What You Should Know About This Degree
Master’s in finance degrees are most often officially known as a Master of Science in Finance (MS in Finance or MSF). These degrees primarily focus on advanced technical skills, and they differ somewhat from a Master of Business Administration in Finance (MBA in Finance). An MBA in finance is likely to be a more general program, covering business, organizational leadership, and management, along with financial topics.
Whether an MS in Finance or an MBA in Finance makes more sense for you depends on your career aspirations. Some graduate schools offer dual-degree programs that provide an accelerated format for earning both degrees.
Accounting is another related field that deserves consideration, and Master of Accounting degrees are also available. Think about whether you’d prefer the finance or accounting focus before enrolling in a program.
Most of the online programs listed here can be completed entirely remotely, but a few might require a brief in-person stint. For example, they might have a short residency or internship requirement. Take into account any in-person requirements as you evaluate whether programs are compatible with your situation.
As you evaluate master’s in finance degree programs, consider these questions:
- Am I eligible for this program? Most graduate programs require an undergraduate degree, and some schools ask for an undergraduate degree in a related field. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree in finance or a similar subject, you might have to complete a few prerequisite courses before enrolling in a master’s in finance program.
- How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most master’s in finance degrees take about a year of full-time study to complete, although a few programs have curriculum structures that extend that time frame slightly. This is one advantage of pursuing an MSF rather than an MBA in Finance, which usually requires two years.
When you identify a program that seems promising, contact the program or check its webpage to see what the admission process entails. Make sure you know which materials must be submitted and when the school needs them.
Also give thought to how you’ll pay for your degree. Ask schools which scholarships and financial aid you might qualify for, and ask your employer if it offers tuition reimbursement.