Online Financial Analyst Education Overview with Certification Info

Research online financial analyst courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Working as a financial analyst typically requires a bachelor's or master's degree, so those are the degree options students can expect to find through distance learning programs in the field. There are also some graduate certificate programs available.

These online programs are available from four-year universities or colleges as well as private distance education institutions, and they may be offered fully online or in hybrid formats. Some certificate and professional certification courses may require students to attend classes on campus and/or take proctored exams. It is important to note that degrees and certificates in financial analysis may be formal academic programs that award college credit, or they may be self-paced in design and result in continuing education credits.

Learning & Coursework

Online students typically access coursework through a school's website. Students can communicate with instructors and classmates in this virtual environment, as well as receive assignments, turn in homework and access online lectures or study materials. In most online programs, students have access to the school's online library and databases where they can view business and financial publications and scholarly journals.

Bachelor's Degrees

A bachelor's degree in a financial or business-related field is typically the minimum educational requirement for financial analysts, although some employers may require a master's degree. Common online programs with concentrations in finance are Bachelor of Science in Business or Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Distance learners in these programs take a combination of general education courses, such as English, science and history, and core-related courses in economics, business and math. Common online coursework can include the following:

  • Business math
  • Accounting basics
  • Risk management
  • Investment management
  • Introduction to finance
  • Business ethics

Master's Degrees

Many financial analysts who want management positions earn Master of Business (MBA) degrees with a specialization in finance or Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degrees. These programs are available fully online and some programs are designed to aid students in receiving professional licensure or certification.

Online schools may have rolling admissions with classes beginning every month or they may follow a traditional semester-based schedule like brick and mortar schools. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and are often required to submit GRE or GMAT scores, resumes and recommendation letters.

Online coursework is usually completed on a schedule with certain assignments and projects due every week. Some schools offer professional mentor programs where students receive coaching from a financial professional. Distance learners in MBA programs generally complete a combination of advanced business and finance classes, while MSF programs focus solely on finance and finance management. Typical online classes can include the following:

  • Financial institutions
  • Financial analysis
  • International investments
  • Probability and costs
  • Financial regulations
  • Business and marketing strategies


Students are generally required to have a bachelor's or master's degree as well as professional experience in order to qualify for certificate programs in this field. Certificate programs offer courses in a variety of financial analysis specializations and are offered entirely online or in hybrid format with some classes offered online and others must be completed on-campus. These programs are shorter than degree programs and generally can be completed in 15 semester hours. Coursework in certificate programs are highly specialized and designed for working professionals. Common topics include:

  • Corporate finances
  • Tax management
  • Investment portfolio management
  • Fixed income securities
  • Wealth management
  • Financial modeling

Professional Certification

Many employers prefer financial analysts who have acquired some type of professional certification. One of the most common types of certification in the world of finance is Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), which is offered by the CFA Institute ( Applicants are required to possess a degree, work experience and pass three exams. Study materials may be purchased online through the institute, but the exams are proctored and must be taken in person.

Prospective students who want to become financial analysts may start by getting an online bachelor's degree in a business-related subject to cover the basics of the financial industry. From there, they may need to get a master's degree before they can seek a career in the field, and they can further boost their expertise with an online professional or graduate certificate in an advanced topic.

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Administration - Food & Hotel Management
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • DCJ: Education
    • DBA: Business Administration
    • DCJ: Homeland Security
    • EDD: School Leadership
    • BA: Criminal Justice
    • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    • BA: Liberal Studies
    • BA: Psychology
    • BA: Psychology - General
    • BS: Computer Science
    • AA: Criminal Justice
    • AA: Liberal Arts
    • AA: Business Administration
    • AA: Information Technology
    • AA: Cybersecurity

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Science in Marketing Analytics

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Accounting
    • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance
    • Master of Business Administration - Marketing

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master's in Business Administration/Management
    • MA in Organizational Leadership
    • MS in Information Technology/Database Administration
    • Master's in Business Administration
    • Master's in Business Administration/Accounting
    • Master's in Business Administration/Accounting & Finance

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Education - Character Education
    • Doctor of Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    • Doctor of Education - Higher Education
    • Ph.D. in Communication
    • Ph.D. in Education - Character Education
    • Ph.D. in Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    • Master of Arts in Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Journalism
    • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    • Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Journalism
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
    • M.Ed. - Individualized Degree Program - Autism Certificate
    • M.Ed. in K-12 Special Education - Autism Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?