Best Online Bachelor’s in Finance Programs

If you have an interest in business and management, gaining an online finance degree can open up countless career opportunities. This is particularly the case in today’s ever-changing financial and economic climate: modern technology has created new and exciting ways to analyze and manage financial matters, and an online finance degree will prepare you with tools and skills you will need to excel in the field. Those who pursue careers as financial analysts and managers can earn a salary as high as $91K per year, making a bachelor’s degree in finance a sound investment.

You can pursue your finance degree online through one of the many great and affordable programs that feature asynchronous and even hybridized curriculums, which allows you to earn your degree on your own terms and timeline. Today’s online finance degree programs feature innovative learning platforms and formats that make it easier to gain the skills needed to prepare for the challenging career paths available to you in the world of finance.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Northeastern University Global Network 71.77 4/5 79% Boston, MA

The Northeastern University Global Network is specially designed to help adult professionals balance career, family, and school through flexible degree programs. Offering more than 60 online degrees, the Global Network allows distance learners to experience this Boston-based university’s academic rigor and knowledgeable instructors through a convenient format.

Northeastern’s 120-credit bachelor of finance online program is often regarded as one of the best online finance degree programs in the country. Covering topics in accounting as well as general finance, courses provide a broad overview of fundamental concepts in business, financial planning, and investing. In addition to major required courses and electives, students must complete 24 credit hours of general education classes relating to professional writing, diversity, and culture. Students are allowed to complete assignments at their own pace, although group projects and discussions are usually part of the curriculum. For these assignments, the university employs Collaborate, a synchronous online conferencing program. Full-time students typically earn their finance degree online in four years, while part-time students take a few years longer.

Like traditional students, Global Network participants are eligible to apply for federal financial aid as well as scholarships offered through the university. Northeastern also participates in employer reimbursement programs. In addition to accepting transfer credits from other regionally accredited institutions, the school gives applicants the option to take the Assessment of Prior Learning exam. This assessment allows students who demonstrate mastery of fundamental concepts and skills in their chosen field to receive credits without taking the pertinent core courses.

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2 Florida International University 69.92 3/5 49% Miami, FL

Florida International University has been at the forefront of the distance learning revolution since 1998, offering hybrid programs from its Miami campus. Today, this top-tier research university provides 27 fully online degree programs for students around the world. Emphasizing innovation and global awareness, FIU strives to give distance learners a wide pool of academic and social resources that range from student organizations to honors programs. Every online student is paired with a success coach who assists with academic planning.

Those pursuing a finance degree online from FIU will receive a comprehensive education that prepares them for numerous high-demand careers in the financial sector. Covering integral topics such as portfolio management, commercial banking, and investment strategies, this 120-credit degree program is designed to give graduates a leg-up in the industry. Along with pre-core courses in macroeconomics, accounting, and statistics, business core courses, and major requirements, students can choose elective courses in either management and banking or finance and real estate, depending on their goals and interests. Course format and length vary considerably, and program length largely depends on the number of courses taken each semester.

Students earning an online business finance degree are exempt from many fees required of FIU’s traditional students. While non-residents pay slightly higher tuition than Florida residents, all are eligible to apply for financial aid. Through the university’s Funds for Books program, financial aid recipients receive an aid advance at the beginning of the semester to purchase books and other supplies. Active duty military and reservists often qualify for additional benefits.

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3 Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus 67.90 4/5 86% University Park, PA

Pennsylvania State University is renowned for its top-notch faculty, and its World Campus distance learning program is no different. Taught by the same skilled instructors who lecture on campus, the regionally accredited World Campus utilizes cutting-edge technology and teaching methods to make its online programs accessible to students around the globe.

Offered in partnership with its Erie-based Behrend Campus, Penn State’s online business finance degree program is unique for its emphasis on professional advancement. The 120-credit hour curriculum is specially designed for individuals interested in becoming chartered financial analysts (CFA) or certified financial planners. Coursework covers fundamental topics in economics, financial management, and banking, along with specialized concepts in the aforementioned fields. The bachelor of finance online degree is also one of very few online programs accepted into the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. This designation is awarded to programs whose curriculum emphasizes the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge and prepares graduates to sit for CFA exams.

Most courses offered through the World Campus are asynchronously structured, allowing students to study and complete assignments when and where it is most convenient. Consequently, program duration varies from student to student, depending on credits transferred and individual course load. The school transmits lessons and assignments through Blackboard Collaborate, and students can collaborate and discuss coursework with faculty and classmates via Skype, email, and discussion forums. Learners take exams in person and testing is administered by an approved proctor in the student’s vicinity (although it may be possible in some cases to secure an online proctor).

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4 Old Dominion University 62.02 3/5 49% Norfolk, VA

Old Dominion University boasts over 30 years of providing distance learners with comprehensive educational experiences that emphasize professional development. Students interested in earning their finance degree online as they work or raise a family benefit greatly from ODU’s bachelor of finance online program, which combines synchronous, real time courses and asynchronous and accelerated classes for maximum flexibility. It’s also a highly affordable program: out of state applicants pay only a few dollars more per credit than Virginia residents.

