The 20 Best Online Masters In Finance Programs

From Wall Street to the World Bank, financial knowledge is key in today’s increasingly interconnected and expanding world. Given its well-rounded offerings in business, economics, accounting and management, a Master’s degree in Finance serves as a bridge between today’s students and tomorrow’s world leaders. If you’re looking to challenge yourself with rigorous coursework and apply your skill set to real-world problems, a Master’s degree in Finance might be for you.

Furthermore, getting a Master’s in Finance has never been more convenient. In order to accommodate the budgetary needs, busy schedules and diverse commitments of today’s prospective students, many schools have begun to offer their Master’s in Finance programs online. The following ranking of the Top 21 Online Master’s in Finance programs equally considers academic rigor, affordability, student support, program resources and unique curriculum features its assessment.

20. California Lutheran University

Home to the first online Financial Programming MBA in the nation, California Lutheran University boasts a long history of student success. From learning to integrate both financial and product market strategy to both measuring and analyzing asset and portfolio risk, students enrolled in one of Cal Lutheran’s online Master’s in Finance programs are mainly trained in business leadership. These skills are enhanced by the school’s diverse experiential learning offerings, in which students can undertake internships at local companies, pursue rich study abroad opportunities, and even gain valuable work experience at the university’s Westlake Center. Electing to take courses in five or eight-week terms, students at Cal Lutheran cite their tight-knit community and abundant networking opportunities as their favorite components of the program.

Tuition: $16,710/year

19. Concordia University-Wisconsin

For a very affordable price, students enrolled at Concordia University’s MBA in finance program can choose from 13 different concentrations, taking key courses such as Real Estate Investment, Risk Management and Insurance, Fraud Management, Financial Institutions Management and Human Resources Management. The school’s ultimate, self-proclaimed focus is “business from a Christian perspective,” and works on developing students’ skill set to make confident, informed, logical financial decisions in the modern economy. This is aided by Concordia’s commitment to individual development, as students have the opportunity to complete a capstone project in their specific field of interest at the end of the program.

Tuition: $9,300/year

18. New England College

For just a hair over ten grand, students who pursue New England College’s online MBA benefit from a rich, accelerated and highly flexible curriculum, which includes core courses like Organizational Leadership and Change, Managerial Accounting and Finance, Managerial Economics, Marketing Management and Strategic Planning and Policy. Designed for working professionals with prior financial education and experience, students, privy to excellent faculty support (average student to professor ratio is 13:1), are encouraged to complete the program at their own desired pace.

Tuition: $10,825/year

17. City University of Seattle

From non-profits to large multinational companies, students who enroll in City University of Seattle’s 48-credit online MBA are sure to excel in a wide range of financial sectors. Taking key courses such as Capital Formation and Corporate Management, Banking and the Movement of Capital, Equity Markets and Debt Instrument Management and Financial Management of Public and Not-for-Profit Organizations, students become experts in both practical and theoretical knowledge, learning to understand economic patterns, execute business strategies, and practice leadership skills.

Offering an internship program for students who wish to gain hands-on experience before graduate, City-Seattle, which also has a highly esteemed joint partnership with the Beijing University of Technology, prepares students for leadership positions around the globe.

Tuition: $15,s192/year

16. Metropolitan College of New York

Although this one-year MBA in financial services is indeed offered online, students are nonetheless given the opportunity to experience hands-on, field-based learning, and are exposed to a wide variety of real-world economic scenarios. Showcasing a low student to faculty ratio of only 5:1, this program focuses on business modeling, managerial skill development, geographical markets, and both product and customer services as its key curricula.

Tuition: $17,530/year

15. Golden Gate University

With origins as early as 1993, Golden Gate University’s distance learning program is one of the nation’s oldest. After concentrating on finance (corporate or general) or investment management, students develop a wide variety of practical skills, such as how to analyze financial statements, evaluate risk and return, formulate management strategies, and understand corporations’ financial decisions. This focus on practical professional skills, along with the excellent student to professor ratio and consistent faculty support, were noted by students as some of their favorite components of the program.

Tuition: $15,660/year

14. National University

Ever since 1996, National University, based in San Diego, California, has offered a comprehensive online program in finance. While providing students with a theoretical background in financial management, this degree’s specialty is in in equipping students with practical problem-solving skills. After taking courses in growth and diversification policy, securities portfolios management, investment banking, merger strategies and foreign exchange rate movement analysis, students have the opportunity to both evaluate a financial institution’s predicament and advise accordingly.

