Written by: Heather Mullinix
Last updated: May 2020
Businesses of all kinds rely on numbers to make decisions. An online finance degree trains students to use those numbers to make investments, launch products, or make changes to business operations. Graduates with a finance bachelor’s degree can pursue careers in fields like financial management, business analysis, and accounting. The degree also provides a strong foundation for continued study in business, law, and economics.
This guide ranks the best online bachelor’s in finance degrees in the country to help students find the right program for their needs. This page also introduces potential jobs for graduates with an online finance degree and reviews the skills and attributes employers look for in their finance hires. Students can often tailor the degree at online universities to their professional goals through elective courses and concentrations. Learn more about these options in this guide.
Featured Online Schools
2020 Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Finance Programs
1. LeTourneau University
2. Florida International University
3. Thomas Edison State University
4. Oral Roberts University
5. National University
6. Southern New Hampshire University
7. Eastern New Mexico University
8. University of Memphis
9. Missouri State University-Springfield
10. Davenport University
Online Bachelor’s in Finance Overview
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects business and finance jobs to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028, amounting to about 591,800 new jobs. In 2019, professionals in these careers earned a median annual wage of $69,820. Finance experts help businesses navigate a global economy, complicated tax rules, and competitive market conditions. They may work in roles such as auditor, loan officer, budget analyst, and insurance underwriter. We outline several common jobs for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in finance below.
Financial analysts use data to make investment decisions, assess management teams, and determine business value. They may specialize in a particular industry or product. The BLS projects financial analyst jobs to increase 6% between 2018 and 2028. These professionals make a median annual salary of $85,660, though compensation varies by industry. In 2019, professionals working in the securities or commodities industry earned a median annual salary of $101,410.
Financial examiners review an organization’s financial health and compliance with laws surrounding transactions. The BLS projects financial examiner jobs to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028. These specialists may work in fields like management, credit intermediation, and state and federal government, making a median annual salary of $81,090.
Financial managers prepare business activity forecasts and financial statements, analyze market trends to identify business opportunities, and review financial reports to determine cost reductions. Typical job titles include controller, treasurer, credit manager, and insurance manager. The BLS projects financial manager jobs to grow 16% between 2018 and 2028. In 2019, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $129,890.
Personal financial advisors help individuals reach their financial goals through savings and investments. They recommend investments; monitor accounts; and help plan for retirement, education expenses, and taxes. The BLS projects jobs for personal financial advisors to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028. They made a median annual salary of $87,850 in 2019.
Common Online Bachelor’s in Finance Courses
Investments: This course covers how to use and value various investment products, including stocks, bonds, and securities. Topics include diversification, portfolio management, security trading, mutual funds, and short- and long-term investments. Learners study how investors make decisions and the data they rely upon to safeguard investments. Risk analysis also plays an integral role in this course, with students reviewing various investment vehicles and learning to assess an investor’s risk tolerance. This class often builds on concepts covered in financial accounting or managerial finance courses.
Managerial Finance: This course examines theoretical principles of financial decision-making, including financial health assessment, financial planning, working capital, and growth management. Other principles discussed include risk-return, funding, and valuation of real assets and investments. Students learn how debt and cash flow impact business health and how to manage financial growth. They also learn to analyze various types of business data to make financial decisions that impact the health of their organizations.
Asset Management: This course introduces enrollees to principles of asset management and theories for asset selection and allocation. Students learn to use quantitative methods to select and design stock portfolios and other investments. Such decisions often rest on the goals of the asset owner, which may include individuals, philanthropic foundations, pension funds, corporations, and governments. Course topics include various types of asset allocation, the investment vehicles used to make allocations, and investment performance measurements. Primary theories include statistical analysis, finance theory, and optimization theory.
