Why This Matters

  • 30 POPULAR CAREER PATHS AVAILABLE

    With a finance degree, you’re never stuck in one role. Your degree prepares you to become an auditor, accountant, adviser, analyst, purchasing manager, or logistician, to name a few of the most popular career paths.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 715,100 MORE FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS BY 2031

    Job growth is projected to be 7% through 2031, which means more than a half-million new financial professionals are needed to keep up with demand.

  • CERTAIN FINANCE JOBS PAY MORE THAN $90,000 A YEAR

    Top-paying finance jobs command a median income of $90,000 or more, which is roughly double the median for all occupations. Some of the highest-paying finance professions are personal financial advisers, management analysts, and financial analysts.

Our Research

This list features some of the best finance degree programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. The programs on our list are available at accredited institutions, including The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), both reputable organizations who assess finance programs for educational excellence and a commitment to quality education.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for on-campus students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of finance degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 50 Finance Degree Programs

Best Finance Degree Programs 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
University of Pennsylvania
01
Most Recognized Faculty
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management
01
Most Innovative Curriculum
University of Notre Dame
01
Best Research Institute
New York University Stern School of Business
01
Most Affordable
Santa Clara University
01
Best Faith-based Institution
Georgetown University
01
Best Public Institution
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
01
Best Part-time Program
Boston College
01
Best Private Institution
Carnegie Mellon University
01
Most Flexible Admissions
University of Florida
01

Drake University
01

Wake Forest University
01

Lehigh University
01

Stanford University
01

Villanova University
01

Ohio State University
01

Harvard University
01

University of Illinois Gies College of Business
01

University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business
01

University of Georgia
01

Northwestern University
01

Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business
01

Tulane University
01

University of California at Los Angeles
01

Case Western Reserve University
01

Western Carolina University
01

Appalachian State University
01

University of Rochester
01

University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business
01

Illinois Institute of Technology

 

What You Should Know About This Degree

A degree in finance prepares you to become a financial analyst, loan officer, personal financial adviser, or accountant, among a variety of other career paths. Finance degrees are distinct from business degrees in their focus on advanced mathematics principles and application.

When researching finance degree programs, look for accreditations from the AACSB, HLC, and MSCHE. Another reputable accreditation may come from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).

An accredited finance degree program ensures your courses and subject matter are held to quality standards. This will be important if you choose to gain employment with an established company, transfer credits, or pursue a graduate-level degree.

Certifications aren’t required but are highly recommended. A professional certification immediately proves to clients or potential employers that you have demonstrated competency in a financial specialty. Becoming certified also gives you a competitive edge in the workforce. The most popular certifications are Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, and Financial Risk Manager.

What’s Next?

Ask yourself the following questions when researching a finance degree program:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Undergraduate programs that culminate in a bachelor’s degree generally require a minimum high school GPA and a minimum SAT or ACT score for admission. An associate degree is a good way to gain broad finance knowledge if you don’t meet these requirements. Additionally, credits earned at an accredited community or state college might be transferable to a university.
  • How long does it take to complete this degree? Most bachelor’s-level finance degrees require 120 credits, or four years of full-time study. It’s important to understand that 45 to 60 credits of the total 120 are general education classes and not specific to finance.

As you search for the best finance degree program, pay attention to important dates, such as application and financial aid deadlines. Ensure you have all components of the application (transcripts, admission essay, and so on) in order before the deadline.

Learn about financial aid options by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and speaking with your prospective school’s financial aid office. New or transfer students might be eligible for program-specific funding that’s available on a first-come, first-serve basis.