Financial Management Courses Online for Credit
Free courses in financial management are available online, allowing students to study without the trouble of registration or tuition. Courses cover a variety of topics, including finance for individuals and families, entrepreneurs and corporations. While these courses offer plenty of benefits, they typically do not provide college credit. Students trying to earn credit for school might consider the relatively inexpensive courses found on Study.com. Each course contains simple-to-follow video lessons, interactive self-assessment quizzes and practice exams, among other learning and study tools.
Students can check out Finance 101: Principles of Finance, which explores the basics of financial statements, capital investment decisions, short-term financing and international corporate finance. This course includes chapters such as:
- Stock Valuation - Topics include common stock valuation and types of growth, dealers and brokers, the New York Stock Exchange and types of stocks.
- Cost of Capital - Learn about required return, the dividend growth model, preferred stock and related concepts.
- Accounting Risk & Return - Study capital market efficiency, geometric vs. arithmetic average returns, normal distribution and more.
The subsequent course, Finance 102: Personal Finance takes a look at personal financial planning, credits and loans and how to plan for major purchases. Chapters include the following:
- Personal Taxes - Examine the purpose and types of taxes, payroll tax, corporate tax rate and other tax matters.
- Personal Investing - Delve into annuities, types of financial assets, what dividends are and more.
- Retirement & Estate Planning - Learn about sources of income in retirement, social security, cost of living adjustment and related topics.
Free Online Financial Management Courses
While the finance courses on the following list do not offer academic credit, they do explore a wide range of topics. Online students can learn about personal financial management as well as how to manage the finances of a company through the use of videos, lessons, lecture notes and assignments.
Free Management Library
The Free Management Library is an open resource for learning and provides access to online articles covering approximately 650 topics like business law, sales, marketing, customer service and entrepreneurship. This library does not require registration.
- All About Financial Management in Business is intended for new business managers and leaders looking to learn about the fundamentals of financial management. Topics include planning and cash management, financial statements, cost cutting and financial analysis. Lessons include links to various resources, and users gain access to a list of recommended books related to financial management. While the resource does not offer assignments or tests, it does serve as a source of information for those looking to learn more about financial management.
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan offers Open Michigan, a free online resource for anyone interested in gaining access to educational materials, data, publications and more. Their available resources cover topics like dentistry, nursing, statistics, physics and public policy. These resources include course lectures, videos and work from students.
- Corporate Finance for Health Care Administrators helps prospective health care administrators learn more about accounting and finance related to the management of medical and health facilities. The course covers topics like budgets, capital management and the statement of cash flows, and it includes handouts, lectures and worksheets for users to download if they wish. This course is the final one in a 3-course series that also covers financial accounting and managerial accounting.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT offers free online courses through its OpenCourseWare (OCW) platform. Students can access about 2,400 courses covering subject areas like aeronautics, civil and environmental engineering, political science and literature without registering. Most free OCW courses teach students through lecture notes and assignments and sometimes include videos, recitations, quizzes and exams.
- Finance Theory II introduces students to the financial tools involved in making sound business decisions. The graduate course examines corporate finance theory and how it can be applied to actual business decisions. Lecture notes cover topics in capital structure, company value and free cash flow valuation, and recommended readings include Principles of Corporate Finance and Analysis for Financial Management. Practice exams and assignments with answers are available to download.
- Entrepreneurial Finance is a graduate-level class that examines emerging business ventures and the initial stages of company growth. Learners are treated to an intensive analysis of the foundation of the private equity industry and can examine topics like real option valuation and the venture capital method. The course materials include questions on case studies, copies of select lecture notes and the assignment list (though no answers are provided). Recommended readings include Structuring Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurial Transactions and Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation. The course builds on the concepts and skills taught in Finance Theory II.
- Financial Management focuses on capital markets and corporate finance with course topics like risk and return, firm valuation and financing policy. Learning materials include class notes, readings, assignments and past exams. To gain the most from this graduate course, it is recommended that students read Principles of Corporate Finance.
Stanford University's eCorner provides access to learning materials like videos and articles presented by experts in the areas of strategy, culture, startups and innovation. All materials are free to view and require no registration for access.
- Keeping a Financial Focus is part of Stanford University's Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Speaker Series. The video teaches entrepreneurs to concentrate less on technology and more on business metrics and margins in order to keep prices from eroding. The video is short, lasting about 4 minutes, and offers a PDF transcript students can download.
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University's Personal Finance website gives online learners the opportunity to learn about personal financial management from the perspective of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Learning materials are completely free to access, require no registration and are presented as PDF lessons, slide presentations, videos and downloadable assignments.
- Personal Finance lessons are divided into beginning, intermediate and advanced levels and help students learn all about personal finance basics, living within one's means, saving for long-term goals, planning for retirement and making investments. Some courses are targeted to learners like high school students, college freshmen and young adults. Students have access to resources such as readings, financial workshops, lessons and personal finance manuals.
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides free online courses through the edX platform that focus on increasing financial stability, improving employment and growing the economies of countries across the globe. To access these free courses, students are required to create a free edX account via email or an account like Google or Facebook.
- Public Financial Management is an intermediate course that teaches students the importance of public financial management, how to analyze budget cycles, benefits of financial reporting and why prioritization is important. The effort required to complete this course is estimated at four to six hours per week over eight weeks. This course is archived, which means it is no longer active but can be viewed at no cost.
University of Florida
Through the Coursera platform, students can take several free online courses from the University of Florida. In order to access these courses, students must create a free online account via email or Facebook.
- Personal & Family Financial Planning aims to help students understand the importance of financial management and develop habits that can enhance their financial planning capabilities. The course consists of video lessons, readings and quizzes focused on the time value of money, financial statements, income taxes and credit. Students can expect to give about 14 hours of their time to complete this course. To access this course for free, it must be audited.