A master's in business administration (MBA) in finance degree prepares students for careers in business management. In the program, students will gain a graduate-level understanding of foundational business principles like accounting, management, marketing, and finance. An MBA in finance is a popular choice for professionals who need additional education to reach their career goals, and for students interested in starting their own business.
You can enroll in an MBA program either full-time or part-time, and your choice will depend on where you are in your career. Full-time study is intended for those who are recently out of college and can afford to spend a few years studying. There are also two different types of part-time MBA programs: a regular part-time MBA and the executive MBA (EMBA). An EMBA is designed for students who have experience in executive or leadership roles, while part-time MBA students have a limited background in leadership. EMBA candidates are typically in their 30's or early-40's, while part-time MBA candidates are generally much younger.
There are many benefits to earning an MBA in finance. Students develop hard and soft business skills that are difficult to acquire quickly without formalized training. In an MBA cohort, you will make plenty of professional connections with other students and faculty, which can provide encouragement during the program and form a network of connections for your future. MBA graduates also enjoy higher employment rates on average, since they tend to have more work experience than graduates fresh out of college.
An MBA in finance provides a broad education that produces favorable economic outcomes for graduates when compared to similar graduate degrees, like a master's in finance. Master's in finance curriculums are much narrower than what you'll find in an MBA program, and while master's of finance graduates can enter the workforce quickly, MBA graduates tend to have a wider range of skills. As a result, MBAs can move into managerial jobs much quicker and they enjoy higher wages on average.
Graduates with an MBA in finance can work as financial advisors, marketing managers, human resources specialists, logisticians, fundraisers, and financial advisors, just to name a few positions. When entering the job market, MBA in finance graduates will find that their skills are in-demand, as the BLS projects that positions for financial analysts will rise 12% by 2024.
Learn more about what you can do with an MBA in finance and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.
Choosing an MBA Program
DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?
Yes, previous work experience is a clear way that admissions committees determine whether an applicant has past experience as a leader and collaborator in a business-related role. The typical MBA student is admitted with 1-2 years of experience, generally in a full-time position. Unpaid internships and other experience gained during a student's undergraduate studies will also suffice, especially for full-time applicants coming directly from college.
HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT MBA IN FINANCE PROGRAM FOR ME?
Do your due diligence when searching for schools. Students considering an MBA should ask themselves "what do I want out of an MBA program?" and, more broadly, "what are my career goals in business?" Once you've answered these questions, you should search for a school with a complementary program or specialization that will prepare you for your industry of choice. Other considerations include whether to study full-time or part-time, and whether to study in-person or online.
CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY MBA IN FINANCE?
Yes, students can continue to work while completing their MBA in finance, regardless of whether they have part-time or full-time status. Part-time students tend to keep their day job while pursuing their MBA. Full-time students are usually fresh out of college, so they likely haven't fully entered the workforce yet, but should have time to maintain a part-time job on the side.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING AN MBA IN FINANCE?
MBA-holders enjoy increased earning potential. They also have more flexibility, and can start their own businesses or change the trajectory of their career while maintaining a full-time day job. Some students say that the networking opportunities alone make an MBA worth the investment.
Accredited Online MBA in Finance Programs
University of North Carolina
|Chapel Hill, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 91%||
Enrolling its first students in 1795, the University of North Carolina is among the oldest public universities in the United States. Today, the school boasts 77 bachelor's programs and 111 master's programs, along with dozens of doctoral and professional options. Online learners can choose from around 20 web-based programs at the certificate, master's, and doctoral levels.
Students pursuing UNC's online MBA in finance take 62 credits. They complete core coursework across areas like business strategy, communication, and accounting. In addition to finance electives, students can enroll in graduate-level online courses at several partner universities.
MBA candidates earn the degree through a combination of synchronous classes, asynchronous sessions, and in-person components. During weekly faculty-led synchronous sessions, students discuss readings, analyze cases, and participate in group activities.
UNC offers three-day, in-person immersions at the end of each quarter. Summits take place at domestic and international locations, and students must attend at least two over the course of the program. During the experience, students meet with faculty, classmates, and local business leaders. Learners work through the program with a cohort and finish the degree in 18-36 months.
Applicants need a 2.5 GPA along with two years of work experience to qualify. They also must provide GMAT or GRE scores. UNC waives the standardized test requirement for candidates with at least six years of full-time professional experience. On average, students enter the program with 6-10 years of work experience.
Johns Hopkins University
|Baltimore, MD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 93%||
Established in 1876, Johns Hopkins University is a private research institution based in Baltimore, Maryland. The school enrolls over 24,000 students through more than 260 academic programs.
Online MBA students can choose from concentrations in healthcare management, leading organizations, marketing, and financial business. Regardless of their specialization, students complete 54 credits of core and elective courses.
Learners take 30 credits of business foundations classes that cover topics such as business law, statistical analysis, corporate finance, operations management, and human values. Online students who take business communication, leadership in organizations, or negotiation must attend an in-person component on the main campus. Communications and leadership residencies last three days, while the negotiation residency runs 1.5 days.
