Why get a Finance Degree
If you’ve got strong mathematics and analytical skills, put them to good use by earning one of the Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance.
Virtually all businesses of all sizes need assistance analyzing their financial opportunities and needs. A degree in finance will open the door to a range of in-demand careers that earn high salaries.
Opportunities may include financial management in businesses and firms, commercial bank management, stock brokerage, insurance, savings and loan management, security analysis, and trust management. With licensure, you can become a certified financial analyst or a certified financial planner.
A degree in finance is also a solid preparation for graduate study in business, law, finance, or economics. The possibilities are endless, but earning your bachelor’s degree in Finance is a key step. To help you get started, here’s a list of the eight best bachelor’s in Finance.
Top 10 Finance Degrees of 2021
What kind of bachelor’s in finance degree should you get?
If you’re interested in the financial aspects of general business, a BA in finance may be for you. If you want to work specifically in finance or pursue graduate school, a BS in finance will meet your needs. Depending on the program, you may be able to select a concentration related to your specific career goals.
You may choose to earn your degree online or on campus. Both options have their advantages, but an online degree allows you the flexibility to complete coursework any time from anywhere. If you’re interested in an online degree, check out our list of Online Colleges.
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How much money do people make with a bachelor’s in finance degree?
A bachelor’s degree in Finance will provide you with several career options. Below, we’ll look at a few of these options and their median salaries, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Financial manager: $127,990 (19)
- Insurance underwriter: $69,380 (-5)
- Certified financial analyst (CFA): $85,660 (11)
- Certified financial planner (CFP): $66,610
Most of these careers are growing faster than average. Demand for a financial manager is projected to grow by 19% in the next decade, with demand for CFAs growing by 11%. On the other hand, demand for insurance underwriters is expected to decline by 5%. The good news is that you have a wide variety of options with solid salaries and a strong outlook.
What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in finance?
A bachelor’s degree in finance can be the first step toward a graduate degree that brings a variety of lucrative career opportunities. You can pursue graduate study in finance, economics, business, or law.
The degree can also lead directly to a career as a personal financial consultant, financial manager for businesses, or the manager of a commercial bank. You can work in insurance, investments, mergers and acquisitions, and much more. With additional licensure and/or training, you can become a CFA or a CFP.
What are the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in finance?
Generally, a bachelor’s degree in finance will take four years to complete. You’ll take courses on investments, corporate valuation, corporate finance, accounting, economics, analytics, financial institutions, principles of finance, and so on.
Not surprisingly, you’ll do a lot of math. Many programs will also teach you general business skills, communication, and ethics related to finances. You may be required to complete an internship, but this is not always the case. Some programs require a senior seminar, portfolio, or another form of a final project.
What are the best bachelor’s in finance degrees?
The eight best bachelor’s in finance degrees listed below are the best of the best. We created this list based on factors including tuition costs, return on investment, school reputation, and accreditation.
To make sure we provide you top quality information, we use trusted sources like:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- U.S. News and World Report
- Princeton Review
- Official college and university websites and course catalogs
We’ve already crunched the numbers for you: these degree programs are top-notch. Whatever your aspirations in the field of finance, these excellent degree programs will help you achieve them. If you’re interested in how we came up with our list of programs, make sure you take a look at our methodology page. This will give you a more detailed overview of how we compile our final list of data.
University of Pennsylvania
OverviewThe University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university. Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, UPenn currently enrolls nearly 25,000 students across 12 schools. The university is ranked eighth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and has produced more billionaires than any other school. UPenn’s business programs are especially distinguished, and Finance is one of the school’s most popular majors. It’s a great place to earn your BS in Finance.Program FeaturesUPenn’s Bachelor of Science in Finance program develops skills like asset management, commercial and investment banking, financial management, and the financial aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and venture capital. It prepares students to work at a high level of expertise in law, government, and the private sector. Courses include:
- Advanced Corporate Finance
- Investment Management
- Financial Derivatives
- Corporate Valuation
- International Corporate Finance
Students take additional business courses divided into categories that include Leadership Journey, Fundamentals, Global Economy, Business, & Society, and Technology, Innovation, & Analytics. These courses are in addition to general education courses and electives. Students also complete a leadership capstone project, a critical writing seminar, and supervised study in finance.
OverviewEstablished by Jesuit founders in 1863, Boston College is a private university with an enrollment of 14,500 students. BC strives to fulfill its mission of faith and service and to seek solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. It’s ranked among the nation’s top 40 universities by U.S. News and World Report. Economics and finance are some of BC’s most popular majors, with the finance department consistently ranked in the top 15 nationwide. Boston College offers an undergraduate concentration in Finance.Program FeaturesThe concentration in Finance is offered by BC’s Carroll School of Management. The finance department is known for its respected faculty, prestigious national rankings, and dynamic curriculum. It consists of four core courses and two electives. Students are prepared to meet modern quantitative and analytical challenges through courses like:
- Financial Accounting
- Basic Finance
- Corporate Finance
- Data Analytics in Finance
Electives allow students to tailor the concentration to their individual interests and goals. Additional elective options include Derivatives & Risk Management, International Finance, Fixed Income Analysis, and Capital Structure & Financial Decisions. BC also offers an MS and a Ph.D. in Finance.
