The 10 Best Online Masters in Finance Degree Programs
An MBA in Finance will not only give you foundational knowledge in business but also a comprehensive view of advanced finance principles, and experiential leadership abilities. The demand for financial analysts, planners, and managers is growing faster than any other professional field. Financial leaders with organizational decision-making skills are greatly needed within all types of industries. In fact, between 80 and 90 percent of healthcare, pharmaceuticals, technology, energy and utilities, finance, and manufacturing companies are planning to hire MBA graduates in the near future. Aside from the rising demands of commercial enterprise, economically game-changing events such as increased digitization and globalization are behind the need for trained professionals in organizational change and innovation. In order to thrive at the forefront of modern business, today’s leaders need the strategic skills and knowledge required to respond to those changing global market forces.
Whether you are looking to gain a competitive advantage in your chosen field or are looking for a new direction, earning an MBA in finance will teach you an integrated view of business organizations, the competencies required to collaborate cross-functionally, and a proficiency in the soft skills employers are looking for in candidates. On top of the business leadership skills and managerial and communication skills expected from MBA graduates as a whole, a background in mathematics is an essential part of a concentration in finance. What further differentiates a traditional MBA from an MBA in finance is that a finance emphasis will delve deeper into the areas of securities, hedge funds, international finance, risk management, portfolio management, and small- and large-business finance. Basically, an MBA in finance balances mathematical diligence with managerial strategy and can be a good way to direct your career towards senior- and executive-level management positions in the financial sector. Thus, the ideal program is one that will prepare you with a robust foundation in excellent analytical skills, solid strategic thinking, and exceptional teamwork. The following online MBAs in Finance offer comprehensive grounding in business fundamentals with multiple options to customize your degree depending on your career goals. For your convenience, the programs were ranked based on affordability, flexibility and prestige.
- Affordability (1/3): an institution’s cost per credit hour for out-of-state residents provided by the degree program or institutional website.
- Flexibility (1/3): the number of options—including acceptance of prior college credits, self-paced learning initiatives, accelerated courses, and number of specializations—that allow students to complete a program at a pace of their choosing.
- Academic Prestige (1/3): a number of traditional ranking measures including rigor of admissions, average class sizes, and percentage of faculty with terminal degrees in their field.
1.) Davenport University
Davenport University, started in 1866, is a private, nonprofit institution, known for awarding credit for life experience and for being a provider of innovative, affordable, and flexible education. The school occupies a suburban 77-acre campus in Grand Rapids, MI–known for its arts and breweries. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Davenport currently ranks Tier 2 Regional University Midwest by U.S. News & World Report. Davenport University registers roughly 6,331 undergraduate students, promises a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, and 74% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
Davenport University’s Competency-Based MBA (CMBA) is for experienced professionals looking to further their career but is best for those with strong self-discipline and organizational skills. This innovative, self-paced program will prepare you for managerial positions in both traditional and nonprofit organizations alike, and has an average completion time of as little as 12 months (the average is 20 months). The 30-credit-hour program requires 8 core courses, 1 elective course, and an integrated capstone that span across 15-week semesters customized based on your areas of competencies. Competency is assessed through 84 proficiency modules in the areas of Accounting, Business Law & Ethics, Economics, Finance, Human Resource Management, Information Management, and nearly any business-oriented subject matter you can imagine. The program promises prestige because it is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Finally, the program offers flexibility through a transfer-credit policy and potential credit for prior experience.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $466
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: Competentcy-based, self directed, accelerated
2.) Harvard University
Harvard University, established in 1636, is a private, nonprofit, Ivy League research institution and one of the most selective and prestigious universities in the world. Harvard has produced 48 Nobel Laureates, 48 Pulitzer winners, and 32 heads of state. The school can be found on an urban, historical 5,076-acre campus that hosts the largest academic library in the world in Cambridge, Massachusetts–a part of the Boston metropolitan area. Accredited by The New England Association Of Schools And Colleges (NEASC), Harvard currently ranks #2 Best National University and ranked #1 Best Value School by U.S. News & World Report. Harvard University registers approximately 6,699 undergraduate and 15,250 graduate students, offers a student-faculty ratio of 7:1, and 73.2% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