Students concentrating in financial business choose six electives from a list of 11. Online courses for MBA in finance students cover areas like financial modeling, valuation, mergers and acquisitions, advanced portfolio management, and derivatives.
Johns Hopkins lets MBA students complete the degree entirely online, on campus, or through a hybrid format. Online students mainly take courses asynchronously but must participate in occasional synchronous activities. Learners can earn the degree in less than three years.
Applicants need a 3.0 GPA and two years of work experience for consideration. They also need to submit GRE or GMAT scores unless they qualify for a waiver. On average, admitted students possess about nine years of full-time work experience, a 3.34 undergraduate GPA, and a 607 GMAT score. Johns Hopkins accepts MBA candidates on a rolling basis.
|Wellesley, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 92%||
Founded in 1919, Babson College is a private business school in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The college educates undergraduate and graduate learners through business-related programs in areas like management, finance, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Babson's graduate school offers an MBA along with degrees in finance, entrepreneurial leadership, and business analytics.
Babson offers a part-time MBA for working professionals that students can complete on campus through evening courses or in a blended online format. Blended learning students complete the degree as a cohort and take core courses through asynchronous online sessions. They travel to the Wellesley campus approximately every seven weeks for two-day, in-person components. At the beginning of the program, students travel to campus to attend an orientation and their first class sessions.
Babson delivers MBA electives in hybrid, online, and on-campus formats. Additionally, students can complete electives through weekend intensives that encompass a Friday evening and two full Saturdays.
Through core coursework, students explore topics such as entrepreneurship, financial reporting, organization management, and business analytics. Students focusing on finance can choose from electives that cover areas like real estate financial modeling, financial trading strategies, finance for new ventures, and risk management.
Applicants need to submit an essay, a resume, a professional letter of recommendation, and official transcripts. Students who do not demonstrate adequate preparedness may need to submit GMAT or GRE scores. Successful applicants typically possess 5-10 years of professional experience. Admitted students can transfer up to six elective credits from prior graduate coursework.
North Carolina State University
|Raleigh, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 79%||
North Carolina State University is a public research institution based in Raleigh. A member of the University of North Carolina System, the school serves over 34,000 students through programs in science, technology, engineering, and business, among other fields. NC State boasts over 90 distance programs, including many graduate options.
NC State's online MBA comprises 40 credits of coursework. Core classes examine areas like economics, financial accounting, and people management. Students also take two core classes in data-driven decision-making. Students who opt for the financial management emphasis explore topics including international finance, investment theory and practice, and equity valuation.
Students can begin the online MBA in the fall or spring semester. NC State delivers the MBA coursework primarily asynchronously through podcasts, video presentations, discussions, and group projects, but students participate in some synchronous sessions. Students must attend two, three-day residencies in Raleigh over the course of the program. Learners who opt for an accelerated path can finish the degree in as little as 21 months.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree and at least two years of full-time professional employment. They also need to take the GRE or GMAT. On average, successful applicants hold a 3.3 undergraduate GPA and boast 8 years of work experience. They also possess a GMAT score of 606 or a GRE score of 309. To qualify for admission, candidates need a C or higher in a statistics course.
Carnegie Mellon University
|Pittsburgh, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 89%||
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University is a private research institution in operation since 1900. Today, the university serves over 14,000 students through seven schools and colleges. CMU's Tepper School of Business offers a part-time online MBA with 11 concentrations.
Students who pursue the online MBA with a finance concentration explore the analytical and quantitative aspects of finance. They also examine various methodologies that finance professionals use. Through an elective on investment analysis, students learn about the tools that professionals use to allocate assets, evaluate performance, and assess risk. In a corporate finance class, learners study cases to learn about budgeting, capital structure, payout policy, and corporate valuation. Most CMU business students pursue multiple concentrations; finance students might consider earning an online MBA in finance and accounting.
Regardless of their concentration, students take foundational classes in analytics, leadership and organizations, and communication. The program also covers major areas of business, including finance, corporate strategy, managerial accounting, and operations management.
Online MBA candidates take classes through four, 6.5-week mini-semesters each academic year. They attend live, 70-minute online classes two evenings per week and complete asynchronous work through recorded lectures, group projects, and other assignments.
After each mini-semester, learners participate in an in-person "Access Weekend" with their cohort. Access Weekends take place in Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. and involve speaking events, networking opportunities, and live classes. Learners can complete the program in 32 months.
University of Maryland
|College Park, MD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 85%||
Based in College Park, the University of Maryland is the flagship institution of Maryland's public college system. Founded in 1856, the university educates over 41,000 students through close to 300 programs at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels. UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business offers an online MBA with specializations in accounting, marketing, information systems and business analytics, supply chain management, and finance.
Online MBA in finance students take 54 credits and finish the program in two years. Foundation courses include decision modeling, supply chain management, and the global economic environment. Finance students take specialization classes dealing with commercial bank management, derivative securities, and financial restructuring. Learners complete all coursework online, aside from an opening residency and a capstone residency.
UMD offers a variety of services to help online students advance their careers after graduation, such as an online recruiting system and job database, interview training, and career coaching. MBA candidates also benefit from resume and cover letter assistance, networking opportunities, and peer-to-peer mentoring.
