Schools with Bank Compliance Degree Programs: How to Choose

Bank compliance programs train students to be responsible for administrative, organizational and operational aspects of a bank's daily business practices. Programs can be found at 4-year colleges and universities.

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There is no specific degree requirement to become a bank compliance officer, though several undergraduate majors and graduate levels of study may provide the education and training necessary to enter the profession or advance a career.

Top 10 Business Schools

These schools offer quality programs in business administration and/or finance, two useful degrees for bank compliance.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-16)*
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergrad: $49,536
Grad: $34,268
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergrad: $46,704
Grad: $49,272
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergrad: $13,431 in-state, $38,139 out-of-state
Grad: $13,431 in-state, $28,533 out-of-state
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergrad: $13,856 in-state, $43,476 out-of-state
Grad: $20,966 in-state, $42,016 out-of-state
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Undergraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate Undergrad: $47,750
Grad: $40,984
University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $17,094 in-state, $26,892 out-of-state
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergrad: $50,665
Grad: $41,371
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergrad: $8,591 in-state, $33,673 out-of-state
Grad: $11,074 in-state, $28,285 out-of-state
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergrad: $9,806 in-state, $34,676 out-of-state
Grad: $10,934 in-state, $20,762 out-of-state
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $29,581

*Source: NCES College Navigator

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in bank compliance programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • Master's programs in business administration may include elective courses in compliance, while law degree programs with a specific focus on banking and financial law offer many courses particularly relevant to compliance certification.
  • Practical experience in financial assessment and legal issues of credit, deposits and privacy could provide students with valuable knowledge and skills when looking for postgraduate work.
  • Some degree programs prepare a student for optional Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) certification from The American Bank Association.
  • Decide which degree level fits your career aspirations. Bachelor's degree programs in accounting or business administration are typically a minimal qualification standard for entry-level jobs; however, some banks demand a master's degree for advanced compliance positions.

Bachelor of Business Administration

A Bachelor of Business Administration degree commonly offers specializations in accounting, finance and operations management, all of which would be useful to aspiring bank compliance officers. Students may be required to complete an internship, providing an opportunity to gain practical work experience in a bank. Undergraduate courses may include management of financial institutions, fundamentals of banking, and investment analysis.

Master of Business Administration

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is designed to prepare students for management positions. Though all areas of study are often included in an MBA curricula, programs typically offer concentrations in finance, accounting or economics. Courses focus on leadership, organization, communication, and marketing. Many electives are available at the graduate level, including those that focus on legal aspects of banking and finance.

Master's Degree in Finance

Graduate programs in finance include courses in financial regulation, banking and risk management. A master's degree program in finance offers fewer managerial courses than an MBA program does, but may direct education specifically to advanced banking practices and procedures. Electives are also available in financial law, ethics, and management. Internships are not common for these master's programs, though students are often required to complete a research project to graduate.

Master of Laws (LLM) in Financial Services

Legal master's programs in financial services commonly cover specific banking legislation, such as the Bank Secrecy Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Coursework typically includes classes specific to banking laws, bank procedures, and financial institutions. Concentration areas may include a specific focus on American banking and compliance management. An LLM program often covers information found on the CRCM examination.

Schools across the country offer a variety of degrees and programs which may be useful for bank compliance officers. These programs can be found at the certificate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels in fields such as business administration, finance and law.

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