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An online MBA in finance may be precisely what you need to succeed in finance. These programs prepare students for various coveted roles, including financial analyst, investment banker, and financial manager, offering salaries ranging from $91,580 to $131,710 annually. With flexible study options, these programs can be completed in as little as 18 months, allowing working professionals to balance their careers and education. While costs can vary depending on the institution, the average tuition for these programs is approximately $12,000 to $27,000 per year.

How To Choose an Online MBA in Finance Degree Program

Choose your area of study

First, consider your interests and strengths within the realm of finance. For example, students with an analytical mindset may be well-suited for a concentration in investment analysis, while natural leaders will thrive in financial management. Research the specializations offered within MBA programs and consider the courses and curriculum content.

Additionally, seek advice from professionals already working in your field of interest to gain insights into the industry’s future trends and potential opportunities. This can highlight a specialization you are an excellent fit for but have yet to consider.

Research schools and programs

Once you’ve chosen your area of specialization, conducting thorough research on schools and programs is crucial to finding the best institution for your needs. Start by identifying reputable universities and business schools offering an online finance MBA in your chosen specialization. Visit their official websites to gather information about your field’s curriculum, courses, faculty, and resources.

Engage with current students and alums through online forums or networking platforms to gain insights into their experiences and perspectives. Many prospective students find it beneficial to attend virtual information sessions or open houses offered by the institutions, as this allows you to interact directly with faculty or program representatives.

Prepare for tests and applications

To effectively prepare for tests and applications, consider following these critical strategies. First, familiarize yourself with the test format, such as the GMAT or GRE, and create a study schedule that allows for regular practice. Utilize official study materials and practice exams to proactively identify your strengths and weaknesses. Some students benefit from enrolling in test preparation courses or working with a tutor to receive personalized guidance.

Simultaneously, gather and organize all necessary application materials, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a well-crafted statement of purpose highlighting your career goals and motivation for pursuing an MBA in finance. Connecting with professionals or alums from your top programs may be helpful, as they can lend insights into the application process and potentially give recommendations. Lastly, meticulously proofread and revise your application materials to ensure clarity, coherence, and a solid first impression.

Select your program

Once you have a few offers of admission, you should carefully weigh a few critical factors before selecting your program. Considering each program’s curriculum alignment, faculty expertise, and reputation with your career goals is crucial. Evaluate the flexibility and format of the online coursework, including the availability of networking opportunities and student support services. Additionally, consider the institution’s accreditation and the overall fit with your learning style and personal preferences.

By considering these factors collectively, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your ambitions and motivates you toward success in your finance career.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

While paying for an online MBA can initially feel overwhelming, many resources are available to help alleviate the financial burden of pursuing this advanced degree. Explore financial aid options, including federal student aid, by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Check with your institution to see what scholarships they offer specific to your MBA program or related to finance. Additionally, research scholarship and grant options are available from professional organizations and private foundations. Some students can balance part-time work to help finance their education, and many MBA students utilize employer tuition reimbursement programs as a funding source.

The Top 51 Online MBA in Finance Programs

Best MBA in Finance Programs

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Arizona State University

Northeastern University

UMass Amherst

Babson College

Indiana University-Bloomington

North Carolina State University

Texas A&M International University

Florida Atlantic University

Penn State World Campus

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Ball State University

Southern New Hampshire University

University of Delaware

Bethel University

Lehigh University

Umass Lowell

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Touro University Worldwide

Syracuse University

Temple University

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

St. John’s University

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How We Rank Schools

This list features some of the best online MBA in finance programs at top colleges nationwide. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. Many of the schools on our list have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which assesses business-related programs’ objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, reputation, and the student resources provided for online 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 online MBA in Finance 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.

What Can You Expect From an Online MBA in Finance Degree Program

An online MBA in finance provides a well-rounded education designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge and expertise to succeed in the finance industry. Coursework covers financial analysis, investment management, corporate finance, risk management, and financial strategy. Students learn to analyze financial statements, evaluate investment opportunities, assess financial risks, and make strategic financial decisions.

Earning an online degree offers a certain degree of flexibility that makes it possible for working professionals to balance their education with other responsibilities, and an online MBA in finance is no exception. In an online learning environment, students engage in virtual collaborations, group projects, and discussions with classmates and faculty. Additionally, some programs may offer networking events, guest lectures, or virtual workshops to enhance the learning experience and foster connections with industry professionals. Most full-time students complete degree requirements in 18 months to two years, but some accelerated options may enable students to finish in less time.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online MBA in Finance program

  • Corporate Finance: A popular core course for finance majors, this class explores the financial decisions made within corporations, including capital budgeting, capital structure, dividend policy, and working capital management. Students learn to evaluate investment projects, optimize capital structure, and assess the financial impact of various decisions on the firm’s value.
  • Managerial Accounting: Another standard course for finance majors, managerial accounting teaches students how to use accounting information for internal decision-making and planning. Students comprehensively understand cost concepts, budgeting, cost-volume-profit analysis, and performance measurement.
  • Strategic Financial Management: Also known as “Corporate Financial Strategy,” this class is typically included in curriculums as an elective. Students focus on the financial aspects of strategic decision-making within organizations while learning how financial considerations shape corporate strategy.
  • Global Financing and Emerging Markets: Another popular elective in finance curriculums, this class focuses on the complexities of international finance and the unique challenges and opportunities presented by emerging markets. Students study foreign exchange markets, international capital budgeting, and global investment strategies.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: While mergers and acquisitions can be offered as a topic in financial strategy courses, some institutions offer this course as its own class. Students learn the fundamental concepts and strategies involved in corporate mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. They study valuation methods, deal structuring, negotiation tactics, and post-merger integration.

