The Best Online Master’s in Finance Degree Programs
An online master's in finance can qualify you for competitive positions in finance, accounting, and compliance. Read about the 10 best programs below.
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Students who are passionate about finance and culture can access professional opportunities by earning an MS in finance online degree.
A master's in finance is an advanced degree focused on developing skills in financial management and analysis, investment, and managerial accounting. With a finance master's degree, graduates can pursue opportunities in business, insurance, professional services, and government.
Careers in finance offer good salaries and job stability. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 16% increase in employment of financial managers between 2018 and 2028. These professionals earn a median income of $129,890 each year.
Prospective students interested in advancing their careers can earn an online master's in finance without ever visiting a college campus. Below, we take a look at the 25 best online programs in finance, exploring admission requirements, learning outcomes, and typical courses.
Read on to learn how a master's in finance can help turn your passion into a lucrative career.
Master's in Finance Degree Overview
An online master's in finance degree provides students with the advanced graduate education they need to pursue finance careers. Core coursework generally covers the fundamentals of finance, such as financial market analysis, portfolio management, and corporate finance. Elective coursework delves into niche areas and sometimes includes internships.
Students in master's in finance programs develop quantitative skills that can be used to evaluate financial information, make financial decisions, choose and assess portfolios, and manage risk. Students learn to apply financial strategies to practical business needs.
Featured Online Schools for Master's in Finance
The Best Online Master's in Finance Programs
Founded in 1876 as the country's first research university, Johns Hopkins University now hosts around 26,000 students annually. The university's Carey School of Business offers a finance master's program that degree-seekers can complete online, studying part time.
The 36-credit master's in finance includes 24 credits of business foundations and core courses. Johns Hopkins does not offer concentrations for this program, but students can tailor the degree to their interests and career goals through electives like advanced hedge fund strategies, big data machine learning, and wealth management.
Online courses generally follow an asynchronous format, but they sometimes include synchronous components as well. Students can graduate in two years and can access career coaching opportunities with Johns Hopkins alumni. These opportunities help degree-seekers connect with professionals at prominent corporations in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas.
To apply, prospective students need at least two years of work experience and a bachelor's degree. They must also submit GMAT or GRE scores, one recommendation letter, two essays, a resume, and transcripts.
Graduate students interested in finance can choose from two online options at Boston University: an MS in financial management or an MBA with a concentration in finance.
Students who choose the MS in financial management can specialize in international finance or investment analysis. The 40-credit program covers topics like financial accounting and financial regulations and ethics. Students may also take several electives or pursue a dual degree in actuarial science, computer science, or telecommunications.
The 45-credit MBA program follows a module system wherein students take one module at a time instead of enrolling in several traditional courses. Modules build upon each other, covering topics like managing risk and creating value for business and society. The program features mostly asynchronous courses, although students may need to log on at specific times for certain requirements.
Most applicants to the MBA program have at least three years of work experience. The university does not require GMAT scores as long as applicants can demonstrate quantitative abilities in their undergraduate courses. Applicants to the MS in financial management must submit transcripts, a personal statement, and three recommendation letters.
A private institution that hosts over 14,000 students annually, Carnegie Mellon University offers an online MBA with a concentration in finance that prepares students for careers in corporate finance firms, investment banks, and Fortune 500 companies.
The MBA program includes a STEM focus, and most students in the program studied engineering, business, or economics during their undergraduate education. The finance concentration includes courses on investment analysis, corporate finance, and venture capital and private equity. Students culminate the degree with a capstone experience.
Online learners follow a part-time schedule but take classes year-round. Although students complete most coursework online, they must attend in-person weekends six times per year at various locations across the country.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit an essay, one professional recommendation, GMAT scores, and undergraduate transcripts. Most degree-seekers enrolled in this program have 3-10 years of work experience. Incoming students earned an average 3.4 undergraduate GPA and an average score of 671 on the GMAT.
