Your Complete Guide to

Master’s in Finance

Online Masters Degree
on February 13, 2024

Why We Love It

  • Outstanding Salary Potential
  • Upward Mobility
  • Marketability

* The Why We Love It section is solely based on the opinion of's Editorial Team. Any salary & growth research or estimates should be referenced further at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for your specific desired career.

What is a Master of Finance?

How and why does a person, company, or government acquire capital?  How do they spend it?  This is finance.

The creation and management of wealth, the flow of money, and investment management are all important to understand, especially today when these concepts are more complicated than they’ve ever been.

A Master of Finance is a professional degree designed to prepare you for a career in finance, one of the most wide-ranging and lucrative fields.  Depending on your school, program, and personal preferences, a Master of Finance could be your gateway into financial management, investment management, or a more technical role.

A Master of Finance program will typically cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Managerial Finance: This helps businesses achieve objectives through strategy and organizational agility, analyzing and allocating resources among competing opportunities.
  • Corporate Finance: This helps companies achieve maximum shareholder value through capital budgeting (funding value-adding projects) and working capital management (short-term operating balance of assets and liabilities).
  • Accounting: This is the language of business: the measurement, processing, and communication of financial data, one of the most crucial aspects of any company or corporation.
  • Economics: This is simply the social science that explores the interaction between people and value, e.g., the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
  • Investment Analysis: This involves evaluating investments and economic trends to formulate financial strategies.

Recommended Schools

What Can You Do With a Master of Finance?

Since a Master of Finance is so sought after, you could find yourself with a lot of options.

A stockbroker helps young investors take the first steps in building their portfolio so that they can plan for the future.  An actuary helps a small business owner to minimize risk and thrive in a competitive market.  A financial advisor helps a couple to plan for their retirement, their kids’ college funds, and their estate.  These are all possible futures for someone with a Master of Finance, and they could be your new career.

Ever since the pandemic, coronavirus, personal finances, business finances, and financial markets have been disrupted, which is why people, businesses, and investors have taken financial planning, and risk management seriously.

These are only a few examples.  The possibilities are endless.  You get to choose what you’ll do, and you don’t have to know what that is right now.  A Master of Finance could give you the tools you need to do a wide variety of jobs, so you’re not committing to a career before you even finish your degree.

A degree in the field also provides the knowledge and skills that become quite useful during economic downturns, hence making this field resilient to times like the present ones. Where most professionals might struggle, finance professionals will always be prepared to tackle unexpected economic and financial challenges.

Best Programs for Master of Finance

Here’s the best part: We’re going to give you the secrets to finding the best programs for adults, programs that could help you get your Master of Finance degree faster and with as few headaches as possible.

We know planning for college can be confusing, and is dedicated to helping you find the right path for you so that you can complete your degree and start your new career as soon as possible.

Why We Love a Master of Finance Degree

  1. Outstanding salary:  Master of Finance holders are usually well-paid and can sometimes draw a larger salary based on their degree alone. A greater earning potential means higher financial stability, more savings, and support for adults with families and other responsibilities.
  2. Upward mobility:  A Master of Finance is useful in a wide variety of industries, offering you more opportunities for advancement. The degree is a versatile one, allowing graduates to work in various industries especially those where financial and risk management is absolutely crucial such as banking, insurance, government agencies, and other financial institutions.
  3. Marketability:  A Master of Finance degree is almost always in high demand, and it could be your gateway to any number of upper-management positions. Graduates benefit from strategic and critical thinking and trust me, these days these skills are some of the most valued across all industries. This ensures that the chances for upward mobility and hence professional success are higher.

Online vs. Traditional Campus Master of Finance Programs

Most people who think about going back to school for a Master of Finance and getting their master’s degree never even get started. Going back to school can be a break or decide for your career. Not only are there various entrance hurdles like exams and application fees, but making school work around your schedule is nearly impossible. This is particularly true for someone with commitments like family, work, and personal.

While that was true in the past, technology has given us a better way.

