Online MBA Programs in Finance
We have compiled a list of the top online MBA in finance programs by concentration. Every online MBA program mentioned in this guide comes from an accredited, not-for-profit business school. We have laid out the details about every aspect of the online program. A small section also talks about who is a good program fit.
Finance is one of the most popular (and profitable) MBA specializations. And with good reason. It future-proofs your career. If you want to climb the corporate career, a graduate degree in finance helps. You can find better positions and bigger salaries in many fields.
There is a catch, though.
You have to start with two key questions. The first is, Is an online MBA the best choice? The second is, What part of the field do I want to go into? Without solid answers to both of these, you will not get a good return on investment.
Raymond J. Harbert College of Business
School at a Glance
Auburn University offers online degrees in finance through the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. The Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business has accredited it for all courses. The College offers both MBA and MF degree program online, though accessibility is limited.
The online MF program is open to applicants residing in the US. Applicants from Canada can apply as well. And so can applicants who are members of the US Military (and are currently outside of the US or Canada). But, the online MBA program is open only to US residents and US Military Personnel.
What’s special about the MBA in finance program here is the University’s focus on leadership. You will witness the same in several phases throughout your online course. The university is known for its Blue Ridge Leadership Conference. At the conference, students compete in many leadership challenges.
Getting your online MBA from Auburn University also expands your network. You can connect with its massive alumni association.
You will also gain leadership experience through many student body groups. Organizations like the Auburn Supply Chain Management Association and the Real Estate Society can help you get ahead.
Is an Auburn online MBA right for you?
In the end, it all boils down to you and your needs. Is the Auburn graduate finance program right for you? Let’s see.
The pros of online MBA or MS in Finance from Auburn University
- Auburn has great faculty, a good spread of specializations, and a big legacy. The online and on-campus programs both offer quality education. Online and on-campus students receive the same quality instruction and do the same work.
- Online students can be part of the school’s proud traditions and alumni networks. If you study here, you can pursue practical learning as well as the Auburn college sports teams. Do the specializations mentioned here interest you? Are you looking for a leadership position? If so, you will fit right in at Auburn. Take a look at the sample course syllabi to gain a better understanding of the College of Business’s programs.
The cons of online MBA or MS in Finance from Auburn University
Perhaps the biggest downside to the online programs from Auburn University is accessibility. Only students from the United States and Canada can study here. Make sure your personal or professional obligations will not take you outside the country for very long during your program.
About the faculty
Auburn gets its reputation in part from its strong faculty. Professor Dr. Lee Colquitt chairs the university’s Department of Finance. Professor Dr. James R. Barth, a Fellow at the Wharton Financial Institution Center, also stands out. He is also a Lowder Eminent Scholar and a senior Fellow at the Milken Institute.
Professor Barth is a man of many accomplishments. He served as Chief Economist of the Office of Thrift under two presidents. Professor Colquitt has served in many prestigious state and federal-level posts. He was the President of the Western and Southern Risk and Insurance Association. He is the founder of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society. Dr. Colquitt is also the Associate Editor of the Journal of Insurance Issues. He also once received the College of Business Research of the Year award.
These two are not the only notable faculty. Some others include:
- Harbert Eminent Scholar Chair Dr. Jimmy Hilliard
- Ex-Head of Department Dr. John S. Jahera Jr.
- Dr. Harris Hollans
- Dr. Justin Benefield
- Dr. Claire Crutchley
- Dr. Marlin Jensen
Notable alumni from the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business include:
- Apple CEO Tim Cook
- Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller
- Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales
- Former SunTrust Bank Chairman of the Board Philip Humann Jr.
- Former Time Inc. CEO Don Logan
- Former Accenture Joe Forehand Chairman Samuel Ginn
- Businessman and trustee Raymond J. Harbert
- Harbert Corporation founder John M. Harbert
Kelley School of Business
School at a Glance
Indiana University is a member of the North Central Association. It holds accreditation for its online and on-campus courses from The Higher Learning Commission. Its Bloomington Campus is the Kelley School of Business. It has accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The university offers both an online MBA and an MS in Finance degree program online via the Kelley School of Business. The courses are accessible to students from across the globe (and not just from the US or Canada).
