In this article, we list the top-ranked and affordable online master's in finance degree programs for 2017-2018.
Professionals with an aptitude for mathematics and a passion to help people keep the money they earn can enjoy well-paying and interesting careers in finance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that business and financial occupations will grow by 10% between 2016 and 2026, and a highly regulatory environment should help growth rates remain sharp in this industry. BLS experts also say that finance professionals earn a median annual salary of $67,710, nearly twice the national average for all occupations. Finance experts work for banks, investment firms, law enforcement agencies, and in their own businesses. People with master's degrees in finance can enter specialized professions that grow faster and pay higher salaries such as financial examiners, personal financial advisors, financial analysts, and budget analysts. Most graduate degrees in finance take one-to-two years to complete, and many students can study entirely online. Below are the 15 best affordable online master's in finance programs.
We reviewed 52 accredited colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator offering online master's in finance or closely related degree programs. We then retained only those institutions with rankings from major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, or U.S. News and World Report. Of these we selected the 15 most affordable programs and listed them in order based on recent in-state graduate tuition rates published by the NCES College Navigator.
Below are the resulting selections for our 15 best affordable online master's in finance programs for 2017-2018.
Ranking of Affordable Online Master of Finance
#15 – Northeastern University
Online Master's in Finance
Students taking Northeastern's master of finance can expect to complete their degrees in 16 months. The 30-credit curriculum includes six core courses and four electives. Core courses include investment analysis, international finance management, and analysis of financial institutions and markets. Northeastern's program also offers two concentration tracks — corporate finance and investment finance. This degree's entirely asynchronous courses enroll fewer than 20 students each and remain open around the clock so students can study when it's convenient for them. Applicants need a 3.0 GPA or higher in their undergraduate degree and must submit either GMAT scores or evidence of five years of business experience.
#14 – Pennsylvania State University World Campus
Online Master of Finance
University Park, Pennsylvania
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,832
The finance master's programs online at Pennsylvania State University's World Campus include the online master of finance degree. This 30-credit program is designed to provide quality education to busy professionals and equip them for leadership roles in various areas of business and finance. The program is AACSB-accredited and serves as the foundation for various professional certifications like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Courses are delivered online and include analysis of financial markets, current issues in corporate finance, financial decision processes, mergers and acquisitions, multinational managerial finance, and portfolio theory and policy. Penn State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 50th best national university in the country and the 14th top public school. Also, the graduate business school ranks #41 in the nation.
#13 – Southern New Hampshire University
Online Master's in Finance
Manchester, New Hampshire
SNHU's online master of finance prepares students to excel in careers in corporate finance, commercial banking, securities analysis, and investment banking. Applicants do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores and can expect to complete the program in 15 months by taking two courses per 10 week term. This 36-credit master's degree emphasizes hands-on experimentation in real-world simulations. Students enroll in courses such as risk management, financial modeling, and quantitative analysis for decision making. The program concludes with a graduate finance capstone. SNHU offers a 25% tuition discount for service members and spouses of those on active duty.
#12 – Creighton University
Online Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,664
Creighton University's accredited online master's in finance degree is one of the top picks on our list. The investment management and financial analysis graduate program is designed to offer online convenience and preparation for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) examinations. This top-ranked online finance master's degree program has partnered with the CFA Institute, one of only 36 university partners in the United States. All courses are delivered online and taught by world-renowned university professors. Courses include ethics and professional standards, financial statement analysis, portfolio management and performance measurement, risk management, and security analysis. Creighton is ranked as the #1 best regional university in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report. Also, the online graduate business programs are ranked #20 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#11 – University of Washington
Online Master's in Computational Finance and Risk Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,278
One of the top online master degree programs in finance on our list is the computational finance and risk management (CFRM) degree from University of Washington. Offered online, this accredited graduate program is designed with the working professional in mind. All classes are delivered online and tailored to suit busy daytime schedules. Courses include actuarial models and estimation, credit risk management, ethics in the finance profession, financial data modeling and analysis, investment science, and Monte Carlo simulation methods in finance. University of Washington is the 54th best national university and 16th top public school, according to the most recent rankings published by U.S. News and World Report. Also, UW's business school, which includes the finance programs, ranks #27 in the nation.
#10 – Johnson & Wales University
Online Master of Science in Finance
Providence, Rhode Island
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,056
Johnson & Wales University offers accredited online master degree programs in finance that include the MS in Finance degree. This online program is designed to prepare students for careers in finance using the most complex financial software. Two tracks of study allow students to tailor their degrees to better suit career goals. Students may select the financial planner pathway or the Chartered Financial Analyst track. All courses for the online finance master's degree program are taught by university professors. Classes include financial management, financial reporting and control, fundamentals of investment and portfolio management, personal financial planning, and retirement planning. Courses run 11 weeks in length, and the entire degree can be completed in just 15 months. The institution is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 67th best regional university in the North, and the online graduate business programs have also earned recognition.
