Best Online MBA in Finance 2021
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During an MBA in finance, graduate students strengthen their analytical and critical thinking skills.
Earning a master of business administration (MBA) in finance can position you for work overseeing an organization's finances, navigating complex regulations and financial instruments, or providing advice on critical decision-making and risk-taking measures. In these programs, enrollees learn to analyze financial statements, evaluate investment opportunities, and develop long-term financial strategies.
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An MBA in finance prepares graduates for high-paying careers in growing fields. For example, many financial managers hold MBAs in finance. As of 2019, financial managers earn a median income of nearly $130,000 per year, with a faster-than-average projected job growth rate for 2019-2029.
By researching the best MBA in finance online programs, prospective students can find the right fit to help them reach their professional goals. This article introduces common MBA in finance courses, explains the difference between a master's in finance vs. MBA in finance, and provides data on finance careers.
|#1||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC|
|#2||Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD|
|#3||Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA|
|#4||University of Maryland-College Park College Park, MD|
|#5||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL|
|#6||University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA|
|#7||Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, IN|
|#8||University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, NC|
|#9||University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE|
|#10||Texas A & M International University Laredo, TX|
The Best Online MBA in Finance Programs
Established in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks in the top five of Princeton Review's Best Value Universities.
UNC-Chapel Hill's No.1-ranked online MBA program offers an online master of business administration with a finance concentration that carries a career benefit of a 42,000-member alumni network. Combined with the convenience and flexibility of online learning, the curriculum equips students with the ability to take the managerial lead on a domestic or global level.
To apply, candidates must submit a completed online MBA@UNC application, resume, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, an essay, and GMAT or GRE test scores.
Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University is America's first research university. More than 24,000 students attend full and part time.
The flexible MBA program at Johns Hopkins features a master of business administration financial business degree that appeals to individuals with full-time work experience. Most students can complete this program in three years. With a 54-credit requirement, the curriculum features finance courses such as emerging markets, wealth management, and financial institutions.
Applicants must provide official transcripts from colleges and universities attended, a bachelor's degree with proof of a 3.0 GPA, and a completed application.
Penn State University launched its online branch, the World Campus, in 1998. To date, it has over 150 programs and over 8,300 students enrolled online.
Penn State's master of business administration with a finance concentration is an adult learner-centric program that primarily uses an asynchronous class structure. This online MBA program also uses an educational approach that includes integration, collaboration, and engagement.
To apply, applicants with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution may submit an official transcript from each institution attended, GPA, GMAT or GRE scores, a resume, and an essay response.
The University of Maryland, College Park, began educating as an agricultural college in 1856. Its student enrollment is now over 40,700.
UMD's online master of business administration degree with a specialization in finance helps students explore intricate nuances of finance, investing, and financial strategy. Also, this online MBA program provides career-boosting assets including a network of 66,000 alumni and top-shelf faculty.
Applicants must provide a letter of recommendation. GMAT or GRE scores, official transcript for each institution attended, and proof of a minimum of two years of professional work experience.
Founded in 1867, U of I is a prominent research institution with 23 Nobel Peace Prizes on its faculty and over 47,000 students.
The online master of business administration in financial management deepens students' understanding of the fundamentals behind corporate investment decisions, asset strategy, and capital markets. Powered by iMBA, this online MBA program uses the latest technology to conduct live, interactive class sessions that rival in-person class experience.
Potential students must provide proof of a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, at least three years of full-time professional work experience, a resume, a personal statement, and two letters of reference.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette began its journey to become a highly regarded research institution in 1898. Presently, its student enrollment tops 19,000.
UL Lafayette offers a master of business administration degree with a concentration in finance that allows busy working professionals to reach a higher level academically and professionally. This 100% online, accelerated MBA program has a minimum duration of 15 months. With eight-week courses, the 33-credit finance concentration sharpens students' comprehension of major performance factors and fundamental business staples.
Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from all universities attended, official GRE scores, and letters of recommendation.
Established in 1869, Purdue University ranked number five on U.S. News and World Report's list of innovative schools in the nation. Purdue's total enrollment has reached a record high of 45,869 students.
Purdue's online master of business administration with a concentration in finance has the backing of one the most highly regarded universities in the world. It supplies business finance professionals with the resources to advance to leadership or managerial roles in the demanding finance field. Students can complete the curriculum for this 76-credit online MBA program in two years.
