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Online Master’s in Finance – Programs, Requirements, & Expectations

Stock exchange charts are something you will learn to read in a Master's of Finance program.

The world of finance appeals to a handful of motivated individuals with specific skills. Those with a knack for numbers, excellent communication skills, and high curiosity tend to excel in this field. An online master’s degree in finance can take you to new heights in your career. Such programs are ideal if you are a freshly graduated college student. Furthermore, professionals with several years of work experience on their resumes who want to achieve more can also benefit from pursuing a master’s degree in finance.

The online master’s degree format is becoming increasingly popular in today’s global world, primarily because of its innumerable benefits to students and professionals alike. Distance learners can easily take courses, complete assignments at their convenience, and juggle their work, school, and home responsibilities with this flexibility.

If you want to advance your educational standing without giving up on your interests or hobbies, this article can show you how. Such a program can appeal to students contemplating whether they should go to graduate school or those interested in going forward with a specialized degree. It is also ideal for individuals who already know they want to take this path and are looking for the best institutions offering an online finance master’s degree.

What To Expect From an Online Finance Master’s Degree

Before enrolling in an online Master in Finance program, prospective students must be aware of all that it entails and requires. Most degree programs are versatile and include an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of the financial world and how they apply in real life. They also enhance the skills a Bachelor in Finance instills in students and better prepares them for advancing in their profession.

It is common for graduate programs to require 30 to 36 credit hours that you can complete full-time or part-time, depending on your schedule. However, some institutions also offer accelerated master’s degrees that may take as little as 18 months for completion. Students can choose between several concentrations, some of which include:

  • Real Estate Finance
  • Finance and Economics
  • Computational Finance and Trading Systems
  • Derivatives and Risk Management

Most Master in Finance programs include internship opportunities or in-person residencies to add practicality to the course. However, online degrees that include campus-based components require students to visit the campus. Thus, it is crucial to clarify the requirements of any program that interests you.

Online Master in Finance Degree Courses

As a graduate student in finance, you can expect to learn subjects from accounting to various specialties within the finance sector. Courses in your program might include:

Business Communication

Business communication typically makes the first-semester curriculum and provides a robust foundation to comprehend how finance professionals and businesses communicate with each other, clients, and peers.

Financial Accounting

This course provides students with a deep insight into presenting and managing financial accounting reports. It also prepares them to meet the requirements of supervisors, analysts, and shareholders.

Derivatives and Risk Management

This course emphasizes the various facets of risk management in financial positions, whether in a consulting role or working in-house. It also highlights success factors such as fixed income, securitization, and speculation.

Financial Modeling and Firm Valuation

Students taking this course speculate questions around projected financial valuations, forecasting, key value drivers, and discounted cash flow projections. Through these exercises, they learn what it takes to understand firm valuation methods.

International Financial Management

The international financial management course provides students with a complete understanding of global economic growth, interest and exchange rates, economic expansion nature, and open economics investment strategies.

Admission Requirements for Online Master’s in Finance

Admission requirements for online Master in Finance programs typically compare with their on-campus counterparts. However, the eligibility requirements can vary from school to school. For example, some institutions only ask for an accredited bachelor’s degree for admission. In contrast, others opt for candidates with prior academic experience in finance or relevant subjects. Some highly competitive programs may also require applicants to participate in an interview.

The standard graduate admission requirements frequently seen in most institutions are as follows:

Application

Many institutions use the online application submission system to accelerate and streamline the admission process for both students and staff. However, applicants who lack internet access can request a paper application. Admission applications typically require basic demographic information such as name, date of birth, address, citizenship status, and prior education experience.

Test Scores

Many institutions ask for GRE scores as a portion of the application process. Some schools may also accept GMAT scores. If you plan to take either of these graduate program entrance examinations, it is critical to start early as the preparation can take a considerable amount of time. The average verbal and quantitative reasoning scores are around 150 for the GRE.

Letters of Recommendation

Several institutions require letters of recommendation as a part of the admission process. These documents offer the opportunity for others to highlight what makes you a promising candidate. You can ask for these supporting documents from supervisors, professors, mentors, faith leaders, and other professionals who know you well. It is considerate to ask your contacts for a recommendation well before the deadline to give them ample time to detail your accomplishments.