Located in upstate New York, Syracuse University is a private research university that hosts nearly 23,000 students annually. The school offers a 54-credit, online MBA program with a concentration in finance.
Students take classes on topics like financial analytics, corporate financial policy and strategy, introduction to derivatives, and investment analysis. The curriculum also includes a culminating capstone course. If students enroll in two courses per term, they can graduate in two years.
Distance learners must participate in three residencies at various locations. These residencies last three days and function as mini business conferences. In the past, students have attended residencies in cities like Dublin, Stockholm, New York, and New Orleans. At least one of these experiences takes place on campus in Syracyse, New York.
Applicants with at least three years of work experience can apply with only their undergraduate transcripts. Syracuse does not require GMAT scores, but encourages applicants to submit the scores if they strengthen the application.
The first public university to grant degrees in the 18th century, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continues to provide a high-quality education to its approximately 30,000 annual students today. The school's online finance MBA comprises 62 credits, which students can complete through a few different pathways.
Students can choose from 21-month, 24-month, and 27-month tracks. Learners complete one synchronous class each week. The program also requires at least two in-person summits, which allow students to experience immersive learning and networking opportunities. Past trips have taken students to Helsinki, Lima, and Mumbai.
Graduates can pursue credentials like certified public accountant, certified management accountant, and certified financial analyst. They generally find jobs in areas like private equity, financial analysis, investment banking, and accounting.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit undergraduate transcripts, a resume, two recommendation letters, and two essays. Individuals with fewer than five years of professional experience must also submit GMAT or GRE scores. The application process also involves a webcam interview.
Established in 1789, Georgetown University is affiliated with the Catholic church and offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including many online options. The mostly online master's in finance offers full- and part-time options.
Learners study topics like financial markets, financial econometrics, and corporate valuation and modeling. Courses feature a mix of synchronous and asynchronous components. Students also complete a few in-person requirements, including a two-day orientation, a week-long residency, and two capstone global consulting project residencies, including residencies in foreign countries, like Namibia or South Africa.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, a personal essay, and a recommendation letter. Georgetown does not set a minimum GPA requirement but generally looks for applicants with at least a 3.0 GPA.
Established in 1867, the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, including an online MBA with a concentration in finance.
This program prepares students to work in areas like investment banking and corporate finance. The 45-credit program includes classes on private wealth management, real estate investment, and value investing. Distance learners can pursue the degree fully online or take some courses on campus.
Student groups like the Graduate Business Association and MBA Women International can help learners connect with their peers at the university and beyond. Applicants need a bachelor's degree and at least 3-5 years of business experience. They must also submit transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, a personal statement, two recommendation letters, and a resume.
Temple University enrolls nearly 40,000 students annually through its 17 schools and colleges. The university's Fox School of Business and Management offers an online MBA with a concentration in financial management.
The 48-credit program includes courses on leadership in organizations, financial analysis and strategy, and quantitative methods for business. The online program also includes a week-long opening residency on campus.
Learners can participate in global immersion programs. These experiences center around a specific theme, like international entrepreneurship or global emerging markets. Past experiences have taken students to places like China, Sweden, and Brazil.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit undergraduate transcripts, recommendation letters, entrance essays, and GMAT or GRE scores. Applicants with 7-10 years of work experience and a minimum 3.0 GPA can bypass the test score requirement.
Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati hosts more than 46,000 students annually through over 400 degree programs. The school offers an online MBA program with a specialization in healthcare finance.
The 38-credit program includes courses in healthcare informatics, information systems, financial analysis, and health policy. Learners culminate the degree with a two-credit capstone course that allows them to apply learned knowledge and skills to an integrative project.
The fully online program uses an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts, two recommendation letters, a goals statement, and a resume.
The University of Miami is a private institution that hosts around 17,000 students annually. The school's online MBA program offers two finance concentrations: corporate finance and financial decision-making.
