Online Master’s in Finance Programs 2021

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Online master’s in finance programs prepare students for many in-demand, lucrative roles, including financial manager. Companies and organizations of all sizes hire financial managers to prepare financial statements, make recommendations to senior management, and supervise employees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals earn a median annual salary of $134,180. The BLS also projects jobs for financial managers to grow 15% from 2019-2029.

Employers often prefer to hire financial managers with professional experience and a master’s degree. In addition to financial manager roles, graduates with a master’s in finance can pursue related finance jobs, such as accountant, budget analyst, and cost estimator.

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Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

This guide ranks the best online master’s in finance programs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, such as common courses and scholarship opportunities for graduates.

Top 10 Programs for Finance

? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
Rank School Avg Net Price ? This represents the average net price of attendance for full-time students as gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Individual costs may vary. Costs per credit hour may also vary by program or degree.
1 Texas A & M University-Commerce $11796
2 West Texas A & M University $13325
3 Colorado State University-Global Campus $
4 Webster University $
5 University of Houston-Clear Lake $10664
6 University of Miami $
7 Georgetown University $
8 University of Michigan-Dearborn $10533
9 Johnson & Wales University-Online $
10 Southern New Hampshire University $

What's the ROI of a Master's in Finance

  • Is a master's in finance degree worth it?

    Graduates with a master’s in finance degree can pursue lucrative, in-demand roles in diverse industries, making the degree a worthwhile investment for many students.

  • Is a finance degree hard?

    Master’s in finance degree programs are challenging, but learners with strong analytical and communication skills typically do well in these programs.

  • What kinds of jobs can I get with a master's in finance?

    Potential careers for graduates with a master’s in finance include personal financial advisor, budget analyst, financial manager, and training and development specialist.

  • What's the difference between finance and accounting?

    Finance experts typically focus on planning and directing financial transactions for individuals and companies, while accountants focus more on recording and reporting transactions.

Why Get a Degree in Finance?

A master’s degree in finance leads to lucrative, in-demand careers. Students gain advanced knowledge and skills that prepare them for roles like financial manager, accountant, and budget analyst.

Earning a master’s in finance degree online can often save students money. For example, online students save on some of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as housing and commuting costs. Online learning also gives students the flexibility to balance their studies with professional and personal obligations.

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How Much Does a Finance Degree Cost?

The cost of an online master’s in finance varies by factors like school, location, and delivery format. For instance, public universities typically cost less than private universities. Additionally, in-state students at public schools often pay lower tuition rates than out-of-state students.

Attending a master’s in finance program online can potentially save students money. For example, many schools offer in-state tuition rates to all online students regardless of where they live. Plus, online students often save on many of the expenses that on-campus students incur, such as commuting costs. The online learning format also allows many students to continue working while they earn their degree.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

The ACO affordability calculator factors in income, expenses, tuition, and expected financial aid to help prospective students determine how much they can afford to pay for an online finance degree.

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Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Finance Majors Make?

According to the BLS, business and financial professionals earn a median annual salary of $72,250. However, salaries vary significantly by factors like role, industry, and location. For example, personal financial advisors make a median annual salary of around $90,000. However, personal financial advisors in New York earn an average of $170,000 annually.

Additionally, personal financial advisors working in securities, real estate, and legal services earn approximately $20,000 more than their peers specializing in enterprise and company management.

Graduates with a master’s in finance can demonstrate specialized expertise and increase their salary potential by earning relevant certifications.

Courses in Finance

Master’s in finance programs train students to analyze financial information, recognize and respond to risks, and follow relevant laws and regulations. Some programs feature concentrations that allow students to specialize in a particular finance area. Common concentrations include financial analysis, economics, and financial planning.

Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines classes commonly found in online master’s in finance programs.

This class introduces students to credit markets and how they affect relationships among companies. Students also learn about the Federal Reserve System’s role in maintaining a healthy economy. Some online finance degree programs require students to complete a course in corporate financial management before taking this class.

Risk management involves preparing a company or organization for economic downturns and other negative events. Students in this course learn how to analyze potential investments, diversify portfolios, and use industry-leading software to analyze trends. Degree-seekers explore these topics by reviewing case studies and performing simulations.

