Top Online MBA Programs in Finance

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Online MBA degrees in finance often enable career transition or advancement for professionals who want to retain their current jobs while in school. Today’s top online MBA programs have similar content and rigor to on-campus programs, and finance MBAs emphasize foundational business management skills relevant to business and financial occupations — which pay nearly twice the nation’s median annual wage.

Online finance MBA programs differ considerably in quality, structure, and curricular foci, so take the time to research and compare prospective programs carefully. The following guide surveys possible curricula, career paths, and salaries associated with this degree. Readers can also find scholarships and professional organizations beneficial to online finance MBA students.

Top 10 Online MBA Programs in Finance

Rank School Location
1 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
2 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA
3 Villanova University Villanova, PA
4 Creighton University Omaha, NE
5 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ
6 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
7 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
8 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
9 Samford University Birmingham, AL
10 Baker University Baldwin City, KS
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Online MBA Programs for You

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Top Online MBA Programs in Finance for 2020

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How We Rank Online MBA Programs

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  1. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A research-oriented university located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins offers a 54-credit online MBA in financial business. Courses in business foundations cover topics like operations management and business law. The financial business concentration requires study of advanced corporate finance and investments, and offers additional electives such as cryptos and blockchain, emerging markets, and financial stability.

    With courses offered entirely online, in-person, or in a hybrid format, students can complete this part-time program in 2.7 years of study. Applicants must demonstrate two years of work experience. The application requires GRE or GMAT scores, though some students may qualify for waivers. Johns Hopkins charges the same per-credit rate for all flexible-MBA students.

    In 2018, 58% of Johns Hopkins MBA graduates reported salary increases while studying in the program.

    Other Concentrations

  2. Saint Joseph's University
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Jesuit institution located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, SJU offers an online MBA in finance requiring 33-53 credits, depending on students' educational background. The MBA requires core courses in financial management, marketing concepts, and stakeholder theory. The finance concentration includes portfolio management, risk management, and estate planning. Global business strategy serves as a culminating capstone.

    With flexible options for on- and off-campus study, full-time students can complete the program in 1-2 years, while part-time students may take up to 2.5 years. SJU requires GRE or GMAT scores for admission, though it may grant waivers for professional experience, academic success, or professional certifications, such as the certified public accountant designation. SJU charges the same tuition fees to all online MBA students, regardless of residency.

    Other Concentrations

  3. Villanova University
    Location

    Villanova, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    An Augustinian Catholic institution located in Villanova, Pennsylvania, Villanova University offers a 48-credit online MBA in finance. Available as a fast-track program, which students can complete in 21 months, or a flex program, which students complete in about three years, the program requires students to attend one on-campus leadership challenge class. Most courses run asynchronously. The program requires a practicum and includes study abroad opportunities.

    Villanova requires GRE or GMAT scores for admission to the business school. Villanova charges the same tuition fees for all online MBA students, regardless of residency. Villanova's school of business reports that students receive a 25% increase in average salary upon graduation.

    Other Concentrations

  4. Creighton University
    Location

    Omaha, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Jesuit institution located in Omaha, Nebraska, Creighton offers a 33-credit online MBA with a concentration in finance. Core business requirements include leadership and organizational behavior, managerial finance, and information systems management. The concentration also requires nine credits of focus-area electives.

    With flexible online, in-person, and hybrid degree options, students can complete Creighton's program in about two years. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA, and some students must submit GMAT scores. All applicants should have completed an undergraduate statistics course. Creighton charges one standard tuition rate to all graduate students, regardless of residency.

    Students who graduated from Creighton in the last 15 years earn 20% above the national median salary.

    Other Concentrations

  5. Stevens Institute of Technology
    Location

    Hoboken, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A technological research-focused institution located in Hoboken, New Jersey, Stevens offers a 39-credit online MBA with a concentration in finance. After core business courses like financial management and economics for managers, the finance concentration requires classes in venture capital, investment management, derivatives, and corporate finance.