With adult-friendly schools, there is really no reason not to go back to school anymore.  What makes a school adult-friendly?  Here are a few key attributes:

  • Adult-friendly schools are totally online.  Online learning is best for busy adults, who have to balance their ongoing education with work, kids, and everything else that comes with being a grownup. Ever since technological advancements and the pandemic, online and distance education has made its mark in the field of education. Online schools offering a Master of Finance allow you to work college around your life, not the other way around.
  • Adult-friendly schools can offer accelerated programs, with ongoing enrollment.  What’s better than getting your Master of Finance in two years?  Getting it in fourteen months.  And with ongoing enrollment, you don’t have to wait until fall or spring to start on your new journey; many schools offer monthly enrollment periods, meaning you can start whenever it works for you.
  • Adult-friendly schools can offer more support than traditional schools. This includes but is not limited to, career services, making it easier for you to begin your new career.  Because, at the end of the day, isn’t that why you’re going back to school? These career services help young graduates build successful resumes, explore job opportunities, and network with potential employers. Starting out, trust us, these things make a difference

Recommended Schools

Admissions Requirements for Master of Finance

So what do you need to get into grad school?  Surely you need to take the GRE or another entrance exam, right?

Again, there’s a better way now.

You might be surprised to learn that many adult-friendly schools do not require GRE or entrance exams.  Online Master of Finance programs generally require only a bachelor’s degree (not necessarily in a related field) to get started, and there are no application fees to worry about.  You start when you’re ready.

Master of Finance Curriculum

As mentioned above, a Master of Finance program will teach you about key aspects of the broader field of finance, such as managerial finance, corporate finance, accounting, economics, and investment analysis.

These concepts are all essential to a career in finance, whether you want to work for an established company or go into business for yourself.

What Courses Will I Take in My Master of Finance Program?

Because finance is such a complex and challenging subject that requires a broad spectrum of knowledge, the core curriculum of a Master of Finance program will include a healthy mix of courses designed to build and develop your understanding and skills in these crucial areas.

Examples include:

  1. Managerial Economics: This could teach you to use economic concepts to solve practical business problems.
  2. Speculative Markets: This would likely cover futures, options, forwards, and other derivative securities.
  3. Portfolio Management: Financial and investment analysis is key to effectively managing an investment portfolio.
  4. Financial Modeling: It is important to build abstract representations of real-world financial situations in order to effectively interpret and communicate data.
  5. Mergers and Acquisitions: The sale, transfer, and consolidation of companies and their assets and entities are important parts of financial management.
  6. Fixed Income Securities: Topics here would include interest rates, bonds, and mortgage-backed securities.

Specializations and Concentrations

Depending on your school of choice, your Master of Finance degree could be titled one of the following:

  • Master of Science in Finance (MSF): This could be geared more toward managerial finance, corporate finance, and investment analysis for those who want to work in fields such as investment banking.
  • Master in Finance (MFin): This is more focused on theory and practice, especially financial economics.

These degrees could also be identical; you should contact some schools you’re interested in to determine which program is right for you.

Additionally, you could find that a different, related degree is a better fit for you.  Examples include:

  • Master of Business Administration: The gold standard for executives, this is a degree for students with a mastery of the knowledge and competence required for scientific management.
  • Master of Science (MS) in Management: This is similar to an MBA, but it is often more theory-oriented.  It could be more suitable for someone with little or no job experience.
  • Master of Accountancy: This is designed to prepare you for public accounting and is required by most states before you take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (CPA Exam).
  • Master of Economics: This could provide you with a mastery of economic theory, applied economics, and/or econometrics.

Master of Finance Program Length

Most Master of Finance degrees require between 30 and 36 credits to graduate.  Normally, a Master of Finance program takes one to two years to complete.  An accelerated plan, however, could take less time.

Further, in this competitive market, and advancing world, no one will wait for you, hence it’s favorable if you get done with it as soon as possible. This is where adult-friendly schools really shine.  They know their students have jobs, kids, and other obligations that make a traditional school schedule unrealistic.