Options and Futures: This course teaches students how to evaluate basic derivatives to determine value. Learners also study financial risk management. Course content builds on quantitative and economic principles, so students should take courses in investment, business finance, business calculus, and probability and statistics before enrolling in this class. Many instructors supplement course textbooks with publications such as Investor’s Business Daily, The Wall Street Journal, and Chicago Mercantile Exchange Publications.
International Finance Markets: In this course, students explore how technology, globalization, and regulation impact international finance markets. Topics include derivatives, futures, options, and swaps, with in-depth study of the benefits and challenges of each type of contract. Learners may also study current events on topics like international trading, portfolios, and spot markets. Students should already possess a basic understanding of statistics, economics, and finance.
Online Bachelor’s in Finance Concentrations
Concentrations allow students to tailor their education to their goals. Popular concentration options for online finance degrees include corporate finance, capital markets and banking, venture capital, and quantitative finance. Some concentrations may lead to certificates awarded by the school or prepare students for professional certification.
Electives and minors also allow students to tailor their degree to their goals. Finance electives may cover topics related to areas like taxation, financial planning, and data analysis. Complementary minors for an online finance degree include business, accounting, computer science, and math. Some schools may offer finance as a business degree concentration. This interdisciplinary degree path gives students knowledge and skills in finance in addition to business and management.
Online Bachelor’s in Finance Requirements
Online bachelor’s degrees in finance include coursework in economics, accounting, and finance. Students also take general education courses in areas such as English, history, and science. Most degrees require 120 credits and take four years of full-time study to complete. Many programs incorporate internships and cooperative learning courses that provide hands-on experience in a work setting.
Prospective students must meet the requirements for admission to their selected online school or university. These requirements may include minimum ACT or SAT scores, a minimum GPA, and prerequisite high school classes. Transfer students should verify which of their prior credits may apply toward their degree.
Many finance programs include investment challenge teams that allow participants to manage virtual portfolios. Students track the results of investment decisions to learn which team realized the best returns on investment. Students may also be able to join professional associations, such as the Finance Student Association or the Financial Management Association.
Some online finance degrees integrate preparation for professional certifications into their curriculum. Popular certifications include chartered financial analyst and certified financial planning designations.
Helpful Skills for a Degree in Finance
Careers in finance require comfort with numbers and technology. Critical thinking skills also help finance professionals use data to identify strengths and weaknesses in an organization and develop solutions to problems.
Additionally, finance professionals need good communication skills to listen carefully to client needs and use that information to craft investment strategies. They also communicate in writing, sharing complex information in a manner that clients can understand. Financial managers and advisors must carefully monitor economic data and evaluate investment or business performance. Case studies in finance coursework help develop the deductive and inductive reasoning skills needed to analyze how specific actions might impact business success.
Personal financial managers often must use negotiation and persuasive arguments to steer clients to the most beneficial plans and products. Participation in extracurricular activities and team assignments in college classes can help students develop these skills.
The mathematics skills gained in finance programs enable finance professionals to verify data and approach logic issues. This information plays an integral role in allocating financial assets, developing financial strategies, and monitoring investment progress.
Finance professionals also need knowledge and skills in business intelligence and data analysis software, data reporting software, and financial analysis software. Online finance degrees often introduce students to these programs and the economic principles incorporated into the software processes. Additionally, financial work often involves significant regulation and laws. Finance professionals must understand these rules and how to apply them to ethical financial management.
2020 Best Bachelor’s in Finance Online Programs
1. LeTourneau University
LeTourneau University, a private Christian college, offers more than 140 majors. LETU enrolls students online and at its main campus in Longview, Texas.
The 121-credit online bachelor’s in finance degree includes classes in intermediate accounting, federal income tax, risk management and insurance, investments, and portfolio management. The curriculum helps students develop financial modeling skills.
All students take religious courses, such as biblical literature, biblical theology, and Christian life. Online students can access remote tutoring services in math, writing, and business through Tutor.com. LETU also offers accelerated evening classes.