The career services center offers a core career development curriculum that helps students create a portfolio, search for jobs, master interview techniques, and build negotiation skills. The curriculum includes seven phases and repeats each year.
Applicants need at least a 2.8 GPA along with acceptable GRE or GMAT scores to qualify for admission. UMD recommends that students apply with at least two years of professional experience; successful applicants typically demonstrate around eight years of employment.
|Villanova, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 90%||
Founded in 1842, Villanova University is a private research institution based in Pennsylvania. Today, the school enrolls over 11,000 students through six colleges and schools. Villanova's School of Business offers six majors and seven master's programs, including an online MBA.
MBA students complete 21 courses for a total of 48 credits. Core courses explore areas like business operations in the 21st century, analyzing and leveraging data, and ethical business practices. Students pursuing the finance specialization must take 7.5 credits of finance-related electives.
Learners complete the program through 16-week fall and spring semesters, along with 14-week summer semesters. Villanova delivers most coursework asynchronously through video lectures, chat boards, and interactive case studies, but each course includes some synchronous components, such as live discussion sessions. Students take classes during six consecutive semesters to earn their MBA in two years.
Within the first two semesters of the program, students must travel to campus for a weekend residency. The three-day leadership intensive explores decision-making, responsible leadership, and effective team building. At the program's halfway point, students work in teams during a social enterprise consulting practicum. As part of their final capstone course, students can optionally participate in a week-long international immersion that explores business culture and companies in an emerging economy.
Villanova evaluates business school applicants based on their undergraduate GPA, GMAT or GRE scores, and work experience. Students may transfer up to nine credits from another program that holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The University of Texas at Dallas
|Richardson, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Based in Richardson, the University of Texas at Dallas is a public institution in operation since 1969. The school serves learners through eight schools and more than 140 degrees spanning fields like business, technology, and the arts. UT Dallas' Jindal School of Management boasts several online programs, including an MS in accounting, an MS in marketing, and an MBA.
UT Dallas offers the professional MBA to help working business professionals advance their careers. Learners can complete the degree through an evening on-campus cohort track or through a fully online option. UT Dallas delivers the online program through a combination of asynchronous and synchronous coursework. Students watch presentations, view recorded lectures, and participate in web conferencing sessions. They finish the curriculum in 16-72 months.
Online MBA candidates take 53 credits of core and elective courses. Before beginning the curriculum, students must demonstrate prerequisite knowledge in calculus through undergraduate coursework or an introductory course at UT Dallas. The 30-credit business core includes classes on strategic management, financial management, and organizational behavior. Students complete 23 elective credits, including 12 in a concentration area. Learners focusing on finance may take classes in fixed income securities, market regulation, and personal finance.
The Jindal School of Management does not require minimum GRE or GMAT scores, but successful applicants generally score between 310-330 on the GRE or between 550-700 on the GMAT. Prospective students must submit an essay, a recommendation letter, and a resume.
|Bethlehem, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 86%||
Founded in 1865, Lehigh University is a private research institution located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The school hosts around 7,000 students and offers a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Lehigh's Office of Distance Education offers five online certificates and nine online master's degrees, including the Flex MBA.
Lehigh delivers the Flex MBA on campus and through synchronous online courses. Students log on at scheduled times to participate through webcam in on-campus classes, which take place primarily in the evening. If they miss a live class, learners can watch a recording of the lecture. Lehigh administers some electives in an asynchronous format. The program is self paced, and students typically finish the degree in around 3.5 years. They may mix online and on-campus courses or complete the entire curriculum online.
The Flex MBA comprises 21 core credits and 15 elective credits. The program requires prior knowledge in financial accounting, statistics, and economics; students can take prerequisite courses alongside regular coursework. Like most online MBA in finance programs, Lehigh's degree explores human resources management, organization structure, and leadership strategy. Through the 12-credit finance concentration, students learn about corporate financial management, investments, and financial institutions.
Lehigh's MBA program requires satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores along with two years of work experience. On average, admitted students possess six years of work experience. Applicants also need to submit a resume, two letters of recommendation, and an essay summarizing career goals and relevant work experience.
Stevens Institute of Technology
|Hoboken, NJ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 83%||
Stevens Institute of Technology, based in Hoboken, New Jersey, is a private research institution that serves around 7,000 students. StevensOnline boasts 19 online master's options, including an online MBA.
The 39-credit MBA includes three prerequisite courses in financial management, financial and managerial accounting, and economics. Core business coursework consists of classes in three key areas: language of business, leadership and innovation, and analytical thinking. Language of business courses introduce students to fundamental skills and concepts across operations, marketing, and strategy. Leadership and innovation classes cover decision-making and entrepreneurship, while analytical thinking courses examine business analytics.
The finance concentration comprises four courses that prepare graduates for jobs in financial institutions or finance departments. Students take electives in venture capital, investment management, derivatives, and corporate finance.
At the end of the program, students choose one of three capstone options. Students who pursue the technology commercialization practicum apply their entrepreneurship knowledge to start a new venture or develop a product. In the field consulting program, learners work with management at a real organization to address a business problem. In the technology management capstone course, students participate in a simulation where they run a business and overcome market changes.