Through ODU’s 120 credit hour program, students gain a solid foundation in fundamental financial, economic, and managerial principles. In addition to core courses from the common body of knowledge curriculum, students can select courses that pertain to their academic and professional goals, such as real estate or investing. The program also requires that students complete several general education courses, including language and culture, philosophy and ethics, and human creativity. Course instructors and content are identical to those of traditional programs, and many are live streamed from the university’s campus in Norfolk, Virginia.

ODU takes its commitment to accessibility seriously -- especially for members of the military. The university has partnered with several military education affiliations that offer financial aid to veterans and current personnel, in addition to numerous scholarships offered through ODU. Active duty military in Virginia are eligible for in-state tuition, regardless of their state of residency, and all personnel may participate in the school’s peer advisory program. Depending on individual circumstances, service members may also request coursework delivered via portable media such as CD-ROM.

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5 Thomas Edison State University 61.37 3/5 40% Trenton, NJ

Thomas Edison State University takes a unique approach to lifelong learning. Intended exclusively for adult students, the New Jersey-based institution offers flexible, fully-online degree programs designed with working individuals in mind. Offering courses in over 100 areas of study, TESU is committed to making higher education accessible to nontraditional students.

Individuals who are employed or plan to be employed in banking or finance will find TESU’s finance degree online program ideal. Focused on key concepts in financial management and investing, the 120 credit hour program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of crucial topics in the field. Along with these fundamentals, coursework introduces finance-specific concepts such as business forecasting and risk management. In addition to general education and major course requirements, students must complete a capstone seminar in strategic management to demonstrate their acquired knowledge and skills. The school also encourages students to select a business ethics course as an elective or general education option.

Learners earning their finance degree online can choose from several course delivery formats, although not all formats are available for every course or degree program. Traditionally structured online courses are 12 weeks long, and provide many opportunities for students to interact with their instructors, mentors, and members of their cohort. Students seeking maximum flexibility may be interested in the university’s accelerated e-Pack courses, which are designed around a series of study materials and online quizzes. E-Pack coursework is self-paced, and requires no interaction with a cohort or faculty. TESU also offers several other options for course delivery, including guided study courses and portfolio assessment programs.

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6 Southern New Hampshire University 60.16 4/5 59% Manchester, NH

Offering more than 100 online degree programs, Southern New Hampshire University strives to provide flexible, affordable educational experiences with an emphasis on professional development. Flexible deadlines and self-paced coursework allow working individuals to balance their studies with their career and family life as they gain the skills and insight most valued by employers. Students also benefit from access to learning materials around the clock, making it easy to fit coursework into a busy schedule.

Like SNHU’s other programs, its bachelor's of finance online program is intended for individuals who want to get a leg up in the workforce. This accelerated 120-credit program prepares students for entry- to mid-level positions in finance through a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes hands-on experience. In addition to core concepts in investing and financial management, coursework examines legal and ethical matters commonly encountered in the global marketplace, from environmental concerns to corporate regulations. The finance degree online program culminates in a capstone course, in which students examine real-life case studies to demonstrate their understanding of financial data analysis. The program also requires completion of some general education courses in finite mathematics and college composition.

With tuition rates among some of the lowest in the nation, SNHU’s distance learning programs offer value as well as academic rigor. Students may transfer up to 90 credits from eligible programs, and financial aid is available. To ensure the success of each student, SNHU’s team of dedicated academic and career advisers are available to assist students in every phase of their online learning experience.

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7 University of Maryland-University College 59.60 3/5 4% Adelphi, MD

Students pursuing a finance degree online from the University of Maryland-University College don’t learn in a vacuum. Applying finance and business theory to real-world scenarios, students reinforce theoretical knowledge by putting it into practice. Often described as one of the best online finance degree programs in the country, UMUC is renowned for its emphasis on hands-on learning and use of intensive case studies in its curriculum. Throughout the program’s duration, students learn to create investment policy statements, design investment portfolios, and develop an individual financial plan based on their own finances. Along with critical thinking skills, students acquire practical knowledge that can be put to use in professional positions ranging from portfolio analysis to government financial management. Additionally, distance learners interested in sitting for Certified Financial Planner or Certified Management Accountant exams can tailor their educational experience to include preparatory material.

UMUC’s online degree in finance is offered in fully-online and hybrid formats. Courses are offered asynchronously, in eight-week sessions. Through the university’s open educational resource program, all textbooks have been replaced with resources such as PDFs, websites, and software that are available to all students free of charge. This revolutionary policy saves students hundreds of dollars a semester while ensuring that educational materials are accurate and up to date. This program, along with a wealth of scholarship opportunities and employer tuition assistance programs, makes UMUC an affordable choice for working professionals who want to enhance their career opportunities through education. Special aid opportunities are also available to military personnel and veterans.

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8 Regis University 58.87 4/5 59% Denver, CO

Based in the Jesuit tradition of experiential learning, Regis University welcomes distance learners from all backgrounds to take part in a tradition of academic excellence. Regis's reputation as a top-tier university extends to its online degree programs. Through the school’s College of Business & Economics, distance learners can earn a finance degree online that will prepare them for careers in the financial and economic sectors. Taking a global approach to economics, Regis's BS in finance program emphasizes current trends in corporate finance alongside integral concepts in the field. Through 128 credit hours of coursework, students acquire theoretical knowledge in topics such as investing, business strategies, financial analysis, and macroeconomics. Prior to graduation, students synthesize their knowledge and skills in a senior capstone seminar.

