Updated: May 24, 2017
“Money can’t buy everything . . . but it can buy me a boat!”
If you haven’t heard that country song, we’ll give you a minute to come out from under the rock you’ve been living under for the past couple of years . . .
Okay, so maybe you missed the song, but if you’re here in search of a program that can further your career in finance, you’ve figured out a pretty simple but profound truth by now: Follow the money! Literally every sector of the corporate and government worlds run on money—it’s the gasoline of commerce. Students who graduate with finance degrees, maybe like yourself, are the experts in the currency that makes the world of commerce work. Even families are in on the game! Highly experienced and successful financial professionals might even find themselves in a corner office as Chief Financial Officers. Fancy!
The career outlook for those interested in finance is very strong. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, financial occupations are projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations, adding about 632,400 new jobs. The BLS suggests that increased financial regulations are creating additional demand for professionals who can examine complex financial data and demonstrate compliance with federal rules.
We hear what you’re saying, though—you’ve already know this, and you’re ready to take your career to the next level. What’s next? The tried-and-true way to get to the next step in your career—or to make sure you have as many options available to you in your future career—is to invest a year or two in a specialized master’s program in the field. And with the growth of fully online programs, there has never been a better time to do this! So the question now is not whether you should take the plunge, but which school best fits your needs?
What Are the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Finance?
And that’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of the top 35 online master’s degrees in finance with your needs in mind. The first thing we want to know, like you, is the bottom line: how much is this going to set me back? So we’ve included the annual tuition for each school right up front for you. We’ve also included our College Choice Score, which is computed based on each school’s reputation in the field and its return on investment. The end result is a list of schools that balance cost, reputation, and, ultimately, what they can do for you and your unique goals. You can’t go wrong with any of them, of course, but these schools are leading the way.
The rankings you’re about to read are based on a few important sources. The first source is actual college freshman polled during a nationwide survey published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. These students rated academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost of school, and the survey also took into account graduate success rates ono the post-college job market. These factors were weighed equally alongside data from other publicly available sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and PayScale.com.
College Choice Score: 100
Average Tuition: $850
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 economic theory, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, international markets, and risk management.
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
College Choice Score: 99.15
Average Tuition: $1,330
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, Financial Institutions, Derivatives, and Fixed Income.
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.
College Choice Score: 98.72
Average Tuition: $1,185
Villanova University, a private research university located in the Philadelphia area, serves approximately ten thousand students through its various programs. For students interested in online graduate education in finance, Villanova offers a rigorous, twelve-month, full-time, online Master of Science in Finance program. Coursework includes financial theory, financial decision making, applied corporate financial analysis, derivatives, and management of real-world investment funds.
Students who happen to be in the Philadelphia area can take advantage of Villanova’s nationally recognized Applied Finance Lab, which provides access to the same advanced resources and real-time information used by Wall Street traders. The program also features a professional development program, which provides outstanding support and mentorship to help achieve career objectives within the highly competitive finance industry. The program places strong emphasis on interviewing techniques and networking opportunities.
Villanova’s program will appeal to students who are interested in completing their program as quickly as possible with a view to completing the CFA exam. The program has been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program, which means that the degree covers at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK). This provide students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them well to sit for the CFA exams.
University of Texas at Dallas
College Choice Score: 98.21
Average Tuition: $1,238
The University of Texas at Dallas, part of the reputable University of Texas system, offers an online Master of Science in Finance through its Naveen Jindal School of Management. The program is a 36 semester credit hour degree program, and it can be completed in eighteen to twenty-four months. UTD’s program provides students with the practical and theoretical knowledge needed by finance professionals. Students learn the quantitative skills required to analyze financial information, make financial decisions and valuations, select and analyze portfolios and manage risk.
Students can also expect to acquire proficiency in practical areas such as spreadsheets, databases and other technological skills needed to evaluate financial data. The program offers several concentrations, but many students select the Financial Management option, which provides a generalist approach to the degree while allowing flexibility to tailor the program to their needs. Coursework in the program includes Energy Risk Management, Financial Analysis, Financial Risk Management, Corporate Finance/Investment Banking, Enterprise Risk Management, and Real Estate.
