Master of Business Administration (MBA): Finance Degree Overview

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance prepares students for leadership roles in financial corporations, healthcare industries and government.

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Essential Information

In MBA in Finance programs, students learn about all aspects of corporate finances, such as conducting analyses, managing portfolios and developing business strategies. Students get real-world experience by completing a corporate residency prior to graduation, which can prepare them for careers as financial analysts or personal financial advisors. These degree programs can be completed in less than two years and often offer evening or weekend classes to accommodate working professionals. Students in an MBA program may be able to complete their studies online.

Applicants to a Master of Business Administration program must have a bachelor's degree. As part of the application, individuals need to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Some schools require essays, letters of recommendation and a minimum grade point average.

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Master of Business Administration in Finance

General MBA classes focus on management, organizational leadership and business strategies. However, MBA programs with an emphasis in finance require more coursework in financial planning, economics, accounting and other similar topics. Courses include the following:

  • Decision-making for growth and management
  • Study of futures and options
  • Corporate finance and accounting
  • Management information systems
  • Supply chain management
  • Issues in management and organizations

Popular Careers

Graduates of Master of Business Administration in Finance programs can qualify for management-level positions. The following are some popular careers:

  • Controller
  • Financial analyst
  • Personal financial advisor
  • Credit manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Financial managers, including controllers and credit managers, are projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to have 7% job growth over the 2014-2024 decade ( Financial managers, in general, earned a median wage of $117,990 yearly in May 2015. The BLS expects fast 12% growth for financial analysts from 2014 to 2024, and the median annual wage for these professionals was $80,310 in May 2015. Personal financial advisors' job growth is projected to be much faster than average, at a rate of 30% over the 2014-2024 period. May 2015 median annual earnings for personal financial advisors were $89,160.

Continuing Education and Professional Certification

Individuals seeking further study can obtain Ph.D. degrees in finance. These programs take five to six years to complete, and a dissertation with original research is required. Students also have to take an oral test at the end of their studies.

Professional certifications vary, depending on the position an individual seeks. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that financial planners must obtain the certified financial planner credential from the Certified Financial Planner Board (CFPB) of Standards ( Applicants need proof of education, three years experience, a passing grade on an exam and an agreement to abide by the CFPB code of ethics ( Financial analysts can obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst credential from the CFA Institute ( Applicants can earn this credential after passing an exam based on the Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK), which covers topics like supply and demand, professional standards and financial reporting systems.

MBA in Finance programs provide a comprehensive overview of advanced business concepts alongside more focused studies in finance. This training enables graduates to seek upper-level financial jobs or enroll in doctoral programs when they finish.

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