In addition to earning a bachelor of finance online, business students at Regis are given the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. Undergraduates can apply up to four graduate-level courses to their bachelor’s, giving them an early, cost-effective start on an MBA program. Many choose to pursue a bachelor’s in finance along with a graduate degree in economics. Students can also tailor their learning tracks to help prepare for certification exams, and program graduates receive discounted access to CPA exam review courses.

Professionals with work experience in the financial sector may be eligible to receive credit towards their degree. Admissions counselors are available to assist online learners with the transfer process and assess prior experience and credit eligibility. Students may transfer up to 90 credit hours from regionally accredited schools.

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9 Missouri State University-Springfield 58.39 3/5 55% Springfield, MO

Students who earn a finance degree online from Missouri State University become proficient in the essentials of money management. A comprehensive degree program that requires no minor, the BS in finance program is designed for adult learners who want to succeed in a broad range of professional fields, from commercial banking to real estate. Offered in three- and four-year plans, the program encompasses crucial theory in finance and business management while emphasizing the role of diversity and cultural competence in the global marketplace.

MSU’s four-year degree plan is modeled after traditional undergraduate degree programs, and consists of eight regular semesters. Coursework for the first two semesters consists primarily of general education and introductory classes, although students with dual or transfer credits may experience slightly different requirements. The three-year plan offers an identical curriculum, but with heavier course loads per semester. Students who choose this option study throughout the year, taking between four and seven credit hours during summer semesters. Advisers are available to help students decide which track will best help them accomplish their academic, professional, and personal goals.

Both Missouri residents and non-residents pay the same tuition per credit hour. Some summer courses receive a significant discount. Like traditional students, distance learners at MSU can apply to receive federal financial aid, including student loans. Through the university’s Real L.I.F.E. program, applicants can receive assistance with applying for scholarships, reducing debt, and developing personalized repayment plans.

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10 Dallas Baptist University 57.98 4/5 54% Dallas, TX

A comprehensive liberal arts university that combines academic rigor with Christian tradition, Dallas Baptist University is an adult-focused institution that has offered internet-based education since 1998. The school’s College of Professional Studies offers an online degree in finance designed to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals. DBU's bachelor of business studies in finance is a 120-credit program that takes students through a range of disciplines on the way to their diploma. Coursework includes studies in English, fine arts, history, religion, and social sciences in addition to in-depth business courses in public law, financial accounting, international finance, marketing, investing, and real estate.

All classes in DBU’s bachelor of finance online program are asynchronous, and most of the program can be completed on the web. A total of 30 credits, however, must be earned in residence at DBU, and a minimum 12 of those must be in the major itself. Because of the university’s liberal arts philosophy, students spend about a third of their time fulfilling the general requirements needed for any baccalaureate degree. Electives comprise another 50 credits, and the finance major itself requires only 30 credits. Classes follow the campus's 16-week semester schedule. A minimum GPA of 2.0 must be maintained while working through the program.

DBU boasts a very liberal transfer policy -- “unlimited” credits can be transferred in from a four-year program, and as many as 66 may be transferred from a junior college -- so long as the student earned at least a C or better during the course. The university also grants credit for prior military or corporate training, and students can earn still more credits by passing assessment tests.

Admission to DBU’s online finance degree program requires that applicants submit a completed application, copies of official transcripts from any colleges previously attended, and an essay that explains their interest in attending DBU. Applicants with fewer than 30 transferable credit hours must also submit an official high school transcript or GED.

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11 Dickinson State University 56.13 3/5 35% Dickinson, ND

Dickinson State University’s online bachelor’s in finance prepares students to solve the problems that challenge modern businesses. Part of the North Dakota system of public education, DSU is based in the city of Dickinson and features a strong virtual campus. The school’s online bachelor of science in finance program teaches students the fundamentals of business and capital, from financial analyses of risk and return to the valuation of debt and equity securities. Students learn the skills necessary to identify and apply the theories and practice of management -- planning, organizing, leading, and controlling -- and they graduate with a good grasp on international business and ethics.

The 120-credit bachelor of finance online curriculum is built around a twin core of courses in business (34 credits) and finance (34 credits). Students study topics such as law, ethics, marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting, managerial finance, and investing. Learners must also satisfy 31 credits of general requirements in classes such as communications, English, and natural science. Before embarking on their major, students must fulfill 28 pre-major requisites in accounting, micro and macroeconomics, probability and statistics, and spreadsheet applications. All classes must be passed with a cumulative GPA of 2.25 or higher.

Online coursework at Dickinson follows the same semester schedule as those on the school’s campus. Program participants are expected to devote three to five hours per credit each week to their studies. The school delivers courses using Moodle, and some exams may be proctored.

Admission requires submission of previous educational transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Applicants under the age of 25 must have completed four units of English, three units of math, three units of science, and three units of social science in college preparatory classes. DSU will accept the GED and the Higher Learning Commission accredits the school.

