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Online Master’s in Finance
Introduction
affordable master’s in finance degree programs
Affordable Programs Rankings
top 15 master’s in finance degree programs
Best Programs Rankings
Various Masters programs
Understanding Online Finance Masters
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Programs that don’t need GMAT
online master’s in finance
Coursework
Online Master’s in Finance Degree programs
Skills you will gain
online finance master degree programs
Accreditation
Graduate finance students
Scholarships
Graduates of online finance master degree programs
Carrer Outlook
Certifications
Certifications
Resources for Online Master’s in Finance Students
Additional Resources

Online Master’s in Finance

finance online

Throughout the corporate and nonprofit sectors, organizations depend on well-qualified financial experts. The demand for professionals to manage the corporate bottom line and globalization trends have generated the need for experts in financial engineering, financial analysts, management online accounting programs, and personal financial advising. Each specialty is growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth of 16 percent from 2018 to 2028 for Financial Managers and a 7 percent increase in openings for Personal Financial Advisors. Earning an Online Master’s in Finance degree can effectively change the trajectory of your working life. But which programs and specialties are right for you? This comprehensive guide walks you through the range of options available online, ranks the best and most-affordable master’s programs, and provides a resource for financial scholarships, professional associations, and required licenses and certifications.

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15 Most Affordable Master’s in Finance Programs 2020

To create the list of the most affordable master’s in finance degree programs, our methodology determined these rankings based on the key factors that most concern students. We took into consideration the tuition rates (in- and out-of-state), year-round availability of online classes, school accreditation, scholarships and grants, and more.

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College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
Northern State University
1200 S. JAY ST., ABERDEEN, S.D. 57401
$8,38448%
#2
Colorado State University-Global Campus
585 Salida Way Aurora, CO 80011
$9,000NA
#3
Bellevue University
1000 Galvin Road South Bellevue, Nebraska 68005
$9,635NA
#4
University of Michigan-Dearborn
19000 Hubbard Drive Fairlane Center South Dearborn, MI 48126-2638
$10,53356%
#5
West Texas A & M University
2501 4th Avenue Canyon, TX 79015
$13,32544%
#6
SUNY Empire State College
2 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
$13,41526%
#7
University of Maryland Global Campus
3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783
$13,672 15%
#8
University of Colorado Denver
1201 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80204
$14,47748%
#9
Kansas State University
1615 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502
$18,002 64%
#10
Ashford University
8620 Spectrum Center Blvd. San Diego, CA 92123
$19,1418%
#11
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave. St. Louis, MO 63119
$22,72759%
#12
Boston University
1010 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02215
$29,15488%
#13
California Lutheran University
60 West Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
$29,38776%
#14
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza Omaha, NE 68178
$31,31781%
#15
Saint Joseph’s University
5600 City Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19131
$35,34480%

Source Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

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Top 15 Master’s in Finance Programs 2020

Here are the top 15 master’s in finance degree programs for 2020. Our custom mathematical formula crunched numbers to determine the academic quality of each program. Universities were compared based on graduation and employment rates, the strength of the finance curriculum, faculty excellence, affordability, year-round classes, accreditation and other factors. 

College Name & Address Tuition Graduation Rate
#1
West Texas A & M University
2501 4th Avenue Canyon, TX 79015
$13,325   44%
#2
Kansas State University
1615 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502
$18,00264%
#3
Northern State University
1200 S. Jay St., Aberdeen, S.D. 57401
$8,38448%
#4
Boston University
1010 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02215
$29,15488%
#5
Bellevue University
1000 Galvin Road South Bellevue, Nebraska 68005
$9,635NA
#6
Georgetown University
37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057
$28,50994%
#7
Golden Gate University
536 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94105-2968

$24,525NA
#8
University of Maryland Global Campus
3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783
$13,67215%
#9
University of Michigan-Dearborn
19000 Hubbard Drive Fairlane Center South Dearborn, MI 48126-2638
$10,53356%
#10
University of Colorado Denver
13001 E. 17th Pl. Aurora, CO 80045
$14,47748%
#11
Ashford University
8620 Spectrum Center Blvd. San Diego, CA 92123
$19,1418%
#12
Colorado State University-Global Campus
585 Salida Way Aurora, CO 80011
$9,000NA
#13
Texas A&M International University
5201 University Boulevard Laredo, TX 78041
$14,608NA
#14
Purdue Global University
9000 Keystone Crossing, Suite 800 Indianapolis, IN 46240
$13,58048%
#15
University of Georgia
308 New College, Athens, Georgia 30602
$9,43584.6%