Prospective students must possess adequate GMAT or GRE scores along with a B average. They also need to submit a resume and two letters of recommendation. While Stevens does not require professional experience for the MBA program, it does value applicants with job and internship experience.
University of Dallas
|Irving, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 68%||
Founded in 1956, the University of Dallas is a private Catholic institution serving over 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. The school educates students through its main campus in Irving, Texas and through many online programs. The Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business offers web-based options for its doctor of business administration, MS, and MBA programs.
Among the best accredited online MBA in finance programs, the program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The curriculum consists of 42 credits, 12 of which come from the finance concentration. One unique core course explores the social, political, and legal contexts within which businesses operate.
Finance students take advanced classes in financial accounting and managerial finance. They choose additional electives that study topics like corporate valuation, investments, and international financial markets.
In a capstone course, students work in teams to consult for a real organization. They develop a proposal, conduct industry research, meet with the client, and present their recommendations at the end of the semester. Students can complete the MBA online, on campus, or through a combination of the two. MBA in finance learners earn the degree in 2-3 years.
Applicants need at least a 2.0 undergraduate GPA and a 3.0 GPA in any graduate-level coursework. All MBA students need to complete prerequisite undergraduate courses in management, marketing, macroeconomics, and microeconomics. Learners focusing on finance also need undergraduate work in financial accounting and cost accounting. Students without prerequisite coursework can take foundational classes through UD.
|Washington, DC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 79%||
Established in 1893, American University is a private institution based in Washington, D.C. Over 12,000 undergraduate, graduate, and law students participate in AU's more than 160 academic programs. Distance learners can choose from 27 online master's degrees and graduate certificates.
AU's Kogod School of Business offers an online MBA designed for mid-career professionals looking to advance to leadership positions. The program, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, comprises 48 credits from 12 core courses, three electives, and two in-person immersions.
Through core coursework, students build foundational knowledge in areas like managerial statistics, management information systems, and business law. They also learn about human capital management, managerial accounting, and the international economy. Students pursuing the MBA in finance online examine how organizations select investments, manage risk, and anticipate changes in the economy. Finance courses include fraud examination and litigation support, investment analysis and portfolio management, and international finance.
During in-person immersions, students solve business problems with real companies, complete group projects with classmates, and network with business professionals. American hosts immersions on campus in Washington, D.C. and in cities around the globe.
AU delivers online courses through live, synchronous video. Most learners complete the program in two years, but students can also pursue a 12-month, 15-month, or 18-month track. As they work through the curriculum, online learners can take advantage of resources, including feedback on resumes and cover letters, mock interviews, and electronic library resources.
|Malibu, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 85%||
Founded in 1937, Pepperdine University is a private institution based in Malibu, California. The school offers classes online and at several locations across Southern California. Students can choose from over 100 academic programs from five colleges. The Graziadio Business School offers an online MBA with five concentration options.
Students complete the online MBA over the course of six, 14-week trimesters and earn a degree in two years. They take asynchronous online courses that strengthen their critical-thinking, management, communication, and leadership skills. The curriculum also explores business intelligence in the global economy.
MBA in finance candidates take 15 courses totaling 52 credits. The 12-course core curriculum incorporates topics in business operations, regulatory environments, and strategic management. A class on prices, profit, and the market economy reviews how economic conditions affect production and distribution of goods. Like many of the best online MBA in finance programs, the concentration curriculum covers portfolio management, valuation, and global capital markets.
Learners complete two weekend-long residencies. During the one-credit personal and leadership development workshop, students learn about ethical behavior, career advancement, and team building. The workshop also serves as an orientation to the program. While they work through the program, online students benefit from a 24/7 technical help desk, digital library materials, career services, and virtual tutoring opportunities.
Applicants need to submit satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores along with a personal statement that describes their academic, personal, and professional achievements. They also need at least two years of professional experience.
University of Miami
|Coral Gables, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 84%||
UM is a private research institution based in Coral Gables, Florida. The school, founded in 1925, serves over 17,000 students through 11 schools and colleges. Undergraduate and graduate learners can choose from over 180 academic programs, including many online options.
UM boasts four tracks in its online MBA program. Students can opt to earn a professional MBA, an MBA with an accounting focus, or one of two finance concentrations. Learners who pursue an MBA in corporate finance explore topics like treasury management, investor relations, and capital budgeting. Alternatively, MBA students who specialize in financial decision-making learn to guide investors and executives through important financial decisions. Financial decision-making students get to choose an elective, while corporate finance learners only complete required courses.
All MBA in finance students take 15 courses for a total of 47 credits. They complete core courses across finance, accounting, economics, and management. Through a class in management information systems, learners explore the role of technology infrastructures in organizations. Additionally, an international investments course examines global finance, financial statement analysis, and company valuation.
Learners can complete their MBA entirely online through asynchronous courses. They take one seven-week course at a time and finish the curriculum in 24-28 months. Students also have the option to participate in a one-week residency at UM's main campus. Over the course of the week, students attend lectures, group activities, and expert panels. Additionally, interested students can travel to campus for an optional orientation weekend before beginning the online MBA program.