What Can You Do With an Online MBA in Finance?

Career outlook

Finance is a growing field, and the career outlook is suitable for those who wish to earn an online MBA in finance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts solid growth for many careers in the financial sector. For example, the need for financial managers is expected to grow by 17% by 2031, much faster than most occupations. The median pay for a financial manager is $131,710 annually, according to the BLS, and earning your MBA may lead to a salary above this median. Another common choice in finance is to become a financial analyst, a field growing by 9% annually. The median salary for financial analysts is $95,570 a year.

Career paths

Although banking may be the first industry that comes to mind when you think of finance, your online MBA in finance prepares you for positions in just about any field in business and industry, as well as the nonprofit world.

Earning a degree in finance prepares you for leadership-level jobs in the banking sector, of course. Still, you may also find fulfilling work handling the financial aspects of any business, from an industrial firm to a Silicon Valley software company.

Here are some common career paths you might follow:

  • Financial analyst — guides businesses and individuals in making decisions about their money.
  • Financial manager — develop plans and create reports for the long-term financial success of a business or organization.
  • Financial advisor — provides financial advice to individuals and organizations.
  • Certified public accountant — advises clients on financial matters, prepares tax returns, and assists with personal financial planning.
  • Investment manager — manage portfolio investments and implement strategies to maximize financial return.
  • Chief financial officer — works with an organization’s leadership team to determine the financial implications of the company’s actions.

Personal Financial Advisor

Earning Potential: $47,570-$208,000
Education Required: Bachelor and/or master’s degree in finance

Personal financial advisors advise clients on financial matters, from insurance options to retirement and estate planning. They may be employed by a financial firm or work independently. Personal financial advisors meet individually with their clients so they understand their financial needs and goals. There may be an educational component involved as the advisor explains financial options to their clients, along with the benefits and drawbacks of each. They make recommendations to their clients and then monitor their accounts to ensure the best possible financial performance.

Financial Manager

Earning Potential: $77,040-$208,000
Education Required: Bachelor and/or master’s degree in finance or business

Financial managers work for companies in various sectors, ensuring their organization’s financial health. They may supervise employees and are also likely to work with the company’s senior management team to help them assess the advisability of their decisions for the business. Financial managers need to be able to read financial reports and spreadsheets fluently, prepare financial statements and forecasts, and analyze market trends to maximize profits. The position requires a thorough knowledge of tax law, industry regulations, and any processes impacting the organization’s success.

Certified Public Accountant

Earning Potential: $47,970-$128,970
Education Required: Bachelor’s and/or master’s degrees in business or finance

CPAs prepare and examine financial records for companies and individuals, determining the best scenarios for financial success and offering solutions to their clients or management teams. They must have a keen eye for detail and be able to prepare error-free statements. CPAs must understand the tax code since they are often involved in computing taxes and preparing tax returns. They may also be tasked with properly organizing and maintaining financial records or overseeing those who do. A CPA in a managerial position may consult with their company’s leadership team, making recommendations and identifying financial risks to help their company make the most financially advantageous decisions.

Online MBA in Finance Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online MBA in Finance degree program?

Applying to online MBA programs can be intimidating, but many institutions have similar application requirements. Access the online application form by visiting the program’s official website. Check to ensure you meet the program’s admission requirements, which typically include a bachelor’s degree, minimum GPA, and work experience. Then, prepare the necessary materials, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and GMAT or GRE test scores. Don’t hesitate to reach out to an admissions counselor when in doubt. They can lend valuable insights into the admissions process, clarify any uncertainties, and ensure you meet all requirements before you apply.

How much does an online MBA in finance degree cost?

Programs on the more affordable side of the spectrum see an average cost of $302.80 per credit hour, which is relatively inexpensive. However, these degrees can quickly become pricey, with some schools reaching $70,000 or higher per year. It’s also important to consider the additional costs of an online degree, such as technology fees, textbooks, and course materials.

While online programs may save on expenses like commuting and accommodation, they may have other costs, such as online platform fees or residency requirements. On the other hand, in-person programs may have higher tuition due to on-campus facilities and resources. Therefore, it’s crucial to research and consider all associated costs before committing to an online MBA degree program.

How long does it take to earn an online MBA in finance degree?

On average, an online MBA in finance can be completed in 18 months to three years. Many online programs offer more flexibility than their on-campus counterparts, allowing students to complete degree requirements independently. However, if a student chooses to enroll part-time, the program will typically take longer to complete. The total number of required credits also impacts this timeline, with many programs requiring a range of 36 to 60 credit hours to graduate.

Is an online MBA in finance worth it?

Although many entry-level positions in finance are available to those with a bachelor’s degree in business or finance, an MBA in finance can open the door to higher-level positions, sometimes as part of an organization’s leadership team.

Many positions in the finance world are growing faster than average, making the field a good choice for individuals who want to enter or advance in a growing profession. The need for personal financial advisors, for example, is expected to grow by 15%, much faster than average, according to the BLS. That would mean that positions would be available for 50,900 trained financial advisors by 2031.

Earning your degree online can be a solid choice for many students — it increases the number of institutions available to study at and may offer financial savings. There is little stigma around earning a degree online — instead, it shows potential employers that you are self-motivated and organized, with excellent time management skills.

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