Resume and Work Experience

Some Master in Finance programs require applicants to show prior work experience or possess some relevant work samples. In addition, institutions may require applicants to provide an up-to-date resume along with their application documents.

Essays

Several online programs require applicants to compose a set of essays. Topics may include:

  • Why you want to pursue a career in finance
  • How you plan to put your degree to use after graduation
  • Why you intend on enrolling in that particular program

Official Transcripts

Many institutions ask for official transcripts to verify your prior GPA and ensure that prospective students comply with the prerequisite requirements. Transcripts are especially significant for transfer students. They help admission professionals determine which courses count towards the degree and how many credits a transfer student must complete for graduation.

Online Finance Master’s Degree Jobs

A master’s degree in finance can play a significant role in developing qualifications and competencies towards securing many highly sought-after and high-paying positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a progressive job outlook for financial managers, personal finance advisors, and financial analysts in the coming decade.

Although salaries in the finance sector depend mainly on factors such as educational standing, amount of experience, geographical location, and the type of employer, professionals with a master’s degree can routinely secure six-figure salaries. In addition, they can find employment opportunities in many fields. Many industries rely on financial professionals to lend support in decision-making, cost projection, investments, and other financial aspects.

Let us look at the various employment opportunities you can pursue with a master’s degree in finance.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts extend aid to individuals and companies on ways to invest their money to bring about maximum profits. They are well-versed in economic and investment trends. With this knowledge, they evaluate existing portfolios, provide quarterly reports on portfolio growth, and develop projections about future investments. The median yearly salary for financial analysts as of May 2021 was $81,410.

Financial Examiner

Financial examiners, frequently known as auditors, ensure lawful business conduct in financial organizations such as banks. They are also responsible for assessing operating accounts, devising balance sheets, interviewing management personnel, and providing thorough reports on their findings.

The median annual wages for financial examiners as of May 2021 was $81,410.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts help various clients maintain financial soundness, such as governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations. They also collaborate with senior staff to review spending proposals and develop operating budgets. Other duties include evaluating expense requests and devising ways to cut expenses and save money. The median yearly compensation rate for budget analysts as of May 2021 was $79,940.

Financial Manager

Financial managers typically work directly under Chief Financial Officers (CFO) and maintain an organization’s financial health. They manage investment activities, ensure compliance with all legal requirements, and set organizational objectives around finance. They also supervise other staff members tasked with similar job responsibilities. The average yearly compensation rate for financial managers as of May 2021 was $131,710.

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors collaborate with most professionals in the financial sector. They offer guidance and support on investment activities and large corporate purchases, such as property. They are also responsible for providing advice to those developing real estate plans, building retirement investment accounts, and looking to understand their tax burdens. The median annual income of personal financial advisors was $94,170 as of May 2021.

Salary and Job Outlook For A Career In Finance

According to the 2021 Corporate Recruiters Survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the average annual salary for finance graduates in the US is around $80,000. That is double the salary finance professionals expect with a bachelor’s degree in finance. The wages of a Master in Finance graduate increases past this threshold as the years of experience accrued.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts employment opportunities in finance and business operations to increase by 8% between 2020 and 2030, almost as fast as the average for all occupations.

The finance sector shows a healthy job outlook and expects an increase of about 750,800 new jobs. Factors that contribute to the growth of this field include:

  • Globalization
  • A complex regulatory and tax environment
  • The growing economy
  • The ever-increasing development in market research
  • The use of data for evaluating product demand and buying patterns of customers

The increasing trend of devising marketing techniques based on data analytics will further make way for market research analysts and other professionals in the finance sector.

GetEducated Rankings for Online Finance Master’s Degrees

GetEducated believes in the significance of a good college education and considers it one of the most beneficial investments you may ever make. We understand the difficulties of choosing the right school and the most suitable program. Our goal is to provide you with the best information to allow you to make a decision right for you.

Therefore, our college selection process involves meticulous research and thorough inspection of data and statistics from authentic resources, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Below, we have compiled the best online master’s in finance degree programs to help you find the program to best meet your needs.

