Degree Courses in Finance

Completing a Masters in Finance

Students enrolled in finance education programs at the bachelors, masters, PhD and advanced degree levels learn about financial management and theories related to the corporate, investment and securities industries. They learn about government policy, the financial markets, venture capital, financial risk management and international finance. Finance degree programs also train students how to create quantitative models, perform research, review statistics and analyze financial documents. Many universities and schools of business offer several finance degree options, and some students may be able to complete a portion of their education online.

Finance Education Programs

Many business schools and some technical colleges offer several types of finance education programs. If you are interested in a career as a financial analyst, financial advisor or other career in the finance industry, you may consider enrolling in a program to get a:

  • Diploma in Finance
  • Associate's Degree in Finance
  • Undergraduate Finance Degree
  • Masters in Finance
  • PhD in Finance
  • MSC in Finance

Find a school near you

Courses for diplomas and bachelors degrees are very broad in scope and provide the skills and training needed for an entry-level career in the field. Masters , PhD and MSC in finance programs include more research-based courses and specialized training programs. It's important to remember that associate's degree programs 'offer foundational courses in the field, and some can transfer into an undergraduate finance degree program.

Students who complete a bachelor's degree are well-prepared to apply for entry-level jobs shortly after graduation. Those who complete a masters in finance can pursue management positions and higher-paying jobs in the fields of investment banking, financial management or even real estate. Students who complete a PhD or advanced degree can pursue teaching, or participate in advanced research projects at a business school. Careers in financial management typically require a masters degree in finance or MBA. A bachelor's degree in finance is required for students who want to obtain Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification.

Types of Finance Courses

Some of the most common courses required include:

  • Basic Finance
  • Basic and Advanced Accounting
  • Corporate Finance
  • Business Law
  • Financial Markets
  • Global Financial Management
  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Investment and Security Analysis
  • Financial Services
  • Mortgages and Mortgage Markets

More on Finance Programs

These programs cover a broad range of subjects in the business field, including accounting, mathematical finance, economics theory, social theories and financial management. Students can find a number of online programs and even some free courses through MIT's Sloan School of Management and the University of Texas at San Antonio's Small Business Network. Free courses can prepare students for advanced courses and provide a preview of the types of courses they can expect from an accredited school, college or university.

PhD and MSC programs are research-based and require several years of advanced study, as well as the study of financial theory, economics and statistics.

Some of the key areas of study in online and offline programs include:

  • Evaluating Financial Performance
  • Financial Planning and Forecasting
  • Managing Cash Flow
  • Capital Budgeting Analysis
  • Management of Capital
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Strategic Planning
  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Process Improvement
  • Leadership
  • Managing Projects

Career Options with a Finance Degree

Graduates may choose to become a financial analyst, work for a financial firm or bank, or explore a career as a stock broker. Students who successfully complete a finance degree may consider any of the following careers:

  • Investment Analyst
  • Personal Financial Advisor
  • Credit Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Stock Broker
  • Financial Examiner
  • Budget Analyst
  • Loan Officer or Loan Counselor
  • Public Accountant
  • Investment Manager
  • Financial Consultant
  • Money Manager
  • Commercial Banker

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages for financial analysts were $73,150 in May 2008. The overall employment of financial analysts is expected to increase about 20 percent through 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Most work in New York City since it is the country's largest financial center. Those that have a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation can earn more over the course of their careers.