Applicants with more than 12 credits apply as transfer students and must submit college transcripts. Transfer applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. LETU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
2. Florida International University
Florida International University enrolls about 40,000 distance learners each year. The university offers 100 fully online degrees and 1,000 online courses.
Online students can earn a bachelor’s in business administration with a finance track. The 120-credit curriculum emphasizes practical and theoretical skills. Required courses include commercial bank management, financial markets and institutions, securities analysis, international financial management, and risk management.
Learners in the program complete an orientation and all coursework entirely online, through Canvas. Each student works with a success coach, and learners typically spend about 8-12 hours per week completing coursework.
Online learners can begin studying in the spring, summer, or fall. Transfer applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and those with fewer than 60 previous credits must submit high school transcripts. FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
3. Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University opened in 1972 to educate adult learners in New Jersey. Today, TESU enrolls a student population with an average age of 35. Learners can pursue 100 programs through TESU, and the university offers more than 250 flexible online classes.
The 120-credit bachelor’s in business administration with a focus in finance explores topics in derivatives, risk management, and business forecasting. TESU delivers online courses in 12-week sessions. The curriculum covers investments, financial runs and institutions, and financial management of organizations. The program culminates with a business administration capstone.
Learners who prefer to work independently, without virtual classroom interaction, can take e-Pack or guided study courses. Classes in these formats prepare students to take exams for college credit. Students transferring from a community college can apply up to 80 credits toward their online finance degree. The university also awards credit for portfolio assessments.
4. Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University is a Christian institution based on a 385-acre campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The university delivers 150 programs and 77 undergraduate majors. ORU’s most popular majors include ministry and leadership, business administration, nursing, psychology, and engineering.
In addition to on-campus classes, the university delivers 20 undergraduate degrees entirely online. Distance students can earn a bachelor’s in finance degree with a focus on personal or corporate finance. In addition to general education requirements and major courses, learners take classes in the Old Testament and New Testament.
Students can network and locate professional development opportunities through the Accounting Society, which hosts monthly meetings and events. Graduates often become bond brokers, general managers, corporate financial services, and venture capitalists.
The university offers numerous scholarships and grants, including the Quest Whole Leader Scholarship. ORU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
5. National University
A private institution based in La Jolla, California, National University offers flexible and accessible programs ideal for working professionals. NU delivers accelerated pathways for more than 75 degrees.
Students can graduate more quickly than average by taking four-week accelerated classes. The university also offers weekend and evening classes. NU delivers the 120-credit bachelor’s in financial management degree entirely online. Students in the program gain a global perspective on finance.
Learners without previous college experience take prerequisite courses, including principles of microeconomics, macroeconomics, financial accounting, managerial accounting, and legal aspects of business. Core classes cover topics in investments, working capital management, risk management and insurance, and international financial management. The program provides practical and theoretical training to prepare students for careers as financial managers.
6. Southern New Hampshire University
Founded in 1932 as an accounting and secretarial school, SNHU enrolls 90,000 online students. Based on a 300-acre campus in Manchester, the private university delivers more than 200 online programs, including certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs.
SNHU offers a 120-credit online bachelor’s in finance degree with a Certified Financial Planner Board-registered concentration. The curriculum includes major courses in fundamentals of investments, corporate finance, financial markets, multinational corporate finance, financial regulations and ethics, and wealth management. The program culminates in a finance capstone.
After earning their bachelor’s degree, many graduates pursue SNHU’s online BS-to-MS pathway. The university offers rolling admissions and charges no application fee. Students can apply up to 90 transfer credits toward their degree. Applicants do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores.
7. Eastern New Mexico University
Based in Portales, New Mexico, ENMU offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The university also provides two-year degrees at campuses in Roswell and Ruidoso.
The fully online bachelor of business administration program offers concentrations in applied economics and finance, general business, hospitality management, information systems, marketing, and personal financial planning. Graduates of the BBA program often work in academia, for government agencies, and with nonprofit organizations.
