Best Schools for a Bachelors of Finance Online
The days of online programs having a dubious reputation or being somehow considered inferior to brick-and-mortar programs are long past. Online education has grown considerably over the last decade, and many prestigious institutions now offer online tracks alongside their regular courses. Along the way, they have made education available to a far wider range of people than in the past due to their flexibility; students who would not be able to fit daytime or even night classes into their schedules can work on their online courses in their own time. Finance is one course of study that has thrived in the online environment, and it is possible to obtain a bachelor’s degree in this branch of business without setting foot on a college campus. Below are the top ten online programs for a bachelor’s degree in finance.
1 Grand Canyon University:
A private Christian university, Grand Canyon University offers its bachelor’s of science in finance and economics for online or offline study. Coursework covers such topics as international trade, finance, portfolio management, marketing, accounting, statistics and more. There is also a focus on management strategy in classes on organizational behavior as well as courses that emphasize leadership and innovation. For maximum flexibility, classes in the online program begin every month, and many are taught by full-time faculty ensuring that online students get the same good education as students who attend classes on the GCU campus. “Fortune” magazine has recognized GCU’s online program as one of the top online schools for entrepreneurs, and the finance program there will prepare students to run businesses of their own as well as working for corporations, government and nonprofits.
2. Penn State University:
As one of the top-ranked universities in the country, Penn State unsurprisingly has a strong online program and one of the top overall business programs online. Students interested in finance can focus on accounting or financial services online and minor in finance; according to the “Wall Street Journal,” in a survey of corporate recruiters, Penn State ranked in the top spot. The accounting option focuses on tax, audits, financial and managerial accounting and systems and controls while the financial services option prepares students to work with corporate taxation, estate planning, portfolio analysis, personal financial planning and retirement planning. Students also have the option to create their own individual finance-related course plan. Penn State has been recognized by “U.S. News and World Reports” as having one of the best online bachelor’s degree programs in the country.
3. Temple University:
At Philadelphia’s prestigious Temple University, students from all over the world can study accounting through the online branch of one of the best business schools in the United States. Students have access to the same strong course material and professors that they would in the offline program. Many companies including the Big Four accounting firms recruit students from the program and job placement is high. Students graduating with the bachelor’s in accounting may also work in information systems, consulting, for the government or for nonprofits among other careers. The curriculum itself includes such topics as theory, ethics, asset management, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and foreign operations, auditing and more. Students also take courses in communication, humanities and social sciences to ensure a well-rounded education.
4 Post University:
The campus in Waterbury, Connecticut has been educating students for more than 120 years, and now its online bachelor’s degree program in finance gives students the same low student-to-teacher ratio that they could expect on campus. Other aspects of the online program are also equivalent to the course offerings offline. Students have the opportunity to study either personal finance or corporate finance with faculty who have a mix of academic and real-world experience. The overall online bachelor’s degree program at Post University was ranked in the top 20 by “U.S. News and World Reports” in 2013. The finance program is divided into a series of eight-week modules that are offered six times per year, and 84 percent of graduates from the program go on to find employment. The average student takes seven years to complete the bachelor’s degree in finance.
5 Northeastern University:
Ranked in seventh place among up-and-comers by “U.S. News and World Reports,” Boston’s Northeastern University has been educating students for more than 100 years and today has a strong online program to complement its brick-and-mortar campus. The online bachelor’s of science in finance and accounting management includes classes in strategic cost analysis, accounting information systems, macroeconomics, taxation and international business as well as courses in communication, psychology and writing to produce well-rounded graduates who are ready to handle multiple aspects of a business career. Both “Entrepreneur Magazine” and “The Princeton Review” have named the career department at Northeastern the top in the nation, so students can be assured of excellent support in finding employment within their fields after graduation.
6. Colorado Technical University:
While most online classes are conducted asynchronously meaning that students and instructors respond to one another with time lags in between, online students at Colorado Technical University have the option to participate in live interactive classes online. They also may view class sessions that have been archived. Furthermore, many online campuses do not provide set office hours for online instructors, but this is another benefit available to CTU students. Students pursuing a bachelor’s in business administration with a finance concentration will have the opportunity to take courses in areas such as money and capital markets, international finance, corporate finance, investments, financial statement analysis and more. Nearly 100 percent of employers who have hired a CTU graduate report that alumni are as well prepared or better prepared to perform their jobs as other employees.
7. Ashford University:
Iowa-based Ashford University seeks mature students for its online bachelor’s degree in finance, and it ensures this maturity by requiring its program applicants to either be at least 22 years of age or to have earned an associates degree, be a readmitted student to Ashford or to be changing majors from another degree. A degree will include courses in business law, ethics, macroeconomics and microeconomics, personal finance, risk management, international finance and more. Faculty combine advanced degrees with real-world experience they can pass on to their students. Ashford offers military grants to currently serving military, veterans and their spouses and encourages community among its students with a military background. Ashford’s finance program prepares its graduates to work in careers such as financial planning, financial analysis, insurance administration and more.
8. Strayer University:
At Strayer University, online students in finance have the option of completing the program in fewer than four years if they attend full time. Headquartered in Virginia, Strayer has more than 100 campuses in over 20 states although more than half of its students are enrolled in its online programs. Students also have the option to mix online and offline courses. The bachelor’s of business administration with a finance concentration includes classes in financial markets and institutions, financial entrepreneurship, international finance, commercial bank management and more. Strayer’s career center offers assistance to graduating students in finding work in their fields. Because most of Strayer’s students are working adults, the university offers a flexible approach to completing the degree with the option of taking five years or more to do so.
9. Capella University:
In 2010, the National Survey of Student Engagement found that Capella University was ranked above average both in academic challenges and a supporting campus environment to its students, and 86 percent of its faculty hold doctoral degrees. Graduates of its bachelor’s degree in business make $36,000 more per year than high school graduates. Finance degrees include classes in statistics, investments and portfolio management, entrepreneurial finance, public and nonprofit finance, international finance and financial institution management. The coursework leaves students well-equipped for employment in a variety of financial environments on graduation. A bachelor’s degree also requires courses in communication, humanities, social science and natural science and mathematics. Students already in the workforce may be eligible for credit for industry certifications, work experience and other education.
10. Bellevue University:
U.S. News and World Reports ranked Bellevue’s online programs leading to a bachelor’s degree in ninth place nationally, and the United States Distance Learning Association gave the university its 21st Century Best Practices Award. Best Accounting Degrees ranked Bellevue’s bachelors in accounting program as one of the top 10 online degree accounting programs. The degree prepares students to go on to careers in finance; students also have the option to enroll in the 4 + 1 accounting program that allows them to move into Bellevue’s MBA program and potentially shortens the length of that course by permitting early placement. The program also helps to prepare graduates to take the CPA exam and includes classes in international accounting, tax accounting, financial auditing, ethics and economics.