A degree in finance may not be the easiest, but every ounce of effort is proven worth it once that hard-working student reaches the finish line.
In addition to teaching students valuable math skills that can easily go on to benefit a great number of other advanced degrees, a focus on finance provides invaluable skills in risk analysis, business management, and all manners of financial planning.
Upon seeing a finance degree in hand, any potential employer immediately knows exactly who they are dealing with: an applicant with the dedication, work ethic, and skills of patience and perseverance that would be at home in any work environment.
What’s more, a degree in finance virtually guarantees that jobs are out there.
According to the bureau of labor statistics, all fields of business and finance are on track to grow at least seven percent between now and 2028, making it one of the fastest-growing fields in the nation.
Depending on what a graduate chooses to do with that degree, they easily stand to make between $60,000 and $85,000 per year, with some potential jobs even broaching the $125,000 range!
Before pursuing a career in this lucrative field, however, a potential student should investigate which university is most likely to provide a return on their investment.
The schools in this list are ranked based on each university’s position in the US News best undergraduate finance colleges list.
10. University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
Rather than offering a specific “finance degree,” the University of Virginia offers a range of classes all around the subjects of business, finance, money management, and other related skills, ensuring that once a student receives their degree from the school of business and economics, they walk across that stage as well prepared as possible.
The University of Virginia takes a job-focused approach to education. While enrolled, students have access to world-class career planning seminars, all from within the comfort of the nearby Monroe Hall.
Meanwhile, the Darden School of Business offers an unparalleled series of lectures and seminars addressing the top issues in the field, including mutual funds and ETFs, leadership and organizational skills, and managerial action.
Through the Batten Institute, students can gain invaluable real-world experience by participating in any of the evolving financial programs that have supported over 275 real businesses over its short history.
9. Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
A concentration in finance within the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business is a road map into any hopeful student’s future.
There is no better place to start that journey than any of the famed Tepper Talks.
At each of these organized talks, students have the chance to hear from alumni who arrive ready to explain how this program directly impacted their own successful careers.
Professional student club members share how those organizations went on to provide the supplemental education they needed to thrive on campus, connecting younger students to the best place for them.
Master career center coaches work one-on-one to help guide students through their personalized career plans and job search, an invaluable experience guaranteed to help clarify and lessen any student’s worries about life after graduation.
Ultimately, a degree in finance from Carnegie Mellon University provides more than just an education; it provides a step in the right direction, helping each student on their way to a thriving, successful career long after graduation.
8. Boston College (Newton, MA)
As a division of the Boston College Carroll School of Management, the finance department at this esteemed university consistently ranks within the top ten of US News and World Report, approaching each dilemma with a rigorous, organized approach.
Through the CSOM Study Abroad process– which 36% of students actively take advantage of– students have the opportunity to learn about how finances function worldwide, gaining invaluable experience and building their personal resumes.
Weekly seminars with renowned scholars keep students and professors equally engaged, creating a collaborative environment where constant learning is the consistent goal.
A brief look at the list of employers who regularly pull from this successful student body proves they are successful in achieving that goal!
From Bank of America to Citi, KeyBank to Visa, the top financial institutions worldwide recognize the value of a Boston College education in finance.
7. Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
A finance degree from Indiana University provides the perfect jumping-off point for any major career, making it the ideal choice for any student who has yet to decide which direction they hope to pursue a career.
With classes in accounting, international investing, banking, and corporate management, this degree was designed to cover the broadest possible range of subjects without losing depth.
The Kelley School of Business maintains a special interest in traditionally underrepresented groups within this field.
Through their upcoming Finessing Finance event, students can learn from their peers, collaborate with like-minded women, and be sure that they are taking advantage of all this school offers.
6. UC Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
For years, the Berkely HAAS finance program has been esteemed among the top in the nation, largely due to the efforts of its diligent staff.
