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An online MBA in finance provides students with the advanced leadership, analysis, and portfolio management skills needed to help individuals and organizations maximize their financial health and potential. These programs attract learners looking to advance their careers, helping them pursue desirable positions in various industries and organizations.
Business and financial professionals earn a median annual salary of $72,250.
Earning an online MBA in finance can provide access to many business and financial occupations — a sector the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects will add more than 475,000 jobs between 2019 and 2029. Additionally, business and financial professionals earn a median annual salary of $72,250.
In general, MBA degrees take two years to complete, although online and accelerated programs may offer completion times shorter than one year. Tuition for MBA programs varies, but can cost more than $70,000-$100,000 per year at prestigious institutions, which far exceeds the average yearly tuition rate for graduate degrees ($19,310).
Read on for a closer look at MBA in finance programs, including variables to consider when choosing a program and common career pathways.
What Are the Best Online MBA Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|Rank||School||Cost per Credit|
|1||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||$2,025.63|
|3||Pennsylvania State University||$1,236|
|5||University of Maryland - College Park||$1,644|
|7||Texas A&M International University||$335.81|
|9||University of North Carolina - Wilmington||
|10||University of Delaware||$950|
Still unsure about your MBA college choice? Check out our overall Best Online MBA Programs.
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What Is an MBA in Finance?
Programs can vary considerably, but an MBA in finance often focuses on one or more subdisciplines, such as corporate or international finance. While an MBA usually features the same two-year commitment as a standard master's program, some MBA in finance degrees offer flexible study options to better accommodate working professionals.
These programs can be demanding, emphasizing experience-driven and practical training, and students often complete internships. In online programs, degree-seekers may need to satisfy residency requirements — distance learners should keep those in mind when choosing a school.
What Can I Expect From an Online MBA in Finance Program?
An online MBA in finance provides much of the advanced business education found in a general MBA program, along with specialized training in finance-related activities. Graduates can manage finance teams, provide consulting and analytical services, and help organizations make more informed financial decisions.
Online programs offer improved flexibility and accessibility for students, expanding their study options. These degrees may also provide several advantages for students, with some programs offering variable schedules, innovative online technologies, and flat tuition rates for all learners.
Example MBA in Finance Courses
- Corporate Finance
- Financial Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Business Analytics
- Portfolio Management
What Are Admission Requirements for an MBA in Finance Program?
Applicants typically need a bachelor's degree at minimum for admission, along with GMAT scores. Competitive programs may set test score and GPA minimums. They may also require applicants to possess a specific degree, such as a bachelor's in business or finance.
To earn admission into an MBA in finance program, prospective students may need relevant experience, either in business or finance. Other typical requirements include letters of recommendation, a personal statement or essay, and a resume.
- Test Scores
Most business schools prefer that applicants submit GMAT scores, though they may accept GRE scores. GMAT scores range between 200-800, and the Graduate Management Admission Council reported that the mean score from 2017-2019 was 565. Top business schools may require applicants to have a GMAT score of 600-650 or higher.
- Letters of Recommendation
Students applying to an MBA program should consider asking current or former instructors and managers to write them letters of recommendation . These letters address an applicant's capabilities and potential within the program, along with strengths they have demonstrated in the past.
MBA in finance programs often require applicants to have at least two years of relevant work experience, which they can demonstrate by turning in their resume. Depending on the program, relevant experience may come from a business-related position or a finance-specific field. MBA applicants must demonstrate leadership potential and a grasp of business fundamentals.
Most programs require a personal statement that covers an applicant's educational and professional history, along with a description of their intended career direction or interest. Some schools may provide more directed questions that students must address.
- Official Transcripts
MBA applicants need to submit transcripts as part of their application packet, showcasing their relevant training and grades. While many MBA in finance programs do not accept transfer credits, some applicants may be able to graduate more quickly if they have completed similar training.
What Can I Do With an MBA in Finance Degree?