Harvard University’s Master of Liberal Arts in Finance is an extensive program that offers a world-class online learning experience. Throughout, students will gain a solid foundation in the principles of finance, accounting & financial statement analysis, principles of finance, investments, corporate finance, and business valuations. Earn a second graduate credential by choosing a certificate relevant to your chosen topic such as accounting, finance, principles of finance, business economics, or real estate investment. Although mostly online, 12 physical campus visits will be required but weekend on-campus options are available. Ultimately, through 8 core courses and 4 finance electives students will develop advanced skills in accounting & financial statement analysis, principles of finance, investments, corporate finance, and business valuations from Harvard. The program is still reasonably affordable due to a $900 credit-hour cost and a generous financial aid policy–families with incomes below 65K generally receive full-ride scholarships. Finally, the program provides flexibility because of a number of certificates that can be paired with program.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $900
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: Number of certificates can be paired with program
3.) Benedictine University College of Business
Benedictine University (BenU), founded in 1887 by Benedictine monks of Chicago, is a top-tier private, Catholic institution. Based in suburban Lisle, IL, BenU offers students a relaxed campus environment with easy access to the entertainments of the Chicago area. Offering 56 and 19 undergraduate and graduate programs respectively, the university believes in providing higher education strongly rooted in the Catholic teachings of St Benedict. Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, BenU is currently tied at #220 “National Universities” by U.S. News & World Report and ranked the best “Values-Driven Leadership Program” by HR.com’s LEAD Awards. The university enrolls approximately 3,400 undergraduates, 6,000 graduate students, and 500 online students annually. BenU offers a 12:1 student-faculty ratio and 71% of classes cater to less than 20 students.
Benedictine University College Of Business’s MBA in Finance is fully online and will give graduates a robust business foundation in how to analyze and interpret financial information from a managerial perspective as well as the soft skills that employers desire. The basic curriculum can take as little as 1 year to complete and requires 8 core and 4 elective courses. For the financial management concentration, students will focus on analyzing and interpreting financial and economic information needed for organizational decision-making. The concentration requires 3 additional courses for a total of 15 courses. The program offers prestige due to Crain’s Chicago Business being listed as the sixth largest MBA program in the Chicago area in 2016. Finally, the program offers affordability thanks to a reasonable $600 credit-hour cost.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $600
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: Accelerated
4.) Touro University Worldwide
Touro University Worldwide (TUW), founded in 1998, is a private, Jewish-sponsored, nonprofit higher and professional education institution. While TUW specializes in providing specialized and doctorate-level online degrees, Touro College Los Angeles (Lander Campus) is a division of Touro University Worldwide and offers a physical campus for many undergraduate programs. Accredited by WASC’s Senior College And University Commission (WSCUC)–a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions, Touro University Worldwide matriculates roughly 250 undergraduate and 350 graduate students, and offers a student-faculty ratio of 8:1.
Touro University Worldwide’s 100% online MBA degree program is structured to give students the flexibility needed to adjust their course-load based on the demands of personal life. The roughly 12-month program prepares graduates for practical and academic leadership, managerial skills, and other various disciplinary skills needed in the business environment. The 36-credit-hour curriculum requires 9 core and 3 concentration-specific elective courses; students can meet personal career goals by choosing from a selection of 5 concentrations, including finance. Core coursework in finance includes budgeting, investments & portfolios, and global finance. The program provides affordability with a $500 credit-hour cost and a team of tuition-assistance counselors who are available to help reduce expenses and find the best assistance programs available. The complete library and resources needed for the program are available online and included in the tuition so students can save on textbooks. Finally, as stated, the program guarantees flexibility thanks to 5 concentrations.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $500
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: Accelerated
5.) Washington State University
Washington State University (WSU), founded in 1890, is a public research institution. The school can be found on a rural, utilitarian 1,742-acre campus in Pullman, WA–Bloomberg Businessweek selected Pullman as the “Best Place to Raise Kids” in Washington. Accredited by the Northwest Commission On Colleges And Universities (NWCCU)–the regional authority on educational quality and institutional effectiveness of higher education institutions in the 7-state Northwest region–WSU is currently ranked #143 Best National Universities and #95 Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report. Washington State University matriculates roughly 24,500 undergraduate students, promises a student-faculty ratio of 15:1, and 35.4% of classes cater to less than 20 students.