Professor Terrence “Terry” Hendershott celebrates a long, fulfilling career in finance, a career that includes time as a chairperson on the NASDAQ Economic Advisory Board and as an economist at the New York Stock Exchange.
He now brings his international experiences right at home in Berkeley, where he guides the next generation of young minds to equivalent success.
In addition to teaching, Professor Richard Lyons serves double duty as he oversees the development of the campus’s innovation and entrepreneurship, a role only improved by his experience as the former dean of the department.
Whether taking classes in management, learning about the stock exchange, or simply looking for a mentor in their future career, finance students at UC Berkeley are in safe hands among the leaders of their field.
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
Is it any wonder that a school renowned for its research in the areas of math and science would have one of the top finance schools in the nation?
At the MIT Sloan School of Management, students can safely invest in their education with the knowledge that they are virtually guaranteed to see amazing returns.
Of the recent graduating class, a full 96% of students received job offers immediately following graduation, with over 40% stating that their jobs placed them on immediate paths for career growth.
These fantastic opportunities offered amazing financial benefits, with a medium starting salary of $150,0000.
Within this program, data drives every step into an improved future; nothing proves this philosophy quite like the work of finance professor Andrew Lo, who put his expertise into action by creating a business plan to utilize cancer research funds better.
Safe in the halls of this university, students are sure to find ample opportunities to change the world through their education, be that through employment or research!
4. University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
The School of Finance within the University of Texas is built on a simple principle: no matter what area of life, finances play a huge role in human development.
To encourage students to think more analytically about the way politics, finance, and the world at large are interwoven with each other, UT Austin offers students the chance to learn at the renowned Salem Center.
Here, students can “cut through the noise of public policy” to learn more about the impact that budgeting has on our nation, from green environment measures to the US’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In one such seminar, Dr. Bjorn Lomborg– best-selling author and leader in the Copenhagen Consensus Center– lectures on how financial institutions can impact climate change.
Through the influence of this renowned program, Dr. Lomborg brings his influential writing to life, offering students more ways in which they can put their financial savvy to work in changing the world around them.
3. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI)
At the University of Michigan, students can rest assured that finance is about more than numbers; it is about people.
The Michigan Ross Finance program takes pride in nurturing the next generation of truly inquisitive financial researchers, and to do so, they encourage students of all backgrounds, cultural heritages, and orientations through events specifically designed to offer career networking opportunities.
Though Ross’s Women’s Weekend is open to all genders, this event hopes to encourage the traditionally underrepresented area of women in finance.
Here, they can connect with other driven young women and receive the support they need to thrive in this typically male-dominated community.
According to their research, these outreach programs are working! Today, one in three students enrolled in their finance program is female, showing major growth over their previous statistic of only one in five.
2. New York University (New York, NY)
When enrolled in the finance program at New York University, students are privy to some of the top research facilities in the entire nation.
At the Salomon Center for the Study of Financial Institutions, hopeful young finance professionals and students can witness firsthand the impact of their NYU education on the country’s financial health.
Originally founded in 1972, this valuable research center has spent the past fifty years providing the top research in the inner workings of the stock market, investment banking, and insurance companies.
Most recently, that research shone in its role in developing the new architecture of global finance through literature such as Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance.
This book– hailed as a “detailed template for reform” by the Economist– shines a light on the role that government financial failures played in the 2008 housing crisis.
1. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Landing the title of top finance school in the United States, the Warton Finance Department at the University of Pennsylvania has been changing the face of this vital field for 120 years.
With over 1,000 students pursuing a degree in finance through sixty-three major course offerings, the Wharton Finance Department goes above and beyond in producing some of the top research– and career-oriented graduates– in the nation.
Within the Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research, students can work alongside nationally recognized professors like Dan Garrett and Micheal Roberts to study the ins and outs of budget issues that decide the fate of our world.
Meanwhile, A Bite of Finance provides regular educational snippets for students of academic backgrounds, ensuring that while on campus, every student has access to the real-life financial knowledge they need to thrive in a money-driven world.