Best Online MBA in Finance 2022

by TBS Staff

Updated September 14, 2022

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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.

The Best Online MBA in Finance Programs

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $11649

    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.

  2. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    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.

  3. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Tuition

    $21678

    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.

  4. University of Maryland-College Park
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $16790

    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.

  5. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $15829

    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.

  6. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    Location

    Lafayette, LA

    Tuition

    $11190

    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.

  7. Purdue University-Main Campus
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Tuition

    $11898

    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.

  8. University of North Carolina Wilmington
    Location

    Wilmington, NC

    Tuition

    $17771

    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.

  9. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Tuition

    $17315

    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.

  10. Texas A & M International University
    Location

    Laredo, TX

    Tuition

    $4744

    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.

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Online MBA in Finance Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

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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

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.

Corporate Finance

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.

Data Analytics in Finance

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

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.

Investment Management

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.

Real Estate Finance

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.

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Finance Careers

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 Manager

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)

$129,890

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

15%

Medical and Health Services Managers

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)

$100,980

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

32%

Personal Financial Advisors

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)

$87,850

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

4%

Securities, Commodities, and Financial Sales Agents

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

$62,270

Job Outlook (2019-2029)

4%

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA Online?

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.

Is an Online MBA Respected?

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.

What Can I Do With an MBA in Finance?

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.

Do Employers Care About MBA Accreditation?

Yes. Most employers prefer to hire candidates who attended accredited MBA programs.

Which is Better: An MBA or a Master's in Finance?

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.

What Is the Difference Between an MBA and an MS in Finance?

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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