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Best Online Master's Degrees in Finance

Apr 29, 2021

What Is an Online Master's in Finance Degree?

An online master's degree in finance helps students expand their knowledge of finance, including the principles, analysis, and planning skills needed to make financial decisions. Earning a Master of Science in finance provides students with the opportunity for career advancement in many finance occupations as well as the chance to hold new positions. Occupations graduates can hold with this degree include finance specialist, financial analyst and personal financial advisor.

Best Master's Degrees in Finance Online

To come up with our definitive list of the best online master's degrees in finance, Study.com examined Department of Education data and balanced it with factors like flexibility and affordable tuition rates. We then dove into individual school data to pick the programs that stood out for their curricula, business accreditation, industry relationships, and expert faculty. Check out our top 11 finance master's programs below.

1. Davenport University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$19,338 82% 49% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Designed for professionals already working in the field, Davenport University's Master of Business Administration in Finance offers flexibility, a rigorous curriculum to accentuate leadership skills, and plenty of specialization options. With 20-plus years of experience in online education and numerous opportunities to network and acquire real-world experience, it is easy to see why Davenport University, in Grand Rapids, MI, ranks highest on our list of top online master's in finance. Nearly all - 95% - of students are awarded financial aid here, and finance grad students get the bonus of scholarships designed specifically for their field of study.

2. West Texas A & M University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,135 69% 45% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

West Texas A & M University, in Canyon, TX, boasts an AACSB-accredited Master of Science in Finance and Economics that emphasizes critical thinking and communication as well as the integration of finance and economics. Students in this online master's program can benefit from the expert faculty who lead the online courses and are well-known for their research efforts and focus on student interactions. The university has a graduate enrollment among the largest in the nation, but still does a great job fostering individualized student relationships throughout the finance program.

3. Northwood University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28,080 79% 54% 98% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Master of Science in Finance at Northwood University, in Midland, MI, emphasizes practical experience as the foundation for its program. Students are engaged in learning by faculty who bring concepts to life through interactive courses and virtual conversations. These professionals are active in the finance industry and draw from their experiences while conveying knowledge in the classroom. Students in the MSF are encouraged to create and execute financial strategies and demonstrate their knowledge through a capstone project.

4. Liberty University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$16,118 51% 47% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Liberty University, in Lynchburg, VA, proudly offers a flexible, fast, and affordable Master of Science in Finance - General program that can be completed online in about one year. Students can choose from 8 different start dates throughout the year and will appreciate that Liberty University's tuition rates have remained the same for the past 6 years. The university offers a generous transfer policy - up to 50% of required courses - and fast 8-week courses. An MBA in Finance is also available here, which offers students a broader alternative.

5. University of Missouri

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10,477 81% 71% 89% Yes Yes AP Credits

The College of Business at the University of Missouri, in Columbia, features a Master of Science in Finance online that is perfectly built for working professionals. The program boasts small class sizes, allowing for enhanced student-faculty interactions, and can be completed in just one year. Working students also benefit from self-paced courses and a degree plan that can be done in either part- or full-time formats, depending on students' needs. In addition to AACSB accreditation, this university is also named a CFA Institute Affiliated University, a prestigious credential that speaks to the university's ethics and the curriculum's rigor.

6. Tiffin University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$26,110 69% 39% 100% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

The fully online MBA in Finance at Tiffin University, in Tiffin, OH, is committed to student success in class and in their careers. The university offers flexible start dates throughout the year and has kept tuition at the same rate for the past five years. Graduates indicate that the flexibility of the finance program provided them with opportunities to build connections and prepare for their careers. The university offers a unique feature that enables qualified students to waive two courses and graduate within 14 months.

7. University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$15,648 73% 66% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Massachusetts in Lowell is home to a Master of Science in Finance with a focus on financial markets, financial management and corporate finance. Students in this AACSB-accredited program benefit from the solid foundation provided in derivatives, analysis of investments, financial theories, and allocation of assets. The finance master's degree can be earned in about 18 months and features numerous scholarships and financial aid options for students. Online students get 24/7 tech support and unparalleled academic advising.

8. Texas A & M University-Commerce

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,958 43% 43% 91% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

At Texas A & M University in Commerce, TX, students can find a Master of Science in Finance that combines finance theory with real-world applications in a dynamic online learning environment. The faculty who lead this program are passionate about helping their students understand the fundamentals of risk management, finance models, and financial research. This program is AACSB-accredited and offers numerous opportunities for students to grow their professional connections, utilizing guest speakers, professional networking activities, and interactions with industry leaders.

9. University of Colorado Denver

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,335 67% 52% 82% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Colorado in Denver offers a Master of Science in Finance and Risk Management that emphasizes hands-on learning in an investment management-focused curriculum. This program promotes software and database fundamentals, utilizing key finance tools like Bloomberg, CDQ and Morningstar. The university is identified as a CFA Institute Affiliated University and has built solid relationships with key finance industries to promote student learning and experiences.

