Top College in Washington, DC, for Finance Courses

School and Ranking Information

Finance studies in and near Washington, DC, are offered mainly by public and private 4-year universities. The following universities are considered the top three for finance studies in Washington, DC, based on rankings, graduation rates and program offerings:

  • Winner: Georgetown University emerges as the top school due to its high national and business program rankings, graduation rates and number of finance degrees awarded. Finance courses can be taken at the certificate, bachelor's and master's degree levels.
  • Runner Up #1: Also based on its national and program rankings as well as its high graduation rate, American University is named the top runner up. Both bachelor's and master's-level finance courses are available.
  • Runner Up #2: Howard University lands in third place because its rankings are not as high as the previous two schools, but its number of finance degrees awarded are comparable to American University. It, too, has finance studies resulting in a bachelor's or master's degree.

School Comparison Chart

Category Georgetown University American University Howard University
Rankings 21st among national universities (2013)*, 17th among undergraduate business programs (2012)*, 4th among international business undergraduate programs (2012)*, 25th among best graduate business schools (2013)* 77th among national universities (2013)*, 56th among best undergraduate business programs (2012)*, 23rd among best international business undergraduate programs (2012)*, 104th among best graduate business schools (2013)*, 121st among best part-time MBA programs (2013)* 120th among national universities (2013)*, 141st among best undergraduate business programs (2012)*
Location Washington, DC Washington, DC Washington, DC
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $42,870 (undergraduate), $40,680 (graduate)** $39,499 (undergraduate), $25,612 (graduate)** $22,683 (undergraduate), $30,323 (graduate)**
Finance Degree Levels Offered Certificates and bachelor's; finance courses in MBA program Bachelor's and master's Bachelor's and master's
Finance Degrees Awarded (All Undergraduate) in 2011-2012 175 36 35
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of Normal Degree Time) for 2005 Entering Class 94%** 77%** 63%**
Noteworthy Oldest Jesuit Catholic university in the U.S. First business school at the university level in the city*** 2nd best historically black college in the U.S. (2012)*

Sources: *U. S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator.

Winner: Georgetown University

  • In 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek recognized the McDonough School of Business undergraduate finance program as the best in the nation
  • School's most prominent alumni: President Bill Clinton
  • Students can find research opportunities at the Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy

Georgetown's undergraduate business program has a concentration in finance with emphasis in financial institutions, investments and corporate finance. Undergraduate business students can participate in the Entrepreneurship Fellows Program or in the First Year Seminar Program, where they can further explore business topics. As part of the school's MBA program, students take courses in financial markets and financial information analysis and reporting. For the professional who has a bachelor's degree but wishes to obtain further education, the Center for Continuing and Professional Education at Georgetown offers a certificate in corporate finance as well as one in budget and finance. Starting in January of 2014, a Master of Science in Finance program will be offered online.

Runner-Up #1: American University

  • Ranked by Forbes in 2011 as 68th among best graduate business schools
  • 14th-best undergraduate finance program, according to Bloomberg Businessweek in 2013
  • For the 2010-2011 school year, 84% of first-time undergraduates received financial aid, according to NCES

American University's Kogod School of Business was founded in 1955. It offers a bachelor's degree in finance program with courses in financial models, corporate finance, investments and international finance. Once students have completed 12 credits in business courses, they can undertake an internship. Upon graduation, students can take CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) or CFP (Certified Financial Planning) certification exams. Non-business majors interested in financial principles might elect a minor in finance. Kogod also offers a 'Personal Financial Portfolio', which consists of three courses covering money management, investing and the basics of real estate.

Runner-Up #2: Howard University

  • The business school was the first school in Washington, DC, to earn accreditation from AACSB International
  • Financial Markets Trading Room offers simulation and research experiences on campus
  • Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall graduated from Howard University

In the Department of Finance, Insurance and International Business, which is affiliated with the Center for Insurance Education (CIE) and the Center for Financial Services (CFS), students can find an undergraduate finance program. Courses in this program include business finance, financial modeling and analysis, investments and financial management, among others. The finance MBA curriculum includes courses in advanced corporate finance, financial markets and institutions, financial modeling and financial engineering. Howard University's Center for Financial Services helps students gain real-world experience on financial matters, and every year it organizes a Wall Street on Campus financial seminar. Howard University's finance programs are part of the CFA Program Partnership, sponsored by the CFA Institute.

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