A Finance MBA–that is, an MBA degree program with a Finance and Accounting specialization–is a program for professionals that wish to pursue a bold and rewarding career in various business industries. Due to the highly competitive nature of these careers, students that wish to obtain a Finance-specialized MBA degree should enroll into a highly respected and rigorous program to gain an edge over other aspiring professionals. However, this can be a lofty task as many students wishing to pursue an MBA degree are already entrenched in their careers. With this in mind, we have selected our top fifteen best Finance MBA picks that are available in an online format, allowing students to obtain a top-shelf education that fits around their schedule.
Are you seeking to advance your career in finance and make a significant impact in the financial industry? Pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in finance can be a game-changer for your professional growth. In today’s digital era, online education has gained tremendous popularity, providing flexibility and accessibility to working professionals worldwide. If you’re ready to embark on a transformative learning journey while maintaining your professional commitments, exploring the best online Finance MBAs is a smart move.
In this comprehensive guide, we will navigate the landscape of online finance MBAs, highlighting the benefits, top programs, admission requirements, and frequently asked questions. Whether you’re an aspiring financial analyst, investment banker, or corporate finance executive, this article will equip you with the necessary insights to make an informed decision and unlock your potential in the finance industry.
Best Online Finance MBAs: Setting the Stage for Success
Differences Between a Finance MBA Degree and a Master of Finance Degree
The differences between a Finance MBA degree and a Master of Finance (MF) degree are numerous, but the main difference is a Finance MBA will give students a stronger foundation in general business acumen than a Master of Finance degree will. This is due to the fact that a Finance MBA is a specialized MBA option, giving students not only financial- and accounting-specific knowledge but also knowledge on a wide-range of business topics including Management, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Information Technology and Human Resources. Students enrolled in a Master of Finance degree course will only receive the financial- and accounting-specific knowledge and will miss out on a lot of the broader management and business areas of focus that MBA students generally receive.
Possible Career Options for Finance MBA Majors Compared to Career Options for Master’s of Finance:
There are many career options and avenues available to professionals that hold a Finance MBA degree, some of these options include distinguished upper management careers such as:
Chief Financial Officer (CFO);
Corporate Controller and;
Along with more broad management positions such as:
Marketing Manager and;
Health Services Manager
In contrast to this, the career options for students that hold a Master of Finance degree are a little more pigeonholed. These career options include:
Financial Service Sales;
Mortgage Banker and;
1. University of Maryland
The University of Maryland, College Park–often referred to as UM, UMD or UM-College Park–is a public land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The school was founded in 1856 and is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland. With over 100 undergraduate majors and 120 graduate programs, the University of Maryland is the largest university in the state and the largest in the Washington Metropolitan Area. The University of Maryland’s proximity to the nation’s capital has resulted in research partnerships with the Federal government. Members of the faculty receive research funding and institutional support from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Homeland Security.
The online MBA program offered through the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is a fully online, accredited and asynchronous MBA program. Students enrolled in this MBA program will be able to earn their MBA online in as few as 21 months with a flexible program that allows them to remain active in their professional role. Students will also be able to choose from one of the school’s specializations, such as: Accounting, Finance, Information Systems and Business Analytics, Marketing and Supply Chain Management. There are also plenty of finance- and accounting-related electives that students can choose from. Students enrolled in this program will gain access to the 60,000 plus Robert H. Smith School of Business alumni who are working professionals worldwide, allowing them to exponentially grow their professional network of contacts. The MBA program offered at the University of Maryland is a nationally and internationally recognized program, and is top ranked by multiple respected publications such as Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek and U.S. News and World Report. We have chosen this online finance-focused MBA degree program due to the school’s commitment to providing students with an extremely high-quality education, the program’s highly flexible nature and the solid foundation in finance theories and practices that the program provides.
School Colors: Red, Gold, Black and White
2. University of North Carolina
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill–also commonly referred to as UNC–is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. After school was chartered in 1789, the university first began enrolling students in 1795. This means UNC is one of three schools to claim the title of the oldest public university located in the United States. The University of North Carolina is one of the original eight Public Ivy schools, which are schools that are capable of providing an Ivy League experience for a public education price. The university offers degrees in over 70 courses of study through its fourteen colleges and the College of Arts and Sciences. All undergraduates receive a liberal arts education and have the option to pursue a major within the professional schools of the university or within the College of Arts and Sciences from the time they obtain junior status. In 1952, North Carolina opened its own hospital, UNC Health Care, for research and treatment, and has since specialized in cancer care.