Distance learners can access online tutoring, digital library resources, and career services. In addition to online courses, ENMU offers evening classes on campus. The university charges no application fee, and the ENMU Foundation offers numerous scholarships. ENMU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
8. University of Memphis
UofM offers a variety of online programs, including an online bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in finance. The 120-credit curriculum explores investments, financial markets, finance, real estate law, risk management, and database and information management.
The university delivers online courses in an asynchronous format, allowing learners to study according to their schedule. Distance students can access the same support resources as on-campus learners, including tutoring, career guidance, library resources, and technical support services. Online students work with an advisor throughout the program.
UofM awards credits for prior learning, certificates, and work experience. Learners can also take exams for college credit. UofM holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
9. Missouri State University
Missouri State is a public institution founded in 1905 to train teachers. With a main campus in Springfield, the university also offers two-year degrees from its West Plains location. Missouri State offers 102 undergraduate programs, including a fully online bachelor’s in finance program.
The finance curriculum prepares students to take the Chartered Financial Analyst level 1 exam. Major coursework explores financial markets and intermediaries, investment, and business enterprise rights and liabilities. Degree-seekers can specialize in corporate finance. Graduates of the online finance program often become financial planners, brokers, and portfolio managers.
Distance learners can access career guidance. Transfer students who hold an associate degree from an accredited Missouri college and learners who have completed the Missouri CORE 42 requirements can transfer general education credits to Missouri State.
10. Davenport University
A private institution founded in 1866, Davenport University maintains 14 campuses in Michigan. The university offers more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degrees on campus and online. Students can also enroll in evening and weekend courses.
DU offers more than 35 online programs, including a fully online bachelor of business administration in finance program. The 120-credit curriculum includes coursework in corporate finance, business law foundations, project management, and professional ethics. During their senior year, learners complete either a field experience or a capstone project. Graduates often pursue roles as controllers, risk analysts, and auditors.
While earning their online finance degree, students can connect with industry leaders by competing for the Association for Corporate Growth Cup. MBA students throughout the nation participate in the competition.
11. Regis University
Regis University is a private four-year school with Jesuit Catholic roots. Based in Denver, Colorado, the university enrolls more than 10,087 students online and on four campuses.
Students can earn their bachelor’s in finance degree completely online. Students gain foundational knowledge in financial analysis and forecasting, investments, ethical decision-making, business law, and corporate finance. The program prepares learners to take the Series 7 exam.
Learners pursuing the 120-credit degree can choose a minor, such as economics, finance, general business, human resource, international business, management, marketing, or project management. In addition to the online bachelor’s in finance, the university offers a combined bachelor’s and master’s in finance program. Regis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
12. Florida State College at Jacksonville
FSCJ maintains multiple campuses and centers throughout Jacksonville. In addition to on-campus programs, the college offers 17 online degrees, including a bachelor’s in financial services.
The accelerated finance program explores topics in accounting and business. Online learners can graduate in 18-24 months. Most classes last eight weeks, and local students can complete the program in a hybrid format.
The online finance degree requires 120 credits and emphasizes banking. Coursework covers subjects related to regulations and compliance, operations and management, and credit analysis.
Applicants must have an associate degree or at least 60 transferable credits. FSCJ admits students on a rolling basis, and all online learners pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of their residency status. FSCJ is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
13. The Pennsylvania State University
Penn State has offered fully online degree programs since 1998. Today, the university delivers more than 150 accessible and flexible online options, including certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs.
Penn State’s online bachelor’s in finance program requires no campus visits. The 120-credit curriculum explores fundamental concepts in microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis, business writing, corporate finance, and international finance.
Learners gain the analytical skills necessary to become credit counselors, loan officers, and securities analysts. The curriculum also prepares students to earn the chartered financial analyst and certified financial planning credentials.
Online students can access networking opportunities through the Financial Planning Club and the Investment Research Challenge Team. Penn State is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
14. Hodges University
A private four-year institution founded in 1990, Hodges maintains a primary campus in Fort Myers, Florida, and an additional campus in Naples.
