Best Online Master’s in Finance Programs

Learn what it takes to earn an online master's in finance and how this in-demand degree can lead to better jobs and higher pay.

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Published on February 24, 2022 · Updated on April 26, 2022

Edited by Taylor Gadsden
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Earning an online master's in finance can help graduates secure competitive positions in many governmental, nonprofit, and corporate environments. Always in demand due to their nuanced, versatile knowledge, finance graduates can choose from many different professional paths.

Because students must commit to spending thousands of dollars and dedicating approximately two years of their lives to earning a master's in finance, they need to be sure they want to enroll and know what to expect. Fortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for financial managers will grow by 17% between 2020 and 2030.

Students deciding whether they should go to graduate school, those looking for a top online school, and learners interested in pursuing a finance degree can use this guide to learn more about their options.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Finance Program?

When enrolling in an online master's in finance program, prospective students should ensure they understand what it entails and how to prepare for graduate school. In these versatile programs, degree-seekers can learn about the intricacies of the financial world and gain the skills needed to work in many different professional settings.

Most finance programs consist of 30-36 credits and require two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study. Some departments may even provide accelerated online master's in finance options that take as few as 18 months to complete.

In addition to general course requirements, some programs may also include in-person residencies or internship components. If you are planning to study online, you should ask if any campus-based components exist and, if so, how frequently you will need to visit campus.

Some schools also offer concentrations in areas such as real estate finance, computational finance and trading systems, derivatives and risk management, and finance and economics.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Finance Program?

Business Communications

Typically taken in the first semester, this class provides a strong foundation for understanding how businesses and finance professionals communicate with their peers and clients.

Financial Accounting

This course looks at the ways of managing and presenting financial accounting reports, with emphasis on how to prepare them for the needs of shareholders, supervisors, and analysts.

Derivatives and Risk Management

Whether working in-house or a consulting role, understanding the various facets of risk management in financial positions is critical to success. This course looks at factors such as speculation, fixed income, and securitization.

Financial Modeling and Firm Valuation

Students consider questions around key value drivers, projected financial valuations, discounted cash flow projections, and forecasting to learn what it takes to properly understand firm valuation methods.

International Financial Management

Taking this course can provide learners with an understanding of interest and exchange rates, global economic growth, investment strategies in open economics, and the nature of economic expansion.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Finance Program?

While admission requirements for online and campus-based master's in finance programs typically remain the same, these requirements can vary from school to school. Some colleges require only an accredited bachelor's degree to qualify for admission, while others look for candidates with previous academic experience in finance or related subjects.

In addition to the graduate admission requirements highlighted below, some particularly competitive programs may also request that prospective students take part in an interview.

Application

The vast majority of colleges now use online application systems to streamline the process for both students and university staff. That said, applicants may be able to request a paper application if they lack consistent access to the internet. These documents usually ask for basic demographic information such as name, address, date of birth, and citizenship status.

Test Scores

To help distinguish prospective learners, some schools require students to submit GRE scores as part of their application. Some may even accept GMAT scores. Preparing for the GRE can take a while, so make sure to start early. Average verbal and quantitative reasoning scores typically hover around 150.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation provide the opportunity for mentors, supervisors, professors, faith leaders, and others who know you well to share what makes you a promising and unique candidate. Ask recommenders far enough in advance so that they can craft thoughtful letters.

Resume and Work Experience

Some master's in finance programs may require applicants to possess some relevant work experience prior to applying. Others may look for candidates with general work experience. Students should provide an up-to-date resume alongside their application.

Essays

Many online master's in finance programs request that applicants write a set of essays. Students are frequently asked to write about why they want to study finance, how they plan to use the degree after graduating, and why they want to attend that particular program.

Official Transcripts

Colleges use official transcripts to verify GPAs and ensure prospective students meet prerequisite requirements. In the case of transfer students, transcripts help admission professionals ascertain which classes count toward the degree and how many credits the transfer student must earn to graduate.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Finance Degree?

Career Outlook

Earning a master's degree in finance can help students develop the competencies and qualifications they need to secure a variety of in-demand, high-paying positions. Positions for financial analysts, financial managers, and personal finance advisors are projected to grow in the coming decade.

While salaries can vary based on factors like education level, amount of experience, and type of employer, professionals who graduate with a master's in finance routinely earn six-figure salaries.

Because so many industries rely on financial professionals to help with decision-making, investing, cost projections, and other financial components, they can find work in many fields.

See where a master's in finance degree can take you. Learn more about finance careers.