The corporate finance concentration prepares students for jobs in treasury management, capital budgeting, and investor relations, while the financial decision-making concentration qualifies managers for career advancement. Regardless of concentration, all finance MBA students must complete 47 credits.
Learners take one seven-week course at a time, studying accounting, economics, operations research models, and international investments and valuation. Courses use an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit undergraduate transcripts, a resume, a personal statement, and two recommendation letters.
At Indiana University Bloomington, graduate students can choose from two online finance degrees: an MS in finance or an MBA with a concentration in finance. Students can also combine the two programs to earn a dual degree.
The 30-credit master's in finance program focuses heavily on finance, covering topics like value creation, measuring risks, and capital markets. The 54-credit MBA program emphasizes business topics, with courses in business law, accounting, and operations management.
Distance learners complete the majority of their coursework online, but one course in the master's in finance program requires an in-person residency in Bloomington. The MBA also requires two week-long, on-campus experiences at the beginning and end of the program.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit undergraduate transcripts, a short personal statement, a resume, GMAT or GRE scores, and three recommendation letters.
American University offers an online MBA program with six concentration options, including one in finance. The 48-credit program covers economics, accounting, international finance, and financial statement analysis. Online students can choose from a traditional, two-year program or an accelerated, one-year program.
In addition to online coursework, distance learners must complete two immersion experiences. One experience takes place in Washington, D.C., while the other may occur at another city in the U.S. or abroad. These immersions allow students to network and participate in in-person workshops. The experiences often let attendees focus on a theme, like entrepreneurship or international NGOs.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit a personal statement, a resume, two recommendation letters, and undergraduate transcripts.
A public university enrolling more than 35,000 learners annually, North Carolina State University offers an online MBA in financial management designed for professionals with at least two years of work experience.
The 40-credit program teaches students how to raise money and make financial decisions for corporations. Learners study topics like fiscal structures, investments, and international finance. Learners culminate the degree with an equity valuation capstone course that allows students to manage NC State investment funds, providing practical experience in the field.
Courses use a flexible, asynchronous format. In addition to online coursework, students must complete two three-day, on-campus residencies that include immersion classes. The university looks for prospective students with work experience, leadership skills, and initiative. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts.
Auburn University is a public institution that hosts around 30,000 students annually. The school's online master of finance comprises 30 credits and takes about 2.5 years to complete.
Learners take courses on topics like applied financial management, principles of microeconomics, and advanced investments. Students must pass a comprehensive exam at the end of the curriculum to graduate. Online students can participate in mock interviews and one-on-one career coaching to prepare for the workforce after graduation.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GMAT or GRE scores, undergraduate transcripts, two reference letters, a personal statement, and a resume. Students can transfer up to six graduate credits toward the degree.
Ohio University opened its doors in 1804, making it the ninth-oldest public university in the country. The institution now educates more than 35,000 students annually through over 250 undergraduate programs and 200 graduate programs, including an online MBA with a concentration in finance.
The 35-credit program includes core courses on topics like strategy, marketing, and operations. Students pursuing the finance concentration take three courses in financial markets and institutions, investments, and advanced corporate finance.
In addition to online courses, students participate in a two-day, on-campus leadership development workshop. Learners may choose to participate in up to three workshops throughout the program, but all students must complete at least one.
University faculty make admissions decisions based on undergraduate transcripts and previous work experience.
Students at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln can earn an MS in finance online or pursue an online MBA with a finance specialization. The 30-credit, online master's in finance includes courses like multinational finance analysis; fixed income analysis; and options, futures, and derivative securities. Some courses incorporate synchronous sessions.
The 48-credit MBA in finance requires many of the same courses as the finance master's degree, plus 10 business administration courses. The program culminates with a strategic management and business policy course. Learners can complete the program in 1.5 years, although many students take three years to graduate.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit a personal statement, a resume, three recommendation letters, GMAT or GRE scores, and undergraduate transcripts indicating a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Stevens Institute of Technology enrolls over 7,000 students annually, both at its research-focused campus and through distance learning. The school offers several online finance master's programs: a master's in financial analytics, a master's in financial engineering, and an MBA in finance.
