Financial Analyst Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
Financial analysts work for companies such as securities firms, banks and mutual funds. An advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration, is highly desirable; however, many financial analysts have only an undergraduate degree. Acceptable undergraduate areas of study include accounting, statistics, finance and business.
How to Choose a Financial Analyst School or College
Since there are many degree options available for aspiring financial analysts, a prospective student must first decide on whether to complete a bachelor's degree only or to continue their studies and enroll in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Graduates of an MBA program have a better chance of securing a financial analyst positions than job candidates who hold only an undergraduate degree. However, there are some instances in which a job applicant who has an undergraduate degree is also a desirable candidate.
For instance, the quality of the school and the ability to complete internships with banks and other financial institutions are important considerations that need to be taken into account for aspiring financial analysts. Therefore, the ranking of a school and its internship opportunities are two key criteria for selecting the right school.
According to BusinessWeek, some of the best undergraduate business schools in the U.S. are the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, the University of California at Berkeley and Cornell University. Not only are undergraduate finance students exposed to a rigorous curriculum, but they are also aided by career services offices in job placement as they approach graduation.
MBA graduates who have completed the more advanced courses in finance will likely have an advantage over job applicants who have only an undergraduate degree. However, since the quality of a finance program is so important, a job candidate who has an MBA in Finance from an average-to-good business school may not be looked upon that much more favorably than a job applicant who has an undergraduate degree in finance from a top-ranked business school.
Some of the advanced finance courses taken in an MBA program include investments analysis, financial derivatives, financial markets and instruments and mergers and acquisitions. Potential MBA students may also want to consider business schools that offer career placement services as a student finishes the program.
Largest Schools and Colleges by Student Population
|College/University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|Arizona State University||67,082||4-year, Public|
|Ohio State University-Main Campus||53,715||4-year, Public|
|University of Florida||51,474||4-year, Public|
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||51,140||4-year, Public|
|University of Central Florida||50,121||4-year, Public|
|The University of Texas at Austin||49,984||4-year, Public|
|Texas A&M University||48,039||4-year, Public|
|Michigan State University||46,510||4-year, Public|
|University of South Florida||46,189||4-year, Public|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||44,406||4-year, Public|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||43,246||4-year, Public|
|New York University||42,189||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||41,620||4-year, Public|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus||39,675||4-year, Public|
|Florida International University||38,759||4-year, Public|
|Florida State University||38,682||4-year, Public|
|University of Arizona||38,057||4-year, Public|
|University of Maryland-College Park||37,000||4-year, Public|
|California State University-Northridge||36,208||4-year, Public|
|University of Houston||36,140||4-year, Public|
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