An MS/MBA dual-degree program also exists. Here, you can choose an advanced finance specialization of your choice. Your options include Working Capital Management and Financial Analysis and Firm Valuation. You can then pair it with another MS/MBA. Your options here are Business Analytics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Strategic Management, Global Supply Chain Management, or Marketing.
What’s special about the MBA finance programs at the Indiana University?
Its biggest hallmark is its focus on real-world experiential learning and entrepreneurship. A close second might be that its courses are delivered by one of the most popular US-based graduate schools in the world. The Kelley School of Business ranks second in America in producing successful Chief Financial Officers (CFOs).
Is Indiana right for you?
Indiana University is indeed, one of the most popular schools for graduate education in finance. Its noted faculty, vast alumni association, and high reputation among employers make it a preferred university to pursue an MS/MBA in Finance degree. The fact that all online students have access to the same teachers, same courses, same credits and same career services as on-campus students makes it even more lucrative.
In the end, it’s again about you and your needs. Indiana University is best suited for students who want an MS in Finance degree, or a dual MS/MBA degree, because of the wider range of specialization choices available.
University of Texas–Dallas
Naveen Jindal School of Management
School at a Glance
The Naveen Jindal School of Management manages this online MBA in finance program. The Professional MBA or PMBA program helps people who are already out there in the working world. The curriculum imparts skills that will help students shine in the global marketplace. The focus is on fundamental knowledge and analytical problem-solving skills. These enable students to make decisions and take action to resolve business challenges.
Is this program right for you?
- The focus of the online MBA course is to help you develop a team-oriented problem solving approach that is based on effective strategic planning. In effect, you are trained to take on higher management positions. It makes the program a big plus for you if you are looking to gain the qualifications that will help grow your career at a faster pace than your peers.
- The program aims to train and prepare students to understand and deal with the challenges in the global marketplace. If you want to groom yourself for employment opportunities in MNCs this program can give you a clear edge. Also, you can look for employment outside the US as well because of the basic grounding that this program gives you in internationally accepted management practices.
- Some business schools offer a scaled down version of their full-time classroom MBA for their online students. In such cases, the online MBA does not enjoy the same reputation or weight as the regular program. However, at this school, the Online PMBA mirrors the classroom program, which means it adds as much value to your profile as the highly recognized UT Dallas MBA full time.
- You can qualify yourself with two degrees and receive both simultaneously at this business school. You have the option of doing your MBA/ MS, MS/ MS or MBA/ MD side by side. The biggest advantage of this joint study is that you complete both degrees within very short span of time thanks to reduced semester credit hours. For example, for the MS/ MBA joint program, you only need a minimum of 63 semester credit hours instead of the 89 needed to complete the degrees individually. It is a big positive for professionals who want to gain truly impressive qualifications, but cannot invest much time to the task.
The excellent faculty is one of the biggest advantages of this program. The University of Texas – Dallas has nearly 250 faculty members including visiting professors. Financial Times ranks the school at 18th position in terms of faculty research productivity. Faculty members have received several awards for outstanding work.
Frank Anderson, Senior Lecturer Finance, and Managerial Economics, has received several awards. One that sticks out is the Outstanding MBA Finance Student award from Wall Street Journal. John P. Barden, Director of BS Accounting Program has received the Professor of the Year Award from Delta Sigma Pi. Dr. Hasan Pirkul holds the position of Dean. He was also named one of UT Dallas’s few endowed professors.
Abhijit Biswas, Marketing professor has won the school’s Best GMBA Online Instructor and Outstanding Graduate Faculty awards. He has also received the Best Elective Professor Student’s Choice award by Cohort MBA students. Gary Bolton, Jindal Chair of Managerial Economics, has received the MBA Core Instructor award from Pennsylvania State University several years in a row. He has also received the Outstanding Graduate Instructor Award from Carnegie Mellon University. These are only a few of the well-known faculty members. You can rest assured your business education is in good hands.
