Online Finance Degree

An online finance degree may ready you to pursue a wide range of high wage and in demand jobs. If you want to gain key skills but need flexibility, an online school may be a smart choice. Learn the expertise to apply finance theory to real world problems and do it on your terms.

A finance degree studies the theories, tools and analytics behind financial decisions. It uses these models to weigh risks, plan, invest and manage money for people and business. There are many types of online finance degrees at all levels. From bachelor’s to master’s, MBAs and PhD. Many programs look at the wider lens of domestic and global economies. Then zoom in on areas such as banking and finance.

Some of these degree programs also serve as study guides for industry certification exams. Such exams may call for certain knowledge, skills and education. Plus, employers often prefer to see that you have this extra credential. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) are a few. Also, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers exams. FINRA exams cover subjects on the markets, securities and other issues.

Bachelor’s Degree in Finance

A bachelor’s in finance is often found as a business degree with a major in finance. It is the entry level degree for many business and finance careers. Most programs award a BS in business or business admin. These often consist of about 120 credits and may take four years to complete. Some include internships in financial sectors.

Online business students that major in finance study a wide range of topics. These aim to build a solid knowledge in the principles of finance. Things like how to manage capital, investment portfolios and personal finance. While learning these subjects, you might also gain skills in analytics. Plus, learn how to calculate and understand risk and benefits.

Every online school sets its own admissions standards. You will need a U.S. high school diploma or GED to apply. But whether you need a certain GPA or to submit SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT scores can change. Another thing that varies is tuition. At last check, the average cost of a finance degree from an in state school is $6,816. For an out of state school, that cost is $30,606. This means you may find online schools that either cost less or more than the those.

Master’s Degree in Finance

A master’s in finance is often found as a Master of Science (MS) or MFin (Master of Finance). It is a professional grad degree that may help those that are looking for a role as a manager. Or for those seeking to jump start a career in finance. Many online MS programs may ready students to work with financial assets. Corporate and/or individual clients. Most programs do this in from 30 to 33 credits and may take one to two years to complete.

To apply to a finance master’s program, you need an undergrad degree. Usually in business, finance or something close. Again, schools set their own rules, so some may want to see GRE/GMAT scores, others may not. If you want to know if you need (or don’t need) a lot of math and finance courses under your belt, this can vary. Many programs offer classes that will bring you up to speed. The school often waives them if you already know the material.

MS in Finance vs MBA with a Finance Specialization

Grad students that want to study finance may choose an MS or an MBA. They are both equal degrees but are very different. Yet both MBA and MFin grads may gain an education that might further their career. An MS covers finance from the inside out. Grads may leave with financial know how and expertise for certain career pursuits. Financial advisor or financial manager for instance.

Most MS programs start with core topics. These relate to analysis, economics and reporting. You will also choose electives or an area of focus in finance. Financial economics and financial analysis are a few. An online MBA in finance is a business management degree. It usually equips students with a broad set of skills around core areas. Marketing, strategy, and accounting.

You’ll also take a handful of niche finance courses. Corporate finance and capital markets, to list a few. Along the way, you will also build the skills of a business admin. Too tough a choice? Many online schools offer joint MBA/MFin programs. These may take longer but could check all your boxes. Manager and financial skill.

PhD in Finance

A PhD in finance is a research degree. It often provides a solid base in the theory and practical tools of modern finance. Students also study ways to conduct research, analyze, and present findings. Usually, the format of a PhD includes a series of about 20 courses (roughly 60 credits). After you finish this part, there may be an exam to test your knowledge. From there, successful students begin their dissertation. The might take from three to five years.

Many online PhD programs deal mostly with business admin. They aim to foster good decision making skills at the org level. Some also include a seminar in methods on how to teach. More often than not courses draw from economics. Students may build on this and apply different methods to study one area in depth. Asset pricing, corporate finance and banking are a few.

CEOs, mutual fund managers and investment bankers may use their PhD to drive results. Others may prefer to excel as a thought leader by staying in teaching. To get into a PhD program, you may need to already have your master’s degree. Research interests that line up with the school’s faculty is often key. But standards differ from one school to the next.

