2020 Best Online Master's in Finance Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 3/9/2020
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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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 University of Houston-Clear Lake $19,120 $139,000
# 2 #2 Johns Hopkins University $71,600 $148,400
# 3 #3 Northeastern University $24,600 $118,500
# 4 #4 Suffolk University $37,472 $119,600
# 5 #5 Golden Gate University $16,350 $108,300
# 6 #6 Indiana University - Bloomington $20,700 $108,400
# 7 #7 University of Colorado Denver $10,965 $104,000
# 8 #8 University of Maryland Global Campus $11,862 $99,400
# 9 #9 Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration $13,889 $92,900
# 10 #10 Webster University $14,040 $78,300
# 11 #11 Southern New Hampshire University Online $11,286 $76,600
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Finance Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 University of Houston-Clear Lake

  • Annual Tuition: $19,120
  • Median Salary: $139,000
  • Locations: Houston (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The online Master of Science in Finance at the University of Houston-Clear Lake is designed with a curriculum that can be tailored to best match a student's intended career path. The 30-credit hour curriculum includes courses in international finance, investment management, and commercial banking. In addition to core coursework, students also complement their studies with electives reflecting their professional interests and goals. Upon completion of the degree, graduates are prepared to pursue careers in healthcare, real estate investment, money management, and financial planning.

#2 Johns Hopkins University

  • Annual Tuition: $71,600
  • Median Salary: $148,400
  • Locations: Baltimore (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Johns Hopkins University offers students the option to pursue a Master of Science in Finance or a flexible MBA in Financial Businesses; both programs are available online. Students in the MS in finance program are instructed in 36 credit hours of coursework in accounting and financial reporting, investments, and linear and non-linear econometrics. The flexible MBA is a part-time program designed for working professionals, allowing students up to six years to complete the 54-credit hour degree. Students are required to attend three weekend residencies on campus in Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, an experience that allows for practice in professional, interpersonal interactions, negotiations, and written and oral communication and arguments.

#3 Northeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $24,600
  • Median Salary: $118,500
  • Locations: Burlington (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

The online Master of Science in Finance at Northeastern University offers students options in tailoring their studies to meet their career ambitions. Students can choose to concentrate their education in a corporate finance or investment finance track or to pursue a dual MS in Finance and Master of Business Administration degree. Both tracks in the master's in finance program require the completion of 30 credit hours. The 62-credit hour dual MS/MBA combines coursework in financial analysis and strategy, accounting, management, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Graduates of the program have gone on to work in finance with Boeing, Wells Fargo, and the U.S. military.

#4 Suffolk University

  • Annual Tuition: $37,472
  • Median Salary: $119,600
  • Locations: Boston (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Students at Suffolk University have the option to pursue graduate study in finance with the Master of Science in Finance or the Master of Science in Business Analytics with a concentration in finance. The MS in finance can be further tailored with concentrations in corporate finance, risk management, and investments. The online finance degree program can be completed in as little as 20 months and qualifies students to take the Certified Financial Analyst and Financial Risk Manager designation exam. The MS in business analytics is designed for students intending to gain a foundational education in business while learning the key fundamentals of financial management.

#5 Golden Gate University

  • Annual Tuition: $16,350
  • Median Salary: $108,300
  • Locations: San Francisco (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

Golden Gate University offers an online Master of Science in Finance with a diverse range of concentrations. Available tracks include general finance, corporate finance, and investment management, allowing students to tailor their studies to best suit their career goals. Students in the online finance degree program complete 45 units of instruction, including coursework in economics, corporate finance, and investments. Upon completion, graduates are qualified and prepared for a career as a finance professional in government, business, law, or nonprofit institutions.

#6 Indiana University - Bloomington

  • Annual Tuition: $20,700
  • Median Salary: $108,400
  • Locations: Bloomington (IN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Master of Science in Finance at Indiana University, designed for those who wish to move ahead in their career and perhaps become chief financial officers, explores areas such as risk management, quantitative analysis, financial management, asset pricing, value creation, and capital markets. Students must complete 30 credits of coursework across nine required courses and one elective. Coursework for the online degree is delivered via the Canvas online learning management system. Canvas supports discussions, receiving and submitting assignments, quizzes, email, announcements, syllabi, web conferencing, recording multimedia, Google Docs integration, course analytics, and more. Students must have a bachelor’s degree to be admitted to the program and must submit a personal statement, a resume, three recommendations, GMAT/GRE scores, and official transcripts from all previous college coursework. An interview is also required. Student support at Indiana University includes academic support, tutoring, technical assistance, and legal advice. Distance learners at Indiana University can interact with and seek assistance from both peers and instructors, and a variety of academic support services are available to them. A dual degree MBA/MS in Finance is also available; students can earn both degrees for 66 credits instead of 84 if they are taken separately.