Golden Gate University
|San Francisco, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 56%||
Established in 1901, GGU is a private nonprofit that educates working professionals at three locations and online. The university offers most courses online, and students can choose from more than 60 web-based programs. The university educates students mainly in accounting, taxation, law, and business.
Students can complete GGU's MBA online, on campus, or through a combination of the two. Distance learners take courses asynchronously and work through the curriculum at their own pace. Students typically earn their MBA in two years.
MBA learners can choose from 13 concentrations, including accounting, adaptive leadership, global supply chain management, and public administration. Additionally, students who pursue an MBA in finance online explore areas like capital budgeting, capital structure, and financial management through case studies and other coursework.
In total, learners take 54 credits. They complete nine credits of foundation courses in accounting, economics, and data analysis. Thirty-three credits come from core courses across areas like communications, operations, and information technology management. The finance concentration includes 12 credits of required courses.
During a capstone course, students build the skills they need to develop effective business plans. They practice strategy development and implementation while learning to address complex business issues.
Applicants with less than five years of professional experience must submit GMAT or GRE results. GGU also waives standardized test requirements for students who already hold an advanced degree, a certified public accountant license, or a nationally recognized professional credential.
|Irvine, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 79%||
Founded to educate military service members in 1958, Brandman is a private institution that serves working professionals. Students take classes online or at over 25 campus locations across California and Washington. The school boasts more than 80 academic programs across business, health professions, education, arts, and other fields.
Brandman's online MBA boasts 10 concentration options, including international business, business intelligence and data analytics, and organizational leadership. Online courses for MBA in finance students include international finance, investments, and capital markets. To finish out their 12-credit emphasis, students choose one accounting course, such as accounting ethics, strategic cost management, or contemporary issues in accounting.
In total, MBA candidates complete 36-48 credits. They take 24-36 credits of core courses, depending on how many waivers they receive. Through core coursework, students learn about topics like business process analysis, corporate responsibility, and sustainability. Learners can finish the entire curriculum online or through a combination of online and on-campus courses.
Applicants who hold a minimum 3.0 GPA over their last 30 credits of coursework receive preference, and students with an undergraduate GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 should submit standardized test scores. Brandman accepts GRE, GMAT, and Miller Analogies Test scores. Prospective students who do not meet GPA and testing requirements can apply with an advanced degree or portfolio demonstrating their readiness for graduate-level work.
University of Delaware
|Newark, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 82%||
UD is a public institution that enrolls more than 24,000 students through seven colleges and over 300 programs. UD's college of business and economics, which has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business for over 50 years, offers one of the top online MBA in finance programs in the country.
Students who complete one MBA concentration take 44 total credits. They take 11 core courses, including two professional development seminars that discuss topics like branding, networking, and critical thinking. The finance emphasis features three required classes on portfolio management, financial modeling, and corporate financial analysis.
MBA candidates can earn their degree entirely online through intensive, seven-week courses. They take classes asynchronously and graduate in as few as 16 months. While they work through the curriculum, MBA learners can access free online tutoring in economic analysis for business policy and fundamentals of analytics. Students can complete more than one concentration, although this may extend their graduation timeline.
UD provides MBA candidates with ample opportunities to network and grow their careers. Online learners can access Handshake to search for jobs and learn about networking events. They can also take advantage of resources related to resumes, cover letters, and interviews through UD's graduate career resources. Additionally, distance students can schedule one-on-one career coaching sessions.
Applicants need a minimum 2.8 undergraduate GPA and two years of work experience. Prospective students must also submit GRE or GMAT scores, although UD offers test score waivers to students with high grades, significant work experience, and/or prior math education.
Johnson & Wales University
|Providence, RI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
Based in Providence, Rhode Island, JWU is a private institution that boasts over 60 online academic options. The school offers an online MBA with several concentrations, including global fashion merchandising, nonprofit management, and hospitality.
Students pursuing the school's online MBA in finance take 36-42 credits through foundation courses, core classes, specialization courses, and a capstone. Through two foundation classes, learners explore the global economy and corporate financial accounting. Seven required core classes discuss areas such as effective leadership, strategic marketing, and financial reporting.
Students complete the finance concentration by taking a strategic financial planning course and three electives. Elective options explore various topics, including retirement planning, estate planning, bond market analysis, and insurance.
Learners typically finish the online MBA in two years through asynchronous, eight-week courses. JWU delivers online classes through Blackboard, and students work at their own pace. Instructors may occasionally offer optional synchronous activities, such as live chats and web conferencing sessions.
As they work through the program, students can take advantage of 24/7 online tutoring through Smarthinking. They can also access Career Coach — an online tool that helps students compare careers, search for open positions, and explore salary expectations.
Applicants need a minimum 2.85 GPA to qualify for JWU's MBA tracks. However, some business programs will conditionally admit students ages 24 years and older who possess a GPA above 2.4; these applicants may also need to submit GMAT scores.
Touro University Worldwide
|Los Alamitos, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
TUW is a private institution based in Los Alamitos, California. The university boasts online and on-campus programs across four academic schools.
