The 20 Best Online Master’s In Finance Programs

Check out the top online finance programs ranked by cost, flexibility, and academic excellence.

Dreaming of climbing the corporate ladder? An online master’s in finance could be your secret weapon. While MBA programs offer a broader skill set, a finance master’s equips you with the specialized knowledge needed to excel in senior and leadership roles. From dissecting financial theory to mastering the art of valuation, this program prepares you to tackle any challenge head-on.

And here’s the kicker: you don’t have to put your career on hold to pursue your dreams. Many enter these programs straight out of undergrad, wasting no time in propelling themselves to the top. With lucrative career paths as financial analysts, investment bankers, and more, the ROI on this degree is undeniable.

Best Finance Program

But don’t just take our word for it—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), financial analysts rake in a median salary of $81,590, with job opportunities expected to grow by 5% in the coming years. So why wait? Your future starts now.

Top Online Courses in a Finance Program

Master’s degree programs in finance typically entail completing 30-36 credits, equivalent to about 10-12 courses. These programs usually consist of core courses and electives, allowing students to specialize in specific areas of finance. The following outlines some commonly offered courses in finance master’s programs. It’s important to note that curricula may vary by program, so prospective students should contact their desired institution to confirm course availability.

Corporate Finance and Risk Management

This course equips students with the skills to effectively manage risk in corporate environments. Students delve into various aspects of risk, including those related to interest rates, inflation, foreign exchange, credit, and mergers and acquisitions. Through analyzing case studies, graduates are prepared for roles such as treasurers, traders, accountants, consultants, bankers, and private equity investors.

Quantitative Methods in Finance

In this course, finance students learn to conduct quantitative analyses essential in the field. Topics covered include cash flow analysis, statistics and probability, regression analysis, correlation, and sampling and hypothesis testing. Typically offered as a core course, it serves as a foundation for more advanced coursework and projects, such as conducting statistical analyses for capstone projects or theses.

Options and Futures An advanced finance course, Options and Futures explores the theoretical basis and practical applications of derivative securities. Students gain an understanding of valuing basic derivatives to effectively manage financial risk. Prerequisite coursework in statistics, calculus, and business finance may be required, given the course’s emphasis on quantitative and economic arguments.

Portfolio Management

This course focuses on developing core competencies in selecting stock portfolios and evaluating returns and performance. Topics covered include fixed-income portfolios, equity portfolios, hedge funds, and the theory and practice of portfolio management. Additionally, students learn about practical applications of security analysis concepts. While often offered as an elective, Portfolio Management is considered an advanced course in many finance programs.

International Finance

Introducing students to international financial operations, this course explores various topics such as political and social pressures, risk and credit evaluation, and foreign trade financing. Students gain insights into major trends and developments in international business, international banking organizations, trade policy and law, international trade agreements, and foreign exchange markets. Building upon concepts introduced in corporate finance classes, this advanced course offers a comprehensive understanding of global financial dynamics.

What Are the Requirements for a Finance Program?

Prospective candidates applying to master’s programs in finance are typically required to possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Alongside this, applicants must meet specific GPA and standardized test score thresholds. Conditional admission may be granted to individuals failing to meet these criteria, subject to evaluation of other components of their application. Additionally, submission of college transcripts, a comprehensive resume, a well-articulated statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation are commonly requested. Admitted students are expected to fulfill both coursework requirements and a capstone project, which may involve the completion of a thesis or participation in an internship, with the maintenance of a minimum GPA throughout the program.

What Can I Do With a Finance Degree?

A finance degree equips individuals with a versatile skill set applicable across various sectors. Typically comprising 30-36 credits and spanning 1-2 years, a master’s in finance encompasses rigorous coursework encompassing topics ranging from speculative markets to quantitative methods, fixed-income securities, and mergers and acquisitions.

Most finance programs culminate in a capstone experience, often in the form of a thesis or research project. However, it’s imperative to note that program structures and offerings vary considerably among institutions. Some programs may offer specialized concentrations to cater to specific career paths, while others may integrate opportunities for practical learning through internships.

Furthermore, certain finance programs align their curriculum with professional certifications such as chartered financial analyst (CFA) or certified financial planning credentials, adding further value to the educational experience. Prospective students are encouraged to thoroughly evaluate each program’s format to ensure it aligns with their learning preferences and career objectives.

Top Online Master’s in Finance Programs

University of Michigan – Dearborn

The University of Michigan–Dearborn is renowned globally for its dedicated faculty, vibrant alumni network, and diverse academic offerings. Its College of Business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International (AACSB), placing it among the top 25% of business schools. The online master of science program equips graduates for successful careers in corporate finance, investment management, and related fields. Additionally, UM-Dearborn provides options for pursuing a master of finance degree online through its MBA program or as a dual MBA/MS in finance degree.

Program Website

Program Tuition: $32,000 Points: 25

Indiana University

Indiana University boasts an extensive academic network, including IU Online and multiple satellite locations. The Kelley School of Business is highly regarded by job recruiters and has produced numerous CFOs, with fourteen alumni in the Fortune 500. Kelley offers a 30-credit online master’s in finance program covering economics, risk management, financial management, and quantitative analysis.

Program Website

Program Tuition: $39,000 Points: 25

Program: Online MA in Finance

Penn State World Campus

Penn State University’s online graduate business school is recognized nationally and internationally. Its online master of finance program, accredited by AACSB, fosters a collaborative learning environment and covers advanced topics such as capital budgeting, strategic financial decisions, and multinational financial management.

Program Website

Program Tuition: $30,750 Points: 24

Program: Online MA in Finance

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University is known for its diversity, small class sizes, and affordability. The H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship offers an online master’s in finance degree as an MBA concentration, emphasizing practical skills needed in today’s finance industry. The curriculum includes courses in banking, investments, and financial engineering.

Program Tuition: $32,760 Points: 24

Program Website

Program: Online MBA with Finance Concentration

University of Houston – Clear Lake

The University of Houston Clear Lake is home to one of the top-ranked business schools in the nation. Its online M.S. in finance program, accredited by AACSB, offers a comprehensive curriculum that prepares graduates for roles such as financial planner, bank officer, auditor, and tax compliance manager.

Program Website

Program Tuition: $35,820 Points: 24

Program: Online MS in Finance

Frequently Asked Questions About Masters In Finance

Is a master’s in finance different from an MBA?

Master’s in finance programs offer specialized coursework tailored to prepare students for roles within the finance sector. On the other hand, MBA programs provide a broader understanding of various aspects of business. Typically, students complete master’s in finance programs in a shorter timeframe compared to MBA programs.

Are finance Programs in demand?

Yes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected 5% growth for professions in business and finance from 2019 to 2029. This growth rate is faster than the average for all occupations.

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

Graduates of online finance master’s programs have a variety of career options available to them, including roles as financial analysts, investment bankers, stockbrokers, and personal financial advisors.

Is it better to have a CFA or a master’s in finance?

The choice between a CFA and a master’s in finance depends on an individual’s career objectives. Obtaining a master’s in finance provides a quicker route to gaining knowledge about the finance industry. Conversely, earning the CFA credential demonstrates specialized expertise in areas such as asset management, investment analysis, and portfolio strategy. Typically, professionals complete the CFA program in approximately three years.

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