    Students also select a final capstone from options including a technology commercialization practicum, the field consulting program, or application and integration of technology management. Many courses at Stevens incorporate synchronous components through web conferencing, but students can also select asynchronous offerings.

    Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit GRE and GMAT scores, though students with significant work experience may qualify for waivers. Stevens charges one standard tuition rate to all graduate students, regardless of residency.

    Other Concentrations

  6. University of Scranton
    Location

    Scranton, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Catholic and Jesuit institution located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Scranton offers a 36-credit online MBA in finance. Scranton students can choose a standard curriculum comprising seven core courses and three advanced electives. They may also opt for the "flex" curriculum, through which students take more advanced electives and tailor their studies for individual success.

    Scranton's finance curriculum includes courses in financial management, financial institutions, investment analysis, international finance, and portfolio theory. Most students can complete the program in two years, though some may take more time.

    Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate at least three years' work experience. Applicants must also submit a case study as a part of the application. Scranton does not require standardized test scores.

    Other Concentrations

  7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public institution located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, UNC-Chapel Hill offers a 62-credit online MBA with a specialization in finance. Core business courses include analytical tools for decision-making, business strategy, and operations. The finance concentration requires courses in finance, financial accounting, corporate financial strategy, derivatives, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate finance and investments.

    UNC-Chapel Hill's program requires students to attend at least two three-day summits, held in person either internationally or on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores, though some may qualify for waivers. UNC-Chapel Hill also requires a webcam interview. UNC-Chapel Hill charges one standard tuition rate to all graduate students, regardless of residency. Students complete the program in 18-36 months.

    According to UNC-Chapel Hill, graduates report a 39% average salary increase one year after completing the program.

    Other Concentrations

  8. Carnegie Mellon University
    Location

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A research-oriented institution located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, CMU offers a part-time online hybrid MBA with a concentration in finance. Through a combination of real-time, asynchronous, and in-person access weekends, students can complete the program in three years, with the option to accelerate at any time by switching to full-time enrollment.

    Finance concentration courses include investment analysis, corporate finance, and venture capital and private equity. Students must complete a capstone course at the end of their program, with options including study abroad, management game, and strategic management of the enterprise.

    Applicants must submit GMAT or GRE scores (GMAT preferred). CMU charges one standard tuition rate to all its graduate students, regardless of residency. According to CMU, 94% of graduates received job offers within three months of graduation.

    Other Concentrations

  9. Samford University
    Location

    Birmingham, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A Christian institution located outside of Birmingham, Alabama, Samford offers an online MBA with a finance concentration. Students complete the program by taking 39-48 credits. The business core includes courses in managerial communications and analysis, marketing strategy, and managerial finance. Learners concentrating in finance take nine credits of electives in subjects like behavioral finance, investments, and financial statement analysis.

    Students at Samford can choose to complete their degrees online, in-person, or in a hybrid format. Applicants must submit a minimum 480 GMAT score or equivalent GRE scores. Samford prefers some work experience, also accounting for academic record, extracurricular participation, and community involvement. Samford charges one standard tuition rate to all online MBA students, regardless of residency.

    Other Concentrations

  10. Baker University
    Location

    Baldwin City, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private university dedicated to community engagement and located in Baldwin City, Kansas, BU offers a 33-credit online MBA with a concentration in finance. Core business requirements include principles of organizational management, human resource management, and business data and analytics. The finance concentration hones students' skills through managerial finance, investments, international finance, and government finance.

    Students can complete BU's program in 18-20 months. Students who demonstrate academic excellence may qualify for an accelerated track, which allows them to finish in as few as 12 months. Applicants must hold an accredited undergraduate degree, and they do not need to submit standardized test scores for admission. BU charges one standard tuition rate to all online MBA students, regardless of residency.

    According to BU, graduates earn record average salaries when compared to graduates of other Kansas institutions.

    Other Concentrations

What Is an MBA in Finance?

Designed as preparation for business and financial management careers, MBAs in finance integrate coursework in management, finance, and marketing. Students also cultivate knowledge and skills in accounting, budgeting, and compliance. This versatile degree program can lead to careers in many fields, including marketing management, financial advising, and fundraising.