Students who happen to be in the DFW area can benefit from a number of on-campus resources that contribute to the learning experience. The school boasts a Finance Trading Lab where students can get trained and certified using the Bloomberg terminals. The lab also has access to a number of databases, including Thomson Reuters Eikon, S&P Capital IQ, SDC Platinum, Morningstar Direct and Wharton Research Data Services. Students can apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios by participating in local and national case competitions, such as the CFA® Institute Research Challenge.
University of Washington
College Choice Score: 98.17
Average Tuition: $323
The University of Washington, located in Seattle, Washington, is a large public research university that enrolls in excess of 46,000 students on its main campus in downtown Seattle. UW offers an online Master of Science degree in Computational Finance and Risk Management (CFRM), a program focused on the analytics of the trade. The program is an ideal option for working professionals to pursue their education while maintaining their current job or other obligations. The program allows students to complete the program on either a full-time or part-time basis.
The program can be completed entirely online, and students who happen to be in the Seattle area can benefit from on-campus work as well. Most online students complete their program on a part-time basis. Online courses are scheduled at the same time, taught by the same instructors, and involve the same assignments with identical grading expectations as the on-campus courses.
Online students are an integral part of the MS program. The program encourages interaction between campus and online students via email, course discussion forums, and web conferencing. Students in both cohorts gain from sharing the diverse career experience, academic backgrounds, and cultures of a broadly nationwide and international student body. Graduates of the program can expect to be well prepared for a wide variety of career options within the finance and risk management professions.
College Choice Score: 97.97
Average Tuition: $1,300
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 covers a wide variety of topics, including financial management, quantitative analysis, value creation, economics, risk management, and capital markets. 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.
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.
Penn State World Campus
College Choice Score: 97.92
Average Tuition: $1,025
Penn State World Campus’s online programs continue to lead online higher education in a number of areas. Its online Master of Science in Finance is no exception. Students can expect to be prepared in areas such as capital management, investment and portfolio management, financial institutions, and personal finance. Students will be equipped with the analytical and conceptual skills necessary to finance-based positions.
The program is AACSB-accredited, which lends great credibility to those pursuing a career in banking, financial analysis, security analysis, corporate finance, or personal financial planning. It is offered in partnership with Penn State Erie’s Behrend Campus, and it is distinct in its practical focus on preparing students for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and/or Certificated Financial Planning (CFP) designations. The Bachelors in Finance has also been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program, a unique accomplishment for an online program.
Areas covered in the program include investments, corporate finance, financial markets, and more. The curriculum provides a firm grounding in the principles of business, economics, and accounting with an in-depth focus on issues and knowledge in finance and financial management. Like most Penn State World Campus programs, it offers considerable flexibility in schedule and delivery.
College Choice Score: 97.47
Average Tuition: $830
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 by combining a solid foundation in general management practices with expertise in corporate finance, global markets, and the financial services industry.
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, compound interest, and valuation of projects using net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), payback period, and modified internal rate of return (MIRR).
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.
College Choice Score: 97.17
Average Tuition: $850
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: corporate, investments, and 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.
College Choice Score: 97.03
Average Tuition: $2,235
Georgetown University, a prestigious private Catholic institution located in Washington, DC, offers an online Master of Science in Finance program intended to transform today’s best professionals into rising industry leaders. Created by the distinguished faculty of the McDonough School of Business, the program’s world-class curriculum and revolutionary online learning platform deliver the essential skills to take students’ finance career to the next level. Students in the DC area can attend courses on campus.
Students in the program learn from the same leading faculty that on-campus students have access to and will have the opportunity to deepen their business and technical finance skills. The program involves intensive coursework, real-world applications, a global outlook, and a commitment to ethical values. Graduates of Georgetown are well respected and enjoy great success in job placement.
Stated goals of the program include the ability to value stocks, bonds, and derivatives using cutting-edge valuation methods; a comprehensive understanding of how to evaluate corporate investment projects in a strategic context; an appreciation for the importance of ethical decision making; the ability to construct an efficient portfolio using the latest techniques for estimating expected returns and risks; a thorough understanding of how markets work according to the Efficient Market Hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis of Behavioral Finance; and the ability to blend sophisticated modeling with a global mindset in the management of corporate risks.