The master's in financial engineering focuses on using mathematics and computer skills to understand problems in the financial market. The program offers specializations in algorithmic trading strategies, financial services analytics, financial risk engineering, financial statistics, and financial computing.
The financial analytics program emphasizes programming and analytical technologies as they relate to financial markets. Courses cover topics like data processing, knowledge management, and machine learning. The MBA in finance includes core business administration courses in addition to finance courses like venture capital and investment management.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GRE or GMAT scores, academic transcripts, a professional resume, and recommendation letters.
Washington State University hosts around 21,000 students annually and offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an online MBA with a concentration in finance.
The program focuses on financial practice with a global worldview. Learners study topics like multinational corporations, international finance, and asset management. Students culminate the degree with a capstone project that tasks them with solving a practical challenge within the industry.
The program also includes an optional international business course that allows students to study in Prague. This week-long residency examines issues like digital citizenship, the tourism industry, and entrepreneurship. Courses may include both asynchronous and synchronous components.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts indicating a minimum 3.0 GPA, a resume, one recommendation letter, a statement of purpose, and GMAT or GRE scores. The university considers GMAT/GRE waivers for individuals with at least five years of professional experience or other exceptional circumstances.
Established in 1743, the University of Delaware is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the country. Today, the school hosts around 24,000 students annually through diverse on-campus and online programs, including a fully online MBA program with a concentration in finance.
Online students take intensive, seven-week courses, allowing them to graduate in just 16 months, although many students take longer. In addition to core business administration courses, finance students take concentration courses in areas like financial modeling and valuation, corporate financial analysis, and investment analysis and portfolio management.
Students can access a personal career coach, who helps them plan for their careers after graduation. Learners can also take advantage of online tutoring sessions for their analytics courses.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.8 GPA and two years of work experience. They must also submit transcripts and GRE or GMAT scores. Incoming students may also apply for MBA scholarships, which cover 10-15% of tuition costs.
Loyola University of Chicago is a Catholic Jesuit university that hosts around 17,000 students annually through diverse undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. The school's online master's in finance program prepares students for careers in corporate finance and risk or asset management.
The curriculum holds a STEM designation, which means that students learn how to approach finance issues using quantitative skills and technological tools. In fact, all finance graduate students at Loyola must learn coding. They also take courses in applied econometrics, derivative securities, and value analysis.
The degree doesn't offer formal concentrations, but students can tailor coursework to their interests through electives like corporate finance, asset management, and risk management. The program follows a quarter system and includes 10-week courses. Full-time students generally graduate in 12-15 months.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit undergraduate transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, a resume, and a statement of purpose. They can also submit up to two recommendation letters to bolster their applications.
Established in 1866, the University of New Hampshire hosts 13,000 undergraduate and 2,400 graduate students annually through over 200 degree programs. The 48-credit, online MBA in finance includes core business and specialized finance coursework.
The finance concentration covers topics like financial corporate strategy, investments, quantitative analysis, and financial technology. Learners finish the program with a capstone course concentrating on business strategy. The program's asynchronous courses allow students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree and two years of work experience. They must also submit a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a resume.
Lehigh University hosts around 6,600 learners annually through a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. The school offers a 38-credit, online MBA in finance designed for professionals with at least two years of work experience, although incoming students have an average of six years of experience.
Finance students take courses in financial management, investments, and financial markets. Students may need to log on at specific times to watch lectures live; these typically occur in the evening to accommodate work schedules. The program's format allows students to set their own program pace, with MBA candidates taking an average of 3.5 years to graduate.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit an essay, a resume, GMAT or GRE results, transcripts, and recommendation letters. Incoming students have an average undergraduate GPA of 3.3 and an average GMAT score of 628.