During this rigorous program, students are privy to both the active support of National’s faculty advisors, as well as helpful resources, like the University’s Center for Financial Studies’ data and ticker boards with market information.

Tuition: $10,368/year

13. St. Joseph’s College 

Committed to the Jesuit ideal of "cura personalis" (care for the whole person), St Joseph’s offers an online Master’s degree in Finance conducive to professional development. Though the program mandates core courses in Financial Planning, Financial Analysis, and Corporate Finance, students have great flexibility in their curriculum and can both design their own schedules and choose between eight and 15 week semesters. It’s easy to understand why the 2015 U.S News & World Report ranked St. Joseph’s #17 in their Best Online Graduate Business Programs.

Tuition: $14,200/year

12. Webster University

Offering its first online finance program as early as 1999, Webster University boasts a rich history of distance learning. Taking courses in business strategy, financial modeling, mergers and acquisitions, entrepreneurial finance and capital budgeting, this broad education base helps students prepare to take the CFA or CFP exams. With one of the field’s lowest student to faculty ratios (typically 9:1), students benefit from in-depth class discussion and faculty expertise and have the opportunity to combine their online degree with in-class coursework.

Tuition: $11,610/year

11. Bellevue University

Despite its reputation as one of the most affordable Master’s in Finance degrees, the quality of Bellevue University’s program is top-notch. With a focus on financial management, the degree offers courses in areas such as global markets, enterprise risk management, and both capital budgeting and sources. The University prides itself in its extensive means of student support, including its small class sizes, close professor interactions, networking opportunities and 24/7 classroom access.

Tuition: $8,910/year

10. University of Maryland University College

After choosing between the Master of Science in Accounting and Financial Management and the Financial Management and Information System, Master’s students at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) take core courses focused on recent global market turmoil and elective courses according to their specific interests. As a means to further develop students’ practical financial management skills, faculty members, many of whom are actively affiliated with financial institutions or multinational corporations, serve as student mentors and offer unique experiential learning opportunities.

Furthermore, the UMUC program is especially ideal for veterans, as The Council of College and Military Educators recognized the school for its dedication to education for service members in 2011. (NOTE: Some class offerings require on-site attendance at the University of Maryland University College Campus in Upper Marlboro, MD).

Tuition: $8,244/year (In State), $11,862/year (Out of State)

9. Indiana University

Even though it boasts a relatively affordable price tag, an online Masters degree in Finance from Indiana University is especially valuable, given that its Kelley School of Business was recently named the nation’s second-leading producer of CFOs. The program, which has been offered online since 1999, offers students a broad knowledge base in topics ranging from financial management to quantitative analysis. Furthermore, while this flexible and convenient degree could be obtained in as little as 15 months, students are alternatively given the option to expand their studies and complete an MBA degree simultaneously.

Tuition: $6,143/year (In State), $14,472/year (Out of State)

8. Kaplan University

Equipping students with the unique ability to interpret financial legislation and regulations, Kaplan University’s Master’s degree in Finance cultivates crucial critical thinking skills. After choosing between a focus in Financial Analysis or Financial Planning, students are given practical assignments and reports, as well as the opportunity to give presentations and collaborate on group projects.

Consistent with Kaplan’s reputation for providing students with practical test-taking skills, this program also offers a financial planning specialization course, which satisfies the educational requirement needed for students interested in taking the Certified Financial Planner exam. It’s no wonder The Best Colleges report included Kaplan in its list of Top 20 Online Colleges in 2014.

Tuition: $9,240/year

7. Georgetown University

If money is no object, then an online Master’s Degree in Finance from Georgetown University is an excellent choice. Though the program is significantly more expensive than its online competitors, the investment seems well worth it, given Georgetown’s ranking as the #1 Finance Program by Bloomberg Businessweek, not to mention its impeccably low student-teacher ration (typically 11:1).

In only 20 months, students both learn how markets work, in accordance with the Efficient Market Hypothesis and the Hypothesis of Behavioral Finance, and have the opportunity to test their skills through stock, bond and derivative evaluation. During this rigorous program, in which students also learn to construct efficient portfolios and estimate expected returns and risks, professors utilize technology in order to deliver personalized lesson plans to each student. (NOTE: Both a weeklong on-site residence on Georgetown’s campus and a capstone project is required in this online degree program.)