The best adult-friendly schools make the process as convenient as possible, and they could get you into the workforce as fast as possible because they know that’s what adults want.

Choosing the Right University or College Master of Finance Program

Choosing the right school for you can be exciting, but it can also be a hassle.  Tuition costs, application fees, accreditation, enrollment windows, and entrance exams are just some of the variables to consider.

That’s why we created the Smartplan.  We want to help people go back to school, to make college more accessible and affordable for everyone.  With our Smartplan, we make it easy for you to start on your path towards your Master of Finance.

Here are just some of the benefits of your Smartplan:

  • No application fees
  • Accredited colleges and universities
  • No entrance exams or testing
  • Faculty and professors who understand adults
  • Discounts and scholarships available
  • Open enrollment dates

Recommended Schools

Best Jobs for Those With a Master of Finance

What can you do with a Master of Finance?  What kind of salary can you expect?  Here are some common careers for Master of Finance holders, with salary data estimates provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Investment Banker: This is someone who achieves financial goals by conducting research, formulating financial plans, and offering strategic advice. You could make anywhere from $47,230 to $156,150 per year.
  • Stockbroker: This job is more complicated than most people probably think, involving not only making informed decisions regarding investment opportunities but also conducting market research and staying abreast of tax law. You could make anywhere from $35,320 to well over $200,000 per year.
  • Financial Advisor: This person could provide advice regarding savings, taxes, investments, mortgages, pensions, and/or estate planning. You could make anywhere from $47,570 to well over $208,000 per year.
  • Financial Analyst: This is someone who provides guidance to individuals and/or businesses regarding investment decisions. You could make anywhere from $57,900 to $166,560 per year.
  • Actuary: This person helps to minimize financial risks and costs by applying financial and statistical theory to determine the likelihood of certain events. You could make anywhere from $63,260 to $206,820 per year.

We’ve compiled some of our favorite careers, but this degree does provide you with broad skills to work in a variety of positions, as Master of Finance holders are usually in high demand across many industries.

With the ever-evolving world and markets, getting a degree with help you stay on top. Best of all, you could work for a company to gain experience and then go into business for yourself!  These are just some of the endless possibilities you can choose from.

Cost and Tuition

Cost and tuition vary from school to school, and you’ll want to speak with each of your prospective schools directly.  Fortunately, online schools are generally more affordable than their in-person counterparts. And many adult-friendly schools understand what going back to school entails, in terms of financial burden.

Hence they offer financial resources such as aid and scholarships, helping students manage their education, especially through inflation and economic instability like in the present times. You’ll definitely want to speak to a few schools, and can help you with that.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Do I need to know what job I want before I start a Master of Finance program?

A: No!  A Master of Finance program could prepare you for a wide variety of careers.  You certainly don’t need to know what job you want today.

Q: Will I make more money with a Master of Finance?

A: That depends on a variety of factors.  But as you can see above in the “Best Jobs for Those With a Master of Finance” section, your Master of Finance could mean excellent earning potential.

Q: How long will I be in school?

A: That could depend on you, your current job, and any other obligations you might have.  A Master of Finance program could take anywhere from one to two years, but our Smartplan is designed to help you find the right degree for you, so you can finish as quickly as possible!

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Master’s in Finance degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

Create Your Free SmartPlan

There are many ways to make college affordable and accessible.

That’s why we created a helpful tool called SmartPlan.

It’s free, and helps you find potential ways to save and tons of information about each school you’re considering

Think of it as your “college blueprint”, to help you instantly craft a path to your degree:

  • Which Colleges Match Your Needs
  • Ways You Could Save Time & Money
  • Free Courses You Could Take for Credit
  • Valuable Data and Insights on Each College
  • Detailed Steps You Should Take!

See what’s possible for you and generate a free plan within just a few minutes

Create My SmartPlan

You Might also be Interested in

Many visitors who look for a degree in Master’s in Finance are also interested in the following degrees.

About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

Start Towards Your Master’s in Finance Degree, Free.

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify schools you like, and potential ways to save on your degree or certification program with courses, offers, and much more!

Get Started