With an MBA in finance, graduates put themselves in a great position for a rewarding career. The BLS projects 15% job growth for financial managers between 2019 and 2029, which is close to four times faster than the average projected growth rate for all occupations. In addition to opening up numerous job opportunities, an MBA in finance qualifies professionals for some of the most lucrative positions in the business sector.
Degree-seekers can also boost their employability even more by specializing in a subdiscipline. Choosing a specialization like corporate finance, portfolio management, risk management, or financial management can help learners focus their training and strengthen their chances of finding meaningful employment in those fields.
- Financial Manager
Financial managers supervise major financial activities for organizations. They manage financial staff, optimize financial processes, and look for investment opportunities. These professionals need a bachelor's degree at minimum, although many employers prefer hiring candidates with a graduate degree.
Median Annual Salary: $134,180
- Financial Analyst
These professionals provide financial analysis for organizations in various areas, looking at investments and risks, market trends, and overall financial health. They combine research, analytical tools, and financial insight to identify opportunities for savings and growth. These positions require a bachelor's degree at minimum, with many employers looking to hire workers with a graduate degree.
Median Annual Salary: $83,660
- Financial Examiner
Financial examiners review and assess the operations and activities of various financial institutions. They may protect organizations against risk and losses or individuals against unfair and unethical lending practices. For management and senior-level positions, many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree.
Median Annual Salary: $81,430
- Top Executive
Top executives help organizations meet goals. These professionals perform tasks like analyzing finances and performance, changing processes, and realigning staff and departmental priorities. They may supervise a variety of departments or manage all financial activities as a chief financial officer. In large corporations, these professionals often hold an MBA.
Median Annual Salary: $107,680
- Management Analyst
Management analysts work internally or contractually and look at leadership processes within an organization. They assess finances, employees, and processes and suggest ways to maximize potential. Most employers require candidates to have a bachelor's degree at minimum, although master's degree-holders may receive preference.
Median Annual Salary: $87,660
Finance Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Is an MBA in Finance Worth It?
An MBA in finance can help graduates gain access to specialized industries, careers, and projects. These advanced degrees typically complement experience, leadership, and a professional drive, providing graduates with a competitive advantage over their peers.
All MBA applicants should consider the possible return on investment for their degree, comparing tuition rates and average salaries of potential careers. MBA in finance graduates may qualify for positions like financial manager, financial analyst, and financial examiner. The top 10% of earners in each of these professions make about $160,000 per year or higher.
An MBA does not automatically qualify all graduates for the same positions, nor does every student meet admission requirements for these oftentimes competitive programs. As an alternative, aspiring or current finance professionals may consider pursuing a graduate certificate in a specific finance discipline, an industry certification, and/or a standard master's degree in finance.
Why Get an MBA in Finance Instead of a Master's in Finance?
Prospective finance students can choose between an MBA in finance and a master of science in finance. While both degrees can lead to similar career paths, MBA programs typically feature more leadership training and better equip graduates for management positions.
While many of the best online master's in finance programs offer similarly in-depth finance education, MBA programs may better connect theory covered in coursework to broader organizational activities.
Aspiring learners might also decide to enroll in a dual MBA and master's in finance program, which features an interdisciplinary approach. For more information on these types of programs, check out our dual-degree program guide.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
How Do I Choose an MBA in Finance Program?
The overall cost of an MBA in finance can top $150,000-$200,000 — students need to determine the true program cost and decide whether they can afford it. Learners can try and reduce costs in various ways, such as by accessing in-state tuition rates and pursuing financial aid and work assistance programs.
- Program Format
Learners should choose a format that suits their schedule and learning style. For example, working professionals may require a part-time schedule, whereas full-time students can graduate and enter the workforce quicker. Students can also choose between synchronous and asynchronous formats depending on their study availability and comfort with independent learning.
Program location means a lot for on-campus students, as living and travel requirements may limit their realistic options. Online learners can usually expand their search further, but they should still look at on-campus residency requirements and make sure they can meet them.
