Online Finance Degrees

Interested in learning the ins and outs of managing money? Consider yourself an excellent problem-solver with strong interpersonal skills? If so, an online finance degree can take you to new heights in your career. Pursuing finance education online will give you a foundational knowledge of stocks, bonds, marketing trends, and managing funds for individuals, organizations, institutions, and other entities.

Graduates holding finance degrees will be prepared to work in business-oriented professions, performing tasks including — but not limited to — underwriting, investment banking, and portfolio management. The field of finance is both highly lucrative and growing every day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs openings in areas such as personal financial advising are growing at a rate of 30%. Median salaries in finance range from around $80,310 for financial analysts to $117,990 for financial managers.

Many projects require teamwork, and advanced positions involve managing subordinates. Self-motivation and time management are other skills needed to succeed in the field. If you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, hone your collaboration and leadership skills while you earn your degree through an online finance program. Read on to learn about online finance programs and get started on your new career today.


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Degrees

Online Finance Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $11,664 13.8% 2 years $40,700 $50,000 6.9%
Bachelor's $17,175 10% 4 years $47,000 $83,000 4.4%
Master's $18,673 7.8% 1+ years $75,000 $107,000 3.5%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

While online finance degrees are available at the associate level, the majority of financial professions require more comprehensive education. A bachelor’s in finance online qualifies students for a number of careers, such as budget analyst, financial services sales agent, and financial advisor. In addition to a bachelor’s in finance online, students can also pursue a master’s in business administration (MBA), which often leads to higher level positions, hefty signing bonuses, and larger overall compensation.

Online Finance Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Finance

An associate degree in finance offers a concise overview of the field. Most online finance programs at this level take about two years to complete, with the average cost around $11,500. Course topics cover a broad range of financial concepts, and graduates who earn this degree will be prepared for a number of entry-level jobs. You may also use credits from this degree to transfer to a four-year college and earn a bachelor’s in finance online.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Business orientation, financial accounting, principles of management, financial management, business statistics

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Finance, banking & finance, financial services

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Claims adjuster, appraiser, examiner, or investigator

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $64,300

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    N/A – 3% growth

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Finance

As the most common prerequisite for jobs in the field, a bachelor’s in finance online is practically a necessity for professionals working in finance. The degree can take around four years to complete. Graduates from this program will have a comprehensive understanding of both basic and advanced financial topics.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Financial modeling, statement analysis, investments, international applications

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Finance, business administration, finance & accounting

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Accountant, budget analyst, financial analyst

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    Accountant: $75,280; budget analyst: $75,150; financial analyst: $95,320

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    N/A – Accountant: 11% growth; budget analyst: 3% growth; financial analyst: 12% growth

Online Master’s Degree in Finance

Master’s in finance degrees are essential for professionals looking to bolster their resume and qualify for senior positions. Whereas bachelor’s in finance online programs tend to cover a wide range of topics, these degrees provide a concentrated and in-depth analysis of specific study areas. Program duration varies at this level, but students can expect to spend between one and two years earning this degree, with a total cost of around $18,700.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Portfolio management, accounting, risk management, quantitative trading strategies

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Finance, business-finance, financial management, business administration

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Chief financial officer, financial manager, insurance manager

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $134,330

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    7% growth

Online Finance Degrees
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Finance Master’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1

Northeastern University

Boston$$$$$360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115-5005
(617) 373-2000

Northeastern's M.Fin program offers students two focus tracks: corporate finance or investment finance. Both follow a 16-month program that prepares distance learners for today's business climate. Courses are taught by esteemed faculty members and focus on combining applied research with practical experience in an effort to provide a practical and relevant curriculum. Prospective applicants for the online master's finance degree should examine Northeastern's list of requirements for admission.

All courses are available on the Northeastern University Online Learning Platform. The school’s custom platform provides all of the tools needed to complete coursework online, including portals to view assignments, submit coursework and view grades. A demo of the online portal can be viewed here.

2

Webster University

Saint Louis$$$$$470 E Lockwood Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194
(314) 961-2660

The master's in finance online at Webster examines finance through a quantitative lens, teaching students financial modeling and business strategy from an analytical perspective. Coursework pulls concepts from accounting and economics to help distance learners develop a well-rounded skill set in corporate finance, investments and financial institutions.

Webster uses an online portal called WorldClassRoom to host distance courses. The degree is offered to students from the United States, London and Vienna. Students from all three countries interact over WorldClassRoom, exposing them to variety of worldviews and perspectives. Courses are taught asynchronously, which allows students to access the class and weekly assignments at their convenience. Live webinar meetings are usually not required, and all exams are taken online. More information about Webster University and the way they use WorldClassRoom can be found on their website.