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year
**NA – data not available

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Understanding an Online Master’s in Finance Program

Applicants to an online master’s in finance program must match their career goals to the precise degree options available at the university. To that end, the following sections address the seven specializations commonly offered online and the curriculum. Learn the professional career roles and skills required for proficiency in the field. Potential students can also evaluate the admission requirements, including whether they’ll need to take the GMAT. 

Common Specializations for an Online Master’s in Finance

Graduate students can earn a generalist online master’s in finance. Programs also offer concentrations or focus options for those aspiring to work in particular disciplines. Options are available in niches such as financial engineering, financial planning, financial analysis, finance mathematics, public finance, global finance, and corporate finance. Here are some popular concentrations, schools that offer the programs, and careers that graduates can pursue.

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration Prepares For
Financial EngineeringFinancial engineers perform rigorous quantitative analysis, employing mathematical techniques to solve institutional financial problems. They test tools used by banks, insurance firms, asset management companies, and hedge funds to assist with derivatives trading and speculation vehicles. These engineers provide options for financial intuitions to make profits. Here are a couple of universities that offer Master’s in Financial Engineering Online:
University of Southern California
Stevens Institute of Technology 
Financial Advisors
Stock Brokers
Investment Bankers
Actuaries
Risk Managers
Derivative Traders
Financial PlanningFinancial planners work with corporations, small businesses and individuals to map out an investment strategy. They examine the funds available for investing and determine the risk tolerance for different investment options. They may specialize in investments for retirement or college. As fiduciaries, they are required by law to make decisions for the good of their clients. Here are a couple of universities that offer Master’s in Financial Planning Online:
Purdue Global University
The University of Georgia 
Registered investment advisor
Personal financial advisor
Certified financial planner
Fee-only financial advisor
Financial AnalysisFinancial analysts guide corporations and individuals to create investment portfolios by examining trends and performance. Analysts may specialize in a geographical or industry niche. They are typically identified as buy-side or sell-side analysts. Common roles include portfolio managers, ratings analysts, fund managers, and risk analysts. Here are a couple of universities that offer Master’s in Financial Analysis Online:
Purdue Global University
Creighton University
 
