The 10 Best Online Bachelor’s In Finance Degree Programs

For those who love strategy, numbers and the ins and outs of credit and commerce, a bachelor’s degree in finance can open many professional doors. Graduates armed with this credential will be prepared for entry-level finance positions, including financial planner, portfolio manager, credit manager and financial analyst. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual salary of $70,000- 85,000 for bachelor’s-level finance positions, and projects job growth of 10-13% in the field by 2026. The top 25% of bachelor-level finance experts can expect to earn an annual salary of $111,000 after 10- 12 years. Finance professionals can find employment in a range of industries and settings, including banking, insurance and government. In addition to bright professional outlooks, those with financial expertise have an edge in their personal economics. From savings strategies and credit scores to personal budgets and financial goals, the knowledge gained through a bachelor’s program in finance can add up to a big advantage.

A degree that can help graduates earn money, save money and find employment in a growing field- a bachelor’s in finance is an attractive credential. For those balancing the demands of work and family, however, attending on-campus classes may not be the best path to this goal. Fortunately, a large number of colleges and universities offer strong programs in finance delivered 100% online. Bachelor’s degree programs typically address topics in economics, business strategy, statistics, financial regulations and valuation principles. Some programs focus on particular areas, such as accounting, banking, or global economics. Others offer special training in the use of accounting tools and software or on preparing graduates for certification exams. Some programs offer flexibility-enhancing components, such as accelerated degree tracks or competency-based learning, while others deliver special supports to online learners. Prospective students should consider their personal areas of interest, learning style and professional goals when selecting an online degree program, in addition to overall quality and cost.

Ready to choose your path to an online bachelor’s degree in finance? Our ranking of the 10 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance for 2017 presents the best of the best, ranked for affordability, flexibility and academic strength.

Methodology:

  • Affordability (1/3): Average cost for out-of-state tuition, measured by credit hour.
  • Flexibility (1/3): The number of flexibility-enhancing elements specific to the degree program including concentrations, degree specialties, prior learning or life experience crediting options, accelerated or self-paced courses, personalized student advisement/guidance, and competency-based credit options.
  • Academic Quality (1/3): The academic quality of the school’s online degree programs, determined 50% by undergraduate online student-to-faculty ratio and 50% by the percentage of undergraduate students at least taking some courses online, indicating of institutional investment in online learning.

1. Granite State College

Established in 1972, Granite State College is a an institution of the University System of New Hampshire, created with the aim of educating working adults and nontraditional learners. The school serves just 2,141 graduate and undergraduate students, and keeps class sizes remarkably small, with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 13 to 1. In addition to individual attention from professors, both online and on-campus students benefit from extensive support services, including remedial services, advising, career counseling and graduate job placement services. Over 85% of students are 25 years old or older, and the majority maintain full-time employment throughout their studies. Recognizing the challenges of balancing work and study, Granite State offers remarkable flexibility in academic delivery. Students may enroll in online, in-person, field-based blended or hybrid classes. Intensive courses are also available for those wishing to accelerate their pace of completion through longer class times. In addition, students may receive credit for prior coursework, professional or military training, equivalency testing, or an experiential learning portfolio.

Granite State College offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance online, with select courses on-campus. The degree requires the completion of 120 credits total, with courses covering such topics as Accounting Information Systems, Principles of Economics and Financial Management. Weekend intensives, transfer credits and placement testing may allow students to accelerate their pace of degree completion. With 83% of Granite State students taking at least some classes online, the school has good reason to focus on delivering excellent distance programming. Indeed, U.S. News and World Report has recognized the school for quality and rigor, ranking it 99th in the nation for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. According to the National College Scorecard, Granite State also is the most affordable four-year college in the state of New Hampshire. Tuition comes in at just $325 for out-of-state students, the second-lowest included in our ranking. With a winning combination of flexibility, prestige and affordability, Granite State easily clinches the top spot in our ranking of the 10 Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $325
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 83%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 13:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: weekend intensives, credit awarded for experience

2. Excelsior College

Based in Albany, New York, Excelsior College is a private, non-profit institute which operates exclusively online. The college has a student body of 36,500 graduate and undergraduate students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1. The school was founded in 1971 by the New York State Board of Regents and specializes in serving adult and nontraditional learners, particularly those underrepresented in higher education. The vast majority of students are full-time workers between the ages of 30 and 49. A great many Excelsior students are the first in their families to attend college, and the school provides extensive support services to ensure their success, including online advising, writing assistance, academic coaching, a career center, veterans’ center, virtual library and tech support.