3

Texas A&M University - Commerce

Commerce$$$$$2600 South Neal
Commerce, TX 75429-3011
(888) 868-2682

Preparing students for the financial job market, Texas A&M University-Commerce’s master's degree in finance online offers a variety of courses. Required background courses include a mix of finance and economics offerings. The program provides a platform for students to develop as financial economic experts who can spot opportunities, assess risks and ask critical financial questions.

Students are expected to complete the online master's finance degree over the course of two years. To apply, students must either have taken finance courses or finance foundation classes. Online students use their MyLeo to access all class materials. This portal is the platform for their email, school news and announcements, grades, transcripts and course content.

4

Lehigh University

Bethlehem$$$$$27 Memorial Drive West
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(610) 758-3000

In Lehigh's MBA program, students can choose from six different concentrations. The finance concentration examines corporate financial management through analysis of an organization's financial health, its impact on the stock market and the return on its investments. Students must complete four courses in the concentration. The program can be completed on-campus or online.

Like all online degree programs at Lehigh, the MBA program uses two learning platforms: Classroom LIVE and Classroom Online. Classroom LIVE allows online students to interact in real-time with their instructors and classmates. This platform encourages an integrated, web-based virtual learning environment. Classroom Online is an asynchronous online platform that offers flexible scheduling and participation. This allows students with busy schedules to complete coursework at their convenience.

5

California Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks$$$$$60 W Olsen Rd
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-2787
(805) 492-2411

California Lutheran's MBA program offers a finance track to help students develop financial strategy and product marketing strategy skills. Students typically take between 12-36 months to complete the degree; courses can be taken residentially, online or a mixture of the two. Students may take classes part-time or full-time.

Distance learners use the Blackboard interface to complete online coursework. The portal can be accessed through California Lutheran's site. This flexible online resource allows faculty to interact with students through lectures, videos and discussion boards. Students may also submit assignments and complete exams through Blackboard.

6

University of Michigan-Dearborn

Dearborn$$$$$4901 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128-1491
(313) 593-5000

Michigan-Dearborn offers two finance degrees to students. The MBA/MS-Finance degree combines broad managerial education with finance-specific training. The program allows students to receive both an MBA and MS-Finance simultaneously. Students must complete 57-66 credits to receive both degrees. The Master of Science in Finance provides specialized training for students interested in working in finance.

In both cases, the online master's finance degree is open to students with strong quantitative skills, regardless of their undergraduate major. The curriculum for both tracks can be completed entirely online using Canvas. On Canvas, students can access all course materials and communicate with peers and faculty members over interactive discussion forums.

7

Golden Gate University - San Francisco

San Francisco$$$$$536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
(415) 442-7800

Golden Gate offers two programs to students interested in finance: the Master of Science in Finance and the MBA with a Finance Concentration. The M.Fin is a technical program that focuses on corporate finance and investment management while the MBA provides a broader look at the importance and utility of financial tools and skills, such as capital budgeting, capital structure and investment management.

Golden Gate uses Moodle to host all online courses. Moodle creates an integrated teaching and learning system for instructors and students, and the school uses the portal to provide students with the necessary tools to complete courses successfully. In addition to a personalized dashboard of online learning resources, students have access to forums, glossaries and calendars to support their online learning.

8

Drexel University

Philadelphia$$$$$3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 895-2000

Drexel's MBA program features a concentration in finance that can be completed entirely online. The degree allows students to graduate in 3.5 years studying part-time and is ideal for students looking to take coursework at a relatively slow pace. Drexel also offers an international residency program.

All coursework for the online MBA program is available through Drexel's own DrexelOne portal. This multi-system access portal allows students to navigate between the various online systems used at Drexel including DrexelOne, Drexel Learn and BannerWeb. The seamless navigation between these portals allows students to complete coursework, register for classes and easily check their grades.

9

University of Houston - Clear Lake

Houston$$$$$2700 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, TX 77058-1002
(281) 283-7600

The master's in finance online at Houston-Clear Lake consists of 36-credit hours of coursework. The school's renowned finance department focuses on the applicability of financial theory and classroom lessons to careers in the field. As part of the program, the school helps facilitate internship and co-op opportunities for all on-campus and online students.

Houston-Clear Lake uses Blackboard to host all online coursework. The platform's intuitive interface encourages distance learners to collaborate with each other and their instructors online. Blackboard is also accessible on mobile devices, allowing students to view their course pages on the go. The school's site provides an online support page for questions regarding Blackboard Learn.

10

Concordia University - Wisconsin

Mequon$$$$$12800 N Lake Shore Dr
Mequon, WI 53097-2402
(262) 243-5700

Concordia offers a web-based MBA with a focus in finance. The program is taught completely online by current industry professionals and prepares students with relevant training for the industry. Concordia does not require graduate students to take a GMAT, GRE or write a thesis to apply for the program.

