Best Online Bachelor’s in Finance 2021

by TBS Staff
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An online bachelor's degree in finance prepares students for careers in the financial industry and for graduate study.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that roles for financial advisors -- a popular job for graduates with a bachelor of finance -- will grow by 4% from 2019-2029. Financial advisors enjoy lucrative careers, earning a median annual salary of $87,850 in 2019.

Featured Online Schools

Best Online Bachelor of Finance Programs

Penn State World Campus View School Profile $$$$ University Park, PA 71% 48% 100% Pennsylvania State University is regionally accredited by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Established in 1998, Penn State's World Campus allows students to earn over 150 Penn State degrees from anywhere in the world.

Penn State's World Campus provides students the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science in finance through online coursework. Sample courses include international finance, financial statement analysis, financial and managerial accounting for decision-making, and basic management concepts.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Penn State World Campus applicants must submit transcripts. Current students must complete at least 29.1 credits, including 5 entry-to-major courses, and maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 before beginning major coursework. Penn State evaluates transfer credits on a case-by-case basis.

Florida International University View School Profile $ Miami, FL 58% 34% 65% Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC).

Built on the site of an abandoned airfield, FIU opened in 1972 and welcomed over 5,000 students during its first semester.

FIU offers a fully online program for students wishing to earn a bachelor of business administration with a finance concentration. Sample courses include commercial bank management, securities analysis, and organization management.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile Manchester, NH 54% 68% 93% Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE). The finance degree program at Southern New Hampshire University is also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Founded in 1932, SNHU teaches just 3,000 students on campus. More than 135,000 students learn through SNHU's online degree programs.

SNHU offers an online bachelor of science in finance degree program. The program also offers an optional financial planning concentration, which prepares students to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam. Sample courses include financial regulations and ethics, wealth management, and multinational corporate finance.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts. SNHU accepts up to 90 transfer credits.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater View School Profile $$ Whitewater, WI 58% 58% 34% The University of Wisconsin - Whitewater is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Business School at The University of Wisconsin - Whitewater is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Established in 1868, UW - Whitewater joined the UW system over 100 years later in 1971.

UW - Whitewater offers a fully online bachelor's in finance degree program. Courses may include financial accounting, managerial accounting, and business law.

Students must complete 120 credits and 20 hours of community service to graduate.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts and ACT/ SAT scores. UW - Whitewater accepts up to 72 transfer credits with a 2.8 combined GPA or above.

Missouri State University-Springfield View School Profile $$$ Springfield, MO 54% 47% 37% Missouri State University - Springfield is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Missouri State University - Springfield Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

In addition to its online learning programs, MSU teaches courses at three campuses in Missouri and one campus in China.

MSU - Springfield offers an online bachelor of science in finance degree program. Students can concentrate in either financial planning or corporate and investments.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must first enroll at MSU - Springfield and complete at least 60 credits, including pre-requisites, with at least a 2.5 PGA before applying to the College of Business and beginning major coursework. MSU - Springfield does not have a transfer credit limit for courses taken at a regionally accredited college or university.

Dickinson State University View School Profile $$ Dickinson, ND 34% 41% 40% Dickinson State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1918 as the Dickinson State Normal School, DSU's first classes had 104 students in attendance.

DSU offers an online bachelor of business administration degree program with a concentration in finance. Sample courses include business valuation, international finance, and investments.

Students must complete 117 credits and maintain a GPA of 2.5 to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts showing a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and those under the age of 25 must submit ACT/SAT scores.

Louisiana State University-Shreveport View School Profile $ Shreveport, LA 33% 38% 82% Louisiana State University - Shreveport is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC). The College of Business at Louisiana State University Shreveport is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Founded in 1967, LSUS currently offers 25 undergraduate degrees and 16 graduate degrees.

LSUS offers an online bachelor of science in finance degree program with concentrations in financial analysis, real estate, or insurance. Sample courses include principles of management, property and liability insurance, and financial services management.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

First-year LSUS applicants must submit transcripts showing a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and SAT/ACT scores. LSUS reviews all transfer credits on a case-by-case basis.

Davenport University View School Profile Grand Rapids, MI 45% 59% 73% Davenport University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1866, DU offered the very first online learning programs in the state of Michigan and now teaches more than 60 academic degree programs.

DU offers an online bachelor of business administration - finance degree program. Courses cover corporate finance, federal taxation, portfolio management, and more.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts. DU accepts up to 90 transfer credits toward a bachelor's degree.

University of Alabama at Birmingham View School Profile $$$ Birmingham, AL 58% 51% 58% The University of Alabama at Birmingham is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC). The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Collat School of Business is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Established in 1859 as the Medical College of Alabama, UAB earned its current name in 1966. UAB now teaches more than 22,000 students in more than 160 degree programs.