Financial analysts
Risk evaluators
Budget analysts
Portfolio managers
Ratings analysts
Financial MathematicsA master’s degree in financial mathematics prepares graduates in the creation and analysis of investment results using mathematic methodologies. Tools include the applications of statistics, probability, and stochastic processes for investments. They may specialize in the creation and evaluation of financial products, data science applications, and asset management. Here are a couple of universities that offer Financial Mathematics Online Master’s:
John’s Hopkins University
University of York (United Kingdom)
Quantitative analysts
Mathematics finance managers
Financial agents
Global markets specialists
Security analysts
Public FinancePublic finance online master’s programs offer studies in public management, finance and budgeting, theory, financial planning, forecasting, and financial decision-making. They prepare and review financial statements for public, nonprofit organizations and perform cost analyses. Here is a university that offers Master’s in Public Finance Online:
The University of Kentucky 
Government/non-profit financial analysts
Policy administrators
Consultants
Investment managers
Compliance officers
Global FinanceOnline degree master’s programs in global finance apply financial leadership for organizations that have an international reach. Students learn about international business principles, global risk assessments, the evaluation of global markets, international accounting, global marketing, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), exchange-rate forecasting, international taxation, and foreign direct investments. Here are a couple of universities that offer Online Master’s in Global Finance:
Boston University
University of London
(United Kingdom)
Global financial analyst
Global portfolio administrators
International brand managers
Global marketing specialists
Corporate FinanceOnline graduate degree programs in corporate finance cover a wide breadth of necessary skills and processes that maximize the value of the organization. The major responsibilities for corporate financial officers include investments and capital budgeting, long- and short-term capital financing, dividends, the assessment of capital cash flows, liquidity and expenditures. Here are a couple of universities that offer Master’s in Corporate Finance Online:
Southern New Hampshire University
Golden Gate University
Controllers
FP&A managers
Financial planners
Credit managers
Corporate finance managers
Quantitative FinanceQuantitative Finance is a concentration within the finance field that deals with applying statistical, quantitative, and mathematical skills within the financial world. Quantitative Finance is sometimes referred to as Computational Finance.
Here are a couple of universities that offer Quantitative Finance Online Master’s:
New York University
DePaul University
Financial Quantitative Analysts
Financial Research Associates
Reporting and Analytics Managers
Financial EconomicsFinance and economics are closely linked subjects that deal with money management, revenue generation for private organizations, and governmental agencies. An online master’s degree in Finance and economics focuses on the study of economic theories and financial principles for a wide variety of industries. These programs teach students about the evolution of global financial order, capital markets, investment management, and economic theories from microeconomics to macroeconomics. Here are a couple of universities that offer Online Master’s degree in Finance and Economics:
University of Detroit, Mercy
West Texas A&M University
Financial Examiners
Budget Analysts
Financial Analysts
Healthcare FinanceHealthcare is a critical concentration within the finance field, as healthcare is the single most crucial factor in today’s world. With rising healthcare costs, managing its finances is an essential aspect for many organizations in both the government and private sectors. Master’s in healthcare finance online programs typically combine courses that deal with public health, business, and nursing areas. These programs teach students about various administrative aspects of the healthcare field and how to manage them. Here are a couple of universities that offer Master’s in Healthcare Finance Online:
Liberty University
Bellevue University
Financial Controllers
Healthcare Financial Analysts
Hospital Billing Directors
Banking and FinanceBanking and Finance are interlinked fields. Finance depends on banking systems, and banking depends on the finances of organizations and the financial policies of governments. An online master’s in banking and Finance deals with business of banking – client’s financial needs, how banks and financial agencies work, and central banking policies and its impact. Here are a couple of universities that offer Online Master’s in Banking and Finance:
Texas A&M International University
Northern State University
Credit Analysts
Risk Managers
Wealth Managers
Accounting and FinanceAccounting specialization within finance degrees is a concentration that is designed to help students understand concepts of accounting and reporting within financial Management. An online master’s degree in accounting and Finance helps students in learning about cash, inventory, accounts payable & receivable, managing costs, and perform a comprehensive analysis of financial health of the organizations using accounting. Here are a couple of universities that offer Master’s in Accounting and Finance Online:
Southern New Hampshire University
University of Maryland Global Campus
Financial Accountants
Forensic Accountants
Financial Auditors

Online Master’s in Finance Admission Requirements

Applicants to online master’s in finance degree must satisfy entrance requirements to the specific graduate school and those set by the degree program. These include the applicant’s undergraduate degree, grades, completion of prerequisites, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. 

  • Undergraduate degree: Applicants must submit transcripts from their accredited undergraduate degree programs or related courses completed at the graduate level. Graduate programs typically require the submission of unopened official transcripts.
  • Transcripts: Applicants must submit transcripts from their accredited undergraduate degree programs or related courses completed at the graduate level. Graduate programs typically require the submission of unopened official transcripts.
  • Prerequisites: Depending on the master of finance program, you may be required to have a minimum one year of related financial experience and take a TOEFL exam (for international students), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Recommendations: Requirements for submissions of at least three letters of recommendation are a common practice at online master’s in finance programs. Letters should attest to your professional skills and character.
  • Statement of purpose: Programs require applicants to submit a statement of purpose outlining your professional aspirations, why you’re choosing the program, what you bring to the table, and other arguments that may convince the admissions committee that you and the program are a great match.

Online Master’s in Finance: No GMAT Requirement

For working students who must fit their master’s programs around their busy lives, the preparation for taking a GMAT entrance exam can be time-consuming. Fortunately, many Online Master of Finance programs do not require a GMAT. To get a better idea of how to prepare for GMAT and also to find out about Online Masters in Finance that don’t need GMAT, check out the GMAT Prep page.


Find out more about Online Masters No GRE.