West Texas A&M University
College Choice Score: 94.96
Average Tuition: $365
West Texas A&M University, located in Canyon, Texas, and part of the Texas A&M University system, offers an online Master of Science in Finance and Economics through its College of Business. The graduate program at West Texas A&M is no stranger to rankings: it was ranked #3 in The Financial Engineer’s 2017 Financial Economics Rankings of economics and finance graduate programs. This was based on a variety of factors, including the program’s acceptance rate, incoming students’ undergraduate GPA, employment after graduation, and starting salary.
The program is also regularly recognized as being among the best graduate business programs by U.S. News & World Report. The program at West Texas A&M is designed for students who want to improve their understanding of economics and finance, particularly those interested in or already working in finance institutions and finance departments in business and government; policy-oriented and community service occupations in the private and public sectors; economic and financial consulting and advising; and teaching at the high school, community college, or instructor level.
Students can also use this degree to prepare for law school or doctorate programs in economics, finance, management, or marketing. The program is geared toward practical application rather than theory and mathematics per se, so graduates of the program are well prepared to enter a variety of professions. The program requires 36 credit hours to complete, and most students finish their program in two years. Students in the area can attend on-campus courses as well.
College Choice Score: 94.92
Average Tuition: $1,179
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.
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.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
College Choice Score: 93.84
Average Tuition: $630
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.
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.
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. Beginning in 2017, 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, Fixed Income Securities, Bank Management, Financial Risk Management, or a Finance Seminar.
College Choice Score: 93.3
Average Tuition: $1,513
Northeastern University, located in Boston, Massachusetts, offers an AACSB-accredited online Master of Science in Finance. The program is designed to prepare students to make important economic decisions, among other things. Students will learn crucial skills, such as how to leverage assets, manage budgets, achieve financial efficiencies, and maximize investments. Coursework is wide-ranging and comprehensive.
Students can also expect to develop considerable analytical and quantitative skills, which are crucial for the profession. Graduates of the program will be trained in areas as diverse as financial reporting and analysis to international finance and investments. Being trained in both finance and accounting is a considerable asset for students who desire broad training and look forward to a career full of diverse prospects.
The program prepares students to take advantage of the considerable growth in demand for the finance and accounting professions. Coursework in the program includes but is not limited to Cost Accounting, Financial Reporting & Analysis 1, Financial Reporting & Analysis 2, Principles of Taxation, Financial Institutions and Markets, Risk Management and Insurance, Investments, Financial Statement Analysis, and Business Strategy.
University of Miami
College Choice Score: 93.02
Average Tuition: $1,900
The University of Miami offers one of the most comprehensive assortment of programs for the graduate student interested in finance. Its program is also AACSB accredited, and it allows students to tailor their studies to their interests and career aspirations with multiple options for degree completion. Students have the option to earn one of two certificates alone or as part of the master’s program.
Graduates of Miami’s programs are currently working at some of the top companies in the world, including JP Morgan, United Airlines, Citibank, Kellogg, Boeing and more. Miami offers the following degree options for students to choose from:
- Master’s in Finance
- Certificate in Corporate Finance
- Certificate in Financial Decision Making
- MBA with Corporate Finance Focus
- MBA with Financial Decision Making Focus
It is well-known that earning a master’s degree beyond the bachelor’s degree can prepare students for advanced positions, greater job opportunity, and higher salary. Miami has recognized that finance is one of the most in-demand programs currently, and it boasts a number of successful alumni, including Paul Alvarez, Former President and COO, McDonald’s Corporation; Lyor Cohen, Former Vice Chairman, Warner Music Group; Jack Creighton, Former CEO, United Airlines; David H. Komansky, Chairman Emeritus, Merrill Lynch; Jason Liberty, Senior Vice President and CFO, Royal Caribbean Cruises; and Kim Stone, Executive Vice President, Miami Heat.
St. Joseph's University
College Choice Score: 91.69
Average Tuition: $1,003
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 courses cover a variety of disciplines, including accounting, law and ethics, actuarial studies, security analysis, mergers and acquisitions, and estate planning. The online program is offered in a variety of formats, including both 8-week and 15-week semesters.
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.
University of Michigan Dearborn
College Choice Score: 89.83
Average Tuition: $1,356
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.
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 Global Campus
College Choice Score: 89.46
Average Tuition: $500
Colorado State University’s 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.
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. Graduates have pursued careers as investment bankers, payroll specialists, analysts, auditors, controllers, and more.