Best Online Finance Master’s Degrees

Johns Hopkins University – Master of Science in Finance

Located in Baltimore, MD, John Hopkins University is a private, non-profit institution founded in 1876 as the first research university in the country. It hosts about 26,000 students yearly. The Carey School of Business offers a master’s program in finance that students can complete entirely online while studying part-time.

The curriculum comprises 36-credit hours and includes 24-credit hours of core courses and business foundations. The institute does not offer any concentrations for this program. Still, students can specialize their degree according to their career goals and interests through electives such as Extensive Data Machine Learning, Advanced Hedge Fund Strategies, and Wealth Management.

Johns Hopkins University offers online courses in an asynchronous format that can include synchronous components. The program is completable in two years, and students can access career coaching opportunities with John Hopkins alumni. Such networking opportunities allow students to connect with experienced professionals at prestigious corporations in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas.

Tuition costs are $79,800 for the program. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree, at least two years of work experience, GMAT or GRE scores, two essays, a recommendation letter, transcripts, and an updated resume.

View More about the MS in Finance from Johns Hopkins University

Georgetown University – Master of Science in Finance

Located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business offers an online Master of Science in Finance in part-time and full-time tracks. This degree is highly sought after by individuals looking to pursue a career in finance or improve their current career trajectory. The curriculum is a fantastic blend of intensive coursework, real-world applications, commitment to ethical values, and a global outlook. The program’s learning outcomes focus on ethical standards, efficient portfolio building, and investment evaluations.

Students go through courses such as Investments, Financial Statement Analysis, Financial Markets, and Options Pricing. Students must also work on a case competition, in-person, with peers during a week-long residency. The degree culminates in a capstone project. Students can also visit the campus for conferences, talks, and seminars. This private institution costs about $2,403 per credit, and its master’s in finance degree comprises 32-credit hours to complete in 21 months.

In addition, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits the program regionally, and The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits its business school. Tuition is $1,527 per credit hour. Admission requirements include a 3.0 GPA or higher and standardized test results of GMAT or GRE.

View More about the MS in Finance from Georgetown University

Webster University – Master in Finance Degree

Located in Saint Louis, MO, Webster University’s George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology offers an online Master in Finance. The program prepares students for a career in finance with a comprehensive and quantitative examination of the financial sector. This 36-credit-hour program includes classes such as Corporate Finance; Markets, Institutions, Investment, and Supporting Economics; and Accounting. Students also learn to evaluate a corporation’s financial decisions, determine economic asset value, and analyze credit and interest rate risks.

The program further emphasizes capital budgeting and corporate investments, culminating in a capstone project that focuses on acquisitions and mergers. Aspiring financial planners and analysts benefit from the course’s advanced certification opportunities. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Webster University. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits its online Master of Science in Finance.

This private institution costs students about $780 per credit, and they can complete it in about two years of asynchronous classes. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA. Standardized test results are not required.

View More about the MS in Finance from Webster University

University of Scranton – MS in Finance

Located in Pennsylvania, the University of Scranton is one of the 27 Jesuit universities and colleges in the US. Its Kania School of Management offers an online Master of Science in Finance. The program focuses on the significance of investment analysis, financial management, quantitative analysis, responsibility, justice, sustainability, and several other courses that provide students with a thorough understanding of finance. Elective coursework options include macroeconomics analysis, financial institutions, and treasury management. Students also participate in practical studies concerning institutions, risk, markets, and financial securities.

Students in this program may attend a three-day, on-campus residency. The residency features an interactive experience in the Alperin Financial Center that allows students to participate in stock trading-floor simulations. The program comprises 30-credit hours and functions as an asynchronous tract. The tuition expenditure for this highly sought-after private school is $965 per credit hour. Admission requirements include a minimum of 3.0 GPA.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits the school regionally. In addition, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits its Kania School of Management.

View More about the MS in Finance from University of Scranton

West Texas A&M University – Master of Science in Finance and Economics

Located in Canyon, TX, the West Texas A&M University’s Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business offers an online Master of Science in Finance and Economics. This program is excellent for students looking to work at consulting firms, community service organizations, or financial institutions. The program comprises 36 to 45-credit hours and allows for ample customization through elective courses.