Hodges delivers the fully online bachelor’s in finance program in an asynchronous format. Learners can also pursue the 120-credit program in a blended format, which combines online and in-person classes. While studying on campus, students gain practical experience through stimulated work in the BB&T Finance Lab.
Students prepare to review financial statements, appraise financial performance, and conduct insurance and risk assessments. Graduates often work as budget analysts and finance managers. The curriculum explores managerial accounting, personal finance, QuickBooks, business law, and international finance. During their final year of studies, finance students take an exit exam. Online students may need to complete proctored exams.
15. Dickinson State University
Founded in 1918, DSU delivers degree programs online and at its North Dakota campus. The public four-year university enrolls more than 1,350 students from 33 states and offers more than 70 degrees.
DSU offers a variety of fully online programs, including a 120-credit bachelor of business administration program with a concentration in finance. Students earning the online finance degree gain practical management skills, theoretical knowledge of international business, and methods for implementing business concepts and financial frameworks. The curriculum includes courses in investments and international finance. Online learners also take business-focused classes in law, management, and policy.
Distance students can access online tutoring services and digital library resources. Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants with at least 24 college credits do not need to submit high school transcripts or standardized test scores.
16. University of Massachusetts Amherst
Located on a 1,450-acre campus, UMass Amherst offers 109 bachelor’s programs and five associate degrees. The Isenberg School of Management, which opened in 1947, offers a fully online bachelor of business administration degree with a focus in finance.
Applicants to the finance program must have at least 27 transferable credits, including 12 business credits, five finance credits, and five business elective credits. The 120-credit curriculum provides foundational knowledge in financial modeling, investments, advanced corporate finance, bank management, and international finance.
Each student works with an academic advisor to select courses that fit their career interests. Graduates often become bank examiners, financial controllers, and loan officers. Learners can pursue networking opportunities through the university’s partner organizations, including the Global Association of Risk Professionals and Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
17. Franklin University
Founded in 1902, Franklin maintains more than 25 locations in the Midwest. The university offers an online bachelor’s in financial planning degree and an online bachelor’s in financial management degree. Both programs require 124 credits.
The bachelor’s in financial management program requires 20 major credits in courses like global finance and advanced financial management. The bachelor’s in financial planning program requires 28 major credits and includes coursework in estate planning, tax planning, and risk management.
The university partners with more than 135 two-year colleges to help students transfer credits easily. Transfer students can apply up to 94 previous credits toward their bachelor’s degree. Distance learners receive resources, including free access to Microsoft Office. Franklin is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
18. Albertus Magnus College
Founded by the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 1925, Albertus Magnus College offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and minors. The college delivers classes online and on its 50-acre campus in New Haven, Connecticut.
The Tagliatela School of Business and Leadership offers a bachelor’s in finance in a flexible online format. Students explore topics related to business, management, marketing, business law, and the stock market. Seniors in the program complete a business capstone during which they apply classroom knowledge.
Learners can pursue a minor in financial accounting, money and banking, or corporate financial management. Finance students can also earn a concentration in corporate finance or personal financial planning. Graduates often secure positions as financial managers, loan counselors, and credit analysts.
19. Old Dominion University
Since the 1980s, ODU has offered distance learning classes on U.S. Navy ships stationed around the world. Continuing in that tradition, the university now delivers more than 100 online degrees.
The university offers a fully online bachelor of science in business administration program in four-year and a degree-completion formats. Learners must complete at least 30 credits through ODU. Some classes require students to log in at set times, while other courses follow an asynchronous format.
The university maintains partnerships with schools in the Virginia Community College System to guarantee associate degree-holders admission to ODU. Students in the business administration program gain a strong understanding of investments, banking, and portfolio management. Graduates often work as treasurers and controllers, credit analysts, and insurance underwriters.