Tuition: $42,108/year

6. Florida Institute of Technology

Though students enrolled in Florida Institute of Technology’s online MBA in Finance program can specialize in a wide range of disciplines, from Financial Markets and Institutions and Investment Management to Portfolio Analysis and Financial Management Policy, FIT has a deeply rooted commitment to individualized, hands-on education.

Boasting a unique “case method approach”, FIT mandates its online MBA students to take a two-term “Essentials of Business Development” class, in which students, under faculty supervision, fully develop an actual business plan designed for real world application. FIT’s commitment to individualized learning is further reflected in its requirement that students complete a Strategic Management capstone project.

Tuition: $14,724/year

5. Bentley University

For a slightly higher-than-average tuition price, students enrolled in Bentley University’s online business program can look forward to an average starting salary of over $64,000 per year. The school’s commitment to professional development is further echoed in its propensity to employ 71% of its graduates within three months, as well as its tight alumni network and relationship with prestigious corporate firms.

Developed in cooperation with corporate business professionals, the curricula is both practical and theoretical, as it includes important math, economics and accounting practices. Furthermore, students looking to take the CFA exam might want to strongly consider this program, as it was recently lauded for incorporating “at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge”

Tuition: $30,825/year

4. Colorado State University Global

One of the strongest aspects of Colorado State University Global Masters in Finance program is its dedication to customizing its program to individual student goals, be they in information technology, financial management or business intelligence. Ranked by U.S News & World as one of the top 100 Graduate Business Programs in the nation, the online degree allows students to enjoy many of the same benefits as their on-campus counterparts, such as access to the library and career center, technical support services, and 24/7 live tutoring.

Focusing on topics from financial risk to auditing and accounting, this degree facilitates technology use as a key factor in financial decision-making.

Tuition: $9,000

3. Southern New Hampshire University

Though slightly more expensive than its counterparts, Southern New Hampshire University’s Masters of Science in Finance program is nationally recognized. With its distance learning program beginning in 1996, SNHU is one of the oldest online university programs and boasts both experienced faculty and prestigious post-graduate opportunities in financial management, corporate finance, and investment banking.

After taking core classes in Managerial Accounting, Managerial Economics, Fiscal and Monetary Policies and Practices, Financial Management and Quantitative Analysis for Decision Making, students can complete the degree in as little as 15 months, and are then prepared to take the CFA level 1 exam. When considering all of these assets, it makes sense that the New Hampshire Business Review 2014 gave SNHU the Winner "Best of Business" Award for Best MBA Program and Best Online Degree Program.

Tuition: $23,222/year

2. Pennsylvania State University

Ranked as the fifth Best Online Graduate Business Program by U.S News & World Report, this program provides students with a broad range of skills, from financial modeling and capital structure to multinational financial management and derivative securities. While the program is a better fit for those with pre-existing financial experience, the program is nonetheless flexible and serves as a bridge into a wide range of financial professions. In fact, according to a recent survey published in the Wall Street Journal, recruiters classified Penn State graduates as being the most well-prepared for the professional world.

NOTE: During their fourth term, students are required to attend a one-week residency program on Penn State’s Great Valley campus.

Tuition: $18,766/year

1. Northeastern University

Designed for students with prior experience in finance, this rigorous program offers the opportunity to specialize in corporate finance or investments. By integrating CFA materials into the curriculum, this program is especially adept in preparing students for the professional world, as it focuses not only on the cultivation of theoretical knowledge but the development of organizational, management and leadership skills. Even with it's extensive and broad offering of core courses like Financial Theory and Policy, Analysis of Financial Institutions and Markets, Financial Strategy, Investment Analysis, Portfolio Management, International Finance Management and Financial Risk Management, students can earn their Master’s degree in as little as 16 months.

Ranked #4 in the Up-and-Coming Schools report by U.S News & World Report, Northeastern also provides its Master’s in Finance students the unique opportunity to become better equity researchers and portfolio managers through participating in the 360 Huntington Fund, a student-managed mutual fund for the University’s endowment. Though its tuition is higher than the average online Master’s in Finance programs, Northeastern’s unique and comprehensive program is unmatched.

Tuition: $30,642/year