The curriculum includes core courses such as Asset Valuation, Corporate Valuation, Corporate Governance, and International Business. In addition, students study for nine prerequisite credits in Accounting, Finance, and Statistics. However, those with a relevant undergraduate degree do not need to take these leveling classes.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits the school. In addition, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredits its business school. This program’s tuition costs are $504 per credit for in-state students and $552 per credit for those residing out of state. Thus, the total tuition expense comes to around $13,325.

Students can complete this program in two years, with classes presented in an asynchronous style. Admission requirements for those with a GPA lower than 3.0 include GMAT scores. This also applies to applicants with fewer than ten years of professional experience.

View More about the MS in Finance & Economics from West Texas A&M University

Colorado State University – Master in Finance

Located in Aurora, CO, Colorado State University Global offers an online Master in Finance that allows students to develop expertise in several areas of finance. These include financial operation, international perspective, financial management, applied research, investment, emerging business trends, and the latest business innovations. Within the program, courses cover quantitative analysis, effective organizations, corporate finance, and a culminating capstone project. In addition, students can specialize in Fraud Management, Human Resource Management, or Accounting.

The Higher Learning Commission regionally accredits this institution. The program boasts accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The tuition cost for this 36-credit-hour program is $500 per credit hour. While the GRE and GMAT are optional, applicants must show a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

View More about the MS in Finance from Colorado State University

University of Houston-Clear Lake – Master of Science in Finance

Located in Houston, TX, the University of Houston’s College of Business offers an online Master of Science in Finance. Graduates of this program can qualify for investment banking, money management, real estate investment, and corporate finance positions.

The curriculum includes:

  • Quantitative Finance Methods
  • International Finance
  • Portfolio Management

The prerequisite core classes cover topics like international finance and managerial economics. In contrast, electives include treasury management practices and a finance internship. Students can also add a Healthcare Administration specialization to their study plan.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges regionally accredits this institute. The tuition expense for this 30-credit hour program (about 18 months) is $1,895 per three-credit course for in-state students and $3,464 per three-credit course for those residing out of state. The total tuition expenditure for in-state students totals about $10,664.
Admission requirements include a minimum of 3.0 GPA on an applicant’s last 60-undergraduate credit hours and GMAT test score results for students with a GPA lower than 3.0.

View More about the MS in Finance from University of Houston-Clear Lake

Final Thoughts — Get Started With an Online Master’s Degree In Finance!

Earning a Master of Science in Finance can serve as the cherry on top of an already established career or kickstart a relatively new one. Finance professionals are never out of demand, primarily because of their versatile understanding of the basis of all business in today’s professional world — money! Moreover, since finance touches almost all the domains globally, the world is nothing but a limitless array of employment opportunities for finance professionals.

No matter your career choice, opting for an online master’s degree in finance is one of the most sensible commitments you can make for your career. Getting started with this online degree right from the comfort of your home has never been easier! The resources on GetEducated.com can help you learn more and make an informed decision about your career choice and education path.

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FAQs Online Finance Master’s Degree

Question: What can I do with a Master of Science in Finance?
Answer: A master’s degree in finance can open the door to versatile and expansive career opportunities in this sector because of the many people and organizations who rely on these professionals. You can find employment opportunities in high-pressure situations with C-suite-level finance professionals, the corporate sector, or on an interactive level with individuals working as personal finance advisors. Others can opt for the public service route and seek employment as auditors or budget managers for federal, state, or local government agencies.

Question: Are finance majors in demand?
Answer: Finance majors are in high demand. This is because many companies, organizations, and individuals seek advice on managing their finances. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts about 118,000 new positions and the current 681,700 roles for finance managers between 2020 and 2030. This is a growth rate of about 17%. Similarly, the job outlook for financial analysts might also increase by 6% in the same timeframe, with the addition of 31,000 new positions.

Question: What are the highest paying jobs with a Master of Science in Finance?
Answer: The average compensation rate for professionals with a master’s degree in finance depends upon their work experience, geographical location, the type of employer they work for, and several other considerations. Because of these factors, some positions offer higher salaries than others. However, the BLS projected in May 2020 that financial managers earned an average annual salary of $131,710, the highest in this domain. Nonetheless, professionals who reach the top ten percent of earners can earn more than $208,000 each year.