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12 University of Alabama at Birmingham 53.71 3/5 48% Birmingham, AL

The Collat School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham hosts an array of web-based degree programs, including an online bachelor’s in finance accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The program emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving, while grounding students in business essentials like financial analysis and planning, property appraisal and assessment, investing, and portfolio management. Graduates are well prepared to pursue careers in corporate finance, international finance, and investment banking, or to continue on to MBA programs.

Collat’s finance degree online program adheres to a 120-credit curriculum, and can be pursued entirely via the web with no need to visit Birmingham. The program is cohort-based, providing students with an instant network of support and potential connections. The school splits coursework into a financial core (18 credits), upper-level business courses (18 credits), and 12 credits of capstone work that include financial risk management and case studies in financial management. Concentrations in financial management, investment and institutions, and real estate allow program participants to tailor their education to their career interests -- and enhance their appeal to employers. Top students can join Collat’s impressive business honors program to make themselves even more marketable.

All of UAB’s business students are required to participate in some form of experiential education, a requirement that can be met by taking one of many class options or by pursuing an internship. To graduate, students must maintain a grade C or better in all finance courses and keep an overall GPA of at least 2.0 in all major classes. Students must earn at least 15 credits through UAB.

UAB recommends that students dedicate six to nine hours a week per course to their studies. Learners can complete their degree in as few as four years without transferring credit hours from another institution.

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13 Columbia College 53.55 3/5 42% Columbia, MO

Not to be confused with New York’s Columbia University, Columbia College is a mid-size liberal arts institution in Columbia, Missouri with a growing digital campus. More than 16,000 of the school’s students take at least one course online every year. Columbia offers two online degrees in finance: a bachelor of arts in business administration (BABA) and a bachelor of science in business administration (BSBA). The programs encourage participants to think of finance as a broad field encompassing an array of subjects and skills. Coursework explores financial analysis, investment strategies, personal financial plans, markets and institutions, and business strategy, all of which are designed to ready students for work in the corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors. Columbia makes every effort to personalize the degree as much as possible.

The curriculum and methods of the Columbia School of Business’ bachelor of finance online reflect the school’s affiliation with the industry-leading International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. All candidates for bachelor’s must complete a minimum of 120 credits, and 39 must be at the upper levels. While much of the coursework is the same for both the BABA and the BSBA, there are differences -- the bachelor of arts requires six semester hours in a foreign language and one to four semester hours in electives. The bachelor of science program doesn’t mandate foreign language coursework, but those enrolled in this degree program must complete seven to 10 semester hours in electives. Students in the BABA program may transfer in as many as 27 credits, and BSBA can transfer 48. Internships are popular, but students may only do two and earn a maximum of six credits for their experience.

Columbia prides itself on the flexibility of its online programs. Students can start and stop their educations when necessary to fit their own schedules. Classes are taught asynchronously in accelerated eight-week sessions six times per year, and participants may take time off during their program if need be. Online learners benefit from access to many of the same services as their on-campus counterparts, including career counseling, academic advising, and personalized help for members of the military.

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14 Northwood University-Michigan 53.15 3/5 54% Midland, MI

Northwood is a conservative university in Midland, Michigan, established to develop free-enterprise leaders, and its finance degree online is part of the school’s bachelor in business administration program. Northwood offers an array of programs established to provide adults with the opportunity to finish their undergraduate degrees, and they utilize the internet for all its flexibility. The school's bachelor of business administration in finance program is setup much like a traditional BBA, incorporating classes in management, marketing, accounting, organizational behavior, and business law, in addition to a full slate of courses in accounting and finance.

The curriculum of the university’s online business finance degree requires the completion of 123 credits. The program follows the traditional semester schedule, and students can graduate in four years by taking 15 to 16 credits per term. Classes include studies in business productivity software, microeconomics, and real estate finance and analysis. Participants must also complete general education coursework in composition, advanced studies in English, and government. Graduation requires completion of 123 semester hours. Courses are run asynchronously and the entire degree can be online with no visits to Midland necessary. Instructors are real-world professionals with real-world expertise, and include business leaders, entrepreneurs, and executives.

Finance is just one of 21 concentrations available in the online BBA program, and students can select from electives in other disciplines, like marketing or insurance. The university offers a four-year BBA/MBA track to finance majors, allowing ambitious students to earn their MBA with the utmost efficiency. Graduates of Northwood’s finance degree online are ready to take industry-standard exams like the Series 7 and DFP. The prestigious Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs provides accreditation.

Participants in the adult degree program at Northwood pay the same tuition, no matter where they take their classes, except members of the military, who receive a dramatic discount.

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15 University of Houston-Clear Lake 51.77 3/5 29% Houston, TX

One of the best online finance degree programs in the U.S., the bachelor of science in finance at UHCL, is accredited by the elite Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Designed for working professionals and aspirational undergraduates alike, the program prepares graduates for careers in corporate finance, investment banking, money management, and real estate. Students can earn their degrees in just two years by taking 10 online classes per year.