The online MBA program offered through the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School is a fully online, accredited MBA program that expertly blends asynchronous and synchronous components and is commonly referred to as the school’s MBA@UNC program. With the blend of asynchronous and synchronous formats, students will be able to complete their coursework on their own time, but still be able to effectively communicate with the school’s dynamic faculty and obtain small-class size style lectures on a weekly basis. These synchronous lectures and discussions never exceed a 15:1 student-faculty ratio, ensuring that students will receive the help that they might need. This MBA program has various business specializations to choose from, such as: Entrepreneurship, Global Supply Chain Management, Marketing, Investment Management, Sustainable Enterprise, Management Consulting, Data Analytics and Decision Making and Corporate Finance. The school also has a wide selection of electives for students to choose from, and the MBA program is a top-ranked online MBA program by U.S. News and World Report.
School Colors: Carolina Blue and White
3. Northeastern University
Northeastern University–commonly referred to as NU and formerly known as NEU–is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts, and was established in 1898. It is categorized as an R1 institution, a Doctoral Universities with the rank of Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs on its main campus in the Fenway-Kenmore, Roxbury, South End and Back Bay neighborhoods of the metropolitan area of Boston. In addition to the main campus, NU also has multiple satellite campuses located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington and Silicon Valley, California that exclusively offer graduate degrees. Northeastern features a cooperative education program that integrates classroom study with professional experience on seven different continents worldwide, utilizing a comprehensive study abroad program.
The online MBA program offered through Northeastern University’s D’amore McKim School of Business is a fully online, asynchronous and accredited degree program. This program is ranked as the #4 best online MBA program in the nation by the Financial Times publication in their 2016 online MBA program rankings. Northeastern University places a high focus on work experience, and so students that meet the school’s minimum work experience requirements and can provide two professional letters of recommendation can enroll without having previously taken the GMAT or GRE. This program has many specializations and electives (both liberal arts and business-related) available for students to choose from. These specializations are: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Accounting, General Management, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Supply Chain Management and Finance. Within the business-related electives, there are many financial- and accounting-related electives to choose from. There are also many dual-degree programs available, such as the school’s Online Master of Science in Finance and MBA dual-degree program. This MBA program can be completed in as few as two years, allowing students to get a faster jump start on advancing their careers.
Mascot: Paws the Husky
School Colors: Northeastern Red, Warm Gray and Black
4. Arizona State University
Arizona State University–commonly referred to as ASU or Arizona State–is a public metropolitan research university that is comprised of five separate campuses throughout the state of Arizona, the main campus in downtown Phoenix, Arizona and four regional learning centers in various other cities. ASU is one of the largest public universities by enrollment located in the United States. ASU’s charter, approved by the board of regents in 2014, is based on the “New American University” model created by ASU President Crow. It defines ASU as “a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but rather by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.” ASU is classified as a research university with very high research activity (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Since 2005 ASU has been ranked among the top research universities, both public and private, in the country.
The online MBA program offered through Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business’s Online division is a fully online, accredited and asynchronous program. Unfortunately, this school did not receive a better ranking in this list purely due to the fact that the MBA program does require one on-campus meeting before starting the coursework. However, the school provides each enrolled student with an assigned Career Services team member who will walk students through various career path options and help them to determine which industry would be a good fit for them. After graduation, students will be able to communicate with their Career Services team members who will assist them in finding local career opportunities, and students will also be able to utilize the school’s extensive network of working professional alumni to forge new business contacts. This MBA program offers students a wide variety of finance- and accounting-related electives and a finance specialization, providing them with a dynamic finance education that will serve students in their professional life. This program is also ranked in the top 5 online MBA programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Mascot: Sparky the Sun Devil
School Colors: ASU Maroon and Gold
5. Florida International University
Florida International University–also commonly referred to as FIU–is a public research university located in the greater Miami area in Florida. FIU has two major campuses in Miami-Dade County, with its main campus located in University Park. Florida International University is classified as a “tier-one” research university with the highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and a first-tier research university as defined by the Florida Legislature. Founded in 1965, FIU is one of the younger universities that is a member of the 12-campus State University System of Florida. The university offers 191 different programs of study with more than 280 majors across its 23 colleges and schools. FIU offers many graduate programs, including architecture, business administration, engineering, law and medicine, and the school offers 81 master’s degrees, 34 doctoral degrees and 3 professional degrees in different areas of study. FIU is the largest university located in the South Florida area, the 2nd-largest in Florida and the 4th-largest in the United States.
