursue a variety of minors, including accounting, economics, and marketing. Well-qualified students can also apply to this online master’s in finance with no GMAT score requirements. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiant Schools of Business.
Webster University, a private, non-profit university located in Webster Groves, Missouri, operates several campuses across the country as well as a variety of online programs. Webster offers an online Master of Science in Finance designed to provide a quantitative and comprehensive examination of the finance field. Students will advance through corporate finance, investments, and market instruments and institutions. Additionally, students will experience significant exposure to supporting coursework in the closely related fields of accounting and economics.
Students will complete a capstone experience at the end of their program that will tie together the major finance topics with a significant focus on mergers and acquisitions. Students will also gain an appreciation of financial literature and how to analyze it. After a comprehensive examination of the field, students may choose their electives to satisfy their specific career goals. Required courses include:
Capital Budgeting and Corporate Investments
Institutions and Financial Markets
International Finance, and more
Students desiring to take advanced certification, such as the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or CFP (Certified Financial Planner), will want to take advanced courses in Derivatives, Financial Statement Analysis, Investments and Portfolio Management, while students interested in pursuing careers in other fields may want to take Entrepreneurial Finance, or similar advanced topics offered by the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology.
Southern New Hampshire’s online master’s in finance provides two concentration options in corporate finance, and investments and securities. The 36-credit hour program includes core courses in financial modeling, risk management, and managerial economics, as well as a required graduate capstone course in finance. Southern New Hampshire offers admissions on a rolling basis, allowing applicants to receive an admissions decision just days after applying. Some students complete the online master’s in finance in just 15 months, with shorter 10-week class terms. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Bellevue University, a private university located in Bellevue, Nebraska, opened in 1966 and currently enrolls approximately 10,000 students. Bellevue offers an online Master of Science in Strategic Finance, which is designed to prepare business leaders in the areas of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, enterprise risk analysis, insurance and risk, and banking. The Master of Science in Strategic Finance presents financial management as a tactical discipline involving networking with stakeholders in a dynamic international marketplace to allocate resources in a manner that maximizes economic, social and organizational value.
Bellevue’s curriculum is designed to develop students’ enterprise-wide financial decision making skills by focusing on the application of value optimization, enterprise risk management and business strategy for real-world situations. Students will study a wide variety of financial and business issues, perspectives, and decisions that managers and executives face within organizations across diverse industries. Coursework includes:
Financial Reporting and Analysis
Business Analysis for Decision Making
Accounting for Performance Management
Business Decisions in Global Markets
Graduates of Bellevue’s program will be able to achieve the following stated outcomes: apply critical thinking skills to analyze, evaluate and effectively communicate to diversified stakeholders an organization’s financial strategy addressing the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats of an organization’s business operations in a global environment; apply critical thinking skills to analyze, evaluate and effectively communicate to diversified stakeholders applications of cash flow and value optimization analysis of an organization’s business operations in a global environment; and apply critical thinking skills to analyze, evaluate and effectively communicate to diversified stakeholders the implications of a holistic enterprise-wide risk analysis of an organization’s business operations in a global environment.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University is a public university located in Durant, Oklahoma, and part of the Regional University System of Oklahoma. SOSU enrolls just over 5,000 undergraduate students. Finance students will be interested in SOSU’s online MBA, which offers an concentration in Finance. The degree is available fully online.
Graduates have pursued careers as chief financial officers, accountants, and auditors, as well as financial managers, advisors, and analysts. Students will also be prepared in the fundamentals of finance, accounting, economics, behavioral management, research and data analysis. Coursework in the program includes the following classes:
Accounting for Managers
Marketing Management, and more
The program offers a range of opportunities to specialize and become an expert in finance. For example, the curriculum covers a variety of specialized topics in finance, including security investments, international finance management, and an exploration of modern portfolio theory.
Charleston Southern University, originally founded in 1964 as a Baptist college, is an independent university located in Charleston, South Carolina. Enrolling just over 3,500 students, it is one of the smaller schools on our list, but it offers a fully online MBA degree that offers students interested in finance an option to pursue their interest through a program emphasis in Finance.
The program consists of a minimum of thirty-three (33) semester-hours of credit. The 33 hour requirement will include a core curriculum, quasi-core, and emphasis electives. Students without previous background in business, management, finance, or related courses may be required to take prerequisite courses in those fields. Up to five courses might be required for students with no previous background in any of these areas. The program can be completed within two years depending on the student’s schedule. Classes include:
Business Ethics from a Christian Worldview
Financial Management Practices
Strategic Planning and Analysis
In addition to the Finance concentration, Charleston Southern also offers concentrations in Accounting, Leadership, Management Information Systems, Human Resource Management, or a General Management emphasis. Students will choose three courses to complete their area of emphasis. In the case of Finance students, they will choose from the following courses: Macroeconomic Policy in a Global Economy, Entrepreneurial Finance, Advanced Investments, International Business and Trade, International Finance and Monetary Policy, Financial Planning, and Financial Statement Analysis.
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