- Career Opportunities
MBA programs often provide students with a significant amount of career preparation help. The more support services and the better the professional network offered, the more success graduates tend to have. Aspiring students should look at available resources, the program's recruitment history, and employment statistics and outcome data for graduates before settling on a school.
- Programmatic Accreditation
Students can improve their career opportunities by choosing an MBA in finance program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Read our college accreditation guide for more information.
2021 Best Accredited Online MBA in Finance Programs
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
|Chapel Hill, NC||
UNC-Chapel Hill's 62-credit MBA in finance focuses on financial strategy and analytics. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the program boasts about 42,000 alumni, including almost 2,000 online graduates.
The online MBA in finance starts four times a year, and students can graduate in less than 18 months. Working professionals benefit from accommodating online schedules, although all learners must participate in two weekend summits — either at an international location or on campus. Applicants with more than five years of relevant experience may qualify for a GMAT waiver.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
In Villanova's 48-credit online MBA in finance program, students complete courses that emphasize management, leadership, and collaboration. In addition to flexible online classes, the program begins with a weekend residence and features two practica. Students can also complete an optional week-long immersion capstone project.
Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the program typically takes two years to complete. Classes usually run asynchronously throughout 16-week terms, although various synchronous components may be available.
Villanova University is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Pennsylvania State University
|University Park, PA||
Penn State World Campus offers an online MBA in finance that provides in-depth training in business analytics, integration, and problem-solving. One of 20 nine-credit concentrations available, the finance specialization features courses in multinational finance and portfolio management, plus a three-day virtual or on-campus residency.
Degree-seekers can start at the beginning of any semester and graduate within two years. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, this MBA in finance program offers the same tuition rates to in-state and out-of-state learners.
Pennsylvania State University is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Through Babson's part-time MBA in finance, students join a network of more than 42,000 alumni from around the world. Learners can choose between general finance and STEM-integrated quantitative finance concentrations. Degree-seekers can participate in on-campus weekend intensives for additional networking and collaborative experiences.
Babson offers students fully online, hybrid, and evening classes, along with the ability to complete the program in 18 months or extend it beyond three years. Fully online study may not be available to California residents.
Babson College is accredited by New England Commission on Higher Education.
University of Maryland - College Park
|College Park, MD||
Online students at UMD can choose between six MBA tracks, including finance, which focuses on investing, restructuring, and managing finances using data-informed strategies. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits this program, which boasts an alumni network of more than 65,000 professionals.
Distance learners can choose from three start dates annually, and they pay the same tuition rates regardless of where they live. Students typically complete the 54 required credits within two years. Participants can also access career development activities, seminars, and coaches.
University of Maryland - College Park is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|West Lafayette, IN||
Purdue students can take a 60-credit general MBA or add a 16-credit concentration in one of six areas, including project management, healthcare management, and finance. Learners pursuing the 76-credit MBA in finance cover topics like international business and investment strategies.
Online classes typically run through six-week terms, and students can choose from multiple start dates each year. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, this MBA in finance program also gives experienced applicants the option to enroll in an accelerated pathway that may reduce study time and costs.
Purdue University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Texas A&M International University
TAMIU's online MBA in finance prepares graduates for careers in international banking and finance, teaching them about important systems and practices and how to perform accurate analysis, measurements, and forecasts. The program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Distance learners pursuing their 30-credit MBA in finance can choose from six annual start dates. They can complete the program in less than 15 months, with courses running throughout seven-week sessions. Texas residents pay reduced tuition, and inexperienced applicants can access prep-module courses.
Texas A&M International University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
|Saint Louis, MO||
Webster's MBA in corporate finance teaches learners to create value for organizations in various ways. One of 10 available emphases, this 45-credit track provides training in modeling, analysis, and budgeting for large organizations.
Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the program's online courses run primarily asynchronously, with the exception of two-hour synchronous sessions each week. Participants must also complete a capstone project where they work directly with an organization.