10. University of Michigan-Dearborn

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13,529 62% 56% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Michigan in Dearborn boasts a one-of-a-kind combined Master of Science/Master of Business Administration in Finance in a fully online format. Students can choose from two concentrations - investments or corporate finance - and can earn credits for work and life experience. This highly ranked program is AACSB-accredited and is led by faculty who are active in the business world and provide students the added benefit of relationships with industry professionals.

11. Webster University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28,700 57% 58% 96% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

At Webster University in St. Louis, MO, students can find an online Master of Science in Finance that does a great job preparing them for advanced certification exams, including the Certified Financial Planner or the Chartered Financial Analyst exams. It landed on our list thanks to ACBSP accreditation and small class sizes that encourage interactive learning. There are also three concentrations here: Entrepreneurial Finance, Capital Budgeting, or International Finance, the latter of which can tie into the program's global focus -- students can choose a hybrid format and take classes in far-flung places like London, England, and Vienna, Austria. Students here also have had the chance to complete internships at Mastercard, Wells Fargo, US Bank and Edward Jones.

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Why Should I Get an Online Finance Master's Degree?

An online master's in finance helps graduates to further their finance careers. While a bachelor's degree is a requirement to hold many positions, a master's degree increases chances of employment. This degree allows students to further their studies and research within the field of finance. In addition, they have the chance to personalize their degree and work in finance on a small or large scale. This includes working with individuals, companies, the government or on a global scale.

An online program allows students to continue to work as they earn their degree due to the flexibility this type of degree provides. When earning this degree, students may be able to find an accelerated option and finish their degree in less time or enroll part-time. These options help students fit their degree into their busy schedule and finish at their own pace. A benefit of an online degree is that students can choose to apply to programs at universities they are unable to attend in person. Students can choose from in-state or out-of-state universities' online programs and complete their coursework from wherever they are located.

When selecting an online master's in finance program, students should look for a program that is designed with their career goals in mind. Students must consider several factors. These include what type of degree they want to obtain and what programs are available. Once a student finds a program, they should look at the format in which it is offered. Students should consider if the program is offered completely online, in person or a hybrid of the two. Students should look for the option that best fits their schedule and allows them to balance their schoolwork with other responsibilities.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online Master's in Finance?

Earning a master's in finance typically takes 2 years and the completion of 30 - 60 credits. However, many online master's degree programs provide students with the opportunity to earn their degree in less time. Due to the additional flexibility, many online master's degrees can be completed in 18 months. Completion time varies depending on whether a student is enrolled in their program full-time or taking courses part-time. Some universities may offer a degree designed to prepare students to earn certifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP). These master's programs meet specific criteria required for these certifications and prepare students to complete these exams upon graduation.

Curriculum for Online Master's Degree Programs in Finance

Online master's degree programs in finance are typically offered as a Master of Science, which consists of 30-60 credits. The coursework for this degree provides students with the opportunity explore many aspects of finance. This includes taking courses in foundations of finance, risk analysis, examining financial markets and accounting. Along with these classes, students can specialize their degree and choose from a number of electives. This lets students apply their foundational coursework to finance on a small or large scale. These electives might include personal financial planning, real estate or global finance.

Finance Foundational Courses

The coursework for a Master of Science in Finance establish a basis of financial principles and how to examine financial markets. Students learn about the management of money as well as projecting what the future may hold. These courses prepare students to apply these strategies as they work for businesses, corporations or individuals.

  • Foundations in Finance
  • Financial Management
  • Risk Analysis and Management
  • Financial Accounting
  • Portfolio Management
  • Mergers and Acquisitions.
  • Analysis of Financial Markets

Some programs may include a capstone project as a part of the degree's required coursework.

Finance Specialist and Elective Courses

Students can take additional courses that allow them to apply financial principles to different industries. This lets students customize their degree based on their area of interest. This includes a concentration in Financial Analysis in which students can examine finance on a global scale.

These courses include :

  • Financial Strategies for a Global Environment
  • Multinational Managerial Finance
  • Global Financial Markets

Alternatively, students can choose a concentration that examines finance on a smaller scale. Students can choose to focus on Financial Planning and help individuals meet their financial goals.

Courses include:

  • Personal financial planning
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Fixed Income Securities and Markets

Other elective courses that may be included in this degree include business finance, accounting and banking.

Licensure and Certification in Finance

There are many financial job options that do not require you to have a license or certification. However depending on the specific occupation you plan on pursuing, you may need to obtain a license. For careers such as a financial analyst or other occupations in which you sell financial products, a license is required. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers this license, which requires the completion of several exams.

Another career option for those who earn a master's in finance is an accountant, which differs from a finance manager. Their work involves keeping track of a business's day-to-day financial transactions and records and making sure they meet financial regulations. While you do not need a license to be an accountant, you do need a license to be a CPA, which is a Certified Public Accountant. The requirements for a license vary depending on the state in which you are located. The general requirements include a bachelor's degree, a certain number of credit hours of education and work experience as well as the completion of an exam.

