2020 Best Online Master's in Finance Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated March 9, 2020
2020 Best Online Master's in Finance Badge

The 11 best value online master's in finance programs can be found at these colleges and universities. The University of Houston-Clear Lake is ranked #1, offering a Master of Science in Finance for $19,120 per year. Graduates of the school reported a median salary of $139,000. Johns Hopkins University, ranked #2 on the list has a reported alumni salary of $148,400.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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2020 Online Colleges Offering Finance Degrees - Ranking Details

Online Master's Degrees in Finance Overview

To earn a master’s degree in finance, students spend two to three years completing the required coursework; most programs require 10-20 courses. Applicants typically need a bachelor's degree, previous coursework in economics and statistics, and GRE or GMAT scores. Students may also be required to have a year or more of professional business experience before applying to MBA programs.

Different finance master's degrees may have different curriculum focuses. For example, some emphasize quantitative understanding of financial instruments, while others emphasize finance integrated with strategic business principles. Some programs include a set course schedule, while others allow students to choose electives in their professional area. Possible electives include bond markets, negotiation, corporate financial policy, and game theory. Most master's programs require that students complete a thesis, which involves a significant amount of research in a particular area of finance theory or practice.

The core of the online MBA degree covers an array of business topics, which discuss nearly every aspect of running a successful enterprise. Courses in leadership and communication areas, such as decision making, leading people, and organizational behavior, discuss the skills for managing employees and organizations. Quantitative courses like data analysis, economics, and financial decision making discuss the critical thinking and math skills necessary to maintain an organization’s financial integrity. Courses in areas like marketing and international business discuss more specialized aspects of promoting a business and integrating it into a global landscape.

Many online master's programs require that students complete an internship in a finance setting; online schools place students in businesses in their local community. Some online business programs require on-site attendance once or several times during the degree program where students visit campus to listen to seminars and meet their cohort.

With a master’s degree in finance, graduates may qualify for positions as financial analysts, stock brokers, budget analysts, personal financial advisors, risk managers, or financial managers. Financial professionals work for investment companies, banks, accounting agencies, the government, and for individual businesses and corporations. Other possible places of employment include hedge funds, investment banks, corporate finance departments, consulting firms, and economic development settings. Those with many years of professional experience can become independent consultants.

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