Best MBA in Finance Online Programs

Learn about top online MBA in finance programs, familiarize yourself with the curriculum, and explore career opportunities after graduation.

Do any of these opportunities sound exciting? Managing the financial health of organizations? Consulting on investments? Developing company valuations? Handling the money side of mergers and acquisitions? An online MBA in finance can help you develop the skills necessary to take on these and other advanced responsibilities and work in high-level positions that oversee major financial decisions.

Whether you’ve been working in business for years or want a career change, MBA in finance online programs can help you get there. With an emphasis on flexibility, these degrees support busy students looking to balance personal, professional, and academic responsibilities. Ready to take the first step? Read this article to discover the best online MBA in finance programs, common courses, available careers, and admission requirements.

B-School Spotlights: Best Online MBA in Finance Programs in 2021

Many MBA in finance online degrees exist, but not all are created equally. Finding a best-in-class program takes careful research and asking the right questions. We identified some of the top options for 2021 to help you make an informed and confident decision. The three schools highlighted below offer a healthy mix of affordability, accreditation, and flexibility. They serve as a preview of our full online finance MBA ranking due later this year.

Eastern Washington University (EWU)

EWU provides an online MBA with a finance concentration that can be completed in as few as 11 months. Comprised of 44 credits, this flexible program requires no visits to the Washington campus and has maintained accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1974. Some of the topics covered include international financial management, advanced accounting for managers, qualitative analysis in business, and financial statement analysis. The program concludes with a comprehensive capstone course and project.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, 3.0 GPA (exceptions available), official transcripts, and a professional resume. The department also provides a GMAT waiver program for approved applicants.

Regardless of where you live, plan to pay $338 per credit or $14,880 in total tuition. New students can select from eight different start dates spread throughout the year. If you come from a non-business undergraduate background, plan to complete some foundational coursework unless you can demonstrate competency.

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill

The renowned Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill offers an online MBA specializing in finance consisting of 62 credits and requiring between 18-36 months to complete. UNC’s program uses a synchronous model, requiring students to attend live weekly class sessions comprised of a small number of fellow students.

Data from alumni show a 24% average salary increase upon graduation and a 39% increase one year after graduating. The program’s tuition includes attendance to two in-person summits lasting three days each. These are held on the Chapel Hill campus and in some of the world’s largest business economies. Examples of previous locations include London, Mumbai, New York, and Taipei.

Application requirements include GMAT/GRE scores if you possess fewer than five years of professional experience, official transcripts, two recommendation letters, two essays, a $150 application fee, and a personal interview. International students must provide TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores.

LaSalle University

LaSalle University offers an AACSB-accredited online MBA with a finance specialization that requires only 39 credits to complete. Some of the topics explored include financial instruments and markets, global financial management, and managerial accounting for decision making. As the program concludes, you’ll participate in an integrated competitive strategy capstone course.

Whether you live in Pennsylvania or further afield, plan to pay $757 per credit or $24,981 in program tuition. The institution provides four start dates for newly admitted students: two in the fall and two in the spring.

LaSalle University’s online finance MBA admission requirements include official transcripts, a professional resume, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and letters of recommendation. Applicants who have the right mix of professional experience and/or a passing GPA may bypass the GRE/GMAT score requirements. Currently, online students do not need to pay application fees.

What to Expect from an Online MBA in Finance Program

While every online MBA in finance program is different, you can expect certain foundational qualities from each. In terms of their curricula, every MBA provides core business courses in topics such as economics, information systems management, marketing, and organizational behavior. The finance specialization covers advanced topics such as financial markets and institutions, financial analytics, and contemporary issues in finance. Being a professional degree, most MBA programs culminate in a capstone project. If your interest is more research-based or academic, you may be able to write a thesis. Some programs also allow you to take several elective courses to specialize your studies further.

Most programs include both synchronous and asynchronous learning to ensure ample opportunities to interact with peers and professionals while also maximizing flexibility. Online learning systems use live webcasts, forums, chat boards, and other technology to keep everyone connected and projects moving forward. Because so many MBA students work while completing their degree, many programs allow them to use their current workplaces as part of case studies and projects.

Common Courses

  • Corporate Finance

    Typically taken in the first semester, this foundational course lays the groundwork for advanced business finance subjects. Topics commonly covered include analysis of financial decision-making, corporate capital budgeting, capital asset pricing, corporate financial policy, and discounted cash flow techniques.

  • International Financial Markets

    Designed for students who want to work in international business settings, this course familiarizes them with how these markets work and how laws and regulatory requirements vary. International stock and bond portfolios, global money markets, risk management in international investments, and foreign exchange rates are covered.

  • Valuation

    Understanding how to properly valuate companies is a core skill required of financial professionals. This class helps ensure you know how to do so. Some of the topics and strategies discussed include valuation frameworks, price multiples, discounted cash flow techniques, and leveraged buyout analysis methods.