Washington State University’s Online MBA promises to deliver high-level management skills and strategies, as well as to develop advanced business knowledge across a wide range of industry and global perspectives. The 36-credit-hour program has an expected completion time of 22-29 months, requires 7 core and 3 elective courses, and offers up to 16 credit-hours of foundational coursework for those who may need it. Apart from 3 capstone courses worth 6 credit-hours, flexibility is offered through 3 additional courses that must be selected from your chosen concentration–or any concentration when selecting the General track. Core focus is on strategic leadership and functional business tools while the goal of the capstone experience is for you to deliver a full business plan as your final project. The program offers prestige thanks to a #27 ranking for Best Online MBA Programs in 2017; the program has ranked in the top 15% for the last 5 consecutive years. Finally, the program promises affordability because of a $587 credit-hour cost.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $587
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: N/A
6.) University of Florida
The University of Florida (UF), established in 1853, is a public research institution. Top faculty in the country includes 2 pulitzer prize winners. For over 3 decades, UF has been a member of the Association of American Universities, the prestigious higher-education organization comprising the top 63 public and private institutions in North America. The school can be found on a suburban, 2,000-acre campus (that was recently renovated and expanded) in Gainesville, FL– ranked among the “best places to live and play” in the United States by National Geographic Adventure. Accredited by the Southern Association Of Colleges And Schools Commission On Colleges–the regional accreditor which monitors, evaluates, and accredits education institutions in the 11-state Southeast area–UF is currently ranked #14 Best Public Universities and #50 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. University of Florida enrolls approximately 52,000 students, promises a student-faculty ratio of 21:1, and 48.6% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
University Of Florida’s accelerated, online MBA is designed for students who graduated in business in the last 7 years, while the 2-year option is recommended for undergraduate business and non-business majors who have been in the workforce for more than 7 years. Regardless of the option, a minimum of 2 years of full-time, professional work experience is required. Although offered 100% online, periodic residencies allow students to not only interact with faculty and classmates but to start building network connections. The accelerated option requires 32 credit-hours and approximately 16 months while the standard option requires 48 credit-hours and roughly 27 months. The 2-year option focuses on building a strong foundation in core business areas such as finance, marketing, management, operations, and economics. For both options, students can choose from 4 areas of focus including finance. The program guarantees prestige because of a #4 Global Business Schools ranking by the Financial Times, a top-50 Best Business Schools ranking by Bloomberg, and AACSB accreditation. Finally, as stated, program flexibility comes from the 2 available program lengths.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $1244
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: One or two year tracks
7.) University of Saint Mary
The University of St. Mary, founded in 1923, is a private Roman Catholic institution founded by the Sisters of Charity to provide value-centered education. The school occupies a suburban campus in Leavenworth, KS. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the State Of Kansas Department Of Education, St. Mary has been consistently named by The Princeton Review as one of the Best Midwestern Colleges since 2005–a distinction given only to institutions with high standards of academic excellence. The University of St. Mary matriculates roughly 875 undergraduate students, guarantees a student-faculty ratio of 8:1, and 67.8% of classes cater to fewer than 20 students.