TUW's MBA program features 10 concentrations, including artificial intelligence management and cybersecurity management. The school also offers a finance concentration that, like many accredited online MBA in finance programs, prepares graduates for careers in financial consulting, private finance, and capital management.
All MBA students take nine core courses and three concentration classes for a total of 36 credits. Core courses include management across cultures and contemporary marketing. The finance concentration consists of coursework in budgeting, global finance, and investments and portfolios. After completing all other classes, students take a capstone course. During their capstone, participants apply classroom knowledge to carry out a practical business project.
Students take courses asynchronously and can begin the online MBA program at six start dates throughout the year. Participants who take two courses per term for six consecutive terms can finish the degree in as little as 12 months.
Online MBA candidates benefit from educational advising throughout the program. TUW assigns each distance student an adviser who helps them register for courses, stay on track, and create a degree plan. Additionally, online learners gain access to 24/7 technical support and career development resources.
Applicants must possess a minimum 2.5 GPA, although they do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Transfer students need a GPA of at least 2.75 for consideration.
|Syracuse, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 83%||
Founded in 1870, Syracuse is a private research institution based in upstate New York. The school boasts around 200 graduate programs, including many online options.
Syracuse delivers its online MBA through synchronous discussion sessions. In between live classes, students complete weekly assignments based on videos, guest lectures, and case studies. Learners take classes during 12-week terms and can complete the program in as little as two years.
The program also requires students to attend three in-person residencies. Syracuse hosts several residencies each year at its main campus and in cities like New York, Munich, and Denver. Each three-day experience centers around a specific topic and incorporates panel discussions and lectures. Students may attend any three residencies of their choosing.
In total, students take 36 credits of core courses, 15 credits of electives, and three credits based on residency experiences. Like many of the best online MBA in finance degrees, Syracuse's program develops students' knowledge of risk management, corporate financial policy, and international finance.
Syracuse offers students a variety of resources to help them find work after graduation. For example, the school's virtual career center provides a self-directed course that teaches students essential career development strategies. The university also provides one-on-one coaching sessions that help students prepare for interviews, edit resumes, and compare career options.
Applicants need at least one year of full-time professional experience to qualify for admission. They must also submit two letters of recommendation and GRE or GMAT scores. Syracuse may ask some candidates to participate in an online interview with an admissions officer.
Nova Southeastern University
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 52%||
NSU is a private institution based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The university's approximately 24,000 students choose from over 150 degrees at 18 colleges, schools, and centers.
Learners pursuing NSU's MBA in finance take 40-49 credits, depending on their undergraduate coursework. Students who completed equivalent classes may skip introductory accounting, finance, and business statistics courses. All MBA students take 22 credits of core classes, discussing topics like data-driven decision-making, managing organizational behavior, and information systems strategy.
The finance concentration comprises 18 credits from six courses. Through a required course in financial engineering, students examine futures, options, and fixed-income securities. Learners can complete three credits through a finance internship or a free elective from the business school.
New students can join the MBA in finance program in August, October, January, March, or May. Participants can complete the degree entirely online in as few as 21 months. Additionally, learners looking to earn their degrees faster can opt for NSU's accelerated MBA track, which takes 16 months to finish.
Students with a minimum 2.5 GPA need not submit standardized test scores. Applicants with a GPA between 2.25-2.49 can still apply, but must supplement their applications with GRE or GMAT scores; NSU requires a GMAT score of at least 450 or an equivalent score on the GRE. Prospective students may transfer in up to six credits of graduate-level coursework.
Students interested in studying business at NSU can also consider enrolling in a dual-degree program. MBA students can simultaneously earn a degree in dental medicine, pharmacy, psychology, or law.
Colorado State University - Fort Collins
|Fort Collins, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
CSU is a public school that was founded in 1870. The university offers over 30 online graduate programs, including engineering, education, computer science, and business.
Students can earn CSU's MBA entirely online in as few as 21 months. Learners take courses during two eight-week sessions each semester and during an eight-week summer term. Students take courses according to a preset schedule. Participants attend live streaming video lectures and complete asynchronous activities.
CSU's online MBA is comprised of 42 credits. The majority of the curriculum — 36 credits — comes from core courses. Through 16 core classes, students learn about aspects of business administration, including supply chain management, regulatory frameworks, human capital, and accounting. Toward the end of the program, students take a four-credit capstone that integrates program knowledge.
Learners can customize their programs through six elective credits, choosing from classes in marketing, computer information systems, finance, and professional enrichment. Finance courses, worth one credit each, discuss venture capital, real estate finance, bond markets, and other topics.
Students can also opt to participate in an international business study trip as an elective. During the 7-10-day trip, learners meet with business leaders and study international business culture.
Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least four years of work experience to qualify. Average successful applicants hold about 10 years of professional experience and a 3.2 undergraduate GPA. The program does not accept transfer credit.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
|Newark, NJ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
NJIT — based in Newark — is a public polytechnic institution that has been in operation since 1881. Today, the school offers more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degrees across six schools. In terms of online graduate options, NJIT offers an MBA and an MS in civil engineering.