College Choice Score: 87.85
Average Tuition: $1,579
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 can also 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.
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, International Finance, Financial Statement Analysis, Business Insights through Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management.
College Choice Score: 87.68
Average Tuition: $572
Drexel University is another private research university based in Philadelphia. It operates three campuses in the area. It was founded in 1891 and enrolls approximately 26,000 students across its three campuses and online. Drexel offers an online Master of Science in Finance designed to prepare students for careers in wealth management, portfolio management, security analysis, financial consulting, public accounting, and banking. Many students also seek to achieve the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Drexel graduates love challenges, seek to make an impact on the world, and possess critical thinking skills. It is a career-focused program that caters to students at all stages of their careers—for those interested in establishing a career in finance or financial services, seeking career advancement, or looking to make a career change. It also includes optional internship and consulting opportunities. Drexel’s program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means students can take more courses in a shorter time period.
Drexel graduates are well-known financial stewards for individuals, corporations, and a wide variety of other organizations. The program recognizes that professionals working in finance play a very important role in the global economy, and it takes this responsibility seriously. Internships and consulting experiences are available during the program as well.
University of Houston Clear Lake
College Choice Score: 87.14
Average Tuition: $917
University of Houston Clear Lake, one of the four schools comprising the University of Houston system, provides an affordable solution to those seeking an online option for acquiring a Master of Science in Finance. This program merges both quality with convenience, and it is also included among the elite group of colleges and universities who are accredited by the globally recognized Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The program is offered through UHCL’s College of Business, and it is designed to provide students with the comprehensive training and preparation necessary to excel as a financial leader. All finance faculty members hold their Ph.D.’s and hail from top-notch business and industry, bringing first-hand experience to every student. Students can also expect to acquire hands-on experience through case studies and projects while strengthening ethical awareness and a global perspective.
Courses in the program include classes such as the following: Accounting, Statistics Financial Markets, International Finance, and Financial Statement Analysis. Graduates will be able to master the areas of corporate finance, commercial banking, financial planning, investment banking, money management, and real estate investments.
University of Colorado Denver
College Choice Score: 86.86
Average Tuition: $625
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.
Examples of available electives in the program include Security Analysis and Firm Valuation, Financial Innovations, Futures and Options, Mergers and Acquisitions, Small Firm Financial Management, Financial Modeling, and International Financial Markets. 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.
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
College Choice Score: 85.22
Average Tuition: $610
Texas A&M University Commerce, part of the Texas A&M University system, offers a fully online Master of Science in Finance through its College of Business that is designed to expose students to as many areas of finance as possible. Students can expect to take advanced courses, for instance, in Financial Management, Investments, Financial Planning, Derivatives, Financial Markets and Institutions, Economics, and Financial Accounting.
All students in the program are encouraged to pursue the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation or Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. The program is built on TAMUC’s core curriculum, an essential element in the educational process that results in professional success, personal growth, and responsible citizenship. In this process, students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge, learn reasoning and communication skills, examine their goals, values, and potential, and develop an enduring commitment to learning through both formal and informal educational experiences.
The finance program at TAMUC is designed to provide successful academic experiences and to facilitate students’ abilities to perform responsibly and effectively in their chosen professional roles in business, industry, government, and education. The program offers advanced courses such as the following for those interested in finance: Financial Modeling in Excel, Principles of Financial Planning, Intermediate Macroeconomics, Intermediate Micro Economics, US-Economics of Personal Finance, Money, Banking & Financial Markets, Principles of Investments, Advanced Financial Management, and GLB/International Business Finance.
College Choice Score: 83.98
Average Tuition: $780
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. 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.
The program is offered fully online, but students in the St. Louis area can attend campuses locally. Additionally, students near any of the satellite locations can attend courses at any of those campuses. The MSF requires successful completion of 36 credit hours, including 27 required credit hours and 9 credit hours of electives. Required courses include Management Accounting, Finance, Investments, Capital Budgeting and Corporate Investments, Institutions and Financial Markets, International Finance, Advanced Corporate Finance, and Mergers and Acquisitions.