Due to growing demand for advanced business acumen and managerial skills, financial managers enjoy good job prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 16% growth in financial manager positions between 2018 and 2028. PayScale projects that the annual median salary for professionals holding finance MBAs is $97,000.

Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Finance?

Unrestricted by commuting constraints, online students may consider the nation’s best online MBA programs. The location and schedule flexibility afforded by distance learning MBA programs allows working professionals to use their after-work hours to acquire new skills, expand their career options, and increase their salary potential. Often populated by working professionals, top online MBA programs in finance offer excellent networking opportunities that can lead to career advancement.

Working professionals also pursue finance MBA programs in hopes of promotion and/or salary advancement. Unlike MA or MS degrees in finance, which prepare students for finance-specific positions, MBAs in finance provide diverse and flexible general skills that prepare graduates for more various, higher-paying careers in finance.

Experienced financial controllers earn annual median salaries of about $88,000 per year, according to PayScale. Salaries for financial directors and financial managers amount to about $112,000-128,000 annually. Keep in mind that salaries vary based on job title, employer, and industry, and that other factors such as work experience and location also influence salary potential.

What Can You Do With an MBA in Finance?

  • Finance Director


    Finance directors oversee finance departments and teams in creating and implementing financial strategies. Finance directors possess advanced skills in accounting and financial analysis, projection, and reporting, and they typically need master’s degrees in business administration, finance, or related fields. As managers, these leaders also hire and evaluate finance staff. Finance director median annual salaries are about $112,749, according to PayScale data.

  • Certified Public Accountant


    Accountants and auditors produce, organize, prepare, and review tax documents and other financial records, checking for accuracy and compliance with tax laws. These professionals may work for companies, governments, organizations, or private clients, and may specialize in areas such as auditing, financial planning, or valuation. CPAs sometimes help their employers streamline financial processes such as bookkeeping. PayScale’s CPA career page indicates that these professionals earn a median annual salary of $65,633. The BLS projects 6% job growth for accountants and auditors between 2018 and 2028.

  • Financial Controller


    These professionals oversee financial departments such as accounting, auditing, or budgeting. Financial controllers frequently generate financial analyses, projections, and plans. This role also involves regulation compliance paperwork and financial reporting duties. Financial controllers need excellent communication, problem-solving, and quantitative skills. Most financial controllers hold related master’s degrees and professional CPA, financial accountant, or financial manager certifications. Financial controllers earn a $82,486 median annual salary, according to PayScale.

  • Financial Manager


    Tasked with ensuring their organizations’ financial health, financial managers create financial goals, strategies, and plans to safeguard and improve their companies’ financial success. These professionals need analytical and leadership skillsets to analyze data and market trends, direct investments, and supervise financial staff. Types of financial managers include credit or cash managers, treasurers, risk managers, and financial controllers. According to the BLS, financial managers enjoyed a mean annual salary of $127,990 in 2018. The BLS also projects 16% growth for this profession between 2018 and 2028.

  • Financial Analyst


    Financial analysts advise public companies or private clients regarding financial investments. Financial analysts evaluate existing investments, such as stocks and bonds, and recommend new investments based on analysis of risk and market trends. These professionals may also evaluate company financial statements and management teams. Financial analysts need analytical, quantitative, and communication skills as they analyze and report to clients regarding investments and other financial information. Financial analysts earned a median annual salary of $85,660 in 2018, according to the BLS. The BLS also projects a 6% increase in financial analyst positions from 2018-2028.

Online MBA in Finance Curriculum

Online finance MBA program curricula vary by school, but most programs integrate core business management coursework with finance-related courses such as budgeting or financial planning. See below for descriptions of three sample MBA in finance courses.

  • Budgeting

    Budgeting courses cover cost/benefits analysis, risk analysis, and financial data analysis. Students learn how to create operating budgets by calculating expenses, production, and revenue.

  • Financial Forecasting

    This course cultivates skills in financial analysis and planning, teaching students how to utilize financial statements and variance analysis to estimate differences between budgeted and actual expenses.