Prospective students must supply an official transcript and proof of a bachelor's degree with a 2.5 GPA from an accredited school.
In 1946, the University of North Carolina Wilmington opened its doors to a class of 238 students. Currently, it has a total enrollment of 17,915.
UNCW has a 36-credit online master of business administration with a specialization in finance. With a minimum completion period of 12 months, this online MBA program prepares students for corporate leadership opportunities with relevant topics such as the advantage of mortgage-backed markets, financial statement analysis, and understanding portfolio analysis.
Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., at least two years of professional work experience, two letters of recommendation, a cumulative 3.0 GPA, and a GMAT score over 500.
Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska Lincoln holds membership in the Big Ten Academic Alliance and an R1 classification in the Carnegie Doctoral Universities — Highest Research Activity category.
UNL's nationally ranked MBA@Nebraska program offers an online master of business administration degree with a specialization in finance and exceptional course flexibility. Through the Flex MBA program, students can take a bulk of their core classes on campus with the option of taking elective courses online. Some of the finance courses in the 48-credit curriculum include fixed income analysis, nonprofit finance, and quantitative methods of finance.
Applicants must submit a completed application, transcripts, 3.0 GPA, GMAT or GRE score, three references, a personal statement, and a resume.
With over 8,400 students, Texas A&M International University has been preparing students for leadership in business and society since 1970.
The online master of business administration in international banking and finance from TAMIU gives students a more in-depth knowledge of international investments, exchange rates, and forecasting. Students can complete this 30-credit online MBA program in 15 months. Combined with the instrumental finance course, the core curriculum reinforces students' foundational business knowledge with management seminars and resource-building coursework.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from an accredited business school, a minimum 3.0 GPA, a resume, and three references.
When the Texas legislature established the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2013, it became the first major public university in the state this century.
UTRGV's online master of business administration with a specialization in financial planning teaches students to manage investments and personal assets of individual clients, including taxes, retirement, and estate planning. Busy working professionals can finish this 36-credit online MBA program in one year. Finance courses cover fundamentals of financial planning, retirement planning, and wealth management.
Admission requirements include official transcripts, a 3.0 GPA, 400 GMAT or GRE equivalent, and a completed application.
Florida Atlantic University opened in 1961 with a christening from President Lyndon Johnson. Today, it has over 30,000 students enrolled.
FAU's online master of business administration in finance is part of a nationally ranked program with 100% asynchronous online classes. For full-time students, this online MBA program takes a minimum of 16 months to complete. The 46-credit curriculum features top-notch instruction in courses such as advanced monetary economics, financial modeling, and multinational finance.
Prospective students must supply proof of a bachelor's degree in any discipline, a 3.0 GPA, four years of professional work experience, and GMAT/GRE scores.
Founded in 1743 by Presbyterian clergy, the University of Delaware is among the oldest universities in the United States. It presently has a student enrollment of more than 23,600.
UD offers an online master of business administration with an emphasis in finance that features a customizable curriculum. With this advantage, students can get more business expertise and financial knowledge in as little as 16 months. The finance part of the curriculum teaches students how to add value to a business by enriching current funds and discovering new revenue streams.
Admission requirements are 2.8 GPA, two years of work experience, GMAT/GRE scores, and a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
Founded in 1842, Villanova University is a liberal arts institution devoted to providing an environment of intellectual excellence and spiritual well-being. Its total student enrollment is almost 11,000.
The online master of business administration with a specialization in finance at Villanova delivers the same challenging curriculum and expert instruction as the campus-based program. Although all coursework is online, the 48-credit, two-year curriculum provides students with in-person networking and collaborating opportunities with classmates and faculty through the Leadership Challenge and Global Practicum.
Aspiring students must submit a completed application, GMAT/GRE scores, recommendations, and essays.
The University of the Southwest began in 1956 as a two-year Baptist college. Over the years, the school evolved into an independent, nondenominational university with four-year and graduate programs.
USW's master of business administration with a specialization in finance prepares graduate students to apply for securities licenses. Students can complete the program in a minimum of 12 months and begin pursuing a career in finance. The 36-credit online MBA emphasizes applying financial principles with courses such as organizational design and strategy, small business finance, and financial planning and investment analysis.
Applicants must provide a 3.0 GPA, a conferred bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, a 500-word personal essay, and a professional resume.
