MBA in Finance
Companies of all kinds need experts in financial analysis and planning. The management of a company’s finances is essential to all industries and can make or break the success of an organization, from the largest multinational bank to the smallest retailer.
Finance is one of the most popular MBA specializations. Not only can an MBA in finance open the doors to higher salaries and more advanced positions, but it also can prepare junior or mid-level management professionals for executive leadership positions. That said, the work involved in an online program in finance takes incredible self-discipline but should be seen as a lifetime investment for both individuals and companies.
Graduates of MBA in finance programs can expect to find work in a variety of businesses and financial institutions including investment companies, international law firms, financial services firms, banks, and mortgage companies. Possible job titles include risk analyst, portfolio manager, credit manager, hedge fund manager, treasurer, and finance officer, among many others.
There are a variety of MBA programs in finance and financial services throughout the United States, available both on campus and online. This guide showcases some of the most notable, as well as three outstanding faculty members from universities offering some of the programs outlined.
Featured Online MBA Programs in Finance and Financial Services.
The online MBA program from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland is designed for students who wish to gain business expertise for leadership positions at local, regional, and international organizations. Students have the option to specialize in one of five tracks, including two finance tracks: accounting and finance. In the accounting track, students can expect to learn how to analyze, track, and communicate financial information and how those practices relate to business strategy and the management of financial assets. In the finance track, students learn how to manage money in the modern business environment. They explore corporate finance, financial restructuring, and investing principles alongside their MBA core courses. The online program offers flexibility for students to continue to work while studying. The online MBA program is ranked in the top ten in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. A GMAT or GRE is required, but it may be waived for qualified applicants.
|Location: College Park, Maryland|
|Accreditation: American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)|
|Format: Online or on campus|
|Tuition: $1,538 per credit for in-state residents, $1,984 per credit for out-of-state residents|
|Program length: As few as 24 months|
SNHU offers an MBA in finance for those interested in acquiring financial management and investment analysis skills. This online program can be completed in just over a year and is designed for security analysts, investment brokers, project analysts, and financial analysts. In the core course of the program, students gain practical skills in marketing, strategic management, and information technology. The finance courses explore topics such as short-term financial management, capital budgeting, securities valuation, risk management, and portfolio management, among others. SNHU’s prides itself on its affordability; by illustration, the school has held the same tuition rates for the last four years, a rarity in higher education. Overall, students can attend classes when it is most convenient for them, completing two courses per ten-week term. No GMAT is required with application.
|Location: Manchester, New Hampshire|
|Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)|
|Tuition: $1,881 per course|
|Program length: As few as 15 months|
JHU’s Carey Business School offers a full-time, on-campus global MBA in Baltimore, and a flexible part-time MBA program, which is available on-site, online, or in a hybrid format. The 54-credit online program takes about 3.5 years to complete and consists of eight-week courses in business foundations, including communications, negotiations, and corporate finance, as well as electives in subjects like cybersecurity, data analytics, and power and politics. Students can concentrate in several topics, including financial businesses. While most of the courses can be completed on each students’ own time, there are a few real-time learning activities as well as several on-campus residencies at the Baltimore campus. It is also possible for MBA candidates to obtain a dual degree from one of the school’s other colleges.
|Location: Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C.|
|Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)|
|Time to complete: Online with on-campus residencies|
|Tuition: $1,330 per credit.|
|Program length: 54 credits, or 3.5 years|
UAB offers an online MBA program that can be completed in two years or more. Students gain financial and economic knowledge and build skills in foundational business principles such as web analytics, real estate decision analysis, operations and supply chain management, and organizational management. Students can complete a general MBA or opt into a specialized track in finance, marketing, management information system, or health services. The program is broken down into foundational business skills and principles courses, functional management and technological courses, electives, and a capstone project. Students who enroll in the finance program take classes on portfolio theory and construction, mergers and acquisitions, financial risk analysis and management, and treasury management.
|Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)|
|Tuition: $42,432 for full program with concentration, $39,168 for program without concentration|
|Program length: Six semesters|
The WSU online MBA program offers four areas of focus as well as a general track. What makes this program unique is the possibility of international field study. Students can learn about the business problems of international markets outside of textbooks through the school’s optional ten-day tour of Asia with visits in China and South Korea. Students take courses in strategic leadership and functional business practices. Additionally, they must complete a capstone project and final presentation. They can choose from one of four concentrations: marketing, finance, international business, or hospitality business management. All four are available as standalone nine-credit MBA certificates. In the finance track, students explore international financial practices and principles and learn about the management of multinational corporations and international investments. They also study asset management, investment analysis, interest rates, and financial futures. The school has been recognized as one that provides outstanding opportunities for military and veteran students, including a significant tuition discount.