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Curriculum for an Online Master of Finance Program

The online master’s in finance offers a deep dive into all aspects of the financial world. Most accredited schools have some mandatory courses in the program, and students can choose from a wide variety of choices. Here are some sample courses that students will come across in an online master’s in finance degree. 

International Finance – The course provides a deep dive into international markets, foreign currencies, the tools available for global financial management, international tax laws, economic, political, and legal issues.  

Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management – In this course, students are exposed to portfolio management, personal finances, quantitative skills, analytical tools for maintaining a portfolio of securities, and how to maximize the profit for the investors.  

Risk Management – Students will be taught how to identify risk and minimize exposure to that financial risk.

Financial Planning -This course is designed to teach students about macroeconomics and microeconomics, financial data, and counseling. Students are also exposed to estate planning, insurance, retirement, and benefits planning.

Corporate Finance – In this course, students are taught topics such as capital structures, strategic financial decisions, cost of capital vs. cost of operations, forecasting, etc.

Banking – This course is designed to teach students about various aspects ow how banks operate: legal issues, protecting assets of customers, advanced topics like cryptocurrencies, growth, etc.   

Quantitative Methods in Finance -Quantitative methods in Finance is an advanced financial course in which students are trained on using statistical models to provide students with tools that can help forecast capital market movements along with loan defaulting predictions. This course allows students to rely on mathematical models based on history for managing various financial aspects.

Financial Decision Process – The financial decision process is a fundamental course that exposes students to accounting and financial management, managerial decisions, analytical analysis, cost-volume-profit analysis.

Applied Behavioral Finance – Applied behavior finance is an advanced financial course that deals with behavioral Finance, financial psychology, human emotions, and errors that people make in financial decisions. The course trains students on how to improve the financial health of their customers.

Skills Gained in an Online Master’s in Finance Program

Online Master’s in Finance Degree programs develop skills that are directly applicable to the business landscape. Individual programs may focus on skill sets relevant to their specialty. However, they share common, invaluable skills. Beyond online coursework, finance students build skill sets through internships, apprenticeships and on-the-job experience. Here are key skills finance professionals need: 

Accounting: Graduate accounting skills prepare you with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and for duties in cash-flow management, cost reduction, budget planning, profit and loss projections, financial management, quantitative data analysis, reporting and compliance.  

Decision-Making: Whether they make decisions or recommend actions to management, finance graduates are able to gather and analyze supporting data, undertake forecasting, and collaborate with other staff to determine best-practices solutions to business problems.  

Financial Analysis: Deep financial analysis skills are critical in determining investments and budgeting strategies to support organizational initiatives. Analysts examine the potential return on investments for programs to improve the corporate bottom line.

Leadership: Financial organizational leaders should have strong communication skills, a human resource understanding, the ability to create and implement goals, the ability to motivate employees and delegate tasks to qualified personnel

Logical Reasoning: Financial professionals make informed decisions based on data-driven findings, not on speculation. Logical reasoning skills depend on findings from scientific analyses and risk assessments to determine fact-based options for organizational challenges.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Finance Degrees

When choosing an online master’s program in finance, it is essential to look at the accreditation of the school that you are considering. While many universities offer an online master’s in finance, not all those programs are accredited. Here are some prestigious organizations that provide accreditation for business schools that offer finance master’s programs. If a school has an accreditation from one of these bodies, the school maintains high standards in its online master’s finance program.  

Why Does Accreditation Matter?

Accreditation is a step where a university is vetted and accredited by an independent body that checks the standards of the school, the program to ensure that they are meeting high standards. Check out our Accreditation guide to see why it matters.

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Scholarships for Online Master’s in Finance Students

Graduate finance students need not shoulder the entire cost of their education. Scholarships may be available from your university or finance school. Many public and private organizations confer scholarships based on academic performance. Here are a few to consider:

Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The Goldberg scholarship is designed for full-time, graduate-level students seeking a finance degree focusing on careers in state or local government.
Amount: $15,000

AICPA/Robert Half Student Scholarship Award
Who Can Apply: The Robert Half scholarship recognizes outstanding accounting students with the potential to become CPA leaders. Four awards are made each year.
Amount: $10,000

Griffith Insurance Education Foundation Scholarships
Who Can Apply: Students pursuing a finance degree specializing in risk management, finance, insurance, economics, or actuarial science are eligible.
Amount: $1,000 to $6,000.

Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship
Who Can Apply: MIG scholarship is available to qualified, full- or part-time graduate students majoring in public administration, accounting, business administration, and finance.
Amount: $10,000

Nomad Capitalist Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The scholarship is available to students currently enrolled in a graduate business degree program. All applicants must submit a 1,000+ word essay on international business.
Amount: $1,000

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Career and Salary Outlook for Online Master of Finance Graduates 

Graduates of online finance master degree programs can choose from a diverse field of financial careers. No degree guarantees a career or salary, however there are well-paying roles in both public and corporate organizations, and consulting. Employers often look at the specialized focus of your master’s program and/or your experience. Top-growing fields are in finance and insurance; scientific and technical services; financial management; state and local governments; and manufacturing.

The following section reviews the salaries, related jobs and employment projections across the spectrum of financial careers.

Job Title Median SalaryJob Growth (2016-2026)Job Description
Financial Analysts$85,6606%Financial analysts serve business or persons to make informed decisions on investments. They may be called portfolio managers, ratings analysts, fund managers, or risk analysts.
Financial Managers $127,99016%Financial managers are responsible for directing financial growth of their organizations. They analyze investments and establish long-term goals to maximize profits, reporting to senior managers
Budget Analysts$76,2204%Working for public and private institutions, budget analysts are responsible for analyzing budget proposals and monitoring institutional expenditures to ensure that they meet budgetary requirements
Management Accountants$70,5006%Corporate Management Accountants help organizations meet reporting requirements and in developing budget and performance evaluations for internal managers. They may assist in asset management and investments.
Personal Financial Advisors$88,8907%Personal Financial Advisors help individuals in the planning, analysis and strategies for retirement accounts, investments, estate planning, mortgages, college expenses, and tax advice. They may monitor their customers’ accounts and suggest ways to improve performance.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Certifications and Licensing for Finance Professionals

Graduate students in finance can prosper by earning certifications and licenses and maintaining them throughout their careers. Certification benefits can include higher salaries, promotions, marketability, and job security. Certifications must be renewed. Consequently, employers benefit from workers who are committed to ongoing training and education to maintain their credentials.

Why is it important to be a certified financial professional?
Financial certifications and professional licenses may be optional. But some are required for employment. There are other benefits. Organizations that offer certifications often sponsor professional societies where you can stay up to date in the industry and build networks for career building.

How can I stay up-to-date on my finance certifications?
Licensing and certification organizations offer testing to confer credentials. The credentials are time-limited and must be renewed regularly, often pegged to earning continuing education credits. Check the details for each certification to learn renewal requirements.

How do I receive licensure and certification?
Licensing and certification organizations set the requirements for taking certification exams. For example, CMA exam requires applicants who have two years’ experience in the field. To sit for the CPT exam, applicants must have two years of experience in corporate finance or cash/treasury management.

What are some example certifications and licenses I should consider?
Certifications and licenses can bolster your career. Professionals may be required to hold them to undertake financial roles within an organization or in consulting. Here are three to consider:

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Resources for Online Master’s in Finance Students

The following resources are for finance students and professionals who want to build or advance in their careers. Memberships can include access to job boards, certification examination testing, and extended career education.

  • American Management Association: The AMA is a nonprofit association offering tools and ongoing education for management students and professionals. It offers prep and the test for a Certified Professional in Management™ (AMA CPM™).
  • The Professional Accounting Society of America: PASA is a professional association serving entry-level and mid-level members currently working at accounting firms. It hosts a job line, conferences, continuing education and compliance forums.
  • CMT Association: The CMT Association offers for the Level I, Level II, and Level III chartist’s exam for Chartered Market Technicians who analyze investments to predict future price volume and movement.
  • Association for Finance Professionals: The AFP is a membership organization, granting credentials for Financial Planning and Analysis FP&A certification and for the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP). It offers webinars and online education programs.
  • Sales & Marketing Executives International: SMEI is a global association of sales and marketing professionals, offering continuing education and examinations for SMEI Certified Marketing Executive and SMEI Certified Professional Marketer (SCPM) designations.
  • Online MBA in Finance

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