UAB offers a 100% online bachelor of science in finance degree program. Courses explore topics like corporate finance, investment services, real estate, and financial analysis.

Applicants must submit transcripts but can opt-out of ACT/SAT score submission. Transfer students can transfer up to half of the credits required for graduation.

LeTourneau University View School Profile Longview, TX 59% 45% 59% LeTourneau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC).

Founded in 1946 on Christian principles, LETU includes theological studies in all degree curricula and welcomes students of all denominations. LETU teaches more than 1,100 students across eight schools.

LETU offers an online bachelor of business administration - finance degree program. Courses include financial markets and institutions, risk management and insurance, investments, and financial statement analysis.

Students must complete 120 credits, pass major coursework with at least a "C" grade, and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 to graduate.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Transfer students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

University of Minnesota-Crookston View School Profile $$ Crookston, MN 54% 35% 44% The University of Minnesota - Crookston is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1966, UMN - Crookston currently teaches about half of its 1,800 students online. With just 900 students learning on campus, UMN - Crookston embraces the motto, "Small campus. Big degrees."

Students can earn a bachelor of science in finance through UMN - Crookston's fully online program. Courses include managerial accounting, international financial management, and estate planning.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts and answer a short essay question.

Texas A & M University-Commerce View School Profile $$ Commerce, TX 40% 51% 63% Texas A&M University - Commerce is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC).

Founded in 1889, A&M - Commerce offers more than 100 degree programs and teaches more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

A&M - Commerce offers an online bachelor of business administration - finance degree program. Courses include operations management, economics forecasting, and principles of investments.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

First-year applicants should submit transcripts. A&M - Commerce only requires ACT/SAT scores for applicants not in the top 30% of their graduating class.

University of Houston-Downtown View School Profile $ Houston, TX 20% 38% 51% The University of Houston is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC).

Founded in 1974, UHD offers more than 50 degrees programs to 15,000+ students.

UHD offers a bachelor of business administration in finance via online coursework. Students choose one of two tracks: corporate finance or investment management. Sample courses include international finance, business communications, and principles of marketing.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts.

Baker College View School Profile Owosso, MI 19% 65% 58% Baker College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Officially founded in 1911, Baker traces its history back to two institutes of higher learning -- Muskegon College and Baker Business University -- which merged to form modern-day Baker College.

Baker teaches its bachelor of business administration in finance courses in an online format. Courses include financial markets, credit analysis and commercial lending, and personal financial planning.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts. Incoming freshmen at Baker have an average GPA of 3.15. Baker accepts up to 90 transfer credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Old Dominion University View School Profile $$$ Norfolk, VA 52% 56% 51% Old Dominion University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC).

Initially established as a division of the College of William & Mary, ODU gained independence in 1962 and officially earned the status of "university" in 1969.

ODU offers an online bachelor of science in business administration - finance degree program. Possible courses include principles of real estate, principles of insurance and risk management, and life and health insurance.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must first enroll through ODU and then apply to this specific program. ODU requires transcripts and considers test scores, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and a resume as optional supplemental materials.

Regis University View School Profile Denver, CO 69% 47% 63% Regis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded on Jesuit Catholic principles, Regis currently offers more than 120 degree programs.

Regis teaches its bachelor of science in finance courses in a hybrid format. Classes last for either 5 or 8 weeks. Sample courses include business finance, fundamentals of investments, and international finance.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts, a resume, and an essay. Students may transfer up to 87 credits.

Oral Roberts University View School Profile Tulsa, OK 57% 60% 14% Oral Roberts University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded on Christian and liberal arts principles, ORU currently teaches over 4,000 students in more than 150 degree programs.

ORU offers a bachelor of science in financial management degree program in a 100% online format. Courses explore topics like federal income tax accounting, financial management, principles of estate planning, and capital markets.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts and ACT/SAT test scores. ORU allows up to 98 transfer credits from 4-year institutions and up to 72 credits from 2-year institutions.

Albertus Magnus College View School Profile New Haven, CT 72% 84% 46% Albertus Magnus College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

The history of Albertus dates back to 1925 when the Dominican Sister of Saint Mary of the Springs founded the institution as a woman's college.

Albertus offers an online bachelor of science in finance degree program. Sample courses include principles of microeconomics, business law, and business spreadsheets.

Applicants must submit a transcript and a personal essay. Albertus accepts up to 90 transfer credits from 4-year institutions and up to 64 credits from 2-year institutions.

University of Massachusetts-Amherst View School Profile $$$$ Amherst, MA 80% 56% 21% The University of Massachusetts - Amherst is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

Opening in 1867 with 56 students, UMass - Amherst now teaches more than 31,000 students.

UMass - Amherst offers an online bachelor of business administration - finance degree completion program. Sample courses include financial modeling, investments, and bank management.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must have at least 27 transferrable credits and a GPA near 3.0. The application requires a resume, personal statement, and transcripts.

