Earning an online MBA in finance can help professionals build in-depth specialized business skills and comprehensive financial knowledge. The degree that can help graduates land leadership roles in business and finance, including chief financial officer (CFO), a top-level executive position.
An online MBA can give graduates a competitive advantage in the job market and help them expand their network. The 2023 Graduate Management Admission Council report projects that MBA graduates earned a median annual salary of $125,000 this year, while bachelor's degree-holders earned $75,000.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost of tuition and fees for one year of graduate school was about $19,750 in 2020-2021. This cost varies based on the type of program, a student's location, and whether the school is public or private — many MBA programs cost much more than this NCES average. MBA scholarships can help offset the cost. Some schools' online MBA in finance tuition rates are as low as $11,000.
Read on to explore the type of courses found in an MBA in finance program and how long it takes to earn this degree. Also, discover your potential finance career outcomes and possible earnings.
What Is an MBA in Finance?
An MBA in finance program provides students with broad-based knowledge in finance and business. Instructors teach students about strategic business planning, operations, and management. Learners also learn about finance principles, such as investment strategies, corporate finance, and analyzing financial statements. Along the way, students develop in-demand skills, such as analytical thinking and complex problem-solving.
These programs require enrollees to complete 30-76 credits. Some of the core courses may include business analytics and leadership strategies. Programs may also require students to complete internships, which offer direct experience and can pave the way to full-time positions. Some online programs do not require internships, as many learners hold full-time jobs.
Featured Online MBA in Finance Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Can You Do With an MBA in Finance?
Earning a master’s in finance or an MBA in finance can lead to lucrative and in-demand careers. MBA programs, however, provide more management training and business expertise than master's programs, leading to leadership roles.
Financial management is a growing, in-demand field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 16% job growth for financial managers between 2022 and 2032. This amounts to an average of 69,600 job openings every year.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA in Finance?
Most online MBA in finance programs take about two years of full-time enrollment to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated programs or self-paced, competency-based programs. These programs let you control your workload and progress at your own pace. You may complete these programs in as few as 12 months.
Part-time students may take three years or longer to complete an online MBA in finance. This timeline varies based on the number of credits and the time available to commit to studies.
Courses in an MBA in Finance Program
This course teaches you how to analyze financial statements and corporate disclosures. It develops skills in predictive analytics and forecasting expenses and revenues. Students explore how to use financial statements to evaluate a company's health.
This class explores capital structure and management within an organization. You learn how to evaluate investment opportunities and the financial impact of different strategies. Covered topics include financial theory, corporate valuation, and mergers and acquisitions.
Financial Statement Analysis
This course looks at analyzing a business's financial statements. You learn fundamental theories and competencies needed by financial professionals in the corporate world. It also explores their impact on sound managerial decisions.
This class focuses on data analytics in relation to making managerial decisions. You explore techniques like regression, graphical analysis, and inferential statistics. Students discover how to use data to measure and improve productivity and quality.
International Financial Markets
This class explores the differences between international and domestic financial markets. You learn about the different regulatory environments and types of securities. Discussions also include risks and opportunities in international investments.
Real Estate Finance
This course focuses on the financial structuring of real estate investments. You learn about real estate as an investment strategy for individuals and corporations. Covered topics include equity vehicles and alternative-financing debt.
This class covers the statistical tools used to manage multiple securities. Students explore portfolio management and risk, client assessment, and security selection.
Careers Paths for an MBA in Finance
These analysts assess and develop various investment strategies, including stocks and bonds. They stay current on economic trends and regulations that may affect investments. They may specialize in a particular region or industry.
Median Annual Salary (May 2022): $96,220
These managers advise companies on reducing costs and maximizing profits. They may analyze data, review financial reports, and stay abreast of market trends. They also benefit from experience within their specific industry, such as insurance, healthcare, or government.
Median Annual Salary (May 2022): $139,790
Chief Financial Officer
CFOs are senior executives who oversee an organization's finances. They use financial reports and data analysis to forecast and advise the CEO on strategic directions.
Average Annual Salary (October 2023): $146,770
Corporate controllers manage a company's various financial departments, including accounting. They ensure financial policy conformance and oversee budgets and accounting activities. Many are responsible for monitoring an organization's financial health.
Average Annual Salary (October 2023): $110,690
Management analysts advise companies on how to stay competitive. They analyze operations, revenues, and expenditures. These consultants make recommendations, including organizational changes and improved procedures. They may work in finance and insurance, government, and professional or technical services.
Median Annual Salary (May 2022): $95,290
Senior Accounting Manager
Senior accounting managers oversee a company's accounting systems. They establish financial policies, monitor financial reports, and ensure accuracy among their team members. These managers may also work with external auditors and stakeholders.
Average Annual Salary (October 2023): $114,200
Personal Financial Advisor
These advisors help individuals manage their money. They explore investment opportunities, risks, and financial goals. These professionals also help clients financially plan for specific life events, such as retirement or paying for their children's education.
Median Annual Salary (May 2022): $95,390
Colleges That Offer an Online MBA in Finance
We have compiled a list of nonprofit and for-profit four-year institutions that offer accredited programs for this degree. Use the table below to view locations and compare graduate rates and student populations.
|School||Location||Graduation Rate||Student Population Size|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, North Carolina||91%||63,282|
|Villanova University||Villanova, Pennsylvania||90%||10,870|
|Babson College||Wellesley, Massachusetts||93%||2,576|
|University of Maryland, College Park||College Park, Maryland||86%||40,709|
|Purdue University-Main Campus||West Lafayette, Indiana||82%||46,655|
|Pennsylvania State University, World Campus||Centre County, Pennsylvania||36%||28,916|
|Webster University||Webster Groves, Missouri||57%||6,741|
|University of North Carolina Wilmington||Wilmington, North Carolina||72%||17,843|
|University of Delaware||Newark, Delaware||81%||23,613|
Frequently Asked Questions About an MBA in Finance
What kind of job can I get with an MBA in finance?
Earning an MBA in finance can lead to executive-level roles in business and finance. You may work as a financial analyst, financial manager, investment strategist, or financial business consultant. If your goal is landing a leadership position, you can aim for CFO.
Is an MBA worth it for finance?
Yes. If you're interested in business and finance, an MBA in finance may be worth it. It's best to consider the cost and your career goals when deciding if the degree is right for you. If your goal is to qualify for higher-level positions, an MBA in finance can take you there.
Do I need an MBA to be a financial advisor?
While an MBA is not required to be a financial advisor, it does add to your credentials. Additionally, while a bachelor's may get you in the door, an MBA may offer greater advancement opportunities.
How long will it take me to get an MBA in finance?
Earning your MBA in finance may take anywhere from 1-5 years. Full-time students usually complete the program in about two years. Some online accelerated programs take less than one year to complete. Part-time students may take three or more years to finish the program.