#7 University of Colorado Denver

  • Annual Tuition: $10,965
  • Median Salary: $104,000
  • Locations: Denver (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Colorado Denver offers a fully online Master of Science in Finance and Risk Management with a concentration in General Finance. Coursework takes students into a detailed study of behavioral and political finance as well as commodity market analysis, futures, portfolio management, and derivatives training. Both full- and part-time study options are available. A total of 30 credits is required to complete the degree, and those without prior business education need to take an additional three-credit prerequisite course. There are start terms in the fall, spring, and summer. All online learning at UC Denver is asynchronous; coursework is delivered through the Canvas online management system, where students can access syllabi, share content, watch videos, participate in discussion boards, receive and submit assignments, view courses and grades, and more. Some features of Canvas can be used on mobile devices. Online courses are taught by the same faculty that teaches the on-campus program. Applicants should submit official transcripts from all prior post-secondary education along with standardized test scores. Other admission requirements vary, so those interested should contact the university. Online students at UC Denver have access to library resources, writing assistance, a student technology guide, veteran services, and technical support.

#8 University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $11,862
  • Median Salary: $99,400
  • Locations: Adelphi (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The online Master of Science in Accounting and Financial Management at UMGC focuses on procedures and decision-making skills for executive-level positions. Students learn to make long-term financial decisions, manage costs and risks, analyze financial reports, and assess investments using the newest programs and software. A total of 36 credits is needed to complete the degree. Students must have 15 credits of undergraduate coursework in accounting with a grade of C or better; those without 15 credits can be admitted but must complete them before enrolling in the first graduate-level accounting course. UMGC also offers an online Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Financial Management. Coursework covers subjects like intercultural communication and leadership, financial decision-making, statistics, long-term financial management, and investment valuation. Students must complete 36 credits, with a maximum of six credits transferred. The degree must be completed in five years or less. All coursework in these programs can be completed online, and some courses may also be available in a hybrid format. Distance learners have access to academic advising, tutorial assistance, career services, technical support, veteran resources, library resources, and the university bookstore.

#9 Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration

  • Annual Tuition: $13,889
  • Median Salary: $92,900
  • Locations: Troy (MI)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The online Master of Science in Finance at Walsh College gives students the knowledge, training, and experience needed to develop strategies for business expansion; effectively manage assets, risks, and liabilities; create portfolios; and analyze financial positions with a view to planning for the future. Students complete a capstone course and have the option of performing an internship. The program is comprised of 10-12 courses for 30-36 credit hours. Coursework can be completed entirely online. Students can begin the degree when it is convenient for them and study at their own pace. Distance learning includes a syllabus, readings, lectures, weekly goals and objectives, participation in discussion boards, assignments, activities, various media, quizzes, and tests. Class size is small, usually about 25 students. Those applying to this program should have a bachelor’s degree or higher with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75; those with a lower GPA can be admitted provisionally. No GRE/GMAT score is required. Students have access to career services, tutoring, professional mentoring, networking opportunities, and technical support. This program is also available as an MBA/MSF dual degree.

#10 Webster University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,040
  • Median Salary: $78,300
  • Locations: St. Louis (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

In the online Master of Science in Finance offered at Webster University, students explore subjects such as corporate finance, markets, financial institutions, and investments. The program integrates a study of accounting and economics into the curriculum as well. Coursework includes areas such as managerial economics, financial modeling, capital budgeting, and mergers and acquisitions. Students complete a capstone as well. The 12-course degree requires 36 credits to complete and is available completely online. Coursework is delivered via WorldClassRoom, which is powered by Canvas. The system provides access to assignments, quizzes, discussions, grades, and more. Learning is asynchronous, so working professionals can study at a time that is convenient for them. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher in business with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and official undergraduate transcripts should be submitted. Distance learners at Webster University have access to academic advising, financial aid, library resources, technical support, and writing assistance. Webster University also offers an online MBA/MS in finance as a dual degree, requiring 54-57 credits to complete.

#11 Southern New Hampshire University Online

  • Annual Tuition: $11,286
  • Median Salary: $76,600
  • Locations: Manchester (NH)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Several online master’s degrees are offered at SNHU, including a Master of Science in Finance. The program is available with electives or with two concentrations: Corporate Finance, and Investment & Securities. Students study subjects such as investment analysis, portfolio management, risk management, financial modeling, and international corporate finance. A total of 36 credits is required to complete the 12-course program, and up to 12 credits can be transferred. SNHU also offers an online Master of Science in Accounting and Finance. Multiple start terms throughout the year let students begin the program when it is convenient for them, and they can study at their own pace. The 42-credit program explores subjects such as financial reporting, auditing, corporate financial management, business law, and capital markets. It can be completed in as few as 15 months. Additionally, an online MBA in International Finance is offered. The 36-credit program can also be completed in 15 months, and students can choose from 20 different concentrations. Learning at SNHU is asynchronous, and students have 24/7 access to coursework. Applications can be submitted at any time; acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis during all five terms. Distance learners have continual access to academic advising and technical support.

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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