Online MBA students take 16 courses for a total of 48 credits. Faculty deliver classes during 15-week semesters, and students can complete the program in less than 3 years. NJIT delivers the curriculum through asynchronous classes that involve narrated presentations, discussion boards, reading materials, and podcast lectures. Additionally, students may participate in streaming video lectures and live chat sessions.
MBA learners can focus their studies in management information systems, marketing, or finance. The finance concentration features four courses totaling 12 credits. Finance students take classes that develop their knowledge of financial institutions, investment analysis, portfolio theory, and derivatives.
At the end of the program, students complete two three-credit capstone courses. A corporate governance class explores the rights, roles, and responsibilities of contemporary corporations, while also examining the relationships between owners, managers, executives, and other stakeholders. Through a strategic management capstone, learners study how organizations can gain competitive advantages.
Prospective students need at least a 2.8 GPA from a regionally accredited institution to qualify. They must also score at least 500 on the GMAT (or earn an equivalent score on the GRE). Additionally, applicants must submit a letter of recommendation.
Dallas Baptist University
|Dallas, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Founded in 1898, DBU is a liberal arts institution affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The school boasts 78 undergraduate programs, 31 master's programs, two doctoral options, and an average class size of 12 students. DBU's graduate students can choose from over a dozen web-based degrees.
DBU's online MBA program boasts 15 concentrations, including conflict resolution management, technology engineering management, and business intelligence and analytics. The finance specialization teaches students about budgeting, financial markets, mergers and acquisitions, and wealth management at a high level. Finance students enroll in four concentration courses totaling 12 credits.
MBA students complete 36 credits through asynchronous online courses. Aside from classes in the finance specialization, MBA candidates complete 24 credits of core courses that examine topics like quantitative analysis, creative problem-solving, and corporate finance. Students typically finish the curriculum in around 1.5 years.
MBA program candidates need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. They must also demonstrate preparedness for the program based on their GMAT scores, professional experience, or prior graduate work. Students qualify for full admission if they hold at least five years of professional experience in a leadership or managerial position, a GMAT score of at least 425, or 12 graduate-level credits earned with a 3.0 GPA.
Prospective business students can pair their MBA with another graduate degree through DBU's many dual-master's options. Learners can earn their MBA while pursuing a degree in 11 fields, including Christian ministry, communication, global leadership, and international studies.
|Clinton, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Established in 1826, MC is the oldest higher education institution in the state. The school's more than 1,400 graduate students choose from over 50 areas of study, including medical sciences, art, and business.
MC's online MBA students can pursue a general business track or a concentration in accounting, finance, or management information systems. The finance specialization comprises four three-credit classes. Through a course on financial markets and institutions, students explore concepts like market efficiency, underwriting, and interest rates. A financial statement analysis class covers ratio analysis, cash flow analysis, and other related topics.
Students take six core courses across accounting, management, finance, law, and ethics. In the final six credits of the 30-credit curriculum, participants enroll in a policy formulation and administration capstone. During their capstone class, students analyze case studies to learn about the strategies, principles, and practices that help organizations succeed.
Learners take online classes through eight-week or 16-week courses and usually earn an MBA in 1-2 years. The program does not offer a self-paced format; students must meet regular deadlines for assignments, readings, participation activities, and exams. Students looking to finish their degrees faster can consider MC's accelerated online MBA, which students complete through eight-week courses. Additionally, learners interested in some face-to-face coursework can earn their degree through a blend of online and on-campus classes.
MBA applicants must hold a minimum 2.25 GPA. Applicants who hold a GPA between 2.25 and 2.99 GPA must also possess 3-5 years of professional experience or an appropriate GMAT score.
WHAT ELSE CAN I EXPECT FROM AN ONLINE MBA IN FINANCE PROGRAM?
|Timeline||18 months to 2 years|
|Program Costs (when available)||$10,000 to $25,000 in annual tuition|
|Concentrations||Management, Leadership, Project Management, Finance, Economics, Marketing, Human Resources|
|Accreditation||Association of MBAs (AMBA), AACSB International, EQUIS|
|Additional Considerations||Previous work experience is required to show that applicants have an aptitude for leading and collaborating in a business setting.|
Employment Outlook for MBA in Finance Graduates
Job Placement: MBA in Finance
The job market for MBA in finance graduates is growing. MBA in finance curriculums cover several business topics, which positions graduates to pursue managerial positions in the field.
Work experience plays an important role in getting MBAs into highly-paid roles. A survey of MBA graduates from PayScale measured average work experience and salary. The survey found a clear connection between higher work experience and a higher salary.
|Occupation||Project Job Growth (2014–24)||Change in Number of Jobs (2014–24)|
|Chief Financial Officer||6%||147,000|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Salary expectations for employees with an MBA in finance will vary greatly depending on their specific job title, as well as other factors like their degree specialization and their location. Many MBA graduates already have relevant work experience, and will be able to jump into management positions upon graduation. The table below looks at career salary growth projections for five of the most common career paths among employees who hold an MBA in finance.
|Occupation||Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years)||Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years)||Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years)||Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)|
|Chief Financial Officer||$95,000||$112,000||$142,000||$154,000|
Of the five occupations listed on the table, the average rate of career growth was 40% between entry-level jobs and late-career. Financial directors and chief financial officers saw the highest growth by far, with each increasing 62% over 20 years. Financial controllers placed third with a 30% increase over 20 years.