How much might it cost to earn an MFin or PhD in finance online? The average cost of a grad degree from a public school is $11,617. This means you will be able to find online finance degree programs that are easier to afford and more expensive than this amount.

What can I do with an Online Finance Degree?

The skills from a degree in finance may ready you to pursue a wide range of careers. Finance majors often work with budgets, markets, risks, stocks, bonds, and more. As a basic rule, a bachelor’s degree is an entry point to most finance and business careers. To step into a manager role or take on more complex duties, you may need a master’s or MBA. Prefer to teach what you know? A PhD in finance may help you reach this goal. Here are 10 jobs for finance majors and the degrees you need for them.

1. Financial Managers

Financial managers are decision makers. They produce reports, oversee budgets, and set goals to maximize profits. There are many types of these, each with their own skill sets.

  • Comptrollers oversee the accounting, audit, and budget departments of their firm
  • Credit managers watch past due accounts. They set credit limits and their firm’s credit business
  • Treasures and finance officers are in charge of budget. They make sure a business meets its goals. How to raise capital, mergers and buy outs also fall under their duties
  • Cash managers watch and control cash flow and often need strong skills in being able to forecast
  • Risk managers try to control financial risk and loss
  • Insurance managers decide how to limit a company’s losses. Often, by taking out policies to cover legal issues

Usually, these pros have a bachelor’s degree. About five years of experience in business, accounting, or securities sales. But employers today often favor those with a master’s degree.

2. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

CFOs work in almost every industry. As upper level execs, they often set policies and goals. They analyze sales reports, cut costs, and manage others. Many have a master’s or MBA. But, in small firms a bachelor’s degree may be enough.

3. Budget Analysts

Budget analysts help public and private firms get their finances in order. They are in charge of spending, compliance and cost benefit analysis. Most start out with a bachelor’s degree.

4. Financial Analysts

Financial analysts guide others about their choices when it comes to how to invest. They track and assess the performance of stocks, bonds and portfolios. Many enter the field with a bachelor’s degree but a masters in finance may help with moving up.

5. Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors are the people you go to for advice. For more than when you want to invest. They are the go to people for mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement. One may start out with a bachelor’s degree. But a master’s degree and certification may help you to climb the ladder.

6. Financial Services Sales Agents

These sales agents know about securities and commodities. They work in financial markets, and connect buyers and sellers. Many find jobs in certain areas.

  • Brokers sell securities and commodities to clients
  • Investment bankers work with banks and help a business finance its plans
  • Floor brokers work where all the trading action takes place
  • Sales agents help clients with their banking needs

Many of these pros start out in entry level roles with a bachelor’s degree. But an MBA is often ideal for those who want to advance.

7. Finance Professor

Finance professors are thought leaders and researchers. They know in great depth the language of finance and business. Their input can fuel policies. Most have a PhD.

8. Actuary

Actuaries assess the costs of risk and uncertainty. Their skills dip into areas like math, stats and financial theory. Many choose to work in a certain area of insurance. Life, health, property, and pension actuaries are a few. This is a career where you need a bachelor’s degree. But, moving up may depend on how many exams you pass.

9. Cost Estimators

Cost estimators collect and make sense of data. This helps them to figure out the time, money, materials and labor that need to go into a project. A bachelor’s in finance may help you enter this field.

10. Certified Real Estate Appraiser

Certified real estate appraisers estimate the value of land and buildings. They will come in before the sale, mortgage, tax, insurance, or development phase. One often needs a bachelor’s degree to obtain a state license.

Is an Online Finance Degree worth it?

A finance degree may build skills for a wide range of well paying jobs. About 591,800 jobs with five and six figure salaries in business and financial sectors are on the horizon to 2028. The out look is even more bright for financial managers. One reason is the focus on risk since the global financial crisis. Also, the need for cohesive investment strategy is on going. Per the BLS, employment of financial managers should rise by 16% to 2028. That is much faster than the average for all occupations. Salaries vary in this industry. But the average yearly salary for these pros in 2019 was $129,890.

