An MBA in finance is invaluable for careers involving money management. And choosing the right school for the best MBA in finance can increase your lifetime earnings by millions of dollars by putting you in the right networks at the right time for the right position.
Finance balances managerial skills with mathematical rigor. Students who have a bright future in finance are those who have a solid understanding of economics, markets, financial theory, and mathematical tools.
Top 5 MBA Programs in Finance
|1||Stanford University – Graduate School of Business||Stanford, California|
|2||Harvard Business School||Boston, Massachusetts|
|3||University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|4||MIT Sloan School of Management||Cambridge, Massachusetts|
|5||University of Chicago – Booth School of Business||Chicago, Illinois|
If you meet those prerequisites, the MBA finance programs will give you both the quantitative chops for modern finance and opportunities for internships at major players in the world of finance while you are making sure finance is for you. Any of the 15 schools on our list of the best MBA in finance programs can be your ticket to the interview that leads to the job that starts you on a lucrative career.
Before we get into our list of the 15 schools with the best MBA in finance, let’s take time to review four basic questions you need to answer to make sure finance is for you.
What are the requirements for getting into the best MBA in finance programs?
Every graduate student in finance needs a good grounding in math, statistics, and mathematical modeling. An understanding of how companies govern themselves is also essential. And everyone in finance needs excellent communications skills to help their clients or employers understand their recommendations for protecting capital and expanding profits.
Graduate programs in finance that consider GMAT scores (not all of them do) are usually looking for 700 or higher. Finance schools look for numbers in the math section in the 45 to 60 range.
What will I study in the best MBA in finance programs?
Curriculum varies between graduated schools, but finance MBA students typically study some combination of:
- Portfolio management
- Hedge fund management
- Securities analysis
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Real estate investment
- Financial modeling
- International finance
The best finance programs encourage students to apply novel quantitative methods to maximize profits. MBA finance students will learn presentation skills and negotiation skills while understanding both the potential and the limitations of their quantitative tools.
What kinds of jobs can I go after when I get my MBA in finance?
Most finance MBAs aim for jobs managing funds. A finance MBA is also a useful tool for Certified Management Accountants and Certified Public Accountants as well as high-level tax positions.
Now let’s dive into our list of the top 14 programs for earning an MBA in finance.
14 Best MBA in Finance Programs
Stanford University – Graduate School of Business
Stanford University is at the heart of Silicon Valley, one of the best places in the world to become involved in venture capital. Stanford’s finance program is famous for its human touch. It takes more humanities majors than other business schools, and encourages emotional intelligence in its business classes. But you will need high GMAT or GRE scores, an excellent undergraduate record, and (usually) several years of work in investments or finance to be considered for the program.
Harvard Business School
Strictly speaking, Harvard isn’t a place where you go to get an MBA in finance. There are no majors in the MBA program at Harvard. But recent Harvard graduates who choose to go into finance usually do very well in finance positions immediately after graduation.
University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School
Wharton has an internationally renowned program in MBA finance. The philosophy of the Wharton School is that they give their MBA students “Knowledge for Action.” Gaining knowledge and putting it to use are seamlessly integrated into the finance curriculum. Finance students are encouraged to develop leadership skills as well as world-class quantitative skills.
MIT Sloan School of Management
Finance MBA students at MIT can graduate in as little as 12 months — provided they arrive with the requisite math skills. (Don’t even apply before you have them.) The finance curriculum at MIT is organized around the most advanced mathematical models and the latest financial theories intended to elevate industry practices.
University of Chicago – Booth School of Business
The finance programs for MBAs at the University of Chicago is famous for its emphasis on decision science. There’s a heavy quantitative emphasis, but there are also many students who combine training in law with training in finance here. The University of Chicago is a great place to gain expertise in the analysis of contracts as financial assets.
INSEAD’s programs in France and China focus on advancing financial theory, but give MBA finance students opportunities to understand the cutting-edge of financial modeling while developing networks in Europe and Asia. It’s a great place for training for a career in international finance.
Dartmouth College – Tuck School of Business
Dartmouth specializes in its “bridge to business,” equipping top liberal arts and STEM graduates with the knowledge, tools, and connections they need to succeed as business executives. Students at Dartmouth have a group capstone project rather than an individual thesis project. The college attempts to instill confidence into its MBA students that they can carry into their careers.
China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)
The finance MBA program at CEIBS has been designed to give students financial depth and managerial breadth. Students study financial theory at the London Business School and learn best financial practices from leading institutions around the world.
Rice University – Jones School of Business
Rice offers an online MBA in finance. Students earn 54 credits in as little as two years. The GMAT is not required for students who have seven years of work experience and who demonstrate the quantitative skills needed for the program.
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Business
Northwestern trains MBA students for careers on the corporate side of finance (CFO, investment banker, private equity, venture capital), or the investment side of finance (private wealth management, investment banking, private equity), or the investment side of finance (family asset management, real estate, private wealth management). Northwestern finance MBA graduates also work in consulting, in product management, and consulting. Northwestern specializes in giving students both quantitative skills and progressively more challenging exercises to develop financial intuition.
UCLA Anderson School of Business
Professors at UCLA are world leaders in asset valuation and hedge fund management. It is a premier site for learning about derivatives, micro-structure, and corporate finance.
University of Cambridge – Judge Business School
Like Harvard, Cambridge offers an MBA as a broad management degree, but graduates are successful in financial fields.
Columbia Business School
Columbia is an unusually cosmopolitan school, with about half of students from outside the United States. The university advises students that the ability to learn content on your own is critical. Classes are for discussion of ideas.
Yale School of Management
Yale challenges students to develop a deep understanding of financial theory while preparing for careers in public service and corporate leadership.
How we ranked the 14 best MBA finance programs in the world
The graduates of the best MBA finance programs in the world have one thing in common: They earn lots of money. We took the QS Quacquarelli list of 240 world-class business schools offering an MBA in finance and then looked up the average salaries of their graduates three years after graduation in a data set from the Financial Times. We started with the school that has the highest-paid graduates and worked our way down the list — because any of these schools can provide you with the opportunity for a great business education, but not every school provides you with the connections to earn the highest salaries.
But what if I can’t imagine attending any of these schools?
Then imagine attending one of these schools, all of them accredited. None of them is as pretigious as the 15 schools on our list, but each of them can help you get a job in finance.
- Texas A&M International University offers an online MBA in finance with tuition of just $10,000.
- Southeastern Oklahoma State University has a 100%-online MBA program in finance that you can finish in two years.
- The University of Texas at Dallas also offers a 100%-online MBA in finance.
- Northeastern University‘s online MBA in finance requires 50 semester hours, making it longer than many other programs, but it can be done online.
- The finance MBA program at the University of Arizona is pricey, at $50,000 for 45 semester hours, but it can be completed in 14 months.
Would you like to learn more about earning your MBA in finance?
Please contact us with your questions about earning an MBA in finance. And if you have graduated from any of the programs we listed here, we invite you to share your experiences.