Pepperdine University is a Christian institution that offers an online MBA with a concentration in finance. The 52-credit program prepares students for careers as financial analysts, financial managers, and executive-level leaders.
The finance specialization includes courses in corporate finance, real estate markets, risk management, and investment banking. The program also includes an immersion experience, which must be completed in Los Angeles, California. This opportunity focuses on developing business ethics and skills in relationship with Pepperdine's partner companies. MBA candidates can graduate in 20-24 months.
The online format includes weekly live classes, where students log on at specific times to listen to lectures and engage with their classmates. They may also participate in small group discussions and live surveys or polls. Students receive free access to WeWork coworking spaces across the country.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree and two years of work experience. They must also submit a statement of purpose, a resume, and transcripts. They can optionally submit GRE or GMAT scores to bolster their applications.
The Order of Saint Augustine founded Villanova University in 1842, and the institution maintains its Catholic affiliation today. Graduate students interested in finance can pursue an online MBA with a finance concentration at Villanova.
The 48-credit program includes classes in corporate finance, team leadership and group dynamics, and strategic marketing management. Learners culminate the degree with three capstone experiences: a social enterprise consulting practicum, a global practicum, and a global strategic management course.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit a resume, two essays, official undergraduate transcripts, two recommendation letters, and GRE or GMAT scores. Incoming students may transfer up to nine graduate credits toward the degree.
Loyola University Maryland is a Jesuit institution affiliated with the Catholic church. The school began enrolling students in 1852. Today, Loyola educates about 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students annually through its three schools. The Sellinger School of Business and Management offers a part-time, fully online MBA in finance.
The 39-credit program features accelerated, eight-week courses. Finance students take courses on investment analysis, international finance, and fixed income securities. They also take general business courses in areas like management and accounting.
Distance learners can optionally participate in experiential learning opportunities and study tours. The study tours function as short study-away experiences, where students can learn about business concepts in international locales.
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit a resume, an essay or personal statement, one recommendation letter, GMAT or GRE scores, and transcripts. Incoming students may apply for merit-based scholarships and Ignatius Grants.
Online Master's in Finance Programs Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:
The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.
To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):
1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]
- Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
- Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
- Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
- Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
- Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
- Considers range of electives within that discipline
- Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline
2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]
- Considers education background of the faculty
- Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
- Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
- Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
- Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources
3. Reputation [weight = 20%]
- Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
- “Freshness” of academic knowledge
- Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
- Suitability of graduates for the workplace
4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]
- Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
- Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants
5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]
- Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
- Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business
6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]
Considers the following of the online classes:
- Types of online technology used to deliver content
- Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
- Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
- Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
Considers the following of instructors:
- Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
- Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
- Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
- Ratio to number of students in a class
- Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees
Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.
To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:
- Public or private status
- Acceptance rate
- Retention rate
- Graduation rate
- ACT/SAT requirements
- Cost in-state / out of state
- Undergrad, grad, or both offered
Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!
If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.
Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!
Choosing an Online Master's in Finance Program
Selecting an online program requires careful consideration of cost, curriculum, formatting, and any in-person requirements, and each prospective student has unique needs, goals, and priorities. Visit the link below to learn more about choosing the right online program for you.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Finance Program?
Finance master's programs online focus on specialized concepts like financial accounting, financial marketing, corporate valuation, and risk management. Concentrations in areas like wealth management, investment baking, and corporate finance allow students to focus on the areas that align with their career goals.
- Wealth Management: This concentration prepares students to offer clients financial services, including portfolio management, asset management, mergers and acquisition assistances, estate planning, and investment management. Wealth managers work with corporations, small business owners, and individuals to develop strategies to meet financial goals.
- Investment Banking: Investment bankers focus on the buying or selling side of financial services. Learners studying the sales side analyze how brokers and bankers trade and promote securities, including debit, equity, and derivatives. Those on the buying side delve into how hedge funds, asset managers, and investors look after private equity funds, unit trusts, mutual funds, and other capital.
