Top Ten Schools offering Bachelors degree for Finance

GetAttachmentA career in finance can be lucrative, challenging and rewarding. Every type of business and organization in every field needs someone who takes care of the financial side of things, and a finance degree can lead to work for the government, for corporations, for nonprofits, for small businesses and even to self-employment. A career in finance can mean advising the very wealthy on where to best profit from their investments, helping low-income people pay for education and homes, working in international banking or development, assisting young entrepreneurs in obtaining loans for their start-ups and so much more. The world economy may be struggling and the allure of banking or Wall Street jobs may have dimmed, but the flexibility and stability of finance means this is a solid career choice with many interesting options for graduates. The best start to a good career is a good education, so what colleges offer the best bachelor programs in finance these days?

1. University of Pennsylvania:

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Ranked number one among colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in finance by U.S. News and World Reports: the University of Pennsylvania, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, is considered one of the Ivy League universities and has a long history of excellence. Its Wharton School of Business was the first college business school in the world and is also considered one of the best. Students in the finance program can choose between four areas of specialization: banking and financial investments, corporate finance, financial instruments and portfolio management and international finance. Professors in the department have won numerous awards, and courses include classes in private equity, managing fixed-income portfolios, venture capital, buyouts and acquisitions and more.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

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Besides the engineering wing and being classified as a Research University; MIT is often associated with science and technology careers and MIT also offers an exceptional business program. Their bachelor’s program in management science with a concentration in finance at Sloan School of Management is ranked third place by U.S. News and World Report among finance programs for undergraduates throughout the United States. Classes in such topics as options and futures markets, analytics, mergers and acquisitions and international finance prepare students for a wide variety of careers. Creativity and innovation are highly valued at Sloan and throughout the business program, and its alumni include former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, Lotus software founder Mitch Kapor and Merck CFO Judy Lewent while the faculty has included a number of Nobel laureates among other honors.

3. New York University:

NYU

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At the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, NYU undergraduates can choose finance as one of their areas of concentration, and U.S. News and World Reports has ranked the school second among finance programs in the country. The business program includes a global sequence that offers classes in international economics and an international studies program that includes a week of study abroad. Students also have the opportunity to take courses that include short visits to Abu Dhabi, India or Ghana or an entire semester away in a number of countries. Undergraduates are taught by the same professors who teach in the prestigious M.B.A. program and several Nobel prize winners are on the faculty. Courses include such topics as behavioral finance, hedge fund strategies, global macroeconomic issues, behavioral finance and more.

4. Babson College:

Babson

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Its M.B.A. program has held the top spot in the U.S. News and World Reports ranking from entrepreneurship for 20 years while the college overall ranks its alumni earnings above that of any Ivy League school, so it is unsurprising that this business college bachelors with a focus on finance is considered one of the best in the country. Students take classes in corporate financial management, options and futures, global financial management and more. Babson counts one-quarter of its undergraduate students as coming from outside the United States as well as from nearly every state in the union making for a diverse student body. Bloomberg Businessweek named Babson the highest-ranking business college for students return on their educational investment; placing it in 11th place overall for business schools.

5. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor:

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At this Michigan state school, students generally must apply for admission to the prestigious Ross School of Business following their freshman years although a few students are allowed in immediately after high school. With multiple tracks available, students can concentrate in finance by taking such courses as options and futures in financial decision-making, international finance management, value portfolio management and more. U.S. News and World Reports has ranked its finance program fourth in the nation, and in a 2010 Wall Street Journal poll, recruiters ranked it number one for finance. More than nine out of every ten graduates from the business school receive offers within three months of finishing with median salaries of $65,000. Goldman Sachs, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Microsoft are among the top companies that hire from the school.

6. University of Virginia:

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U.S. “News and World Reports” has ranked the finance program for undergraduates at McIntire School of Commerce tenth in the nation, and Bloomberg Business Weekà has ranked McIntire second for undergraduate business degrees. One unique feature of the program is that it pairs with such corporate sponsors as Rolls-Royce and Alcoa to give students the opportunity to solve a real business problem for those companies. Students seeking a bachelors in finance major in economics with a concentration in finance taking classes such as theory of financial markets, empirical finance and more. Students in the finance program are also expected to both know calculus and be familiar with computer programming; it is considered the most challenging concentration in the undergraduate business school.

7. University of North Carolina:

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Business majors at Kenan-Flagler Business School can choose between a concentration in general or corporate finance. The former offers such courses as entrepreneurship, global financial statement analysis and mergers and acquisitions while the latter includes financial modeling, advanced derivatives and strategic economics. UNCÃ’s finance program is ranked eighth by “U.S. News and World Reports” and the business school consistently lands at the top of polls including seventh place rankings in leadership and sustainability from “Bloomberg Business Week.” Professors come from more than 15 different countries and nearly half have corporate experience while 10 percent sit on boards of companies and 15 percents have run their own businesses. An annual Undergraduate Business Symposium each fall brings a number of recruiters and executives to campus to network with students and teach.

8. Carnegie Mellon University:

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Carnegie Mellon University requires its students seeking a bachelor’s in business to choose a track for focus, and the finance track there is ranked seventh by “U.S. News and World Reports.” Eight faculty members or doctoral graduates from the Tepper School of Business have won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Classes such as continuous-time finance, corporate financial reporting and derivative securities prepare students for finance careers, and the 11 core courses include classes on business ethics, communication and organizational behavior. Classes are small to ensure students receive plenty of individual attention, and students also have a variety of opportunities to study abroad. A Professional Service Project allows students to network outside the classroom while working on leadership and building social responsibility.

9. Miami University – Farmer School of Business:

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In 2011, “Businessweekly ranked Miami University’s Farmer School of Business in Oxford, Ohio as 22nd overall and seventh among public universities. Over half of the business school students from Farmer study abroad. The school offers students of all business majors the opportunity to work toward a certificate in the China Business Program in which students learn about the international business community in China. Students majoring in finance may take courses including real estate principles, international business finance and portfolio management among others. Students graduating from the finance program may go on to take licensing examinations for real estate, insurance, investments and more. Graduates may work in also securities, estate planning, trust administration and other finance-related fields.

10. Indiana University Bloomington:

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The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is nearly 100 years old and has long received top rankings from various sources that rank higher education including “The Princeton Review and “Money.”  In fact, Kelley holds the distinction of being one of only three business schools throughout the United States with top twenty rankings from “U.S. News and World Reports” in all of its graduate and undergraduate programs, and its finance program has been ranked ninth by the same body. Finance faculty have been visiting economists for the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors while students have the opportunity to network and build their skills through programs that connect them with professional opportunities such as the Investment Banking Network and the Benecki Center for Real Estate Studies.