University of Saint Mary’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a fully-online MBA that sets itself apart by placing a strong emphasis on ethical values and corporate responsibility. Through the program, students will learn critical managerial and leadership skills while focusing on teamwork and employee engagement. There are 6 enrollment opportunities during the year and the program has an approximate completion time of as little as 1 year when taking the customary 2 classes per term. The 36-credit-hour curriculum requires 9 core and 3 elective courses. Ultimately, this is a very flexible MBA delivered in 8 week-sessions that allows you to choose among 6 concentrations: Leadership & Organizational Health, Finance, General Management, Healthcare Management, Human Resource Management, Marketing & Advertising Management. The program promises prestige with an accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). Finally, the program offers affordability because of a very reasonable $598 credit-hour cost.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $598
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: Accelerated
7.) Florida Institute of Technology-Online
Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) was founded in Melbourne, Florida in 1958, and is a public, research university. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission, Florida Tech is ranked #171 Best National University by U.S. News & World Report, considered one of America’s “Best Value” universities by Forbes, and recognized as one of the best colleges in the Southeast by The Princeton Review. In addition to small class sizes, nearly 90% of full-time faculty members hold a doctoral degree or the highest degree relevant to their field, making Florida Tech rather prestigious. Florida Institute of Technology enrolls approximately 3,586 students, promises a student-faculty ratio of 8:1, and 49.4% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
Florida Institute of Technology’s Master of Business Administration with a Specialization in Finance is 100% online, and students will gain foundational knowledge in financial theory and real-world application relevant to corporate-level strategy, core business principles, and industry-specific issues. More specifically, you will examine a wide range of topics in commercial banking, corporate finance, investment banking, and financial planning. Graduates will be very familiar with stock analysis and valuation, portfolio management, foreign exchange markets & hedging, efficient market theory, and capital budgeting. With an average completion time of 2 years, the 36-credit-hour program requires 5 core courses, 4 elective courses, plus a capstone in strategic management. Core focus is in managerial economics & accounting, organizational behavior, and marketing management while specializations are in financial markets & institutions, investment management, portfolio analysis, and financial management policy. The program also promises prestige because of an accreditation from the IACBE. Finally, the program is relatively affordable at a $896 credit-hour cost.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $896
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: MBA in finance and an MBA in finance and accounting
9.) Regis University School of Management
Regis University (RU) is a co-ed, Jesuit university in New Mexico and was established in 1877. Soon after, it relocated to its present location in Denver, Colorado. Regis University is a community-oriented, military-friendly university recognized for its strong student support services, high-quality education, and prestige in the marketplace. In fact, Regis University’s ranking in the 2017 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities West, 23. One of the school’s strong points is its generous transfer-credit policy offering up to 90 credit hours transferable from regionally-accredited universities making it one of the most flexible programs on our list. Students can benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 and personalized attention with 64.2% of classes having less than 20 students.
Regis University College of Business & Economics’ MBA in Finance and Accounting is based on Jesuit values, prepares students to develop managerial expertise through applications-oriented instruction, and has an estimated completion time of 18-24 months. The 36-credit-hour curriculum requires 6 core, 3 elective, and 2 specialization courses–including Interpreting Accounting Information & Financial Decision Making and an MBA capstone. Although the per-credit-hour cost is a little higher than some of the other schools on the list, Regis is a private university, so the average need-based financial aid award is roughly $22,000 (not including merit- and talent-based awards. Finally, the program guarantees flexibility thanks to certificate and accelerated options.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $780
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: Accelerated
10.) California Lutheran University
California Lutheran University (CLU/Cal Lutheran), established in 1959, is a private, liberal arts, and selective institution that is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church but has a global perspective that appreciates students from a diversity of cultural backgrounds and faiths. Notably, 97% of students are employed or enrolled in grad school following graduation. The establishment sits on a suburban 290-acre campus in Thousand Oaks, California–halfway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Accredited by the Accrediting Commission For Senior Colleges And Universities, CLU currently ranks #16 Best Regional University and #21 Best Value School by U.S.News & World Report. California Lutheran University matriculates about 2,810 undergraduate and 1,282 graduate students, offers a student-faculty ratio of 15:1, and 60.9% of classes cater to less than than 20 students.
California Lutheran University’s MBA in Financial Planning is offered entirely online and recognized as one of the most comprehensive and rigorous in the country. To improve program flexibility for full-time professionals, part-time option, hybrid programs, and multiple start points during the year are available. The 45-credit-hour program has an estimated completion time of 2 years over 8-week terms where participants can choose between two tracks options: an MBA that includes both a capstone and eligibility for the CFP Exam or an MBA reserved for those already certified. Base MBA coursework includes: Enterprise Management, Organization & Strategy, Macroeconomics for Investments, Behavioral Finance, Financial Principles & Policies, Business Ethics and Law, Marketing Management, Information Technology Management, and Strategic Decision Making. The prestigious program is recognized by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. and 84% of faculty hold doctoral or terminal degrees in their field. Finally, CLU’s MBA is affordable with an $820 credit-hour cost.
- Estimated Out-of-state Tuition Per credit: $820
- Flexibility-enhancing Components: May be acelerated