Webster University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
University of North Carolina - Wilmington
UNCW's online MBA in finance program focuses on investment and real estate markets, and it teaches students how to use quantitative and financial analysis to improve organizational health. Students can complete the 36-credit program in 12 months, choosing from six entry dates annually.
The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Online classes run throughout seven-week sessions, and applicants need a 3.0 minimum GPA and at least two years of experience to earn admission.
University of North Carolina - Wilmington is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Delaware
UD's online students can choose from five MBA specializations, including an MBA in finance. The finance program emphasizes international, corporate, and investment finance. Learners take asynchronous classes in seven-week terms and can graduate within 16 months.
To be admitted, applicants need a minimum GPA of 2.8 and two years of work experience. Prospective students with at least four years of experience may receive a GMAT waiver. Students enjoy access to a career coach, career fairs, and professional development workshops.
University of Delaware is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|Saint Paul, MN||
Featuring eight concentrations, including one in finance, Bethel's online MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The MBA in finance focuses on global finance strategies, effective financial decision-making, and ethical leadership. The program culminates in a team leadership and collaboration capstone project.
Classes run throughout six-week sessions, and learners can start at the beginning of any session throughout the year. Students usually complete the 42-credit online program in 19-24 months.
Bethel University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
Ball State University
Ball State's online MBA in finance provides students with the analytical tools needed to make and save money for organizations. Students complete 30-43 credits, depending on their prior business training. The program features fall, spring, and summer start dates.
Most students take two courses per semester and graduate within 24 months. The program delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously and does not include on-campus requirements. This MBA in finance program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Ball State University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
UMass Amherst's MBA students can choose from multiple concentrations, including business analytics, healthcare administration, and finance. The school's online MBA in finance covers advanced financial management, along with e-commerce logistics, new venture finance, and healthcare finance.
Applicants typically need three years of professional experience. The program requires 37-39 credits and offers start dates every spring, summer, and fall. The program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
University of Massachusetts - Amherst is accredited by New England Commission on Higher Education.
Florida Atlantic University
|Boca Raton, FL||
Distance learners at FAU can choose from 10 MBA concentrations, including a finance option that prepares professionals to protect an organization's long-term financial health. The program requires 40-46 credits of coursework in specialized topics like advanced monetary economics and multinational finance.
Students can begin during one of three annual start dates and graduate within 16-23 months, taking classes in eight-week terms. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, this MBA in finance features entirely asynchronous online courses and no on-campus requirements.
Florida Atlantic University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Syracuse's MBA students can choose from six concentrations, including finance. In this 54-credit specialization, learners take courses in global economics and quantitative analysis. They can graduate within 24 months and join an alumni network of over 30,000 professionals.
In addition to advanced business training, learners develop modeling, statistical, and portfolio management skills. MBA students must attend three residencies throughout the two-year program. The program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Syracuse University is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Frequently Asked Questions About MBA in Finance Programs
- Is an MBA in finance program hard to get into?
Many MBA programs are very competitive, requiring a combination of high undergraduate grades, strong standardized test scores, and professional experience. Nevertheless, applicants who do not meet these admission requirements may be able to find more flexible and accommodating programs.
- What can I do with an MBA in finance?
An MBA in finance can lead to many finance and business careers, including management, analyst, and consulting roles. These programs also equip graduates with the skills and credentials needed to pursue management occupations in various industries.
- Is finance a good career?
Finance careers can be very rewarding, providing positive employment prospects and financial stability. The BLS projects 5% job growth in business and financial occupations between 2019 and 2029.
- How much money can I make with an MBA in finance?
After completing an MBA in finance, graduates can qualify for many high-paying positions. According to the BLS, business and financial jobs pay a median annual wage of $72,250 — more than $30,000 higher than the median annual wage for all occupations. Additionally, the median annual wage for management occupations is $109,760.
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with an MBA in finance?
One of the highest-paying jobs available for graduates with an MBA in finance is financial manager. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $134,180, and the top 10% of earners make over $208,000 per year.