Universities Offering a Major in Finance and Investment: How to Choose

While many 4-year colleges offer programs in finance, very few offer specific options in investment. Individuals interested in specializing in investment should ensure that financial programs of interest offer enough classes in that niche to meet their career training goals.

How to Select a School for Finance and Investment

When considering undergraduate finance degree programs, prospective students should determine whether or not the school offers an investment major, minor or concentration. When researching schools, it is also a good idea to take the location of the school into consideration, as companies within the geographic area will determine what internships may be available. Internships are an excellent way for students to gain real-world exposure to investment finance. It is important to note that most internship programs have prerequisites, including a minimum GPA and the completion of a few financial courses. Potential students may also want to investigate whether the school offers any social clubs catering to finance majors. While stellar academic achievements are needed in order to secure competitive employment opportunities, most employers are also interested in hiring well-rounded candidates.

Students interested in finance and investment programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • A majority of schools do not offer programs specific to investment, but do incorporate investment classes into a general finance curriculum.
  • Campuses that are closer to highly populated areas tend have more high-powered internship affiliations, such as within a city's financial district.
  • Graduates who are involved in extracurricular activities exhibit greater skill diversity to potential employers.

Program Overviews

Bachelor's Degree in Finance

Bachelor's degree programs provide students with the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to secure a career in investment finance. General education and elective courses offer interdisciplinary perspective to complement the field of finance; therefore, if students aspire to work in a specific finance-related industry, such as marketing or merchandising, they are better equipped to tackle all aspects of their career. However, graduates who work in investment usually work in brokerage firms as security analysts or portfolio managers. Areas of study include:

  • Accounting
  • Statistics
  • Financial planning
  • Risk management
  • Investing

Continuing Education

Graduates interested in pursuing a graduate degree may want to consider a master's degree program in finance and investment. Although programs may be appropriate for candidates without a baccalaureate degree in finance, those who have a bachelor's degree in finance have an advantage: they have already fulfilled many program prerequisite courses, including calculus, statistics and accounting. Many graduate-level programs are designed for working professionals and do not require GRE and GMAT scores. A resume or letters of recommendation may need to be submitted in their stead. Examples of courses in a master's degree program include:

  • Managerial accounting
  • Financial econometrics
  • Short-term financial management
  • Investment analysis
  • Portfolio management

Top 10 Finance Schools

College/University Institution Type
University of Pennsylvania 4-year, Private not-for-profit
New York University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 4-year, Public
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of California - Berkeley 4-year, Public
University of Texas - Austin 4-year, Public
University of Virginia 4-year, Public
Carnegie Mellon University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill4-year, Public
Indiana University - Bloomington 4-year, Public

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