OverviewA private liberal arts college in Lake Forest, Illinois, Lake Forest College provides students with a high-quality education that leads to excellent career outcomes. Over 90 percent of LFC graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation. Students also have access to career-building internships in and around Chicago. Lake Forest enrolls nearly 2,000 undergraduates who are ranked among the happiest students in the nation by Princeton Review. The college offers 32 majors, including a major in Finance.Program FeaturesThe finance major at Lake Forest provides a broad range of relevant skills that are consistent with both the CFA and CFP programs. It focuses on risk measures and metrics, asset valuation and pricing, investment analysis, portfolio management, discounted cash flow analysis, accounting, statistical analysis, and more. Courses include:
- Corporate Finance
- Managerial Accounting
- Financial Management
- Financial Accounting
Students enrolled in this program may participate in the “In The Loop” program, living in Hostelling International in the Chicago Loop for a semester of academics and co-curricular activities. Lake Forest’s internship opportunities are ranked ninth in the nation by the Princeton Review
, and finance majors can complete multiple internships in Chicago.
Ohio State University-Main Campus
OverviewThe Ohio State University in Columbus is not only the highest-ranked public university in Ohio, but also a Top 20 public university nationally. OSU enrolls more than 67,000 students and offers over 200 academic programs. In addition to top-notch academic programs, the spirited school offers quality entertainment for interests including sports, history, food, art, and more. Home to the thirteenth-ranked finance program in the nation, OSU boasts an excellent BS in Finance.Program FeaturesOSU’s Bachelor of Science in Finance prepares students to effectively and efficiently manage finances for businesses, firms, and financial institutions. They develop their knowledge of accounting theories, concepts, and methods while acquiring skills such as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. In this program, you can expect to take courses like:
- Corporate Finance
- Financial Institutions
- Financial Data
- Global Finance
Starting salaries for graduates in 2015-2016 averaged $56,650 a year, depending on the candidate’s internship experiences and skills. Graduates work in commercial bank management, savings and loan management, stock brokerage, trust management, and more. Others gain the necessary training or licensing to work as stockbrokers, CFAs, or CFPs.
OverviewJust 30 minutes away from Manhattan, Manhattanville College is located on a picturesque 100-acre campus in Westchester County, New York. Students are provided with a wide variety of cultural experiences and internship opportunities. Manhattanville College is devoted to outcomes-based learning and also provides career counseling, mentoring, and networking opportunities for students. The private liberal arts college is home to 45 undergraduate majors and minors, including a BA or BS in Finance.Program FeaturesManhattanville’s finance major allows for either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in the field. Students take courses in accounting, finance, economics, and quantitative methods. They learn to create and evaluate plans to achieve long-term financial success, all while interning in leading financial institutions and corporate headquarters. Students complete courses like:
- Money and Banking
- Principles of Finance
- Corporation Finance
- Investment Analysis
- Global Finance
In recent years, Manhattanville College students have interned and now work for Lincoln Financial Advisers, Morgan Stanley, MasterCard Worldwide, and other well-known institutions. Students take a Senior Seminar in the fall of their senior year, culminating in a discussion of their research findings and conclusions in a thesis.
OverviewProvidence College is a private Catholic college in Providence, Rhode Island. U.S. News and World Report ranks it the best regional college in the North, and the school has appeared in this ranking for 14 consecutive years. Founded in 1917, Providence currently enrolls nearly 5,000 students and offers 52 major areas of study. Finance is the school’s most popular major thanks to the high-quality, customizable Bachelor of Science in Finance.Program FeaturesStudents enrolled in the Bachelor of Finance program at Providence College study financial institutions, investments, and corporate finance. Although students may pursue the general finance degree, they can also choose a CFA or CTP track. Regardless of their selected track, students gain a competitive advantage in the financial sector through courses like:
- Managerial Finance
- Statistical Analysis for Business Decisions
- Financial Markets and Institutions
- International Finance
Providence College’s Finance program has been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. In addition, selected first-year students may choose a Fast Track Option that allows them to access higher level finance courses sooner. Students with strong scores in the SAT Math, AP Statistics, AP Calculus, and AP Economics are encouraged to apply for this track.
OverviewBased in Naperville, Illinois, North Central College is a private liberal arts college with a long history of excellence, innovation, and achievement. It was founded in 1861 and has grown to serve close to 3,000 students with 65 academic programs, supportive faculty, world-class facilities, and countless opportunities for experiential learning. Though affiliated with the United Methodist Church, North Central gladly welcomes students of all faiths. The independent college offers a BA and a BS in Finance.Program FeaturesWhether pursuing a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Finance, students develop practical skills and knowledge to successfully enter the business world. In addition to building knowledge of financial markets and institutions, students develop their leadership, decision-making, and critical-thinking skills. Courses include:
- Corporate Finance
- Wealth Management
- International Finance
- Investments and Portfolio Management
- Financial Institutions
This program is appropriate for students interested in careers in general business or financial services or those in pursuit of graduate study in economics, finance, business, or law. The BA degree is the most appropriate for students who want to work in general business and do not intend to attend graduate school. The BS prepares students for graduate study or for careers in portfolio management or security analysis.
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
OverviewFounded in 1855 as a prototype for land-grant universities, Michigan State University in East Lansing has always been an innovative pioneer. It’s ranked No. 33 in the nation, No. 100 among global universities, and a Top 40 Best Value Public College. MSU enrolls over 50,000 students who choose from more than 200 academic programs, including a BA in Finance.Program FeaturesMSU’s Bachelor of Arts in Finance produces highly sought after graduates with excellent knowledge, skills, and work ethic. All students complete the common degree requirements, but there are also suggested paths in Corporate Finance, Capital Markets and Investment Banking, Commercial Banking, and Financial Advising. Students also have access to a wide range of unique programs and organizations. Core coursework includes:
- Intermediate Accounting for Finance Majors
- Introduction to Investments
- International Financial Management
- Security Analysis
- Debt and Money Markets
MSU’s College of Business is a CFA Program Partner of the CFA Institute and offers partial scholarships to help offset the cost of the exam. Select students may join the Financial Markets Institute, enjoying invaluable opportunities like co-managing a multi-million dollar investment fund and visiting financial service institutions across the nation.