Universities Offering a Major in Finance and Investment: How to Choose

While many 4-year colleges offer programs in finance, very few offer specific options in investment. Individuals interested in specializing in investment should ensure that financial programs of interest offer enough classes in that niche to meet their career training goals.

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Undergraduate finance degree programs are relatively common, and some schools might also offer an investment major, minor or concentration. Explore schools that offer these programs and some considerations for selecting the best school for you.

Top Finance Schools

The following 4-year schools offer degree programs in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit $49,536
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit $47,750
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit $46,704
University of Texas - Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public $9,806 (In-state), $34,676 (Out-of-state)
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 4-year, Public $15,192 (In-state), $44,365 (Out-of-state)
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 4-year, Public $8,591 (In-state), $33,673 (Out-of-state)
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public $10,388 (In-state), $33,741 (Out-of-state)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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University Selection Criteria

Students interested in finance and investment programs may want to keep these considerations in mind:

  • A majority of schools do not offer programs specific to investment, but do incorporate investment classes into a general finance curriculum. Look for a program that matches your interests and career goals.
  • Campuses that are closer to highly populated areas tend have more high-powered internship affiliations, such as within a city's financial district.
  • Graduates who are involved in extracurricular activities exhibit greater skill diversity to potential employers.
  • Students should keep in mind financial aid options and differences in tuition between public and private institutions.

Bachelor's Degree in Finance

Bachelor's degree programs provide students with the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to secure a career in investment finance. General education and elective courses offer interdisciplinary perspective to complement the field of finance; therefore, if students aspire to work in a specific finance-related industry, such as marketing or merchandising, they are better equipped to tackle all aspects of their career. However, graduates who work in investment usually work in brokerage firms as security analysts or portfolio managers.

Continuing Education

Graduates interested in pursuing a graduate degree may want to consider a master's degree program in finance and investment. Although programs may be appropriate for candidates without a baccalaureate degree in finance, those who have a bachelor's degree in finance have an advantage: they have already fulfilled many program prerequisite courses, including calculus, statistics and accounting. Many graduate-level programs are designed for working professionals and do not require GRE and GMAT scores. A resume or letters of recommendation may need to be submitted in their stead.

Bachelor's degrees in finance are available at public and private institutions, and some of these programs may include courses or concentrations in investment. During the selection process, potential students should consider things like a program's location and a school's extracurricular activities.

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