20. University of the Southwest
The University of the Southwest, a private Christian school established in 1962, delivers on-campus classes in Hobbs, New Mexico. USW offers more than 50 undergraduate degrees, including a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in finance.
Students can earn the BBA entirely online. The 120-credit curriculum includes major coursework in management, business law, accounting, and ethics. Students complete emphasis courses in insurance and risk, global finance, strategic planning, and financial management. Distance learners receive access to the same support services as on-campus students, including online tutoring and digital library resources.
Transfer students must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA. All online learners pay a reduced per-credit tuition rate, regardless of residency status, and the university charges no application fee. USW is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
21. DeSales University
DeSales University, a private Catholic school, delivers classes online and on its main campus in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.
The 120-credit bachelor’s in finance program prepares students for positions in financial management, banking, and insurance. DeSales delivers the program online in an accelerated format. The curriculum includes coursework in Christian values and theology. Major requirements include classes in quantitative business analysis, money and banking, investments and portfolio, and managerial accounting.
Students can apply up to 75 transfer credits. However, learners must complete at least 15 classes at DeSales. The university awards credit for career experience and military training through its ACCESS program, which also provides discounted tuition rates.
Online courses follow synchronous, asynchronous, and blended formats. Distance learners can also attend weekend and evening courses. Online students can access digital library databases and virtual workshops.
22. University of Minnesota Crookston
UMC, a four-year public school within the University of Minnesota system, educates 1,800 students on campus and online.
Students earning the online bachelor’s in finance gain knowledge in corporate finance, investment, risk management, and estate planning. The 120-credit curriculum teaches students how to apply theoretical and analytical concepts in a financial setting. Learners also develop practical skills, such as spreadsheet applications. The finance program prepares students to become asset managers, investment bankers, and capital markets analysts.
UMC delivers the program in fully online, partially online, and primarily online formats. Full-time students typically earn the degree in four years. All online learners pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of residency, and the university provides each distance learner a free laptop. UMC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
23. University of North Carolina at Pembroke
A public four-year school founded in 1887, UNCP features 21 undergraduate programs, including a fully online bachelor of science in business administration program. Distance learners can choose up to two concentration options, which include economics, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management, and marketing. Pursuing two concentrations requires an additional 12 credits.
The curriculum explores financial management, financial analysis and portfolio management, and financial markets. In addition to online classes, students can take evening courses on campus.
UNCP maintains a generous transfer policy. However, students must earn at least 50% of their credits from the university. UNCP is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
24. Mount Vernon Nazarene University
Since 1968, MVNU has delivered educational programs from its Ohio campus. In addition to in-person courses, the Christian university offers nine online programs.
The entirely online bachelor of business administration program offers tracks in finance, human resources, management, and marketing. Students with at least 56 transfer credits can earn the online finance degree in as little as 21 months.
MVNU delivers online courses in five-week formats. The 129-credit curriculum includes 40 business credits and five classes in the student’s chosen track. The finance track explores topics in accounting and tax preparation. Graduates often work as finance managers, human resource managers, and business administration researchers.
The university offers free transfer evaluations and accepts up to 90 transfer credits. MVNU offers a tuition guarantee, which ensures that a student’s tuition rate will not increase between their freshman and senior year.
25. University of Maryland Global Campus
UMGC was founded in 1947 to provide affordable higher education opportunities to military service members and working professionals. Today, the university’s online programs continue to appeal to working adults.
Students pursuing the 120-credit online bachelor’s in finance degree learn how to analyze financial data, implement market principles, and use financial theories. UMG also offers the program in a hybrid format.
Required courses include risk management, international finance, security analysis and valuation, and principles of accounting. Coursework prepares students to take the certified financial planner exam.
Distance learners can network through the Accounting and Finance Community Hub and the Financial Planning Association Student Chapter. Nearly every course at the university offers free digital course materials. Additionally, UMG accepts up to 90 transfer credits, which can reduce the overall cost of earning the degree.