Career Paths

Financial Analyst

These professionals help companies and individuals decide how to invest their money to maximize their profits. They keep up with investment and economic trends, analyze existing portfolios, develop projections about future investments, and provide quarterly reports on portfolio growth.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $83,660

Financial Examiner

Sometimes known as auditors, these financial professionals ensure banks and other financial organizations conduct their business according to all laws and regulations. They examine balance sheets and operating accounts, interview management personnel, and provide reports on their findings.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $81,430

Budget Analyst

Whether working for a governmental agency, corporation, or nonprofit, budget analysts help their clients maintain financial soundness. They work with senior staff to develop operating budgets, review spending proposals and expense requests, and look for ways to cut costs and save money when possible.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $78,970

Financial Manager

Often working directly under chief financial officers, financial managers are tasked with maintaining an organization's financial health. They may manage investment activities, set organizational goals around finance, and ensure all legal requirements are met. They typically supervise other staff members carrying out similar job responsibilities at a lower level.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $134,180

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial managers work with individuals on all matters related to their finances. They provide guidance on investment activities and large purchases, such as property These professionals also often provide support for people creating estate plans and participating in direct retirement investment activities. They may also help clients understand their tax burdens.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $89,330

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Continuing Education

After completing an online master's in finance degree and working in the industry for a few years, some professionals may decide they want to go back to college to further expand their professional opportunities.

Individuals who want to work in advanced research and/or higher education positions often decide to pursue a Ph.D. in finance. These intensive programs provide the training needed to work in academia and research.

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Finance Program?

Cost

The cost of a master's degree in finance can vary based on the type of school a student attends. According to the College Board, public four-year institutions charged graduate students an average of $9,000 in tuition during the 2021-2022 academic year. Meanwhile, private institutions charged an average of $29,670 during the same period. Learners should ensure they understand the true cost of a program and consider whether studying online or in person makes more financial sense.

Program Format

When looking at prospective programs, students must decide whether they prefer synchronous or asynchronous learning. Those seeking flexibility typically go with the second option. Additionally, students must decide whether part-time or full-time learning works best with their schedule. College students who also maintain jobs often decide part-time formats suit their needs.

Location

Students choosing an online master's in finance can theoretically study at any program in the nation. That said, some programs include in-person requirements. Learners who choose a program with a campus-based component may want to limit their search to programs within driving distance.

Accreditation

Attending an accredited institution is necessary to avoid issues transferring credits, pursuing additional education, and even finding work. In addition to considering properly accredited schools, students should also look for finance courses with programmatic accreditation. Within the world of finance, look for degrees accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Student Support

Student support services can take the master's in finance program experience from good to great. The best programs provide mentors who can help students meet their educational and professional goals. They also provide students with internship opportunities to help them gain real-world experience. Remote learners should check to see if schools offer digital support services.

Best Accredited Online Master's in Finance Programs

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Best Online Master's in Finance Programs

  1. Georgetown University
    Location

    Washington, DC

    Located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown's online master's in finance delivers skills to professionals interested in pursuing finance jobs or improving their current career trajectory. The program offers part-time and full-time tracks.

    Available through the McDonough School of Business, the degree combines intensive coursework, real-world applications, a global outlook, and commitment to ethical values. Learning outcomes focus on investment evaluations, efficient portfolio building, and ethical standards. Specific classes include financial markets, investments, financial statement analysis, and options pricing.

    Students work on a case competition with peers during a week-long opening residency on campus. A capstone project completes the degree requirements. Students can visit the campus for seminars, conferences, and talks.

    Georgetown is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and its business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master of Science in Finance
    • School Status: Private
    • Tuition: $2,403 per credit
    • Credit Requirements: 32 credits
    • Program Length: 21 months
    • Format: Online, with one on-campus residency
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: 3.0 or higher preferred
    • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  2. University of Miami
    Location

    Coral Gables, FL

    UM offers a master of science in finance that helps online students build advanced portfolios and become experts in the field. Flexible options allow participants to tailor studies to their particular interests, needs, and career aspirations. Fortune 500 companies, such as JP Morgan, United Airlines, and Kellogg, employ program alumni.

    The eight-course degree requires students to take one seven-week course at a time. Classes include applied corporate finance, derivatives for financial modeling, financial decision-making, and international investments and valuation. Students may add certifications in corporate finance or financial decision-making.