Established in 1915, Tennessee Tech ranks nationally as a top public university. More than 10,000 students attend on campus and online.
Tennessee Tech offers a master of business administration with a certificate in banking and financial services for full- and part-time students. Within one to six years, students can complete this 36-credit 100% online MBA program. The program has five goals and eight objectives that students must achieve to comprehend the curriculum's material fully.
Potential students must submit a resume with at least one year of work experience, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and a minimum 400 GMAT/GRE score.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst began as the Massachusetts Agriculture College in 1863. Today, the total student enrollment tops 31,000.
UMass Amherst's online master of business administration with a finance focus offers a 100% online or hybrid online and in-person option. These flexible options have the same innovative curriculum that caters to finance students seeking careers as investment bankers, venture capitalists, or consultants.
Applicants must supply a personal statement, a resume, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a GMAT/GRE score.
Founded in 1905, Marist College serves more than 6,400 students on campus and fully online.
Marist's online master's degree in business administration wth a concentration in financial management delivers its program in an asynchronous, 100% online format that full-time students can finish in four semesters. Some of the financial courses include financial statement analysis and investment analysis and theory.
Admission requirements include an unofficial transcript, a current resume, a personal statement, and GMAT or GRE scores.
In 1871, Bethel University began as a seminary to train pastors to care for Swedish Baptist immigrants. The Baptist General Conference later moved Bethel from Chicago to Saint Paul.
Bethel's master of business administration finance concentration trains its students to be better finance professionals by exposing them to deeper levels of financial subjects such as global finance and quantitative analysis. Along with the 100% online format, Bethel offers face-to-face and blended formats. The 42-credit online MBA program requires as little as 18 months to complete.
Potential students must submit official college transcripts, a resume, a statement of purpose, and two professional references.
With more than 4,400 enrolled students, the University of Wisconsin Parkside has been a major educational presence in southeastern Wisconsin since 1933.
In as little as 12 months, students can complete requirements for UW-Parkside's master of business administration with a concentration in finance. This 30-credit online MBA program provides a low-cost and convenient way to get the qualifications to advance to a career as a CFO, Risk Manager, or Finance Director.
Applicants must provide proof of a bachelor's degree from all institutions and official transcripts.
Established in 1870, Syracuse University has 13 schools and colleges, 200 majors, and nearly 23,000 enrolled students.
Syracuse's top 50-ranked online MBA program offers a master of business administration with a finance specialization that helps students gain mastery in investments, corporate finance, and real estate. Students can complete this 36-credit curriculum in two years. Featured finance courses include introduction to derivatives, investment analysis, and corporate financial policy and strategy.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, a personal essay, a letter of recommendation, official transcripts, and a resume.
Founded in 1886, Arizona State University is the top producer of Fulbright scholars in the nation. The Skysong campus has an enrollment of over 45,000 students.
The master of business administration with a concentration in finance at ASU is part of an online MBA program that ranks sixth in the nation among U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs. This program presents five-week, intensely focused courses that showcase one topic at a time. This finance curriculum focuses on mergers and acquisitions, international finance, and the fundamentals of investing.
Prospective students must submit a completed online application, GRE or GMAT scores, an essay, and official transcripts for every college and university attended.
Established in 1891, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a Carnegie Foundation R2 research university. Nearly 20,000 students attend on campus and online.
UNCG's master of business administration with a concentration in finance allows students to enter this MBA program without taking prerequisite courses or GMAT or GRE exams. With an asynchronous class format, students can gain career-advancing knowledge in a program with a rare dual AACSB accreditation in business and accounting.
Applicants must submit a completed online application, transcripts, and recommendations.
Since 1842, The Citadel has maintained a long tradition of producing disciplined, moral, and principled leaders for the military and society.
The Citadel offers an online master of business administration with a finance focus that provides a flexible way for working professionals and active-duty military to pursue finance leadership roles in corporations and organizations. This 36-credit curriculum features notable finance courses such as financial statement analysis, financial modeling, and personal finance.
Potential students must submit a completed application, GMAT or GRE scores, a resume describing professional work, and two letters of recommendation from a professor or supervisor.
Established in 1956, the University of Dallas is a Catholic liberal arts university operating with about 2,500 students attending on the Irving campus and online.
UD's master of business administration with a concentration in finance has uncanny flexibility. Busy working professionals can attend 100% online, 100% on campus, or a combination of the two. Within one to two years, they can complete this 30-credit online MBA in finance with a two-class-per-semester schedule.