Excelsior College offers an online, competency-based Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration in Finance. This program is highly flexible, allowing students to customize their study with electives and accelerate their pace of completion. Degree-seekers can follow a personalized program of study combining course-based learning, independent study, and transfer credits. Online courses are 8 or 15 weeks long, and include topics in finance and economics such as International Business, Business Law and Financial Management. A total of 120 credits are required for graduation, including 15 required credits in Finance, 6 in Business electives and 9 in open electives. Excelsior has a remarkably liberal transfer credit policy, accepting virtually any credit earned at a regionally accredited institution which falls into one of Excelsior’s disciplines. Students can also receive academic credit for professional credentials and life experience. Still another option for earning credit is Independent Study, a self-paced learning format in which credit is earned through examinations, and those able to demonstrate prior knowledge may even test out of requirements. The cost of out-of-state tuition is $490 per credit hour. With flexible, competency-based learning, online specialization, extensive support services, small classes and plenty of room for electives, Excelsior is an easy choice for #2 in our Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Finance.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $490
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 100%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: option to accelerate, credit awarded for experience

3. Liberty University

Founded in 1971 by Reverend Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is a private, nonprofit evangelical Christian university based in Lynchburg, West Virginia. With a massive student body of 15,000 on-campus students and another 110,000 enrolled online, Liberty is the largest Christian university in the world. In spite of its large size, Liberty maintains a modest student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1. The campus encompasses over 7,000 acres, with such cutting-edge facilities as an astronomical observatory and recreational amenities that include a motocross facility and synthetic ski slope. The school offers over 500 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs of study, including such diverse disciplines as aeronautics, health science, and cinematic arts. Liberty is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university of “moderate research activity.”

Liberty University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Specialization in Finance. Some 85% of Liberty students are enrolled in one or more online classes, indicating an institutional commitment to quality distance programs. The university has been recognized for the rigor and quality of its online undergraduate academics; U.S. News and World reports ranks Liberty 148th in the nation for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Distance learners may attend on-campus intensives to earn academic credit over the course of a week or weekend. Students pursuing a BS in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance can expect to learn financial analysis, investment strategy, stock market principles, economics, and banking skills. The degree requires 120 credit hours, including 12-21 credits in electives, 32-38 in Business and 18 in Finance, with such offerings as Investments, Economic Forecasting and Financial Statement Analysis. In addition to AP and transfer credits, Liberty awards academic credit for qualifying professional experience. Out-of-state tuition is priced at $375 per credit hour.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $375
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 85%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 19:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: intensives, credit awarded for experience

4. Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University (CSU) is a fully-online university based in Orange Beach, Alabama, and serving 21,442 students. The school was founded in 1993 with the aim of serving adult learners, and initially awarded degrees in only two disciplines: Environmental Engineering and Occupational Safety and Health. Today, CSU offers undergraduate and graduate studies in a variety of career-focused fields, including fire administration, criminal justice, business administration, human resource management, and health care administration. Recognizing the challenges that face working, adult students, CSU offers online degree seekers extensive supports, including career services, academic advising, math and writing assistance, and an academic resolution center.

Columbia Southern University offers a fully-online Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance. The Business Administration program curriculum focuses on global commerce, strategic business decision-making and financial analysis. Core courses cover a range of topics in finance and economics, including Business Law, Financial Management and Leadership. The Finance concentration consists of 12 credits, with courses including International Economics and International Trade. In addition to their concentration, students can further personalize their course of study with 36 credits in electives. Tuition at CSU is priced at just $210 per out-of-state credit hour, the lowest included in this ranking. With flexible offerings, extensive support services and affordable tuition, CSU is an all-around excellent choice for students ready seeking an online bachelor’s degree in finance.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $210
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 100%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 70:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a

5. Indiana University East

Indiana University East (IU East) was founded in 1971 as the sixth campus in the Indiana University regional system. The school offers over 50 degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels; Business and Management are the most popular majors, with Heath Care Professions following close behind. IU East is home to some 4,573 students, and classes are small, with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 14 to 1. Students can take advantage of study abroad and research opportunities, and nontraditional learners have access to evening and weekend classes, as well as online classes.