Finance Degree Jobs & Salary

Occupation Average Salary Jobs
Financial Analyst $85,660 329,500
Financial Manager $129,890 653,600
Actuaries $120,970 22,260
Personal Financial Advisors $119,290 210,910

Top States for Jobs as a Personal Financial Advisor

State Jobs Annual Mean Wage
NY 26,150 $166,790
CA 25,910 $117,690
FL 15,830 $113,670
TX 12,800 $102,280
PA 9,260 $104,330

What classes will I take with an Online Finance Degree?

Many online finance degree programs cover accounting, economics, and math. These areas often help you learn to calculate and better predict outcomes. But as one might imagine, classes go from simpler to more complex as you move from bachelor’s to master’s to PhD.

Bachelor’s Degree Courses

Most online BS programs cover a wide range of topics that teach students about key areas. Some of these are gen ed classes that you need to complete. Others touch on the principles of business and problem solving. The analytics skills you gain as a finance major may help you on many fronts as well. For one, you often learn to dissect financial statements. This knowledge is the key to appraising financial standing. Whether of persons, companies, or other entities.

In other classes, you may study financial markets, stocks and bonds. You might learn about these areas as well. This may mean learning about the software used to process financial data. Software is useful to see trends, create and manage portfolios and make forecasts. A few other topics are:

Principles of Accounting

As an intro course, this class often looks at the basic theory and techniques used in accounting. Students may learn how to identify the many aspects of accounting. They may learn to analyze business transactions. They may learn how to gather data to create financial statements and then communication that info with others. Students may learn about accounting cycles.

Financial Analysis

This course often focuses on analyzing and understanding financial statements. Students may learn how to use this data to help in the decision making process. This may be done from the view of a creditor, stock holder, or manager. They may learn how to create valuation models, learn about growth techniques, and learn how to maximize value. Business performance assessment may be a part of this.

Business Finance

This type of course might offer an over view and practical look at managing finance in a business space. Students may learn things like characteristics of securities and how to value them. They may learn about making decisions about capital and how to look at financial info to pinpoint problems with it. Students may also learn about financial theory and problem solving.

International Finance

This course often looks at on how to analyze and discuss management issues as they relate to finance. The goal here is to consider multi national companies. This may include financial and economic strategies. It may include decision making. Students may learn about foreign exchange markets and int’l capital markets. They may also learn about how to finance foreign trade.

Graduate Degree Courses

Online MS programs often help you learn how to make sense of financial data. This takes a knowledge of statistics and economics. Basics aside, most programs will allow you to choose an area of focus. This combines some classes together to help you build knowledge in one area. As such they often have a ‘career building’ goal. Investments is one example. Classes may discuss ways to assess risk, manage portfolios and the decisions that go with it. Financial analysis is another.

Online PhD programs delve into research and methods of analysis. Most of these programs take a broad look at business and leadership. Then allow you to research an area in finance to make links. Wonder what some of these classes entail? The world of finance touches on math, economics and analysis. But professions in finance run on ethics and laws. Here is a peek into some topics that a finance major may study.

Cost Accounting

This area of a finance degree may cover concepts such as the procedures and practices in accounting. This often includes areas of classifying and recording data. This course often focuses on the systems that hep to create a cost effective operation. It could cover both non profit and for profit companies. Students may learn about transfer pricing and cost and revenue allocation methods.

Business Law

This type of course is an intro to the legal aspects of business as it relates to finance. This may include how business law impacts how companies make decisions. This may include aspects of employment law and contracts. Many times, this type of course will include things like internet law, product liability laws, and tort. Students may learn the legal aspects and the ethical implications of them.

Financial Reporting

Often split into two classes, Financial Reporting tends to cover theories and practices in the area of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Students may learn concepts related to standards and compliance requirements. They may learn about reporting cash and receivables, inventory, assets, and liability. Students may focus on a range of reporting requirements.

Corporate Financial Management

This course often takes a closer look at how a corporation is managed from a finance point of view. This may include topics such as capital structure and re structuring. It may include policy, financial markets, and budgeting aspects as well. Students may get an intro into portfolio management for companies. They may learn how to analyze organization’s risk.