The 120-credit curriculum is taught by faculty members who all hold PhDs, and the program marries coursework in accounting, financial markets, and statistics with real-world experience and experiential learning, including case studies and projects. Program participants make their way through the 42-credit university core, along with 48 credits in the business core, 24 credits in the finance major, and six credits in electives. The state of Texas mandates that students must earn six credits in U.S. history and six credits in studies of the U.S. Constitution. A maximum of two grades of D are allowed in upper-level classes.

A degree-completion option -- which assumes that students have completed two-years of college study elsewhere -- is also available via the web. Most classes in the finance degree online are asynchronous. UHCL also offers a bachelor’s in general business via the web and the school is well-known as one of the most affordable universities in Texas.

Admission requires submission of high school or previous college transcripts, and SAT scores. Applicants who are in the 3rd or 4th quartile of their high school, were homeschooled, earned a GED, or attended an unaccredited college program go through an individual review process. Due to authorization and compliance issues, the school cannot accept students from the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, or Puerto Rico at this time.

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16 National University 51.29 4/5 23% La Jolla, CA

One of the largest purveyors of internet education in the United States, California’s nonprofit National University offers a finance degree online designed to prepare students for careers in corporate financial management. The program explores wealth creation and management from both the practical and theoretical sides, and focuses on the problem solving, decision making, communications, and critical-thinking skills needed in leadership positions. Thanks to its depth and breadth, the program serves as a fine launching pad for students interested in entering an MBA program.

Students enrolled in the online bachelor’s in finance must complete at least 180 quarter units, 45 of which must be earned at National University. The curriculum is split into sections, beginning with 70 units in general requirements. The degree itself requires completion of six prerequisite courses, including legal aspects of business I, intro to quantitative methods, and principles in microeconomics. The major core includes at least 16 classes and examines subjects like international financial management, working capital management, and finance and banking, and culminates in a capstone course. Taken during a student's senior year, the capstone “financial project” incorporates much of what students have learned (including corporate finance, investments, risk management, and international markets) and revolves around either case studies or research.

National University’s School of Business and Management also hosts several other degrees of interest to students pursuing an online degree in finance, including bachelor’s in business administration and accountancy. Minors in business studies, business law, business administration, accountancy, and economics are all options for expanding one’s background.

Applicants who have completed less than 90 college-level credits should submit high school transcripts or proof of a GED. Learners with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 may be admitted on a probationary basis. And all who apply without having taken college-level English or mathematics courses will have to take the Accuplacer exam.

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17 Davenport University 50.81 3/5 40% Grand Rapids, MI

At Michigan’s Davenport University, career preparation comes first. The private, nonprofit institution specializes in the marketable fields of business, technology, and health, and part of its mission is to ready students for a successful transition into the workforce. The school’s finance degree online program is an excellent example. Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, the conveniently scheduled program equips students with the skills they need to take positions as auditors, certified financial planners, risk analysts, CFOs, company treasurers, and financial services managers. The 120-credit curriculum was designed in partnership with the local business community, ensuring that what students learn is immediately applicable -- and in demand by employers. A specialty in financial planning, which guarantees graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner exam, is available for those interested in pursuing work as a financial advisor. The program is also a solid first step toward an MBA.

Because the online business finance degree is part of the bachelor’s in business administration program at Donald W. Maine College of Business, students learn to hone their skills in finance and get a well-rounded education in business and management. They build their practical knowledge in accounting, budgeting, data analysis, and internal controls as well as practice public speaking and professional writing. Students develop their decision-making, critical thinking, and leadership abilities.

Classes at the Maine College of Business are kept relevant and personal -- the school's class average is 15 students, allowing for a great deal of attention from faculty. Coursework is delivered asynchronously. The program boasts exceptional networking opportunities thanks to its participation in the Association for Corporate Growth Cup competition. All online learners from outside Michigan receive a 33% tuition discount, and a generous transfer credit policy makes a Davenport education even more affordable.

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18 University of Houston-Downtown 49.35 3/5 12% Houston, TX

One of four institutions in the University of Houston system, UHD is a small public university in Texas's biggest city with a reputation for excellence in career preparation and an expanding virtual campus. The school’s Davies College of Business offers an online finance degree that’s ideal for students planning to pursue careers in investment management, banking, credit, insurance, or real estate. The bachelor of business administration in finance is also an excellent choice for those planning to continue on to an MBA program or who want to take financial credentialing tests like the Chartered Financial Planners, Chartered Financial Analysts, or Certified Treasury Professional exams.

The 120-credit curriculum of the school's bachelor of finance online program requires students to complete the university’s general education courses, which are typically done during the freshman and sophomore years. Students can then apply to the school’s Davies College of Business and declare a major in finance. The online business finance degree has two distinct tracks: corporate finance and investment management. Participants can further specialize the degree by adding minors in accounting (21 credits), marketing (18 credits), and economics (18 credits). A GPA of at least 2.0 must be maintained on all coursework taken at Davies. The College of Business is accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and online students benefit from access to Davies’s Career Development Center, which provides excellent networking opportunities.

Applicants must submit their high school transcripts, proof of GED, and scores from the SAT or ACT exams to enroll at UHD. To get accepted into the Davies College of Business they must have completed 42 credits, passed college-level algebra with a "C" grade or better, maintained a minimum GPA of 2.5, and successfully completed the Texas Success Initiative requirements (standardized math and English assessments required by the Lone Star State).