Indiana University East offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance. The program is designed for students who have satisfied their general educational credits on IU East’s campus or at another institution and are seeking an online completion option to satisfy upper-level credits. UI East’s degree completion program in Business Administration consists of 19 classes, for a total of 57 credit hours, offered over the course of two calendar years. Core business courses include Statistical Theory in Economics and Financial Management. The curriculum is taught entirely by faculty members with professional expertise in the field of business, who are able to bring field experience and real-world insights to the virtual classroom. Tuition is very affordable, coming in at only $297 per out-of-state credit hour.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $279
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 59%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a

6. Sullivan University

Sullivan University, based in Louisville, Kentucky, was founded in 1962 as a one-year career-preparation institute with just 300 students. Today, Sullivan is the largest private university in Kentucky, with a student body of approximately 6,000 and six campuses and extension sites throughout the state. In keeping with its original mission, the school continues to focus on preparing graduates for workplace success, offering diploma, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in such areas as nursing, hospitality, computer technology and early childhood education. To better serve its many working students, Sullivan offers classes in on-campus, online and hybrid formats. The university also employs an innovative “stair step” approach to awarding degrees, allowing students to earn a career diploma in one year, an associate degree in eighteen months, a bachelor’s degree after an additional eighteen months, and a master’s degree in an additional eighteen months. Under this incremental system, students can use their lower degrees to gain entry-level employment while continuing to pursue higher levels of accreditation.

Sullivan University offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. The 180-credit program embodies the university’s emphasis on real-world teaching and career advancement. Courses are taught by faculty with professional experience in the worlds of banking and commerce, who are able to offer job-based insights and teach about current trends in the business world. Classes are remarkably small, with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 13 to 1. Areas of study include banking, economics, investments, insurance and portfolio management. For those who have already earned an associate’s degree in Sullivan’s “stair step” system, the entire degree can be earned in just 18 months. Distance learners have access to extensive services such as academic advising, library resources, career assistance and a dedicated online student mentoring team. With out-of-state tuition priced at just $320 per credit, Sullivan represents an affordable option.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $320
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 49%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 13:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a

7. Regis University

Based in Denver, Colorado, Regis University is a private, Roman Catholic, university which dates back to 1877. Regis was founded by a Jesuit order of Italian priests, and today educates some 8,725 students. In keeping with the school’s religious tradition, the school upholds a strong commitment to community service. Among the school’s charitable programs are the Institute for the Common Good, which provides a forum for civil public discourse, and the Center for Service Learning, which creates student volunteer opportunities. Across all disciplines, critical thinking, global perspectives, and ethical principles are stressed. Students benefit from the personal attention afforded by very small class sizes; the student-to-faculty ratio is just 14 to 1. The most popular majors are in the health professions, followed closely by business and related fields. Regis has earned a strong academic reputation, with U.S. News and World Report ranking the school 23rd in Regional Universities, West.

Regis University offers an online Bachelor’s of Science in Finance of outstanding quality and flexibility. The degree program places a strong emphasis on the current economic trends and the global economy. Regis’ finance degree curriculum is notable for its emphasis on ethics in commerce, a feature of the school’s Jesuit tradition. Topics of study include financial analysis, forecasting and planning, commerce and banking and managing technologies for business strategies. The degree requires the completion of 128 credit hours, with a 45-credit general core, 60 credits in required business and economics classes, and 11 electives. Students may elect to pursue a 12-credit minor or fast-track their graduate degree by completing a combined bachelor’s/master’s program for a total of 152-158 credits. Some 66% of Regis students are enrolled in at least some online classes, demonstrating the school’s investment in delivering quality distance education. Out-of-state tuition costs $460 per credit hour.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $460
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 66%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: option to accelerate

8. Upper Iowa University

Founded back in 1854, Upper Iowa University (UIU) is a private not-for-profit school based in the rural town of Fayette, Iowa. Total enrollment at UIU is 6,158, with students pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Business Administration and Management are the school’s most popular majors, followed by Psychology and Healthcare. UIU prides itself on providing strong and flexible distance learning options; the university operates 15 learning centers in the United States, an online program, an independent study program, and centers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. The school is currently ranked 110th by US News and World Report in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. In addition to non-traditional learning, UIU is recognized as a Military-Friendly university, offering credit for military training, scholarship opportunities for military spouses, and tuition discounts for military families.