Southern New Hampshire University
College Choice Score: 83.67
Average Tuition: $627
Southern New Hampshire University has increased its presence in a big way in recent years and has helped thousands of students complete and finish their degrees through an entirely online offering of bachelor’s degrees. SNHU offers a fully online Master of Science in Finance that offers training in a wide variety of finance and accounting skills. Students will learn to analyze the fundamentals of investment vehicles; address the key issues modern corporate managers face, including capital budgeting, firm valuation and risk assessment; and examine ethics and the ever-evolving regulatory environment.
Graduates of the program can expect to be prepared for immediate entry into the profession and for a variety of roles, including developing financial plans to counsel clients on investment recommendations, analyzing local and global economies, and making strategic decisions. Along the way, students will gain experience in managing a virtual stock market portfolio and modeling with state-of-the-art simulations to marry theory with real-world application.
SNHU has several explicit objectives for students in the program, including the following: develop financial plans that utilize appropriate investment strategies designed to counsel clients for making appropriate investment recommendations; analyze domestic and global economic environments and market conditions for supporting organizational strategic goals and effective financial planning; analyze an organization’s financial statements for forecasting and meeting organizational goals and objectives; and apply quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis for supporting sound financial decisions.
College Choice Score: 82.69
Average Tuition: $545
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.
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
College Choice Score: 82.45
Average Tuition: $551
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.
The degree covers a variety of specialized topics in finance, including security investments, international finance management, and an exploration of modern portfolio theory. 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: Behavioral Management, Management Economics, Accounting for Managers, Research Methods, Marketing Management, Data Analysis for Managers, Financial Management, Strategic Management, Principle Centered Leadership and Ethics, Contemporary Issues, Securities Investments, and International Financial Management.
Charleston Southern University
College Choice Score: 82.29
Average Tuition: $625
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.
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.
University of Saint Mary
College Choice Score: 81.88
Average Tuition: $598
The University of Saint Mary is a private liberal arts university located in Leavenworth, Kansas. With just over one thousand students, it is the smallest school on our list, but it offers an online MBA program with a Finance concentration that will appeal to students interested in graduate education in finance that also value a more personal environment for their studies. Students in Saint Mary’s program can expect to be prepared to meet the financial needs of a variety of organizations and institutions, from health care and government to entertainment and banking.
When students strengthen their investment and management skills, they position themselves for leadership roles in this dynamic professional field. The online MBA program with a Finance Concentration at University of Saint Mary centers around the monetary aspects managers face on a daily basis and the ability to properly evaluate assets and assess risk. The program emphasizes real-life examples and advanced concepts, including how to gauge investments, create future growth, and distribute capital soundly.
The program is intentionally rigorous and fast-paced, and it allows students to quickly take their finance degree to the next level. Motivated students can complete an otherwise two-year degree in one year if they are willing to dedicate their full-time attention to the program. The program is designed to make it more convenient for students to grow their career in finance and see a faster return on investment in comparison to traditional two-year MBA programs.
New England College of Business
College Choice Score: 81.64
Average Tuition: $340
The New England College of Business is a private, for-profit online institution located in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1909 and has been educating successful finance and business professionals since that time. Its online offerings are created with the working adult in mind, they are designed to fit mid-career students’ busy schedules. For students interested in finance, NECB offers an online Master of Science in Finance (MSF).
The MSF degree is designed to provide a comprehensive, contemporary perspective on financial theory and practice. Compared to an MBA, the MSF provides an exclusive focus on financial models, financial markets and investment strategies. The course curriculum along with the knowledge and skills acquired while obtaining the MSF degree offers excellent preparation for an individual to pursue entry or advancement in the financial services industry. The program requires 10 courses and can be completed in as little as 15 months.
Students with an interest in global finance and trading may also choose to pursue our MSF with Global Finance Trading concentration. For students who already hold a master’s degree in finance, NECB also offers a Graduate Certificate in Global Finance Trading. Throughout the MSF program, team building, cross-sector learning and professional networking are encouraged through small, online classes. Graduates of NECB’s program have found work as treasurers, fraud analysts, underwriters, financial analysts, tax specialists, bank presidents, portfolio managers, and more.
Saint Xavier University
College Choice Score: 81.6
Average Tuition: $720
A private Roman Catholic university located in Chicago, Saint Xavier University enrolls approximately 4,000 students, both undergraduate and graduate students. It was founded in 1846 and now offers an online Master of Science in Finance that provides the strong analytical skills and deep understanding of today’s global financial markets students need for a successful career in finance. Our unique, immersive program combines a strong foundation in all areas of finance with hands-on skills in business problem solving.