SUNY College of Technology at Canton View School Profile $$ Canton, NY 40% 72% 61% SUNY College of Technology at Canton is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

SUNY Canton teaches more than 3,200 students and boasts an average class size of just 17.

SUNY Canton offers a fully online bachelor of business administration - finance degree program. Classes occur asynchronously and may include financial derivatives, professional ethics, financial compliance and regulations, and global investments.

Students must complete 121 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts.

University of Houston-Clear Lake View School Profile $$ Houston, TX 35% 38% The University of Houston - Clear Lake is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SASCOC).

Classes at UHCL began in 1974 at an off-site location because construction of the main campus buildings hadn't finished.

UHCL teaches its bachelor of science in finance program in a hybrid format. Students must finish their final 30 credits in residence at UHCL, but can complete other coursework online. Sample courses explore topics such as contemporary financial institutions, real estate investment analysis, treasury management, and the structure of financial statements.

Students must complete 120 credits with a grade of "C" or better in upper-level coursework to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts.

University of Maryland Global Campus View School Profile $$ Adelphi, MD 15% 19% 90% The University of Maryland Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Tracing its roots back to the College of Special and Continuation Studies founded in 1947, UMGC caters to working adult students.

UMGC offers an online bachelor of science in finance degree program. Courses include money and banking, international finance, security analysis and valuation, and contemporary issues in finance practice.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts. Applicants can transfer up to 90 credits from 4-year institutions and up to 70 credits from 2-year institutions.

National University View School Profile La Jolla, CA 36% 36% 61% National University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission (WSCUC).

Founded in 1971 by a veteran, NU operates as a non-profit institution and offers more than 75 degree programs.

NU offers an online bachelor of science in financial management degree program. Courses last 4 weeks each and may include capital structure and financing, international financial management, financial planning, and analysis of financial statements.

Students must complete 180 quarter units to graduate.

Applicants must submit transcripts. NU prefers students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

Columbia College View School Profile Columbia, MO 30% 48% 76% Columbia College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded as Christian Female College in 1851, CC managed to stay open despite the Civil War.

CC offers an online bachelor in finance degree program. Courses explore topics like strategic management, investments, corporate finance, and financial markets and institutions.

Applicants must submit transcripts.

Metropolitan State University View School Profile $$ Saint Paul, MN 39% 46% 48% Metropolitan State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1971, Metropolitan State has always focused on educating working adults.

Metropolitan State offers an online bachelor of science in finance degree program. Possible courses include financial statement analysis, analytical and quantitative methods for economists, global economic and financial crises theory and policy, and money, banking, and financial institutions.

Students must complete 120 credits to graduate.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts and ACT, PSAT, or SAT scores. Metropolitan State prefers applicants with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Best Online Programs - Bachelor of Finance

Online Bachelor of Finance Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following programs based on their quality, curricula, faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation -- including the school's reputation for effectively providing online degrees.


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Choosing an Online Bachelor of Finance Degree Program

When researching the best finance schools, students should consider several factors, such as cost, transfer policies, and on-campus requirements. We cover several important program considerations for prospective bachelor of finance students below.

Program Cost

Students can typically save money by attending a public institution rather than a private institution. Additionally, some online programs offer tuition discounts to in-state students, while others charge all distance students the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

Transfer Policies

Transfer policies vary by school. Students who already hold some college credits should look for schools with generous transfer policies to ensure they can receive credit for prior academic work. Some schools also offer transfer credit for professional, military, and volunteer experience.

School Size and Type

Some students prefer to attend larger schools, which typically provide more diverse course offerings and programs than small schools. Alternatively, some learners prefer the more individualized attention often found at smaller schools.

Program Length

A bachelor of finance program typically takes four years of full-time study to complete, but some programs offer accelerated timelines that may allow students to graduate in less time.

On-campus Requirements

Some online programs may offer or require on-campus requirements. Students should ensure they can meet all of a program's requirements before committing to a school.

Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements

Students planning to pursue graduate school benefit from attending a program with a thesis requirement, while students planning to work immediately after graduation may benefit more from a program with a fellowship or internship requirement.

Accreditation for Online Finance Degrees

Accreditation indicates that a school meets high academic standards with respect to faculty qualifications, student learning outcomes, and academic rigor. Attending an accredited school expands a student's employment, education, and financial aid opportunities. Schools may hold national or regional accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education oversee six independent regional accrediting bodies that accredit schools based on where a school is located.

Attending an accredited school expands a student's employment, education, and financial aid opportunities.

Certain programs within a school may also receive specialized accreditation. Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in finance should look for programs accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor's Degree in Finance?