  • Buyouts and Acquisitions

    Whether negotiating a friendly acquisition or hostile buyout, understanding the finances behind these motions is integral to financial professionals’ success. By reviewing various case studies, you’ll learn how to structure and evaluate transactions, examine valuation approaches, and address both parties’ financial concerns.

  • Behavioral Finance

    By combining studies in financial management and psychology, this course looks to understand the sometimes-irrational choices investors make that create market fluctuations and volatility. Students consider how using a behavioral finance lens helps look at a capital structure, investments, merger decisions, and corporate decision-making.

What You Can Do with an MBA in Finance

Prudent financial management is a cornerstone of any healthy business, making MBA programs specialized in this topic a highly transferable and desired degree. Whether working in governmental agencies, nonprofits, or public companies, your in-depth knowledge of financial mechanisms is in demand. These careers tend to pay substantial salaries, with many professionals earning six-figure incomes. As you review the positions below, consider how each may fit with your career goals.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts work with individuals and businesses to help them make sound financial decisions. They provide insights and recommendations on present and future investments, report on economic and market trends, create statements of valuation, and review financial data to determine the stability of an organization and/or individual.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$47,230 $81,590 $156,150

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Financial Manager

These professionals help manage and ensure the financial health of organizations. Working alongside other financial colleagues, they oversee investments in stocks and bonds, create long-term financial plans, prepare financial reports and budgets, find ways of reducing costs, and look for ways to maximize earnings based on market trends.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$68,370 $129,890 $208,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Budget Analyst

With a focus on ensuring businesses stay within their financial means, budget analysts perform many financial tasks. They develop organizational budgets, review funding proposals, oversee spending to ensure the company doesn’t go into the red, and keep tabs on fund availability for short- and long-term needs.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$50,230 $76,540 $116,510

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Securities, Commodities, or Financial Services Agent

Whether working in-house or in a consultative role, these professionals help individuals and companies sell/buy securities and commodities, conduct trades, and make sound investment decisions. They also keep track of investment performance and advise on the next steps. They may make recommendations based on individual or company needs.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$35,320 $62,270 $204,130

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors support individuals plan for their financial future. Whether discussing investments, college savings plans, tax burdens, retirement, or estate planning, they offer specialized guidance based on monetary goals. Much of their work involves educating clients on various investment options so each can make an informed decision.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile
$42,950 $87,850 208,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online MBA Degrees in Finance

Undertaking an online finance MBA means taking on a significant debt burden. Before committing to any program, you need to understand the financial obligations it entails. If you’re looking to save money, attending a public online university offering in-state tuition is likely your best bet. You should also fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to learn about federal loans, grants, and work-study funds. Financial aid can play an important part in lowering costs, so ensure you maximize funding provided by the government, your college, your employer, and private foundations.

How Much Your Online MBA in Finance Might Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost

Southern New Hampshire University

30

$627/credit

$19,110

Louisiana State University Shreveport

30

X

$12,474

LaSalle University

33

$757/credit

$24,981

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Finance MBA Programs

What are the typical admissions requirements for an online MBA in finance?

As with other aspects of an online finance MBA, admission requirements are set by individual schools. That said, certain cornerstone requirements tend to carry over across programs. We look at some of the most common below:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • Completed application and application fee
  • GMAT scores if you do not meet waiver requirements
  • GPA 3.0 or higher
  • Interview
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume demonstrating previous professional experience
  • Statement of purpose
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students who are non-native English speakers

Are there online finance MBA programs that don’t require the GMAT?

In recent years, more schools have begun either not requiring or providing waivers for the GMAT. These programs have decided there’s more than one way to demonstrate business prowess than taking a standardized test, including professional and leadership experience. Examples of top schools that currently don’t require GMAT scores include Syracuse University, Florida Institute of Technology, and Webster University.

How long will it take to finish my MBA in finance online?

The amount of time you spend in an online finance MBA varies based on how quickly you’re able to move through coursework. Full-time programs usually take 18 months, while part-time options average about three years. The University of Akron provides both options for maximum flexibility. Some schools, such as Southern Utah University, offer accelerated pathways that allow you to graduate in as few as 12 months. If you previously completed MBA courses at another institution that transfers over, you may be able to graduate even more quickly.

Can I earn my MBA in finance 100% online or do I need to go to campus?

You can finish many MBA in finance online programs without ever visiting your school’s campus. Some programs may require you to travel for in-person weekend intensives, but you can find options that skip this step. However, some schools may require internships and/or international learning excursions.

What’s the difference between an MBA in finance and a master’s in finance?

With both finance MBAs and master’s in finance programs offering popular options for advanced education, it’s important to figure out which one best serves your career goals. If you’re looking for a more interdisciplinary curriculum, an MBA touches on topics such as marketing, entrepreneurship, and corporate responsibility in addition to finance topics. A master’s in finance, conversely, focuses more closely on building finance-specific skills and knowledge. If you want a broader business education, an MBA in finance is likely the better option.

Does a master’s in finance sound like the better choice for you? Check out our guide to the best online master’s degrees in finance.