    UM, located in Coral Gables, Florida, is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This master's program boasts accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master of Science in Finance
    • School Status: Public
    • Tuition: $2,170 per credit
    • Credit Requirements: 32 credits
    • Program Length: 16 months
    • Format: Online
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: No minimum requirement
    • Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  3. Webster University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Webster's online master's in finance provides participants with a quantitative and comprehensive examination of the finance field. Students learn about corporate finance, investments, markets, and institutions. They also take supporting classes in accounting and economics. Graduates learn how to determine financial asset value, analyze a corporation's financial decisions, and evaluate credit and interest rate risks.

    Offered through the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology, the curriculum focuses on investments, capital budgeting, and corporate investments. To finish the program, students complete a capstone project focused on mergers and acquisitions. The program also offers advanced certification opportunities for aspiring analysts and financial planners.

    Webster is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The degree program has accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master of Science in Finance
    • School Status: Private
    • Tuition: $780 per credit
    • Credit Requirements: 36 credits
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: 2.5 minimum required
    • Standardized Tests: Not required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  4. Creighton University
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Creighton, located in Omaha, Nebraska, offers an online master's in finance degree. Available through the Heider College of Business, the program teaches a deep, practical understanding of finance, as well as the tools needed to think critically about portfolio management. Graduates can pursue a variety of careers, including accountant, auditor, financial analyst, and certified financial planner.

    Classes focus on quantitative and financial analysis, portfolio management, leadership, managerial finance, and ethics. Students can also pursue a master's in finance/MBA dual degree.

    Creighton is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master of Finance
    • School Status: Private
    • Tuition: $927 per credit
    • Credit Requirements: 33 credits
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: 3.0 minimum required
    • Standardized Tests: GMAT required for applicants without work experience

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  5. Saint Joseph's University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    SJU's online master's in finance degree teaches learners important problem-solving and critical thinking skills they can apply to the world of finance. The degree offers three career-specific tracks: financial analysis, financial planning (preparing students for the CFP exam), and real estate finance.

    Online classes last eight weeks, with most featuring a synchronous evening session a week. Studies focus on topics like shareholder value management, portfolio management, and mergers and acquisitions. The program is one of only a few finance graduate programs in the U.S. that holds accreditation from both the Certified Financial Planner Board and the Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

    SJU — located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master of Science in Finance
    • School Status: Private
    • Tuition: $1,107 per credit
    • Credit Requirements: 30-42 credits
    • Program Length: 1-2 years
    • Format: Online
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous and Synchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: No minimum requirement
    • Standardized Tests: GMAT or GRE required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  6. Colorado State University
    Location

    Aurora, CO

    CSU Global offers an online master's in finance that helps professionals hone leadership abilities, obtain an international perspective, and boost finance operational skills. Students add expertise in financial management, investment, and applied research to their current abilities. They also use emerging business trends and the latest business technologies to create financial strategies, analyze risks and investments, and make effective decisions.

    Coursework covers topics like corporate finance, quantitative analysis, and effective organizations, and the program concludes with a capstone project. Available degree specializations include accounting, fraud management, and human resource management.

    Based in Aurora, Colorado, CSU Global is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its finance program boasts accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master's in Finance
    • School Status: Public
    • Tuition: $500 per credit
    • Credit Requirements: 36 credits
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: 3.0 or higher preferred
    • Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT optional

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  7. West Texas A&M University
    Location

    Canyon, TX

    Tuition

    $13325

    WTAMU's master of science in finance and economics prepares graduates to work at finance institutions, consulting firms, or community service organizations. Delivered through the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and designed for professionals, the program allows for ample customization to meet the specific goals and objectives of students.

    Core courses focus on corporate governance, asset valuation, corporate valuation, and international business topics. Prerequisites include nine credits of classes in finance, accounting, and statistics; however, students with a related undergraduate degree need not take these leveling courses.

    WTAMU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master of Science in Finance and Economics
    • School Status: Public
    • Tuition: $504 per credit (in-state); $552 per credit (out-of-state)
    • Credit Requirements: 36-45 credits
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: No minimum requirement
    • Standardized Tests: GMAT required for applicants with a GPA below 3.0 or less than 10 years of professional experience

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  8. University of Scranton
    Location

    Scranton, PA

    The University of Scranton, located in Pennsylvania, offers an online master's in finance. The program provides students with a well-rounded understanding of finance, and participants study financial securities, markets, institutions, and risk. The school is one of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S.

    The degree emphasizes the importance of financial management, investment analysis, quantitative analysis, and responsibility, sustainability, and justice. Elective coursework includes options like financial institutions, treasury management, and macroeconomic analysis.