Students may complete a graduate finance capstone in their program’s final semester. The capstone often requires students to apply new knowledge and skills through an independent research project. The final product may involve an essay and/or a presentation.

Certifications and Licensure for Finance

Finance certifications demonstrate mastery of one or more topics and help job-seekers stand out from other applicants. Typical eligibility requirements include a finance degree and relevant experience. Most certifications also require continuing education for renewal purposes.

Certified Public Accountant

Finance professionals interested in accounting can pursue CPA credentials. Licensure requirements vary by state, but they typically include 150 college credits, which the combination of a bachelor’s and master’s degree typically meets, and passing scores on an examination.

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Chartered Financial Analyst

Financial investors can earn the CFA credential to demonstrate their skills. Candidates must possess at least three years’ experience and join the CFA Institute. They must also pass an exam that covers professional standards, economics, and equity investments.

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Financial Risk Manager

The FRM credential can help risk managers advance their careers. Candidates must possess a master’s degree and pass a two-part exam. FRMs maintain the certification by completing 40 continuing education credits every two years.

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Scholarships for Finance

Finance students can pursue financial aid opportunities to help lower the cost of their degree, such as loans, scholarships, and grants. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them ideal forms of financial aid. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for online master’s in finance students.

  • Maryland Association of CPAs Educational Foundation Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Undergraduate and graduate students in Maryland preparing to take the Uniform CPA Examination qualify for this opportunity. Applicants must possess a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate financial need.

    Amount: Varies

    Explore Here

  • National Aircraft Finance Association Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: Undergraduate and graduate finance students pursuing careers in corporate aviation qualify for this opportunity. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    Amount: $1,000-$5,000

    Explore Here

  • PCPS George Willie Ethnically Diverse Student Scholarship and Internship

    Who Can Apply: Minority graduate students can apply for this competitive scholarship. Applicants must be studying full time. The scholarship does not renew.

    Amount: Up to $10,000

    Explore Here

Best Online Master’s in Finance

See Our Rankings Methodology
  1. Texas A & M University-Commerce

    Commerce, TX



    Founded in 1889, Texas A & M University-Commerce offers more than 100 programs.

    The school's online MS in finance teaches students how to use theoretical knowledge to address real-world problems. The 30-credit program offers fully online and hybrid learning formats. Non-business majors must complete prerequisite coursework in addition to the curriculum.

    The curriculum's core develops competencies in areas such as financial management, financial modelling with Excel, and international business finance. Students can optionally add a minor to the degree in areas such as business analytics and cybersecurity.

    The program prepares enrollees to earn certifications valued by employers in the finance sectors. Admission to the master's in finance requires a bachelor's degree and school transcripts.

  2. West Texas A & M University

    Canyon, TX



    West Texas A & M University offers 38 master's programs. Students can complete the MS in finance and economics (MSFE) entirely online or in hybrid format. The curriculum requires 36-45 credits depending on students' educational background.

    The MSFE curriculum includes 21 core credits on topics like monetary and fiscal policy and corporate governance. Students can use nine elective credits to take courses in finance and economics. An additional six elective credits allow students to pursue training in related areas, such as accounting, and computer information and decision management.

    The program develops advanced quantitative and statistical skills for business problem-solving. Learners culminate the finance master's degree with a comprehensive exam. Admission requires a bachelor's in business or a related field and GMAT scores.

  3. Colorado State University-Global Campus

    Aurora, CO



    Colorado State University's Global Campus offers an online master's in finance that builds on students' theoretical financial knowledge. The program consists of a required core and customization opportunities.

    The 36-credit curriculum explores core topics such as corporate finance, investments, and financial markets and institutions. Participants learn how to assess clients' financial situations, gather data, and implement effective cash-management strategies.

    Students can pursue 12-credit specializations in areas such as applied business management, business intelligence, and organizational leadership and change management. Participants culminate the degree with a capstone project. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency. Admission to the master's in finance requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

  4. Webster University

    Saint Louis, MO



    Established in 1915, Webster University is a private college that offers a 36-credit MS in finance entirely online. Students without a business background must complete prerequisite coursework before beginning the curriculum.

    The master's in finance program builds competencies in key domains such as managerial accounting, financial modelling, investments, and capital budgeting and corporate investments. Degree-seekers can use six elective credits to explore subjects aligned with their personal and professional interests.