The online MBA program offered through Florida International University’s Chapman Graduate School of Business is a fully online, accredited and asynchronous program that is available in both an accelerated format and a part-time format, allowing students to complete their coursework on their own timetable. The school’s’ international MBA and corporate MBA offerings both provide students with a solid understanding of business financial practices through specializations and financial- and accounting-related electives. The school also extends the opportunity to obtain up to $10,000 USD in scholarships to eligible students, which can greatly increase the already desirable return on investment (ROI) that this program provides. This school’s MBA programs are nationally and internationally recognized by many respected collegiate publications such as U.S. News and World Report, Financial Times and CNN.
Mascot: Roary the Panther
School Colors: Blue and Gold
6. University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison–also known as just the University of Wisconsin, UW or UW–Madison–is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866. UW–Madison is organized into 20 different schools and colleges. The UW is also one of America’s Public Ivy universities, which refers to top public universities in the United States capable of providing a collegiate experience comparable with the Ivy League schools. UW–Madison is categorized as a research university with very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The online MBA program offered through the University of Wisconsin’s MBA Consortium–a group of colleges under the University of Wisconsin–Madison flagship school that work together to provide students with an outstanding MBA education and which includes UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Parkside–is a fully accredited, online program that is fully asynchronous with optional synchronous aspects, allowing students to complete their coursework whenever and wherever but allowing them to still be able to communicate with the school’s faculty and to participate in class discussion. This online program utilizes Desire2Learn (D2L) as its learning management system, which is an easy-to-access program that is highly user-friendly. This MBA program has many electives and foundation courses for students to choose from. Some finance-related foundation courses that will provide students a strong understanding of business finance practices include: Accounting Fundamentals for Business Decisions, Microeconomics Foundation, Macroeconomics Foundation and Accounting Fundamentals for Management Decisions. Some finance- and accounting-related electives that are offered are: Introduction to Financial Fraud, Mutual Fund Investing and Financial Statement Analysis.
Mascot: Bucky Badger
School Colors: Cardinal and White
7. University of Massachusetts–Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst–commonly referred to both informally and formally as UMass Amherst or simply UMass–is a public research and land-grant university with the university’s main campus located in downtown Amherst, Massachusett and is a member of the University of Massachusetts school system, which includes four other main campuses and many satellite locations. The school is the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. With approximately 1,300 faculty members and more than 29,000 students, UMass Amherst is the largest public university located in New England and is ranked the 29th best public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for the 2015-2016 academic year. The university offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees in 111 undergraduate, 75 master’s and 47 doctoral programs across the university’s nine schools and colleges. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is categorized as a Research University with Very High research activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, denoting a school that provides excellent research across various fields from both faculty and enrolled students.
The online MBA program offered through the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management is a fully accredited, online and asynchronous MBA program. This MBA program is available in both a fully online full-time format and a fully online part-time format. The school’s highly dedicated, experienced and qualified faculty have been refining the school’s online MBA program for the past ten years, in an effort to provide students with the best quality education possible. This program offers students a selection of specializations and electives to choose from. The areas of specializations available for students in this MBA program are: Accounting, Hospitality and Tourism Management, General Management, Marketing and Finance. The electives available are cross-disciplinary in both liberal arts and business-specific areas. The Finance specialization, coupled with finance- and accounting-related electives will provide students a solid business finance foundation on which to build a successful and rewarding career in a number of industries.