Students will graduate with the practical skills necessary for experiencing the real-world rewards of a finance education. Students in the program will benefit from a number of unique features, such as the following: personal learning in a high-tech, high-touch program in which you enjoy hands-on instruction and support throughout your academic journey; and hands-on training that includes the use of industry software including MATLAB, Hadoop, R and SAS throughout the program and virtual access to SXU’s unique, state-of-the-art trading lab for trading simulations.
Students will also benefit from a rigorous curriculum built around the CFA Institute’s Chartered Financial Analyst program. Xavier’s degree covers a significant portion of the topics of study for all three levels of the CFA exam—the test students must pass to earn the world’s most respected and recognized investment management charter. The program also features a risk-management focus that builds hedging skills, techniques and processes that will enable you to produce financial innovations in the markets and be a responsible financial manager.
College Choice Score: 81.38
Average Tuition: $605
Walden University is a for-profit institution located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that enrolls in excess of fifty thousand students through its vast selection of undergraduate and graduate programs. Walden offers an online Master of Science in Finance that is designed to prepare students for success in their chosen professions. Students will gain practical, relevant skills that can be applied in a variety of roles, functions, and industries.
Students will also gain insight into key business functions—such as accounting, finance, operations, and marketing—and how they work together to keep an organization running smoothly. They will be prepared to analyze issues that impact business decisions from economic, political, legal, ethical, and social-change perspectives, and also examine how technology and innovation can help organizations develop a sustainable competitive advantage.
The MS in Finance will prepare students to effectively assess and guide the operation of an organization. The curriculum will help students appreciate how the key financial levers of an organization work and how to help management direct the organization to optimize its value to both its employees and other shareholders. Walden boasts nearly fifty years of experience serving the needs of adult learners, and it boasts comprehensive student support services that feature an array of resources dedicated to students’ success and well-being.
College Choice Score: 81.28
Average Tuition: $658
Mississippi College, located in Clinton, Mississippi, is a primarily undergraduate institution that also offers a surprisingly wide array of graduate and professional programs for its size. It enrolls approximately 5,000 students total, including approximately 1,300 graduate students and 550 law students. It was founded in 1826 and now offers an online Master of Business Administration with a Finance concentration.
The general objective of the Master of Business Administration degree at Mississippi College is to provide a broad-based, rigorous curriculum that develops competency in general management skills and in the key functional areas of business. Designed primarily for working professionals who desire to further their careers, the MBA program prepares its students to have an understanding of the core business disciplines: accounting, finance, marketing, organizational behavior, economics and statistics.
Students who opt for Mississippi College’s Finance concentration will acquire greater knowledge and understanding in the field of finance. The curriculum is rigorous and develops competency in the principal areas of finance, such as corporate finance, investments, financial markets, financial institutions and international finance. Concentration coursework in the program includes the following classes: Advanced Financial Management, Financial Statement Analysis, Advanced Investments, and Financial Markets & Institutions.
Golden Gate University
College Choice Score: 80.97
Average Tuition: $1,015
Golden Gate University, located in San Francisco, is a private, nonsectarian institution that was founded in 1901 as the YMCA Evening College. It currently enrolls just over 5,000 students. GGU offers an online Master of Science in Finance, a specialized, technical program providing in-depth exposure to the principles and practices of corporate finance and investment management. The main objective of the program is to provide the specialized knowledge needed to add immediate value to students’ organizations as financial managers or investment advisers.
The program can be completed entirely online, but students who live in the area can take classes on campus as well. Online courses are taught by the same professors and present the same material as traditional courses, with the added ability to ask questions, make comments, and confer with your classmates 24-hours a day. The degree is intended primarily for students who have a particular interest in finance rather than general business interests. It focuses on areas most relevant to financial managers, security analysts, corporate bankers and portfolio managers.
The core of the program is a 15-unit series of courses that are common to all financial professionals, such as corporate finance, investments, and capital markets. Two courses in financial analysis and financial modeling build and strengthen skills in accounting and computer applications. Students can select to concentrate their degree in Corporate Finance or Investment Management, or they may choose a general concentration.