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19 DeSales University 48.79 4/5 68% Center Valley, PA

DeSales is a mid-size, private, Catholic university in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. The school offers an array of accelerated degrees aimed at adults and professionals through its ACCESS program. Among them is an online bachelor’s in finance that has earned a national reputation. The 120-credit curriculum exposes students to banking, security analysis, risk management, taxation, and international finance all from the comfort of their own homes. No visits to the university’s campus in Center Valley are necessary.

A total of 40 classes must be completed to earn a degree in finance online, and coursework is divided into sections: DeSales's undergraduate core classes (15), finance major courses (16), and electives. Program participants typically begin their program with an introduction to business and end it with the senior seminar. In between are courses in management, quantitative business analysis, managerial accounting, and macroeconomics. The school requires students to complete three general education classes in Catholic theology and ethics. Online program curriculum mirrors its on-campus counterpart, and courses may either be asynchronous or offered in real-time. Classes follow a semester schedule, except for summer and winter “minimesters,” accelerated terms held during traditional school breaks.

Program participants may transfer up to 75 credits from another institution, but a minimum of 45 must be earned through DeSales. The university also awards credit through a prior learning assessment -- it’s one of only 1,400 schools in the U.S. and abroad that participate in the College Level Examination Program. Online students pay the same tuition no matter where they’re from. Because DeSales is designed for adult learners, the program's only admission requirements are a high school diploma or GED, and a desire to learn.

DeSales also offers online programs in financial planning, management, business administration, accounting, marketing, and supply chain management.

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20 University of Minnesota-Crookston 48.39 3/5 47% Crookston, MN

At the University of Minnesota - Crookston, finance is a broad discipline encompassing banking, investment, real estate, insurance, risk management, estate planning, and corporate finance. This is no doubt in part why the school’s finance degree online is frequently listed among the best online finance degrees. It’s a wide-ranging program that touches on all of these subjects and trains students to calculate the financial impacts -- and risks -- of business decisions in an array of financial services industries. Graduates of the program can analyze and measure financial performance, evaluate costs and benefits, and understand the legal and ethical environment in which business is conducted. Because it takes such an umbrella approach, the program is ideal for students who want to go on to graduate school and earn an MBA.

UMC’s bachelor of finance online requires the completion of 120 credits, just over half of which must be within the major itself. Business core classes introduce learners to principles in accounting and management and major-specific courses include subject matter like business law, estate planning, and insurance and risk management. Students must also complete a minimum of 40 liberal arts credits.

Students can pursue the degree in a variety of formats -- entirely online, primarily online (with short, intensive face-to-face instruction), or as a hybrid (with at least 20% face-to-face instruction). Most coursework is asynchronous. Several complementary minors are also available online, including accounting, management, marketing, and international business. Students can also complete dual majors, adding management and entrepreneurship, for example.

Applicants should submit previous college credits and ACT or SAT scores. If a student has fewer than 24 credits from an accredited university program, they must provide their high school transcript or a GED. Prospective students who don’t meet all preferred admission requirements may still be admitted on a provisional basis. Online learners pay in-state tuition.

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21 Granite State College 47.66 3/5 50% Concord, NH

Granite State College’s online bachelor’s in finance weds finance with accounting, giving students a solid platform in the underpinnings of business. The school places emphasis on management and leadership, readying graduates to step into senior positions. The program at the Concord-based institution focuses on the best ways organizations can maximize assets, gain efficiencies, and manage investments, and it readies students to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam if they aspire to do so.

The 120-credit curriculum of the online bachelor of science in accounting and finance is built around a core of 21 major classes in subjects such as accounting information systems, audits, taxation, statistics, principles of management, organizational behavior, and financial accounting. To ensure graduates are well-rounded, students must also fulfill nine classes worth of general education requirements. The remainder of credits come from electives, and students can overlap some courses in major, minor, and general requirements. Granite State recommends that the integrative seminar in strategic management be taken last.

Online study is popular at Granite State -- 77% of students take at least one of their courses via the web -- but students in the online finance degree program must complete at least 30 credits while in residency on the Concord campus. Most of the school's web-delivered coursework is asynchronous, making for greater flexibility.

Granite State College accepts students on a rolling basis, which means studies can begin at any term. The institution guarantees admission to all students who have earned either a high school diploma, GED, or the equivalent. Previous experiences like military service, volunteer-based training and workplace skill-building may count toward academic credit, and 84% of the school's students transfer credits. School accreditation is provided by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

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22 Franklin University 44.35 4/5 13% Columbus, OH

Established specifically to educate adult learners, Franklin is the second-largest private university in Ohio. The Columbus institution has turned to the web to accomplish this mission and it now boasts the largest virtual campus in the state. More than 80% of students at Franklin are enrolled in at least one online class, and many pursue their entire degree online. The school offers two options for an online degree in finance: financial management and financial planning. Both were designed by experts within the field of finance. Students graduate well versed in the fundamentals of the subject, from investing and portfolio administration to international finance and risk management. While similar in nature, the school's management degree program focuses more on managing the financial side of business while the planning degree emphasizes investment advising. The standard-setting Certified Financial Planning board has awarded the financial planning degree's curriculum its seal of approval.