Career and Further Education Opportunities
All MBA in finance graduates enter the workforce prepared to work in a range of management positions, with individual specializations that vary from person to person. Below, we've covered five common career paths for graduates.
Budget Analyst: Budget analysts work with public and private organizations to organize their finances. The primary tasks of a budget analyst include creating budget reports and monitoring institutional spending. The end of the year can be busy for a budget analyst, as they may be tasked with creating annual reports or helping with tax filing.
Chief FInancial Officer (CFO): A CFO's responsibilities vary greatly depending on the size of their organization. CFOs are commonly responsible for controllership and treasury duties, as well as economic strategy and forecasting. CFOs can direct and oversee an organization's financial and budgetary activities and may analyze financial statements, sales reports, and other performance indicators.
Financial Manager: A financial manager's chief concern is the overall financial health of their organization. They produce financial reports, direct the organization's investments, determine long-term financial goals, and develop strategies for achieving them. This role is changing rapidly in response to technological advances that make reporting and monitoring much easier than in the past. As a result, modern financial managers do much more data analysis than their predecessors.
Accountant: Sometimes called "auditors," accountants prepare and examine financial records for an organization. The primary task of an accountant is to ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. They also assess financial operations and work to help ensure that all functions run efficiently.
Financial Analyst: Financial analysts are responsible for guiding their clients to making sound investment decisions. A financial analyst can work for an organization or an individual. They will assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments for their clients and provide recommendations on how to get the best return on investment.
|Occupation||Median Annual Salary||Projected Industry Growth (2014-24)|
|Chief Financial Officer||$102,690||6%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
MBA Professional Organizations
Knowing the right people can have a major impact on your career, and this is especially true in finance. Professional organizations are a great resource for students who are leaving school to enter the job market. These organizations can help your job search and offer certifications, networking opportunities, and professional development opportunities that can help you start your career on the right foot. Below you'll find three prominent organizations that can help accelerate your career in finance.
- Association for Financial Professionals (AFP): The AFP is a professional society dedicated to advancing the success of its members. The AFP hosts an annual conference of over 6,500 corporate finance professionals, which could prove useful for young professionals in the industry. It also created the Certified Treasury Professional and Certified Corporate FP&A Professional credentials.
- The Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business (IMA): Also known as the Institute of Managerial Accountants, IMA is a worldwide network of accountants and financial professionals in business. The organization offers the Certified Management Accountant certification, a standard certification that is earned by many accountants and financial professionals. IMA also offers an education center, career resources, and many more benefits exclusively for their members.
- American Association of Finance & Accounting (AAFA): AAFA is a cohesive network of search organizations throughout North America. AAFA's 40+ search firms assist young professionals in their search for career advancement opportunities, seeking to match them with member organizations that are seeking new talent.
Financing Your Online MBA in Finance Program
Most students still need financial assistance to pay for their MBA in finance, even if they work during their time in school. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about your financial aid options.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We've curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.
- Best Online MBA in Finance Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location 1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 2 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 3 Babson College Wellesley, MA 4 Touro University Worldwide Los Alamitos, CA 5 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA 6 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 7 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 8 University of Maryland College Park, MD 9 George Washington University Washington, DC 10 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 11 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX 12 Northeastern University Boston, MA 13 Golden Gate University - San Francisco San Francisco, CA 14 Villanova University Villanova, PA 15 Johnson & Wales University Providence, RI 16 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ 17 Mississippi College Clinton, MS 18 University of Houston - Clear Lake Houston, TX 19 Webster University Saint Louis, MO 20 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL 21 Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 22 American University Washington, DC 23 New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ 23 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY 25 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL 26 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL 27 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO 28 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA 29 University of St Francis Joliet, IL 30 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 31 University of Delaware Newark, DE 32 University of Dallas Irving, TX 33 Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA 34 East Carolina University Greenville, NC 35 Mercer University Macon, GA 36 Regis University Denver, CO 37 Temple University Philadelphia, PA 38 Brandman University Irvine, CA 39 California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson, CA 40 Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX 41 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS 42 Missouri State University - Springfield Springfield, MO 43 University of Nebraska Lincoln, NE 44 Lindenwood University Saint Charles, MO 45 Samford University Birmingham, AL 46 California Lutheran University Thousand Oaks, CA 47 University of North Texas Denton, TX 48 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 49 University of Saint Mary Leavenworth, KS 50 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA
- Best Online MBA in Finance Programs of 2017
Rank School Location 1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL 2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 3 Babson College Wellesley, MA 4 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 5 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 6 George Washington University Washington, DC 7 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 8 University of Maryland College Park, MD 9 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ 10 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA 11 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA 12 Villanova University Villanova, PA 13 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX 14 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL 15 Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO 16 Touro University Worldwide Los Alamitos, CA 17 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL 18 East Carolina University Greenville, NC 19 Brandman University Irvine, CA 20 American University Washington, DC 21 University of Nebraska Lincoln, NE 22 Webster University Saint Louis, MO 23 New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ 24 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO 25 Northeastern University Boston, MA