    The curriculum requires a capstone course that ties in lessons learned with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency. Active-duty military personnel receive a significant tuition discount. Admission requires a degree from an accredited business program.

  5. University of Houston-Clear Lake

    Houston, TX



    The University of Houston-Clear Lake offers 90 programs administered through four colleges.

    The online MS in finance requires 30-36 credits that explore core concepts such as corporate finance, investment management, and financial statement analysis.

    Using six elective credits, participants can pursue specialized training in an area such as personal wealth management or real estate investment analysis and financing. Students can also use elective credit to pursue an internship. This master's in finance program also offers a 12-credit healthcare administration concentration, but students must complete this concentration on campus.

    Students can complete the program in 18 months by taking two courses per term. Enrollees can save money by taking more courses per term. Admission requires GMAT scores for applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0.

  6. University of Miami

    Coral Gables, FL



    The University of Miami is a major research college that offers an online MS in finance. The 32-credit curriculum begins with a course that examines finance and financial accounting fundamentals. The rest of the curriculum builds advanced proficiencies in areas such as applied corporate finance and financial decision-making.

    A portfolio management and alternative investments course teaches students how to develop a business plan. Learners can optionally attend in-person networking events to meet peers, faculty, and business leaders. Seven-week courses accelerate completion of this finance master's degree. Students can begin earning the master's in finance with a 16-credit certificate in corporate finance or financial decision-making.

    Some students may qualify for up to a 27% tuition discount from scholarships. Admission requires a bachelor's degree.

  7. Georgetown University

    Washington, DC



    Located in the nation's capital, Georgetown University offers an online master of science in finance. The program explores theoretical financial concepts and their practical applications in a global economy. Students can enroll on a full- or part-time basis. Students must begin the program with a weeklong on-campus residency.The curriculum requires a six-course core that explores subjects such as financial markets, financial econometrics, and corporate valuation and modeling. A notable course explores the ethical challenges faced by finance leaders. Participants can use elective credits to develop competencies in areas such as big data and financial statement analysis.

    During a second weeklong residency, students work on a consulting project that addresses a complex challenge within an international firm. Seven-week courses accelerate completion of this master's in finance. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and GRE or GMAT scores.

  8. University of Michigan-Dearborn

    Dearborn, MI



    The University of Michigan-Dearborn offers 60 graduate programs. The 30- to 33-credit MS in finance offers a flexible curriculum that students can complete entirely online or in hybrid format. The program offers concentrations in corporate finance and investments.

    Students pursuing the corporate finance track explore concepts such as corporate valuation and derivatives and risk management. The investments track explores topics including financial statement analysis and investments and capital markets.

    Hybrid learners can use the on-campus Bloomberg Finance Lab to acquire practical trading experience that enhances their marketability. They receive access to real-time market data and can manage an investment fund using real money. Admission to the master's in finance program requires transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.

  9. Johnson & Wales University-Online

    Providence, RI



    Johnson & Wales University offers a 30- to 36-credit online MS in finance. The program requires a five-course core that explores key concepts such as financial management, personal financial planning, and financial reporting and control.

    Students can choose electives to meet the educational requirements necessary to sit for the Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Financial Planner Certification Examinations. Electives cover topics such as estate and retirement planning, bond market analysis, and alternative investments. A financial planning capstone uses the case study method to explore scenarios that financial planners may encounter in their profession.

    All online learners pay the same affordable per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency. Applicants with a minimum 2.8 GPA need not submit GMAT scores.

  10. Southern New Hampshire University

    Manchester, NH



    One of the nation's largest virtual colleges, Southern New Hampshire University offers more than 200 degrees. The 36-credit online MS in finance prepares students for the Chartered Financial Analyst Certification Examination. The program offers two concentrations: corporate finance, and investments and securities.

    All students complete core courses that explore subjects such as managerial economics, risk management, financial modelling, and investment analysis and portfolio management. Each concentration requires nine credits. Students without the requisite educational background may need to complete three non-credit foundation courses.

    Participants develop advanced financial analysis, quantitative, and decision-making skills. Students can transfer up to 12 credits into this master's in finance program. Five start terms give prospective students enrollment flexibility. All degree-seekers pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of residency. Admission requires a bachelor's degree.

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