While it may not necessarily be a requirement, a certification can help graduates establish their professional careers and increase chances of employment. The Financial Management Association (FMA) offers many certifications that cover a wide range of industries. These certifications include Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). They also offer more specialized options that allow financial professions working in healthcare, energy and government, such as Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP), Energy Risk Professional (ERP) and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM).

Admissions Requirements for Online Finance Master's Programs

The admission requirements to enter a master's degree in finance program include having earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants of master's degree programs usually need to have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA while earning their previous degree.

Specific requirements may vary depending on particular universities, but students often have to submit official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a resume, and an application fee. Students may also have to take the GRE (Graduate Records Examination).

What Can I Do with a Finance Master's Degree?

A master's degree in finance allows students to work in a variety of careers in finance, accounting and business. Occupations include finance specialists, financial analysts, personal financial advisors and financial managers. Graduates can also choose to work as accountants or CPAs. Alternatively, graduates have the option to work in a number of careers in banking and finance. Occupations include investment banker, investment researcher and private wealth manager.

Those with a graduate degree may also work for the government or large companies or organizations such as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Job Outlook for a Master's in Finance

A bachelor's degree in finance allows students to work in a variety of careers in the world of finance, accounting and business. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for many financial career options, such as financial analyst or personal financial advisor, is about average compared to other occupations. By obtaining a master's degree, students increase their chances of employment. In addition, a master's degree may provide them with the opportunity for career advancement from entry level to higher ranking positions at their place of employment.

How to Become a Financial Analyst

Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. These professionals use micro and macroeconomics to make predictions about how businesses will perform in the future. Their work involves examining different types of investments such as stocks and bonds. In order to work in this occupation, you typically need to have earned at least a bachelor's degree. However, a master's degree makes applicants more likely to be hired and allows them to work in senior positions. In order to sell financial products, a license is required and can be provided by the the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). With the experience professionals gain working as financial analysts, they can choose to advance to positions such as portfolio managers or fund managers.

As projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of financial analysts is expected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029. The median annual wage for financial analysts, according to the BLS, is $81,590 as of May 2019.

How to Become a Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors work with individuals and help them make financial decisions. These professionals provide clients with advice on how they can manage their finances and establish a plan for their finances in the future. When starting to work in this career, personal financial advisors often begin a training period. This involves new advisors working under the supervision of senior advisors. This period teaches them how to perform tasks and establish a network of clients. In order to work in this position, you need to have at least a bachelor's degree. However, a graduate degree, such as a master's degree in finance, and certification can help professionals establish their career in this field. It also may help them work in more advanced roles.

The employment of personal financial advisors is expected to increase by 4 percent from 2019 to 2029 as projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of May 2019, the median annual wage for personal financial advisors, according to the BLS, was $87,850.

Common Undergraduate Degrees for Finance

Having at a bachelor's degree is often a requirement to work in entry level positions in finance.

Students can begin their study of finance by earning an associate's degree in finance. An associate's degree in finance is most commonly offered as an Associate of Science. This consists of 60 credits and can be completed in 2 years. Students can attend a community college for this degree in preparation to transfer to a four year university.

Students then can go on to earn their bachelor's degree in finance. This degree is typically offered as a Bachelor of Science, but some universities may offer it as a Bachelor of Arts program. It takes four years and the completion of 120 credits to earn this degree.

Postgraduate Options After Completing a Master's in Finance

Students can choose to continue their education after obtaining their master's and get a PhD in finance. When earning this degree, students conduct financial research that is used by professionals, such as mutual fund managers, investment bankers, and CEOs, in making financial decisions. Students have the opportunity to focus on their area of interest and choose to research aspects of finance. Their research may be published in scholarly journals. A doctoral degree in finance also allows graduates to pursue a career as a researcher and educator.

Financial Aid, Scholarships and Grants for Online Master's in Finance Programs

Just like for undergraduate programs, those interested in earning a graduate degree should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to see if they qualify for any federal aid. There are several types of financial aid packages that can help students pay for their education including grants, which is money that does not need to be repaid, and loans, which is borrowed money that needs to be paid back with interest.

There are also scholarships available for students depending on their background, state in which they are located and specific occupation they plan on working in. Students may be able to find scholarships offered by organizations in finance. This includes the Government Finance Officers Association, which offers scholarships students interested in pursuing a career in state/provincial or local government finance.

Professional Organizations in Finance

There are many organizations within the world of finance and business for students and workers in this field. Students can find organizations that represent workers in a specific occupation or the field of finance as a whole. These organizations allow professionals to communicate, collaborate and learn from one another. Many organizations also offer educational opportunities, resources and programs to both students and professionals looking to work in the industry.

Some organizations in finance include:

  • Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) is an organization dedicated to advancing the success of treasury and finance members as well as their organizations.
  • American Association of Finance & Accounting (AAFA) consists of executive search firms that focus on recruiting and employing finance and accounting professionals.
  • National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is made up of highly trained financial advisors. The association provides education and resources to its thousands of professionals across the country.
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