Notable Alumni from UT Dallas
- Shaun Robinson – Vice President- Product Management at AMX
- Randall Tan- Key Account Manager- Softlayer (IBM Group)
- Dustin Gadberry- CEO- Gadberry Construction Company, Inc.
- Brad Perkinson- Founder, CEO, and Brewer- FireWheel Brewing Co., LLC
- Lynn A. Dugle- Vice President and DGM of Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems
- Michael C. Burgess- Member of House of Representatives
- Dipak Jain- Director of Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, Bangkok
- Morton Ann Gernsbacher- Professor at University of Wisconsin- Madison
All PMBA students have to complete 29 core courses and 24 electives to graduate. Students graduate with a minimum of 53 credit hours of study. The UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Business has different PMBA formats: Evening Cohort, Flex, and Online. Working professionals can take any of them. The PMBA online offers the greatest flexibility, however, as it can be completed online.
The University of Tennessee at Martin
College of Business and Global Affairs
School at a Glance
The graduate business programs at The University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin) have regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC). They have international accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Its master’s and Ph.D. programs are the only ones in western Tennessee with AASCB accreditation. The university offers high-quality, easily affordable degree programs in both undergraduate and graduate fields.
Apart from the online MBA with a finance focus, UT Martin also offers another MBA program. It provides a hybrid MBA in association with the College of Business and Global Affairs. The program uses both online and on-campus courses. Unlike its online MBA, this program requires five campus visits over the course of the term.
Want to specialize during the hybrid MBA program? You can try the general MBA with a focus on finance or the agricultural option. Both hybrid programs hold AACSB-accreditation. They work great for students who cannot attend on-campus classes full time.
Washington State University
Carson College of Business
School at a Glance
Washington State University (WSU) Carson College of Business has a great reputation as a public research institution. It offers business and non-business undergraduate majors a comprehensive online MBA program in Finance.
WSU has been providing online degrees for more than two decades. Its history in the business world extends more than 50 years back. Their online MBA program is based around three pillars: management innovation, globally competitive leadership and positive societal impact.
Is This program Right for You?
- Want to start an online MBA program right now? WSU’s six start dates will make getting started a breeze. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in business, you can complete the program in less than two years. Even if you need the foundation courses, you can still finish in less than two and a half years.
- One of the exciting features of this program is the 10-day faculty-led international trip. This unique opportunity lets students learn in an international business setting. The business trip is an elective course scheduled for the summer. Previous cohorts have gone to China, Brazil, Switzerland and France.
- Rarely does an online MBA program accept transfer credits. WSU accepts up to six elective credits from an accredited institution if they haven’t already been used to acquire another degree. Official transcripts from students are examined on a case-by-case basis. Did you already study finance during your bachelor’s degree program? Are you working on it at a community college? See if you can use them to meet foundation requirements..
- You will need to pay $750 per credit in tuition, plus additional fees. WSU offers scholarships based on academic merit, financial need and talent. The Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU Global) has set up scholarships for new and continuing students working on online degrees. The scholarships are awarded for one academic year in the fall, with smaller scholarships awarded in the spring and summer.
- Note that WSU does not offer applications to their program online. Prospective students are required to call or email the MBA department at the university to initiate the application process. This usually starts with a phone interview with an enrollment adviser. The application package is mailed to students only after the call.
- You may think this is kind of inconvenient, and to a point, it is. It does great job of discouraging applicants who are not serious, though. This extra step helps WSU find committed students who contribute to the quality of the student population.
Faculty and Alumni
Washington State University has 16 full-time and six part-time faculty to teach online MBA programs. Taken together, they have decades of experience in their fields. The average online teaching experience of instructors is two years. Many of them have published works and research papers to their name. The instructors are encouraged to interact openly and often with students to promote a culture of engagement and knowledge-sharing.