#9 – New England College
Online Master's in Accounting – Forensic Accounting
Henniker, New Hampshire
NEC offers an online master's in forensic accounting in which accounting theory complements investigative skills and approaches. Through this online, interdisciplinary degree, students learn investigative techniques, forensic accounting, and reporting for litigation. Applicants do not have to submit GMAT or GRE scores and can enter the program every seven weeks. Enrolled learners do not need to come to campus, have access to their courses 24/7, and can complete the degree in two years. Coursework includes the study of taxation, risk management, analysis, financial reporting, and auditing. By graduation, students can understand how the judicial system uses forensic accounting and can identify suspicious behaviors in intricate financial transactions.
#8 – Webster University
Online Master's in Finance
St. Louis, Missouri
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,300
Webster University offers online finance master's programs designed for working students with busy lives and schedules. The program serves as a foundation for those interested in pursuing advanced certification, including CFA, CFP, or other specialty areas. The MS in finance program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and offers small class sizes with access to experienced faculty. All classes are delivered online and include advanced corporate finance, capital budgeting and corporate investments, financial strategies, international finance, management accounting, and managerial economics. Webster is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 24th best regional university in the Midwest, and its online graduate business programs, including finance, are ranked #92 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#7 – University of Michigan
Online Master's in Finance
Students at UM can complete the school's online master's degree in finance in as little as 12 months by enrolling full time. The university opens enrollment for both the fall and spring semesters, and learners can take courses online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. Transfer students may bring six credits from a similar graduate program into this master's degree. UM's master's in finance requires 30-33 credits or 10-11 courses. Core coursework includes topics in corporate finance, corporate valuation and strategy, and derivatives and risk management. Students also select a concentration such as investments or corporate finance and round out the program with electives.
#6 – Auburn University
Online Master of Science in Finance
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,418
Auburn University's online master's in finance degree program mirrors the same curriculum and academic features as the on-campus program. This AACSB-accredited degree is designed for working students who want to receive quality graduate education without stepping foot into the classroom. Online finance master's programs at Auburn require various finance courses and follow either a non-thesis or thesis option. Courses include applied financial management, cost analysis and systems, financial analysis, security analysis and management, and topics in finance and finance-related areas. Auburn is ranked with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, the online graduate business programs like finance rank 10th in the nation out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#5 – Bellevue University
Online Master's in Strategic Finance
Bellevue's online master's degree in strategic finance equips students to allocate resources in ways that boost social, organizational, and economic value. Students who possess the necessary prerequisites can complete the master's program in 36 credits. Core coursework includes financial reporting and analysis, business analysis for decision making, and business conditions in global markets. Students choose one of 20 nine-credit concentrations such as global economic threat, acquisition and contract management, and cybersecurity. Applicants to Bellevue's master's in finance must have a bachelor's or a master's degree with a 2.5 GPA or higher in the most recent 60 credits of undergraduate work.
#4 – Indiana University
Online MS in Finance
The number one producer of sitting CFOs among public universities, IU's online master's degree in finance prepares students for leadership roles by equipping them with skills in financial management, quantitative analysis, value creation, and capital markets. Applicants to the program must submit GRE or GMAT scores plus sit for an interview. Once enrolled, students can go at their own pace and complete the 30-credit degree in as little as 15 months or take as long as three years. Courses include finance valuation, which learners attend in residence at Bloomington, and managing accounting information for decision-making. IU makes a joint MBA option available for master's in finance students.
#3 – Colorado State University Global Campus
Online Master's in Finance
Greenwood Village, Colorado
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,000
Colorado State University's online master's in finance degree program is designed to develop leadership and operational skills in finance by emphasizing career development through its courses and curriculum. All courses are taught by qualified university instructors with contemporary industry experience. Fifteen available specializations allow students to tailor their degree towards personal interests and career goals. Online courses include bank management, derivatives and assets pricing, effective organizations–theory and practice, fundamentals of quantitative analysis, insurance and risk management, and principles of finance. The university is ranked as a top regional institution in the West by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, the graduate business school is ranked.
#2 – University of Maryland University College
Online Master's in Accounting and Financial Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,514
The online finance masters programs at University of Maryland University College include the master's in accounting and financial management program. This 36-credit hour program is designed for working students and military spouses and family members. Courses are conveniently delivered online, making it easy to fit an online finance master's degree into a busy schedule. Online courses include auditing, behavioral finance, financial accounting, financial management in organizations, investment valuation, long-term financial management, and strategic financial management. Admission requirements include 15 credits of undergraduate accounting courses with a grade C or better in each accounting course. The institution is accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North.
#1 – West Texas A&M University
Online Master's in Finance and Economics (MSFE)
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,043
West Texas A&M University offers the most affordable online master's in finance program on our list. Admission is competitive and requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, three letters of recommendation, and a clear statement of goals for pursuing a graduate business degree. The program is designed for busy and working students who require online instruction. All courses are delivered online and include 21 core MSFE classes like corporate governance and ethics, current issues in industrial organization, international finance, investment, quantitative analysis in business, and seminar in advanced microeconomic theory. West Texas is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 35th top public school and 91st best regional university in the West. Also, the online graduate business programs rank #26 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.