An online bachelor's degree in finance typically takes four years of full-time study to earn. However, some programs offer accelerated timelines, allowing students to expedite graduation. Additionally, students seeking to balance their studies with work and family obligations may prefer to study part time, which extends the length of a program.

Online Finance Degree Curriculum

Courses vary by program, but online bachelor's degree in finance programs typically cover topics like investments, bank management, and financial statements. We cover several common courses for bachelor of finance students below.

Investments

Investment courses cover common investment terminology and models. Topics include trade mechanics, security markets organization, security classification, financial intermediation, and the application of general asset principles. Students learn how to apply financial principles to various types of investments, including real estate, variable-returns, futures, and brokerage operations.

Bank Management

This class covers basic bank management topics, like loan type classifications, asset-liability management, domestic and international banking laws, and the role of the Federal Reserve system. These courses often incorporate guest lectures from banking professionals that allow students to ask questions about standard bank management offerings and operations.

Analyzing Financial Statements

This course covers various types of financial statements and how to analyze them. Learners examine topics like international accounting standards, generally accepted accounting principles, and international financial statement production. Students learn how to extract and analyze financial statement data to improve financial outcomes.

Introduction to Financial Management

This introductory course covers basic financial management principles and how to use them to stabilize and increase company valuations. The course examines principles of accounting, economics, and statistical methods to help students understand concepts such as cash flow, risk analysis, capital budgeting, and capital management.

Applications for Managerial Finance

With a focus on corporate financial principles, this class examines how to maximize company value. Learners study topics like corporate finance theories, value-based capital management, payout policies, capital structure, and ongoing trends and challenges in managerial finance.

Finance Jobs

Graduates of top finance schools can pursue many positions in corporate and personal finance, such as financial advisor, budget analyst, and financial analyst. We cover several common jobs for graduates below.

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors provide professional money management advice to clients. They meet with clients to assess financial goals and help clients make informed decisions about their finances. Financial advisors may offer information and recommendations on topics such as estate planning, taxes, retirement savings, and investments. They also regularly monitor clients' financial accounts and make adjustments as needed.

Median Annual Salary

$87,850

Projected Growth Rate

4%

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts help individuals and businesses make important investment decisions. They assess financial records, create investment portfolios aligned with clients' goals, and monitor the economy to predict investment performance. These professionals typically form long-term relationships with clients, working with them to meet investment goals and advising them on proper risk management. They frequently provide written reports on investment activities and recommend changes as needed.

Median Annual Salary

$81,590

Projected Growth Rate

5%

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts work with corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, and other types of organizations to assist with budget management. They often work with other finance professionals to develop comprehensive budgets and review proposed departmental budgets to ensure they meet regulations and compliance standards. These professionals also ensure a budget is followed throughout the calendar year, make recommendations for adjustments, and use various budgeting tools and methodologies to project spending needs and goals.

Median Annual Salary

$76,540

Projected Growth Rate

3%

Top Executive

Chief financial officers (CFOs) are top company executives that manage other financial professionals, develop organizational policies, and set strategic company goals around income and losses. They may negotiate with vendors, contractors, and other providers to lower spending while liaising with sales and marketing staff to set goals for increased earnings. CFOs often need to make high-level decisions in the face of budgetary constraints, including cutting costs associated with staffing when necessary.

Median Annual Salary

$104,690

Projected Growth Rate

4%

Finance Professional Organizations

Professional organizations offer benefits such as networking, professional development, and financial aid opportunities. We describe a few professional organizations for finance students and professionals below.

Association for Financial Professionals

Founded in 1978, AFP supports finance and treasury professionals. Members can access certification programs, round tables, networking programs, and an annual conference. The organization also offers publications and industry reports, professional training, webinars, and career support tools.

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

Established in 1983, NAPFA supports financial advisors, consumers, and students. Members gain access to scholarship opportunities, continuing education guidelines, white pages on key policy issues, and the NAPFA Advisor Magazine. Members also receive industry discounts, access to the marketing playbook guide, and the opportunity to list their services in NAPFA's member directory.

National Society of Accountants

NSA supports accounting and tax practitioners by providing online and in-person accounting and tax credentials, an annual conference, and a searchable database of accounting professionals. The organization also provides tax resources, industry research, scholarships, an interactive learning center, and publications such as NSAlert and MemberLink.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a major in finance?

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in finance can work in roles such as financial planner, financial analyst, and actuary.

What is the best degree in finance?

The best bachelor's degree in finance is one that aligns with a student's academic abilities, career aspirations, and financial needs.

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in finance?

Full-time students can typically earn an online bachelor's degree in finance in four years.

Is a degree in finance a BS or a BA?

Typically, schools offer a bachelor of business administration in finance or a BS in finance.

What types of finance degrees exist?

Aside from generalist finance studies, some programs offer concentrations in areas such as financial accounting, risk management, and corporate finance.

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