    Students may opt to attend a three-day, on-campus residency, featuring an interactive experience in the Alperin Financial Center. The center allows students to engage in stock trading-floor simulations.

    The University of Scranton is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The university's Kania School of Management is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master of Science in Finance
    • School Status: Private
    • Tuition: $965 per credit hour
    • Credit Requirements: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 12 months
    • Format: Online, with an optional three-day residency on campus
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: 3.0 minimum required
    • Standardized Tests: GMAT/GRE requirements waived through 2021

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  9. University of Houston - Clear Lake
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $10664

    Offered through UHCL's College of Business, this online master's in finance merges quality with convenience, providing comprehensive training that prepares students to become financial leaders. Graduates may qualify for advanced careers in fields including corporate finance, investment banking, real estate investment, and money management.

    Classes focus on portfolio management, international finance, and quantitative finance methods. Required core classes cover topics like managerial economics and international finance, while electives include treasury management practices and a finance internship. Students may also add a healthcare administration concentration to their plan.

    The University of Houston-Clear Lake is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and its business school holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master of Science in Finance
    • School Status: Public
    • Tuition: $1,895 per three-credit course (in-state); $3,464 per three-credit course (out-of-state)
    • Credit Requirements: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 18 months
    • Format: Online
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: 3.0 minimum required on an applicant's last 60 undergraduate credits
    • Standardized Tests: GMAT required for students with a GPA below 3.0

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

  10. Texas A&M University - Commerce
    Location

    Commerce, TX

    Tuition

    $11796

    TAMUC's online master's in finance program teaches students to apply financial theory to real-world situations. Taught through the university's College of Business, the program teaches students the managerial tools needed to meet global business demands. Coursework also offers certification exam preparation in areas like tax accounting and business analytics.

    Studies focus on derivatives and risk management, fundamentals of financial planning, and principles of real estate. Additional topics include econometrics, financial modeling, and fixed-income analysis. The degree also requires a financial planning capstone. Students may add minors, such as business analytics, cybersecurity, marketing analytics, or real estate.

    TAMUC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its College of Business boasts accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


    Program Snapshot

    • Program Name: Master of Science in Finance
    • School Status: Public
    • Tuition: $424 per credit (in-state); $833 per credit (out-of-state)
    • Credit Requirements: 30 credits
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

    Admission Requirements

    • GPA: 3.0 minimum required
    • Standardized Tests: GRE required

    Contact the School

    Request more information about this program.

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Finance Programs

Is a master's in finance worth it? true

If you're wondering whether you should go to graduate school, know that completing a master's in finance offers a strong professional path after graduating. Many jobs in the field are projected to grow between 2020 and 2030. The BLS projects jobs for financial examiners will grow by 18%, leading to the creation of 12,700 new positions by 2030.

Aside from projected growth rates, jobs in this field also offer above-average salaries and room for growth. Because so many industries and fields rely on financial professionals to keep their personal and professional finances in check, jobs for these professionals will likely always exist.

What can I do with a master's in finance? true

Master's in finance degrees can lead to expansive and versatile career opportunities thanks to how many individuals and companies rely on these professionals. Those who want to work in corporate, high-pressure situations often aspire to C-suite-level finance positions. Individuals who like working one-on-one with individuals may enjoy working as personal finance advisors.

Still, some graduates may decide to go the public service route, seeking work as auditors or budget managers for local, state, or federal government agencies.

Are finance majors in demand? true

Because individuals and companies alike will always seek advice on how to adequately manage their finances and grow their wealth, graduates of master's in finance programs will likely always be in demand. Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects that jobs for financial managers will grow by 17%. This means over 118,000 new positions will be added to the existing 681,700 roles by the end of the decade.

Similarly, jobs for financial analysts are projected to grow by 6% during the same timeframe. This jump should lead to the creation of more than 31,000 positions.

How much money can I make with a master's in finance?

Workers in finance generally earn high salaries. As of May 2020, financial analysts earned a median annual wage of $83,660 per year, while those in the top 10% of earners brought home more than $159,560.
Similarly, financial examiners made a median salary of $81,430 per year in May 2020. The top 10% commanded salaries in excess of $159,120 per year.us quis varius quam quisque id diam vel quam.

What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in finance?

Wages for professionals with master's degrees in finance vary based on a person's experience, the type of employer they work for, where they live, and other factors. That said, some positions offer larger base salaries in general.

According to the BLS, financial advisors earned a median annual wage of $89,330 inMay 2020. Financial managers earned a median wage of $134,180 that same year. Once you reach the top 10% of earners, you can bring home more than $208,000 each year.

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