Aspiring students must submit an unofficial transcript of all institutions attended, a current resume, and a completed online application.
Online MBA in Finance Programs Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
What Is an Online MBA in Finance?
An online MBA in finance trains students in portfolio management, strategic corporate finance, and financial analysis. By blending business administration and finance coursework, an MBA prepares graduates for roles as decision-makers within organizations, including roles like financial manager or chief financial officer.
Earning an online MBA in finance generally takes around two years for full-time students, although some programs offer accelerated or part-time programs, which have different timelines. In addition to coursework, MBA students can gain practical experience through real-world projects and internships.
An online learning format is well suited to professionals seeking career advancement while still working. It also helps non-business professionals transition to finance careers without disrupting their work history.
Choosing and Online MBA in Finance Program
When researching online MBA programs, prospective students should consider factors like cost, program length, and specialization options. For example, some MBA programs offer an accelerated one-year option, which can cost less in the long run, while others use a more traditional two-year timeline, while is less strenuous.
Schools that offer MBAs in finance may use a set curriculum or they may allow students to customize the degree through concentrations or electives. Online learners should also look for tuition discounts or in-state tuition rates for distance learners.
Finally, prospective students should consider internship requirements and networking opportunities. Most MBA programs incorporate internships to help their graduates transition to the workforce, and online students should ensure that they can meet those requirements locally before applying.
Master's in Finance vs. MBA in Finance: What's the Difference?
When choosing between a master's in finance vs. MBA in finance, prospective students should consider specialization options, intended career path, and general coursework.
MBA programs offer more practical business training, which can lead to more broad career opportunities. Within MBA programs, finance is a specialization, so graduate students in these programs may have fewer options for finance-specific electives.
By contrast, a master's in finance usually offers more elective and specialization options for finance. It also has more of an academic focus, training students to become professors or pursue Ph.D. programs in finance.
Accreditation for Online MBA in Finance
Prospective applicants should always look for accreditation when researching MBA in finance online programs. Regionally accredited schools meet the requirements for professional certifications and licenses, and many employers will only hire graduates with accredited degrees.
Three independent, nonprofit organizations grant programmatic accreditation specifically for MBA programs: AACSB International, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
What Can I Expect When Pursuing an MBA in Finance Online?
An MBA in finance builds strong analytical and decision-making skills. While earning an MBA in finance online, learners take courses in business valuation, corporate finance, and data analytics. Many programs also incorporate internships to help enrollees build practical experience and professional networks.
Common Courses in an Online MBA in Finance Program
Business valuation courses teach students how to determine the value of organizations. The coursework covers growth projection, capital asset pricing, and financial forecasting. Other topics may include equity valuation, relative valuation, and cash flow, preparing graduates to evaluate financial statements and determine a business valuation.
This course strengthens analytical skills and explores investment strategies. Students also learn how to conduct a risk analysis and measure opportunity costs. Additional topics may include valuation techniques, long-term financial management, and capital budgeting.
Finance professionals increasingly rely on analytics to assess financial strategies and evaluate financial data. Data analytics courses introduce students to financial technology or "FinTech," including programming tools like Python and statistical methods in big data. Students also examine the role of analytics in corporate finance, investment management, and venture capital.
International banking courses examine the international financial market and global banks. Learners study the global financial system, the role of international banks in financial markets, and current issues in international banking. The course also considers public policy and its relationship to international banking.
Coursework covers areas like asset allocation, risk management, and portfolio optimization. Learners also explore passive vs. active investment strategies, long-term investments, and performance evaluation. The course prepares graduates for careers as investment managers or financial advisors.
Learners examine how financing works in the real estate industry, particularly real estate investment strategies. Coursework covers project evaluation, investment analysis, and real estate financing. This course may also include case studies to help learners understand real estate markets and bring an analytical eye to financing strategies.
Finance Professional Organizations
Professional organizations help MBA students build their networks and prepare for the workforce. These associations offer career support, professional development resources, and networking opportunities, usually through conferences and local events. Many also provide student resources, including membership discounts. Finance professionals can also pursue specialty certifications through professional organizations.
FMA represents financial decision-makers. The association hosts global conferences and a student seminar series, publishes research in the field, and helps job-seekers find new opportunities. FMA also offers a student membership rate.
