California Online Masters in Finance Degree Programs

Masters in finance online programs help students to develop a comprehensive expertise in all things finance, from the broad and business-focused, to the technical and specific. Programs typically aim to help students prepare for real-world responsibilities such as managing investment portfolios and making strategic financial decisions to improve ROI or mitigate risk. For more details, get in touch with the programs you’re considering.

How to earn a masters in Finance

Why Consider Earning an MS in Finance Online

Earning your masters in finance online could be a strategic decision—especially for the busy professional. Online learning uses technology to deliver your education to your own computer. For you, that could mean studying in the office over lunch, working from home, or earning your degree on the go. Whatever it is, an online masters in finance degree program is designed to fit into students' lives.

Here are a few potential perks to earning your masters degree in finance online.

  • You don’t have to worry about the commute. You could apply to great programs that support your goals, whether they’re in your neighborhood or across the country.
  • You will have access to valuable resources. As with campus programs, many online schools offer research and library database services, career and academic counseling, and even networking opportunities. And since it's all online, you could access them from anywhere!
  • You could get your education on your terms. Prefer a program that emulates a classroom experience? Some offer live-streamed lectures and classroom discussion, bringing your finance classroom to you.
    Need something super flexible? Other programs might let you log on at times each week that work for you. Some programs might even offer both!

Keep in mind that the specifics of each online masters in finance might vary. For more information on the schedule, flexibility, services, and technology requirements of your selected online program, reach out to the school.

Online Masters in Finance Degree Types

Masters in finance schools might offer a few different degree options. Generally, these two are the most common.

  1. Online Masters of Science in Finance Schools: These are also known as online MS in Finance or an online MSF degrees. Programs offering an MS in finance online may have a narrower focus on financial expertise and quantitative skills. They might aim to establish financial theory and economics expertise. On top of that, they may hone analysis, valuation, and mathematical skills to put that knowledge into practice.
  2. Online MBA Finance Schools: MBA programs focused on finance tend to be a little broader. They may develop financial expertise within the context of business leadership. Programs might tie in-depth finance expertise to other business and personnel management skills. That could potentially result in the well-rounded corporate skill set you’re looking for.

Each of these may be valuable in different ways. MBA programs, being broader, may apply in a variety of contexts within finance and outside of it. Online MSF degrees, meanwhile, could be a great choice for students focused on pursuing positions within finance, or who want an alternative to the MBA.  These and other degree types may vary by school, so reach out to your selected school for more information.

Online Masters in Finance Potential Concentrations

Some online masters in finance degree programs allow you to select a program concentration. This could tailor your program, and help to ensure that your curriculum focuses on the kinds of things you want to study. Example concentrations include the following.

  • Banking: These programs take content covered in a more generalized finance program, and place it in the context of the banking industry. This could include investment banking, and a variety of other types of institutions.
  • Financial Planning: These types of programs generally focus on the individual. Like finance as a whole, these programs cover topics like valuation, and managing investments and risk. A financial planning concentration teaches how to help individual investors or families.

These might not be the only concentration options open to you. The specific program options offered may vary between schools. Moreover, the details of those concentrations could also be different from what’s described above. For more information, reach out about the programs you’re looking at and ask them questions.

Online Masters in Finance Example Curriculum

The curriculum is one of the most important aspects of choosing an online masters in finance program. The specific courses in your program might vary, depending on factors like the type of degree you’re earning and your selected concentration. But here are a few examples.

  • Financial Theory: This topic focuses on the relationships between different markets and financial institutions. Courses might also discuss the issues that could impact those markets or an organization.
  • Valuation: These courses look at models, strategies, and techniques used to estimate value or worth. They may also discuss how that knowledge might be applied in real-world scenarios.
  • Investment Portfolio Management: This course topic might go by different names. Basically, it covers the theory and practice of investing and managing a portfolio. It also may talk about the different types of investments, and go over relevant taxation and legal policy.
  • Derivatives: This course surveys the different types of derivative investments. It could cover what they are, how they’re used, pricing, and their relative strengths and weaknesses.
  • Financial Statements: These courses look at the ins and outs of corporate financial statements. Examples include what those statements are, how they’re written, and how to analyze them for relevant information.
  • Corporate Finance: This type of course takes what you may have learned about finance and applies it in a corporate setting. In addition to managing corporate finances, classes might discuss risk management strategies, investing, and strategies for overcoming business financial challenges.

Remember that these and other courses might vary between programs. If you have questions or are looking for something in particular, reach out to the selected program for details.

Potential Masters in Finance Careers

A masters in finance might hone skills applicable to a variety of careers within the broader finance umbrella. In many cases, positions might require at least a bachelor’s degree. Other prerequisites may include experience and relevant certification. But many employers may prefer candidates who have earned masters-level education in hiring and advancement.

Here are a few careers you might consider, along with median salary data from 2015.

  • Financial Analysts: $80,310i
  • Financial Managers: $117,990ii
  • Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents: $71,550iii
  • Financial Examiners: $78,010iv
  • Personal Financial Advisors: $89,160v
  • Top Executives: $102,690vi

Remember that these and other positions may have different requirements related to education, credentials, and experience. Additionally, salary data may vary by location, position, employer, and year. For more information, reach out to your selected program or your school’s career advisement team.

Search for Online Masters in Finance Degree Programs

Are you ready to start your search for online masters in finance programs? Gradschools.com has collected a number of listings you may be interested in. If you’re looking for a certain concentration, you can select it using the menu. Then start reading up on sponsored listings. If you find one you think you might like, click on the program name to learn more. When you're ready, you can get in touch for more details!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/sales/securities-commodities-and-financial-services-sales-agents.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-examiners.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/personal-financial-advisors.htm | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm

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