Students in the program use Blackboard to access, view and complete coursework. The platform also allows distance learners to watch lectures, videos and interactive animations; they can also take exams and participate in discussion forums. Classes are taught asynchronously and be taken at each student's convenience.

11

University of Saint Mary

Leavenworth$$$$$4100 S 4th St Trafficway
Leavenworth, KS 66048-5082
(913) 682-5151

Students in Saint Mary's online MBA program can complete a concentration in finance. Distance learners who take two classes during each eight-week term can graduate in just one year. Additionally, students may choose to mix and match the number of classes they take, providing flexibility to accommodate their busy schedules.

Saint Mary uses the Engage interface to host online coursework. This virtual classroom system hosts every component of each course, providing a platform for discussions, questions, assignment submissions and exams. Prospective applicants can learn more about Engage and the online format at Saint Mary's on the school's helpful distance learning information page.

12

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester$$$$$2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
(603) 668-2211

The M.Fin program at SNHU includes a concentration in corporate finance. This master's in finance online program provides key instruction applicable to careers in financial analysis, credit management and cash management, among other fields. Distance learners study liquidity analysis, payment systems, cash forecasting, quantitative risk assessment and other highly-focused areas of study.

All materials for the M.Fin program are available through Blackboard and are accessible on each student's mySNHU portal. Through this platform, students can complete assignments, review course-related documents and readings, upload files and take exams. Blackboard also provides tools for discussions, interactive forums and feedback from course instructors.

13

Upper Iowa University

Fayette$$$$$605 Washington St
Fayette, IA 52142-1857
(563) 425-5200

Students in Upper Iowa's MBA program can pursue a concentration in finance. The curriculum consists of 36 semester credits and emphasizes leadership, ethical management and risk assessment. Courses can be scheduled and completed at the student’s discretion within the broader framework of six eight-week terms per year. Students must earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA to graduate.

Distance learners use the eCollege online platform to access course materials and lectures. eCollege uses a cloud-based system, allowing students to easily view all assignments, course content and their grades.

14

Tiffin University

Tiffin$$$$$155 Miami Street
Tiffin, OH 44883
(800) 968-64466446

The finance concentration within Tiffin's MBA program offers a detailed look at economic and financial business practices. The concentration focuses on the study of stocks, bonds, commodities and other types of investments. The skills acquired from this concentration prepare students to work in a variety of positions in financial management.

Tiffin's online classes have fewer than 20 students, which helps facilitate small group discussions and one-on-one interactions with professors. These meetings take place over the Moodle online learning system. Here, students can view several online resources, including discussion forums, digital library materials and a personalized academic calendar. Moodle also lets students complete assignments, submit papers and take exams.

15

New England College

Henniker$$$$$98 Bridge St
Henniker, NH 03242
(603) 428-2211

New England offers a master's degree in banking and financial management. The program examines the foundation of financial management and how it applies to banking and financial industries. The flexible program offers several courses that help students develop career-oriented abilities, including leadership, project management and strategic planning skills. Applicants are admitted on a rolling basis, allowing students to enter the program every seven weeks throughout the year. Most distance learners complete the degree within two years. GRE and GMAT scores are not required.

Students can access online course materials through University Alliance. Available on the school’s site, University Alliance also hosts instructional videos, online discussion threads and multimedia programs.

16

City University of Seattle

Seattle$$$$$521 Wall Street, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98121
(800) 426-5596

The MBA program at City features a finance emphasis that prepares students to apply business theories and technology to their career in finance. The curriculum uses the diversity in today’s domestic and global business environment to teach students about financial trends and opportunities in changing industries. The program as a whole is offered entirely online, as well as in residential, mixed or high-intensive weekend formats. Students are not required to take the GMAT or GRE to apply to the program.

All online programs at City use the Blackboard online learning management system to host online classwork. The school provides a help page with frequently asked questions about distance coursework and a link to direct students toward the online portal. Through Blackboard, students can find course assignments, participate in classroom discussions, download course materials and submit assignments.

17

Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne$$$$$150 West University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 674-8000

In two years or less, students can complete Florida Tech's online MBA with a concentration in accounting and finance. The program covers an array of subjects, including investment management, cost management and accounting policy. It combines traditional academic principles with practical applications. In one assignment, students are asked to apply learned theories and techniques to their own fully-integrated business plan.

Florida Tech uses University Alliance to host all online courses. The platform's tools, such as chat, video conferencing and web video animations, help enhance the online learning experience. Courses can be accessed any time of day through each student's web portal. University Alliance provides an integrated system for students to access and read coursework, assignments and syllabi. The service also allows course participants to receive instant grading on quizzes and tests.