In both programs, students need a minimum of 124 credits to earn their finance degree online. These include 36 credits in the general curriculum, 28 credits in business core classes, 28 credits in the major, and 32 credits in electives. Participants who seek to earn a second degree must only complete 66 semester hours. Minors in business economics, global business, management, and accounting are encouraged by the university to customize a student’s education. Classes are asynchronous.

Franklin has an open admission policy -- students simply have to be high school graduates or have a GED. The university is happy to work with those admitted to transfer credits -- in fact, 90% of those enrolled do so. Online students pay the same tuition and fees as on-campus students. Active service members receive a discounted rate at almost half of what civilians pay.

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23 Upper Iowa University 42.18 3/5 41% Fayette, IA

With more than 3,000 students pursuing degrees all over the world, Upper Iowa University has become a national leader in distance education. The Fayette, Iowa-based institution’s School of Business offers an acclaimed finance degree online program that is self-paced. UIU began its self-paced, distance education program in 1973 -- one of the first in the nation -- and the university’s been refining it ever since. Students proceed at a speed with which they’re comfortable, receiving one-on-one attention from instructors and interacting with classmates. No campus visits are necessary.

UIU’s online business finance degree is built on a core of 36 business classes and 18 courses in financial management, in addition to the university’s 36 credits in general requirements. Students must complete a total of 120 credits to complete their degree. Coursework includes an array of traditional business classes, with an emphasis on leadership and administration, and an international scope, with several requirements in global trade and international finance. Participants learn how to build and lead strong teams, strategize, make investments, and manage portfolios.

Students pursuing a bachelor of science in financial management must complete both an internship and a special project prior to graduation. Double majors and minors are options, so long as the requirements are met independently of one another. Program participants may also begin amassing credits toward an MBA in their senior year. The school requires that students maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to graduate. Classes are run asynchronously in eight-week terms, six times per year.

UIU boasts a generous transfer policy, and students can transfer up to 78 credits from a two-year program and 90 from a four-year school. The school also awards up to 30 credits for prior experience and credit by examination. A minimum of 30 credits must be earned through UIU. Applicants must submit their high school transcript or proof of GED and ACT or SAT scores.

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24 Metropolitan State University 41.45 3/5 35% Saint Paul, MN

Part of the 24-school Minnesota State system of higher education, “Metro State” is a comprehensive public university located in Saint Paul. The university’s online degree in finance provides students with a thorough understanding of the basics of modern finance -- investments, financing, and risk management -- while putting a premium on critical and quantitative thinking and communication skills. The bachelor of science in finance prepares students for careers in financial institutions, corporate finance, and wealth advising while also serving as a stepping stone to graduate study in business. Graduates leave the program with not only practical and theoretical knowledge of finance but with a network of business associates.

The College of Management’s (COM) finance degree online requires 120 credits: 22 credits in COM requirements, 20 in the business core, eight in the finance core, and 16 finance major electives. At least 20 hours in major courses must be taken at Metro State. Double majors are an option, as long as students complete 24 upper division credits in the second major that don’t overlap with finance requirements. And, of course, students must accrue the 48 credits needed to meet the school’s general education requirements. The university’s web-based programming is available in multiple formats -- asynchronous, real-time, and hybrid.

Metro State’s Center for Academic Excellence helps ensure students receive the support they need to successfully complete graduation requirements. It offers tutoring assistance as well as help with writing, math, and science assignments. To be admitted to Metro State, students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 and remain in the top 50th percentile of their high school class (note, however, that the school also accepts GEDs). Student composite ACT, SAT, and PSAT scores should be at or above the national median. The school’s Transferology algorithm provides students an estimate of how many of their previous credits will transfer.

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25 SUNY College of Technology at Canton 41.13 3/5 32% Canton, NY

Like all institutions in the SUNY network, the College of Technology at Canton boasts a reputation for combining strong academic programs with cutting-edge technology. Students at SUNY Canton can expect to receive a top-notch education, and the same goes for distance learners. The university’s online programs are identical in every way to their traditional counterparts, but are delivered through a virtual campus system that allows students to learn at their convenience while building relationships with instructors and fellow online learners.

SUNY Canton’s finance degree online program is designed to provide a strong fundamental education in business, accounting, and finance, along with a background in the liberal arts. Over the course of eight semesters, students explore major concepts in business and economic theory, as well as principles of financial management. Each semester consists of 15 to 18 credit hours distributed between core, general education, and elective courses. Students earning a finance degree online must participate in a culminating experience of either a senior project or a service internship in the financial sector. Internships are arranged by an adviser, and may be tailored to a student’s interests and career goals.

New York residents may be able to receive a free online education, thanks to the state’s Excelsior Scholarship, which waives tuition fees for eligible students. However, even out-of-state distance learners pay a fraction of what traditional students are charged. Along with affordability and convenience, SUNY Canton offers online students resume and job-seeking assistance through its career services department.