  • Financial Compliance

    Financial compliance courses familiarize students with current compliance rules and regulations. Subtopics covered often include security, risk management, ethics, and fraud.

See More Top MBA Programs

How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Finance Program

Aspiring graduate students in finance may choose from many related master’s degrees, so take the time to compare available program types, curricula, and attendance structures.

Recent college graduates or inexperienced professionals interested in finance-specific careers such as investments or securities trading often opt for the master of finance, an MS degree which focuses only on finance courses and does not require prior work experience. Meanwhile, the tax-focused curriculum of the MS in taxation and accounting prepares aspiring accountants and tax professionals seeking CPA licensure.

Unlike these two narrower paths of study, the finance MBA program curriculum includes finance coursework and a focus on foundational business management skills and topics. As you decide where to apply, consider your career interests and goals carefully. Keep an eye out for MBA programs offering concentration options tailored to your desired industry, field, or position.

Finance-related master’s programs also vary in quality, so take care to apply only to accredited schools and programs. Top online MBAs in finance boast regional accreditation status. High-quality business programs usually also boast accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or the Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.

Your schedule limitations should also factor into application decisions. New college graduates and others with flexible schedules and considerable eagerness may consider full-time or accelerated MBA programs, while busy working professionals often prove better off in part-time programs. Experienced business leaders frequently opt for part-time executive MBA programs.

Top online MBA programs usually require capstone thesis or on-site internship components, so before you apply, make sure that you can meet these in-person requirements. Also keep in mind that school name-recognition and existing partnerships between local schools and businesses can enhance networking, internship, and employment opportunities.

Scholarships for Finance MBA Programs

MBA degrees often carry high price tags, but scholarships and other financial aid can help college students defray education expenses. You may qualify for general or business-related scholarships based on identity, financial need, academic merit, or area of study. See below for a sampling of available scholarships.

  • Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Women pursuing business-related programs at accredited schools within Zonta districts or regions may apply. Application requirements include two recommendation letters and a 500-word statement of purpose.

    Amount: $1,000-7,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Association of Women in International Trade Student Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Female part- or full-time students may apply if attending accredited U.S. schools and interested in international trade. Applicants submit a 1,000 word essay response to an application prompt about international trade.

    Amount: $1,500 + one year WIIT membership and mentorship

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awards this scholarship to outstanding minority students enrolled in business-related degree programs who plan to pursue careers in governmental finance.

    Amount: $10,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Goldberg-Miller Public Finance Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: GFOA’s Goldberg-Miller scholarship grants $15,000 to one full-time graduate student pursuing a career in government finance.

    Amount: $15,000

    Apply for Scholarship

  • Patsy Mink Foundation Education Support Awards

    Who Can Apply: Low-income single mothers (with minor children) may apply for these scholarships while pursuing their first professional, undergraduate, or graduate degree at an accredited nonprofit school.

    Amount: $5,000

    Apply for Scholarship

Professional Organizations for Finance

Financial professionals typically rely heavily on networking when advancing their careers. Many financial professionals and students utilize networking opportunities afforded by the conferences, online forums, and career centers run by professional organizations. Most professional organizations also administer certification programs and other continuing education courses that increase financial professionals’ skills, knowledge, and marketability.

Institute of Management Accountants

Also called the Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business, IMA connects financial and accounting professionals, certifies management accountants, and provides career advancement resources.

American Association of Finance & Accounting

Since 1978, AAFA has connected executive search firms hiring accounting and finance professionals across North America. AAFA provides talent-identifying tools for employers and job-finding tools for financial and accounting professionals.

Society of Financial Service Professionals

This multidisciplinary community boasts dozens of local chapters around the country. FSP provides publications, conferences, education, and professional development opportunities.

Association for Financial Professionals

This professional association connects and supports financial and treasury professionals through conferences, continuing education, and other career advancement resources.

Certified Financial Planner Board

The CFP Board establishes professional standards and provides related certifications for financial planners. This board boasts diverse resources including a career center, professional toolkits, and publications.

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Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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