AMA offers educational services and management development support, promoting management best practices while connecting managers with one another. Experienced managers can become AMA-certified professionals in management.
IMA offers professional certifications, including the certified management accountant credential. The association also hosts a career center, publishes salary information, and provides resources on management accounting competencies.
This professional association for women in finance hosts events with networking opportunities, offers educational resources, and provides career information. AFWA also offers a job board that helps professionals find career opportunities.
AAAA represents Black financial advisors and other professionals in the financial services industry. The association hosts conferences, offers webinars, and provides career resources. It also recognizes accomplished members through awards.
An MBA in finance prepares graduates for careers as financial managers, chief financial officers, and personal financial advisors. Graduates can also pursue opportunities in healthcare administration, securities trading, and other finance sectors. After completing an MBA, some professionals also pursue professional certifications to help them stand out in the job market.
This section explores common career paths for individuals with MBAs in finance, including earning potential and projected job growth for each career.
Financial managers oversee an organization's financial health. They prepare financial documents, make decisions about investments, and create policies to help companies reach long-term goals. These managers may work as controllers, treasurers, risk managers, or insurance managers. They also analyze financial trends, advise executives on strategies, and help assess financial risk of potential plans.
Most financial managers have bachelor's degrees and several years of work experience. Some employers prefer to hire candidates with MBAs in finance or master's degrees in finance. Financial managers can also demonstrate specialized skills by pursuing professional certifications.
Median Annual Salary (2019)
Top executives — including chief executive officers, chief financial officers, and general managers — set long-term goals and strategies for their organizations. They work with managers to oversee departments and create effective policies. Top executives also meet with board members and collaborators outside of their organizations to review company progress and set new goals.
Chief financial officers manage the financial health of their organizations. They use financial statements to measure the organization's performance and identify ways to increase profits. Many top executives hold master's degrees.
Median Annual Salary (2019)
Medical and health services managers, also known as healthcare administrators, oversee the business side of medical departments and offices. They analyze data on the quality of patient care, design and implement policies to improve efficiency, and ensure that healthcare laws and regulations are followed and enforced. Medical and health services managers may also supervise staff and oversee department finances.
Careers in healthcare administration typically require at least a bachelor's degree and significant professional experience. Many employers prefer candidates with MBAs in finance, and coursework in health administration, health information systems, or medical terminology can also offer an advantage in the job market.
Median Annual Salary (2019)
Job Outlook (2019-2029)
Personal financial advisors design investment and savings strategies for their clients, including strategies for retirement, college savings, and estate planning. They may also recommend insurance policies. Personal financial advisors explain investment options and associated risks, and some personal financial advisors even make trades for their clients. They may also actively monitor accounts to respond to changing market conditions.
Many personal financial advisors hold master's degrees in fields like finance or business administration. Training in estate planning, risk management, and financial planning can also benefit personal financial advisors. An MBA in finance prepares personal financial advisors for career advancement.
Median Annual Salary (2019)
Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents trade stocks and bonds on behalf of their clients. They update clients about the performance of different investments, including commodities like gold or soybeans. They may also monitor financial markets and analyze finances for companies undergoing public offerings or mergers.
There are a variety of job titles for this profession, including broker, investment banker, trader, and sales agent. Entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree with classes in finance, business, and economics. Professionals can advance their careers with MBAs in finance. Some higher-level roles even require an MBA.
Median Annual Salary
Frequently Asked Questions
An online MBA generally takes two years. However, some MBA in finance online programs offer accelerated options in which enrollees can complete their degrees in as little as one year.
An online MBA from an accredited business school meets the same standards as an on-campus MBA. Most online MBA graduates receive the same diploma as traditional graduates.
MBAs in finance prepare graduates for supervisory positions, like financial manager or chief financial officer. MBA graduates can also work as personal financial advisors, consultants, and entrepreneurs.
Yes. Most employers prefer to hire candidates who attended accredited MBA programs.
When comparing a master's in finance vs. an MBA degree, prospective applicants should first consider their career goals. An MBA offers more practical business training, while a master's in finance covers more theoretical and academic topics. Aspiring professors might prefer a master's in finance, while aspiring executives would likely prefer an MBA.
An MBA with a finance concentration includes core courses in marketing, organizational behavior, and leadership, while a master's in finance focuses primarily on finance-specific topics.
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