Some notable alumni who have acquired their business degrees from WSU include:
- Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen
- Prominent real estate appraiser Bill Mundy
- Heartstream co-founder Clint Cole
The course program works asynchronously, so there are no meetings. Instead, course instructors set weekly deadlines. Students can work with their peers through discussion boards, live chats and Facebook Groups. They can share knowledge and network too.
Sessions with faculty usually occur online on weekdays. These sessions usually start after 6 pm, so if you cannot attend daytime courses, you do not need to worry. If, for any reason, you’re unavailable for the sessions, you can access them at a later time. Professors record these sessions and make them available for later viewing.
Online MBA in Finance vs Online Master of Finance
Take some time to make absolutely certain that what you want is an MBA in finance. You can also consider a master of science degree in finance. Lots of business graduates do not quite understand the difference.
Before enrolling, take one last look at both types of degrees. If you are already sure, move right past this section. If you have not thought about an online MF degree, however, take a look at the following guide.
Four things to know about an online MBA in Finance
- Program Overview – A Master of Business Administration degree has a wider scope than a specialized finance degree. An online MBA in Finance program gives you a big range of business skills. It prepares you to hold management positions in financial as well as non-financial institutions. You could even take a leading role in a startup. If you envision yourself in management-level positions, an online MBA will serve you better.
- Course and Eligibility – You must achieve adequate GRE or GMAT scores. You should also show good undergraduate grades for admissions. Most MBA schools tend to favor candidates with previous work experience in a related field. Anything from management to statistics can help you get into an MBA program.
- Duration – An online MBA in finance degree takes two years of full-time study. A part-time online MBA might take longer.
- Scope, Success, and Salary – You will probably end up in a management position, but it might not relate to finance. You will also probably land a better starting salary than an MF graduate. Your previous experience and executive training will speed you up the corporate ladder. Do not get complacent, though. MBAs have become very common, so the field is competitive.
Four things to know about an online Master of Finance
- Program Overview – A Master of Finance degree is laser-focused on finance and related fields. An online MF program will equip you with the knowledge and skills to enter hardcore financial fields. These include trading, investment and financial risk-management. If your career goals relate to pure finance, an MF degree will be better than an MBA.
- Course and Eligibility – Graduation is the primary criteria. Most online MF programs do not demand any previous work experience, while MBAs generally do. The program includes a comprehensive study of finance, involving the study of mathematics, valuation, financial theory, investment, market, quantitative finance and financial reporting or analysis to name a few.
- Duration – An online MF program lasts one year of full time study.
- Scope, Success, and Salary – You can pursue much more specialized finance positions with an MF. Your lack of work experience may give you a lower starting salary than an MBA graduate. A lot of people get MBAs, though, so that field is crowded. An alternative degree like the MF stands out from the crowd of MBAs. Expect MF programs to get a lot stronger in the coming years.
You should feel better-equipped to decide which type of degree you want now. Take into account your personal career aspirations. Look at the four categories of points for each section above. Do you still want an MBA, or is the MF more attractive now?
No matter what you decide, you have gotten past a hard choice. You now know which degree is the right choice for you. Let’s move to the second critical consideration – choosing the right specialization within finance.
Specializations To Study Within an Finance MBA Online
An MBA program in Finance prepares you to handle multiple business activities and climb the corporate ladder in several fields. You can boost the benefits further, by choosing your finance specializations and MBA minors cleverly.
You can gain exposure to fields like human resources, marketing, even behavioral science by choosing your minors carefully. Similarly, you can equip yourself with the managerial knowledge and skills of specific fields within finance, such as personal finance (personal or private wealth management), corporate finance, international finance, global financial microeconomics, financial forecasting and so on.
The trick is to make the right choice. It will again depend upon your professional career aspirations. However, be sure to consider future personal interests and future prospects as well. To help you make the right choice, we’ve rounded up six of the best, not-for-profit, accredited schools for online MBA and the key finance specializations they offer.