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Time to Complete
3-4 years
Program Costs
$6k-$9k per academic year on average
Credit Hours
120 credit hours total/30-40 credit hours per academic year
Core Courses
Accounting, Economics, Risk Management, Investments, and International Finance
Financial Planning, Corporate Finance, and Entrepreneurship
CFA Institute University Recognition Program, AACSB: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and ACBSP: Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs

From accounting to managing and financial analysis, an online finance degree can prepare you for careers in a multitude of exciting and fulfilling fields. If you enjoy working as a part of a collaborative team, and if you have a knack for learning and using digital financial software like Microsoft Excel, a career in finance could suit you well! Those working in this field should be open to going above and beyond their basic expected duties. Professionals should be exceptionally reliable, as the world of finance requires pinpoint accuracy and consistency. An online finance degree will help you hone these important skills.

Financial Analyst: Financial analysts primarily serve to guide individual clients and businesses in their investment practices by analyzing and assessing things such as stocks and bonds. Through analyzing these different methods of investment, financial analysts can recommend how their clients invest. A wide, current, and ongoing knowledge of business and economic trends is expected of those in this position.

Accountant: Often known for helping clients prepare taxes, accountants also work as consultants for businesses seeking to lower costs and increase profits. Accountants analyze the financial records of their clients to help their businesses run at peak efficiency. Importantly, accountants also make sure that all financial statements are accurate and lawful.

Financial Manager: Similar to an accountant, financial managers work to ensure the health of a business’s finances through careful financial planning and analysis of investments and financial reports. Financial managers are expected to have an excellent understanding of new technologies used to create financial reports.

Financial Services Sales Agent: Financial services sales agents work with clients to make them aware of all services available to them, and they provide guidance and advice on when to buy and/or sell various securities. Professionals in this field may also buy and sell securities and commodities like stocks, bonds, oil, and gold.

Personal Financial Advisor: To help clients plan and achieve their financial goals, personal financial advisors work on a more personal, one-on-one level with their clients. Professionals in this field help clients navigate investment options, risks, and financial services.

Sample Coursework

Investments: In this course, students learn about security markets and how they are organized. Students also learn about various legal aspects of investing and survey related processes.

Corporate Finance: This course prepares students to manage corporate capital. Students learn about risk and return, policies, and how to forecast and plan for corporate investments.

International Finance: Students in this course focus on making financial decisions in international settings, survey policies, and processes associated with these decisions.

Accounting: This course provides students with a foundation in the basics of accounting. Course topics may include financial statement preparation, tax policies, and how to properly communicate associated policies to clients.

Risk Management: Students focus on evaluating risk faced by individual clients and businesses in investments. Students learn how to effectively identify and manage risks, and how best to make risk management-related decisions.

Careers in finance are growing at an impressive rate and median salaries for many jobs in the finance field are desirable. An online finance degree not only opens the door to high earnings but also provides the opportunity to entertain an array of career opportunities. Pursuing a finance online degree is the first step to entering one of these exciting fields.

Job Title Median Salary
Financial Analyst $80,310
Accountant $67,190
Financial Manager $117,990
Financial Services Sales Agent $71,550
Personal Financial Advisor $89,160

Finance Licensure and Certification

While most careers in the field of finance do not require special licensure or certification, there are a few that do. Beyond meeting requirements, gaining certification adds qualifications to your resume, which in turn adds a boost in hireability. When pursuing an online finance degree, it’s wise to keep these various licensures and certifications in mind.

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP): By gaining CFP status, professionals are understood to be highly qualified in the field. CFP status evidences a professional’s adherence to crucial governing principles, including confidentiality, professionalism, and integrity. This certification is earned through a test overseen by the CFP Board.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): As per guidelines and requirements set forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), candidates officially become certified public accountants upon passing the Uniform CPA Examination. Many states require the completion of 150 semester hours of education before candidates may take the exam.
  • Financial Risk Management Certification: Generally considered the highest qualification for financial risk management professionals, FRM certification is earned through an exam overseen by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. The certification helps distinguish risk management professionals stand out from their peers and may be particularly helpful in high-competition markets.


When working in the field of finance, professionals are wise to maintain an operating knowledge of the various professional organizations, conferences, and programs that can help contribute to professional development. Attending events such as the Financial Planning Association’s NorCal conference will not only help you network and discover potential job opportunities, it will also allow you to keep a finger on the pulse of the field as a whole. Here are a few examples of the most prominent organizations in the field:

  • Association for Financial Professionals: The AFP’s stated purpose is to aid its members and the organizations for which professionals in the field work. The organization also administers its certified treasury professional and the certified corporate FP&A professional certifications, and each year the organization hosts the largest conference for finance professionals in the nation.
  • The Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business: The AAFPB caters specifically to management accountants (for example, the organization operates the Institute of Management Accountants, founded in 1919). The group also administers its certified management accountant certification.
  • Financial Planning Association: The FPA is the premier organization among Certified Financial Planners. In addition to retreats and residency programs, the FPA offers an annual conference for finance professionals.

As with any undergraduate program, students entering an online finance degree program must complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for most forms of funding, including scholarships and loans. You can also work with your advisor or your school’s career center to seek out paid finance internship opportunities. These opportunities can help fund your finance degree online while providing you with valuable career experience.


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