|Location: Pullman, Washington|
|Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
|Tuition: $775 per credit ($680 per credit for military and veterans)|
|Program length: 22 to 29 months|
NJIT is one of the country’s most affordable colleges that also offers a strong academic program. According to the Princeton Review, NJIT is among the top one percent in the United States for occupational earnings power. The online MBA program at NJIT is grounded in technology and offers three specializations, one of which is dedicated to finance. Students who choose the finance track gain an understanding of e-commerce, automation, data capture, cloud-based computing, and other related technologies. Outside of the 30 credits of core business courses, students in the finance track take 12 credits of classes in advanced corporate finance, financial investment institutions, derivatives markets, and investment analysis and portfolio theory. All MBA students are expected to complete a six-credit capstone project, finishing their MBA with 48 total credits.
|Location: Newark, New Jersey|
|Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)|
|Tuition: $51,504 for in-state students, $59,904 for out-of-state students|
|Program length: Eight semesters or about 2.5 years|
Ohio University’s online MBA program consists of 35 credits and takes six semesters to complete as students take five to six credits per semester. The program’s core courses provide students with a strong understanding of business, while the concentration courses allow students to specialize in finance, healthcare, executive management, or business analytics. In the finance track, students learn about financial markets and institutions, investments, and advanced corporate finance. The U.S. News & World Report recognized Ohio University as one of the best business schools and one of the best online MBA programs in the country. While the program is mostly online, all MBA candidates are required to attend one on-campus professional development workshop and can participate in two more optional workshops throughout the program.
|Location: Athens, Ohio|
|Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Higher Learning Commission|
|Tuition: $35,140 for in-state students, $35,805 for out-of-state students|
|Program length: Six semesters|
Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management has created an online MBA program for working professionals who are seeking to advance or change careers. Students build on their existing business knowledge by learning taking classes in finance, marketing, accounting, economics, quantitative analysis, law, human behavior, information systems, strategy, management, and leadership. They can focus their MBA through one of the program’s four concentrations: finance, leadership and managing organizational change, marketing, or general management. In the finance specialization, students study portfolio management, corporate finance, investment banking, financial institutions management, and financial risk management. The Graziadio School is highly ranked by the U.S. News and World Report; the online MBA was listed in the top 25 best online MBA programs for 2017.
|Location: Malibu, California|
|Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)|
|Tuition: $1,715 per credit; $89,180 for the full program|
|Program length: Seven trimesters|
Professors to Know in Online MBA Programs with Finance and Financial Services Specializations
Peggy Crawford, PhD, Pepperdine University
Dr. Crawford is a professor of finance in Pepperdine's Graziadio Business School. She has been a faculty member at Graziadio for 20 years and previously worked at the University of Houston, Fordham University, and George Mason University. At George Mason, she served as the chair of the finance department, director of the executive MBA, and director of MBA programs. She obtained her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and completed her doctorate at Purdue University, which focused on finance and macro-monetary economics. Notably, she has consulted for several firms and entities, including Klemm Consulting, the Professional Development Institute, and the Washington Redskins.
Michael A. Ehrlich, PhD, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Dr. Michael Ehrlich is an associate professor of finance at NJIT's school of management. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from Yale University and a doctoral degree in economics and finance from Princeton University. Before joining NJIT, Dr. Ehrlich spent his last Wall Street years at Bear Stearns as senior managing director of the emerging-markets fixed income business. Earlier work included positions at the Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb and Salomon Brothers.
Dr. Ehrlich’s research focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship, the commercialization of technology, financial markets and institutions, and market failures.
Sinan Gokkaya, PhD, Ohio University
Dr. Sinan Gokkaya is a JPMorgan Chase professor of finance and associate professor of finance at Ohio University's College of Business. He holds a doctorate in finance with minor in economics from Mississippi State University, a master's in business administration from the University of Louisiana, and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Istanbul Technical University. His work has been presented at high-ranked research institutions as well as government agencies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Bank. He has also been featured in several reputable financial media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, CFA Digest, and the London School of Economics Business Review.