Why This Matters


    Typically, management positions like chief financial officer, cash manager, or controller require an advanced degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the addition of 108,600 management jobs by 2026.


    As baby boomers plan and invest for retirement and companies move away from traditional pension plans to individual retirement accounts, the demand for personal financial advisers will increase by 15%.


    According to Payscale.com, individuals with a master’s degree earn an average salary of $77,000 per year, compared to $65,000 annually with a bachelor’s degree. Some management positions pay over $100,000 a year.

Our Research

When it comes to graduate programs in finance, the most common degree type is a Master of Science in Finance (MS or MSF). This degree focuses on in-depth technical skills and may require a thesis.

All of the programs on our list have regional accreditation, which guarantees that they meet high standards of quality for post-secondary education. Several types of specialized accreditation exist for business-related programs, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). These accreditations confirm the programs’ commitment to excellence in business education. All of our ranked programs have one of these specialized accreditations.

After narrowing our list of master’s programs in finance, we evaluated each program based on their reputation, flexibility, course strength, and cost. We then calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 81 hours to write this article
  • 119 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 402 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Master’s in Finance Programs

Best Online Master's in Finance Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Whether you are looking to enter the finance field or further your career in finance, earning a master’s degree is a good option if you already possess an undergraduate degree. A Master of Science in Finance isn’t your only option, though. Many individuals opt for a Master of Business Administration (MBA), which is a more general degree that typically includes coursework in business, management, and organizational leadership, in addition to financial skills.

Depending on your career goals, you may want to consider an MBA, although the more specialized MS in Finance is becoming increasingly popular among employers. Some schools offer a dual MS/MBA program, allowing you to earn both degrees in a more condensed time frame.

You may also want to research master’s degrees in accounting, which is a closely related field to finance. Both careers involve working with money, but there are some important differences between them. Your career goals will guide which type of program is right for you.

While many of the programs on our list have coursework that can be completed totally online, some have optional residency or internship programs. There are many benefits to completing an internship as part of your master’s degree, especially if you don’t have any professional experience in finance.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Finance programs:

  • Does this program offer the specialization I want? There are many options for concentrations within finance, including corporate finance, investments and securities, and fraud management. If you are planning to focus on one of these areas, be sure to select a program that allows you to concentrate in your area of interest.
  • Am I eligible for this program? At the graduate level, most programs require either prerequisite coursework or professional experience in the subject. If you do not have a degree or undergraduate coursework in finance or a related field, you may have to take some prerequisite classes prior to enrollment in the master’s program.

Be sure to research the program’s admissions procedures and deadlines as well. Having this information will ensure a smooth application process to your selected programs. This information is typically available on the school’s website, or you can contact their admissions department.

You should also consider your options for financing your education, including loans, scholarships, and assistantships. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any kind of tuition assistance benefits.