Online Doctorate Degree in Finance

Doctorates are the most advanced finance degrees available. These programs are ideal for students looking to enter academia, with courses and projects concentrating on ethical theory, global perspectives, and contemporary financial technology. Curricula typically consist of a blend of theoretical research and practical applications, such as scholarly writing.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Empirical asset pricing, agency theory, capital structure, executive compensation

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Finance, financial economics, financial & retirement planning

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Post-Secondary Professor, Economist, Mathematician

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    Post-secondary professor: $92,220; economist: $109,230; mathematician: $112,560

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    Post-secondary professor: 13% growth; economist: 6% growth; mathematician: 21% growth

Online Finance Choose Your Career

Average Finance Salaries

$71,550
$71,590
$117,990
$89,160
$80,310

Financial Services Sales Agent

Salary: $71,550
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
10% 341,500 Bachelor's N/A

Financial services sales agents sell their company’s services to prospective clients. They are responsible for making sales pitches, determining a customer’s financial needs, and maintaining contact with clients. Agents will need superb customer service skills as well as knowledge of their company’s policies and services. Undergraduate finance degrees will be extremely helpful in finding employment.

Budget Analyst

Salary: $71,590
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
3% 60,800 Bachelor's N/A

Budget analysts provide financial assistance to both public and private institutions, focusing exclusively on budgets. Common job duties include developing concise budget reports and tracking spending within an organization. Given that budget balancing requires knowledge of complex financial concepts, undergraduate finance degrees such as an online bachelor’s in finance are mandatory, and some positions may require a master’s degree.

Financial Manager

Salary: $117,990
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
7% 555,900 Bachelor's Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Financial managers are tasked with managing the financial strength of entire organizations, as opposed to individuals. These professionals generate reports, lead investment activities, and direct initiatives to support the organization’s financial goals. A bachelor’s degree in finance online or a related field is required, although many positions now require a master’s degree, typically in business administration. Financial managers must manage multiple projects simultaneously, calling for superior organizational skills.

Financial Advisor

Salary: $89,160
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
30% 249,400 Bachelor's Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Personal financial advisors analyze the financial needs of their clients and offer advice about insurance, tax law, and investments. Advisors also develop short- and long-term plans, which can include saving for retirement or education. Some advisors also sell insurance. Aspiring advisors will need finance degrees, such as an online bachelor’s in finance. In addition to standard financial knowledge, these professionals will also need excellent interpersonal skills in order to communicate with clients.

Financial Analyst

Salary: $80,310
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
12% 227,600 Bachelor's N/A

Financial analysts provide guidance to those making investments. Common job duties include monitoring and assessing stock and bond performance. Financial analysts generally concentrate on a specific industry, but as investment continues to globalize, some professionals choose to specialize in a certain country or geographic area. Degrees from online finance programs can help students find employment, as most positions require formal education. Prospective analysts should also be detail-oriented and proficient in the latest software programs.

Online Finance Professional Requirements

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential is one of the most prestigious and universally recognized certifications for investment management. This is required for those looking to enter a number of finance-oriented professions, such as consultant, research analyst, or risk manager.Candidates must pass three exams sequentially. Level I tests comprehension of professional and ethical standards, while Level 2 focuses on the application of said standards in real-world situations. Level 3 tests a candidate’s knowledge of compliance context and portfolio management. To enroll in the CFA program, applicants will need a working passport along with either an undergraduate degree, four years of professional experience, or a combination of the two.

Is it required?

Yes

How long will it take?

Varies

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

The CFP certification serves as proof of a professional’s extensive financial planning knowledge. It is required for those who want to become certified financial planners.
Those wishing to take the exam must hold a degree (such as an online bachelor’s in finance) from an accredited university, though students without a degree may be qualified if they complete university-level coursework through a CFP Board-certified program. The exam consists of three five-day testing windows, with one each in March, July, and November.

Is it required?

Yes

How long will it take?

8 months

Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

Individuals working in risk management can pursue the FRM credential. The exam has no prerequisites; candidates do not need academic or professional experience to register. In order to obtain this certification, candidates must sit for a pair of multiple-choice exams and complete two years of relevant work experience. Though not required, it is highly recommended that certified FRMs earn at least 40 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) every two years to remain current on risk management practices.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Varies

GMAT

Used as a primary consideration in the admissions process of online finance programs, the GMAT exam tests a student’s reasoning capabilities, with sections devoted to verbal, quantitative, and integrated reasoning. The GMAT has no mandatory prerequisites outside of a scheduling fee, but the exam does assume knowledge of business concepts, and students are strongly encouraged to complete a preparatory program before taking the exam.

Is it required?

Yes

How long will it take?

3.5 hours