How long does it take to get a Finance Degree online?

It may take a full time undergrad student four years to earn a finance degree online. Most finance bachelor’s programs consist of at least 120 credits. If you want to graduate faster, transfer credits from an associate’s degree may help. Some online schools let students use up to 90 credits. An online master’s degree may take one to two years of full time study. Longer programs often include more credits (E.g. 36 instead of 30) for students who lack the background. These may also entail an internship. An online PhD often takes from three to five years to complete. Course load and the amount of time your dissertation takes can also impact the time it takes to complete.

University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete
Pennsylvania State World Campus Bachelors 120 3 48
Southern New Hampshire University Bachelors 120 6 48
Maryville University Bachelors 128 3 48
University of Miami Masters 32 3 16
University of Michigan – Dearborn Masters 30 -33 2 12 – 16
Texas A & M University – Commerce Masters 30 – 39 3 12 – 24
Northcentral University PhD-BA 60 Weekly 45
Trident University PhD-BA 56 3 48
Walden University PhD 64 Multiple 58

15 Online Finance Degrees

Many online schools offer finance degrees at all levels. Here is a list of 15 schools where you might earn a finance degree online.

  1. Pennsylvania State World Campus
  2. Southern New Hampshire University
  3. New England College of Business
  4. Maryville University
  5. University of Maryland University College
  6. Creighton University
  7. University of Miami Online
  8. University of Michigan Dearborn
  9. Youngstown State University
  10. Texas A&M University Commerce
  11. Northcentral University
  12. Trident University
  13. Walden University
  14. Rutgers University
  15. Liberty University

FIND AN ONLINE FINANCE DEGREE

Let’s take a closer look at the online degrees that these 15 schools have to offer

1

Pennsylvania State World Campus

Bachelor of Science in Finance

Fully Online


This online BS in Finance requires 120 credit. It covers many of the basics in finance. While looking at investments, financial and managerial accounting, students may build key business skills. Some of the classes you may take are:

  • Financial modeling
  • Financial statement analysis
  • International finance

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $13,988
Grad $22,186
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
N/A

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
N/A

2

Southern New Hampshire University

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Finance

Fully Online


This online BSBA program features a focus in finance and consists of 120 credits. It starts with a business core. These topics discuss areas like intro level marketing, operations and human resources. Extra finance courses provide a look at financial management for persons and companies. Some of these classes are:

  • Personal financial planning
  • Corporate finance
  • Financial markets

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $31,136
Grad $18,810
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,913

Average Net Price:
$39,743

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization& member of SOC.

Accredited:
New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

3

New England College of Business

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Finance and Banking

Fully Online


This online BSBA program focuses on banking and finance. It requires 40 courses or 121 credits. Many of the core topics relate to management. This means areas like marketing, accounting and others. The focus in banking and finance covers investments and three other subjects:

  • Consumer credit
  • Corporate finance
  • Investment management

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $16,164
Grad $14,731
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,862

Average Net Price:
$26,993

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
NECHE

4

Maryville University

Bachelor of Science in Financial Services

Fully Online


This online BS consists of 128 credits. The bulk of courses are business focused. They look at areas like marketing and accounting. Other aspects include financial services courses and electives. Some are:

  • Personal finance
  • Investment methods
  • Money and banking

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $28,470
Grad $15,646
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$14,968

Average Net Price:
$29,357

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

5

University of Maryland University College

Bachelor of Science in Finance

Fully Online


This online BS consists of 120 credits. It has a CFF Board approved course of study. As such, it may ready you to sit for the CFP exam. The program also melds business, accounting and economics with areas in finance. This includes areas such as:

  • Risk management
  • Financial management
  • International finance

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $36,891
Grad $30,885
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$10,020

Average Net Price:
$17,723

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization& member of SOC.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).