Mascot: Sam the Minuteman
School Colors: Maroon, Black and White
8. North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University–often referred to as NCSU or NC State–is a public, coeducational and research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The university is part of the University of North Carolina system and is a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant institution. The university forms one of the corners of the Research Triangle together with Duke University–located in Durham, North Carolina–and The University of North Carolina–located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina–which is a group of the highest research activity schools located in North Carolina as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The North Carolina General Assembly founded the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, which is now known as NC State, on March 7, 1887, as a land-grant college. NC State has historical strengths in engineering, statistics, agriculture, life sciences, textiles and design and now offers 106 different bachelor’s degrees, and the graduate school offers 104 master’s degrees, 61 doctoral degrees, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The school is also the largest in the state, based on student enrollment.
The online MBA program offered through North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management is a fully online, accredited and asynchronous program with a focus on many different areas of specialization. These areas are: Biosciences Management, Innovation Management, Marketing Management, Supply Chain Management, Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization, and Financial Management. The Financial Management specialization will provide students with everything they will need to become successful in a financially-focused career. This program is also available in both an accelerated format and a flexible format, allowing students to earn their degree in as little as 21 months or up to six years. Unfortunately, this school’s online MBA program is not available to students who are residents of Minnesota due to that state’s laws, which is why this program is not ranked higher on this list.
Mascot: Mr. Wuf & Mrs. Wuf
School Colors: Red and White
9. Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University–which is also commonly referred to as FAU or Florida Atlantic–is a public university located in Boca Raton, Florida. The school also has five satellite campuses located in the Florida cities of Dania Beach, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, and in Fort Pierce at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. FAU belongs to the 12-campus State University System of Florida and serves students in South Florida. Florida Atlantic University is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with high research activity, and the university offers more than 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs within its 10 colleges in addition to a professional degree from the College of Medicine. Programs of study cover liberal arts and humanities, the sciences, medicine, nursing, accounting, business, education, public administration, social work, architecture, engineering and computer science.
The online MBA degree program offered through Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business is a fully online, asynchronous and accredited degree program. This MBA program is available in a part-time format and the program’s instruction and content replicates the classroom experience, where students will have recorded online lectures, presentations, discussion and chats with other students and the faculty. This MBA program is also taught by the same experienced faculty as the school’s on-campus counterpart, ensuring a high-quality education will be received. FAU’s part-time MBA program was recently ranked among the best in the world by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and ranks #1 in Florida and #5 in the United States in terms of a student’s return on investment (ROI), with one of the nation’s highest average salary-to-debt ratios after obtaining their MBA from this program. This MBA program focuses on both international business and financial practices, providing students with a well-rounded financial education that will serve them in many different industries and career paths, allowing for a lot of flexibility and greater professional utility.
Mascot: Owlsley the Owl
School Colors: FAU Red and FAU Blue
10. Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Clarion University of Pennsylvania is a public, nonsectarian university that is located in Clarion, Pennsylvania. It is one of fourteen universities that make up the members of Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). The school was founded in 1867, became a college-level school in 1920 and a university-level school in the 1980s and the school offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees and post master’s certificates to students in a variety of disciplines. The university maintains Venango College of Clarion University–a regional college–in Oil City and a site in Pittsburgh at West Penn Hospital. Clarion also offers an extended studies program featuring online courses, classes at remote satellite campuses and various hybrid learning opportunities to students. Clarion University’s programs are all accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and, through other accrediting agencies, the school offers 39 nationally accredited programs.
The online Finance MBA degree program offered at Clarion University is a fully online program that mixes both asynchronous and synchronous coursework, and that is fully accredited and nationally recognized. The synchronous portions of the coursework are available in the evenings to help accommodate working professionals. This MBA program allows students to choose from a variety of specializations and electives–both cross-discipline and financial-related–to customize the education that they receive. By choosing a finance-focused specialization and finance- or accounting-related electives, students will receive a solid foundation in business money management and business growth. In addition to the MBA degree program offered at Clarion University, the school also offers an optional pre-MBA certificate program designed to prepare students to enter the full MBA program by providing them with the basics of business management, practices and theories. Students that want to obtain a basic working knowledge of business practices, but do not plan on pursuing an MBA program are also welcome to enroll into this certificate program, which is available both on-campus and fully online.
Mascot: None; Nickname: The Golden Eagles
School Colors: Blue and Gold