- Corporate Finance: This concentration teaches students to manage the financial well-being of corporations by generating compliant financial statements and evaluating long-term organizational health using data collection and models. For example, by selling assets to gain capital when needed, professionals in this field help achieve the goals of executives and board members
- Corporate Valuation: This course is about learning to add corporate value. Students work through the theory and application of organizational finance policy, budgeting, restructuring, and investment options. They also survey and use key valuation tools.
- Negotiations: Prospective financial service employers frequently require that applicants have strong negotiation skills. This course fosters communication and interpersonal expertise by reviewing case studies and doing mock simulations. Learners analyze bargaining styles, mediation strategies, and ethical issues of negotiation across the dynamic structures of teams and coalitions.
- Audit Institutions and Processes: Students in this course explore the concepts, risks, and procedures of the auditing process. Topics include professional ethics, the impacts of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, corporate compliance, the role of a board of directors, liability, and fraudulent financial reporting.
What's the Difference Between a Master's in Finance and an MBA in Finance?
Both degrees provide the graduate education needed for lucrative professions in finance. However, a master's in finance is a more specialized degree, whereas an MBA is more generalized.
A master's in finance focuses entirely on the study of finance, delving into niche knowledge, skills, and approaches to success in finance professions. An MBA in finance has some specialized focus in finance while taking a broader approach that covers business administration, managerial practices, organizational management, and other related concepts.
While graduates can begin many entry-level finance careers with an undergraduate degree, earning an online master's in finance enables professionals to pursue advanced roles within their organizations.
In the list below, we explore three of the most popular fields in finance: accounting, financial examination, and compliance.
|Median Salary: $71,550||Projected Job Growth: 6%|
Prepare and examine financial records to maintain accuracy and ensure that taxes are paid in a timely manner. Accountants may work on behalf of a single organization or with multiple corporate, government, and individual clients. Common tasks include examining financial statements, preparing tax returns, and suggesting methods of cost reduction.
Most accountants need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, but some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree. Pursuing certifications, such as certified public accountant, certified management accountant, or certified internal auditor, can improve job prospects. This career requires keen analytical, communication, and mathematics skills.
|Median Salary: $81,090||Projected Job Growth: 7%|
Work with banks and other financial institutions to ensure compliance with laws, evaluate risk level of loans, and assess bank management. Financial examiners often specialize in either risk assessment or consumer compliance. Common tasks include reviewing balance sheets and expense accounts, preparing detailed reports, and reviewing new government regulations.
Entry-level financial examiners typically hold a bachelor's degree and receive on-the-job training. Advancement to senior positions often requires a master's degree in accounting, business administration, or a related field. Financial examiners must be detail-oriented, with excellent analytical, mathematics, and writing skills.
|Median Salary: $85,660||Projected Job Growth: 6%|
Compliance officers examine, evaluate, and investigate an organization's conformity with applicable laws and regulations. In finance, compliance officers also help assess risks and reduce financial crime. Common tasks include evaluating financial data, conducting investigations, and working with management to address issues.
Professionals can typically find work in this field with a bachelor's degree and relevant experience. Employers may prefer or require certified anti-money laundering specialist or certified fraud examiner certification. Compliance officers working in finance must have keen analytical, mathematics, and computing skills.
FAQs About Master's in Finance Degrees
Full-time students can earn a finance master's degree in 1-2 years. Part-time students may take longer to graduate.
This versatile degree allows graduates to pursue advanced careers in finance, insurance, business, and government, including leadership positions.
MBAs offer broad curricula, covering finance, statistics, and management. A master's in finance is best suited to students who want to focus narrowly on finance, investments, and risk management.
All college programs are difficult to some degree. Students may consider different components of a master's degree easy or hard depending on their individual strengths and weaknesses.
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