This online MS entails 30 credits. It takes an in depth look into the field of investments and portfolio management. There’s an option to pursue a joint MBA/MSIMFA degree (48 credits). Some of the courses you might take are:

  • Fixed income and derivatives
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Asset management

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $41,400
Grad $17,898
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$21,356

Average Net Price:
$32,145

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

7

University of Miami Online

Master of Science in Finance

Full Online with On-campus Networking Opportunities


This online MS consists of 32 credits. It also offers two certificate options. One in corporate finance. The other in financial decision making. They are 16 credits each and add extra courses in their focus. Within the MS, you may study topics such as:

  • International investments
  • Applied corporate finance
  • Financial modeling

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $51,930
Grad $38,908

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$33,310

Average Net Price:
$33,102

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

8

University of Michigan Dearborn

Master of Science in Finance

Fully Online


This online MS in finance consists of 30 – 33 credits. It comes with two possible focal areas. Corporate finance or investments. The core courses look at basics like value creation and economic analysis. Students also choose from a few accounting and electives. Then, take courses in line with their area of focus. Some of the course topics are:

  • Cost management
  • Intro to federal taxation
  • IT auditing

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $26,420
Grad $23,550
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,549

Average Net Price:
$10,634

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization& member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

9

Youngstown State University

Master of Arts in Financial Economics

Fully Online


This online MA requires 30 credits. It aims to give you a deep knowledge of economic theory. Also, how to analyze financial markets. While studying these things, it also looks at mortgage loans, markets and more.

  • Micro/Macro Economics
  • Econometrics
  • Economics of financial markets

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $9,639
Grad $9,478
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,260

Average Net Price:
$11,616

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

10

Texas A & M University Commerce

Master of Science in Finance

Fully Online


This online MS in finance consists of 30 credits. Persons without an undergrad knowledge in finance may need to complete 39 credits. The program covers basics about investments and financial management. You also take courses in both economics and finance. Some of these classes discuss:

  • Portfolio management
  • Advanced risk and insurance planning
  • Applied financial and economic forecasting

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $21,628
Grad $14,180

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$8,332

Average Net Price:
$12,477

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
SACSCOC

11

Northcentral University

PhD in Business Administration – Financial Management

Fully Online


This online PhD entails 20 courses (60 credits). A research degree, students anchor their studies in financial management. Some of the areas it looks at are how to manage money, ROI issues and leadership. A few other themes are:

  • Financial business decision models
  • Investment selection methods
  • Risk management

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,474
Grad $18,095
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,144

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC, WASC

12


This online PhD requires at least 56 credits. It is a research focused degree. Thus the program covers research methods and key business topics in the core classes. The courses help anchor students’ dissertation work. One may study and contribute scholarly input to areas such as:

  • International finance
  • Economic growth and development
  • Financial management

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $9,240
Grad $6,120
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$4,276

Average Net Price:
$13,916

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization& member of SOC.

Accredited:
WASC Senior College and University Commission

13

Walden University

PhD in Management – 21st Century Finance

Online with 4 PhD residencies


This online PhD explores 21st century finance and entails 69 credits. A research degree, it explores aspects of financial decision making in business. Part of the program thus deal with things like systems thinking and analysis. Apart from these areas, courses usually look at topics such as:

  • Financial risk and decision making
  • Financial corporate social responsibility and ethics
  • Leadership

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $12,150
Grad $12,539
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,900

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

14

Rutgers University

PhD in Business Administration – Finance

Online with Campus Presence


This online PhD in business admin with a focus in finance requires 72 credits. It consists of courses and a Teacher Training Seminar. Most of the courses deal with economics, finance and modern statistics. Research is necessary. Some of the topics you may study in depth are:

  • Optimization models in finance
  • Advanced econometrics
  • Game theory

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $31,608
Grad $32,375
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$12,772

Average Net Price:
$11,981

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
MSCHE

15

Liberty University

Doctor of Business Administration – Finance

Online with Optional Intensives


This online DBA requires 60 credits. It focuses on leadership in the realm of business finance. As such, you may study topics like methods for business research. Apart from finance, your classes might cover:

  • Financial impacts of M&As
  • Investments and derivatives
  • Business valuation

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $22,747
Grad $8,400
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,550

Average Net Price:
$28,181

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student veteran organization & member of SOC.

Accredited:
SACSCOC

*Unemployment Earnings.  Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.