Upper Iowa University offers a flexible online Bachelor of Science Degree in Financial Management. Online students enjoy relatively small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1. In keeping with the school’s tradition of flexible education, UIU offers several options for customization, including asynchronous online classes, generous transfer credit policies, multiple start dates per year and the option to accelerate the pace of degree completion. The online bachelor’s program in finance consists of 36 general education credits, a 36-credit business core, and 24 credits in Finance concentration courses, with choices including Economics of International Trade, Investments, International Finance and Capital Markets. The cost of out-of-state tuition is $405 per credit hour.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $405
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 53%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: option to accelerate

9. New England College of Business and Finance

New England College of Business and Finance (NECB) is a private college located in Boston, Massachusetts, which offers classes exclusively online. NECB was founded as a school of banking and commerce in 1909, became a full degree-granting college in 1979, and launched its first online degree program in 2002. NECB specializes in preparing students for careers in business, and offers specializations in business applications in economics, public administration, information technology, and healthcare. NECB students overwhelmingly choose majors in Business Administration and Management, with 95% of the student body enrolled in these disciplines. The institute was recognized in 2016 with an Association for Continuing Higher Education ACHE Award for Creative Use of Technology, in part for its innovative online textbook center.

The New England College of Business and Finance offers an online Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a concentration in Banking & Finance. As an exclusively online school specializing in banking, commerce and economics, the college is uniquely positioned to deliver a high quality degree program in this discipline. NECB has been ranked 63rd by US News and World Report in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The online finance degree program consists of 121 credits, with coursework covering topics in economics and finance such as Principles of Banking, Consumer Credit, Principles of Financial Services, Investment Management and Contemporary Regulatory Issues. NECB prides itself on offering an engaging distance learning experience, and was recognized for its use of instructional games and simulation in 2016 by Brandon Hall Group. Small class sizes allow professors to give students individual attention, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1. Transfer students can take advantage of generous transfer credit policies and can even receive academic credit for job experience. At $455 per credit hour, NECB has the lowest tuition among all private, four-year colleges in New England, and employees of the school’s corporate partners enjoy an additional 25% savings on tuition.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $455
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 100%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a

10. Ashford University

Ashford University is a private, fully-online institute based in San Diego, California. The school was founded 1918 by the Sisters of St. Francis as a small liberal arts and teaching school, and has since evolved into a large, career-focused and innovative institution. The school serves a large online student body of 48,895, but maintains a remarkably low student-to-faculty ratio of only 15 to 1, allowing each student to receive individual attention. The diverse student body is primarily comprised of working adults, and some 25% are members of the military.

Ashford University offers a fully-online Bachelor of Arts in Finance. Classes are delivered asynchronously, and can be accessed via mobile devices. A total of 120 credits are required for graduation, with 43 in General Education, 45 in Finance and as many as 35 electives, allowing for a great deal of specialization. Courses cover broad topics in financial analysis, economics, business management, and financial systems, as well as specific issues, such as technology in commerce and economic regulation. Ashford has a liberal transfer credit policy- up to 90 transfer credits may be applied towards the major- and also awards academic credit for approved training and life experiences. Classes last just five weeks, and are designed to be taken one at a time, allowing students to give each class their complete focus. As a school specializing in online delivery, Ashford offers a wealth of support services for distance learners, including a virtual library, writing center, free class software, career counseling, peer mentoring and online student organizations. The cost of tuition is $430 per credit hour.

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  • Cost Per Credit Hour: $430
  • Students Taking Classes Online: 100%
  • Student: Faculty Ratio: 15:1
  • Flexibility-Enhancing Components: n/a