Online Master's in Finance 1-Year Program

Several schools offer a one-year program for a master's in finance or allow a two-year program to be completed more quickly. Students can expect to take multiple classes and learn about many financial topics during the program. Read more below. Schools offering Finance degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Earn an MS in Finance

Many schools offer online Master of Science (MS) in Finance programs that can be completed in one year. Those applying for one of these programs should hold a bachelor's degree and expect to complete several classes each term, as well as possible internship-style learning. These programs have very similar courses with a focus on financial topics, such as these listed below.

Fundamentals of Finance

In the introductory finance course, students will cover basic financial topics that are necessary for creating a knowledge base for their graduate program. Students will learn to analyze and act on financial statements and data as they apply to business. Students may learn the time value of money, financing methods, and capital budgeting. This course will often touch on topics that will be covered in more depth later, such as international finance and risk management.

Derivatives and Risk Management

In courses focusing on derivatives and risk management, students learn about different financial instruments that are available and their corresponding risk. Instruments covered include futures, forwards, as well as swap options. Students learn how these and similar instruments are priced, as well as how to manage their risk.

Corporate Finance

This class provides an overview of how corporations are financed, how they are valued, financial risks, and how each of those affect a business. Students will learn about several valuation methods, financial statement analysis, mergers, and acquisitions, as well as corporate financial decision making. Students will assess the effects of leverage and financial structure on business strategies.

Personal Financial Planning

These courses introduce personal financial planning methods. The methods covered will teach students to create, implement, and maintain financial processes in order to reach financial goals. Personal financial topics covered may include credit, insurance, investments, and financial obligations.

Portfolio Management

A portfolio management course will introduce and cover portfolio investment and management. A student will learn what impact asset diversification can have, and the importance of balancing a portfolio. Topics that may be covered include variables such as taxes, inflation, and risk-return analysis, as well as how these can be managed within a portfolio.

Fixed Income Securities

This course covers different fixed income securities, as well as their valuation and risk management. Students will learn about their terms and structures, interest rates, as well as the yield curve. Students will likely study current fixed-income securities while learning about their returns and risks.

International Finance

In international finance courses, students learn more about international finance and variables that may not be covered in other courses. Topics might include foreign exchange markets and risks, international financial instruments, political risk, and more. Students learn to recognize, anticipate, and manage these international risks as well as how to make international valuations.

Admittance Requirements for a One-Year MS in Finance

Online programs for obtaining an MS in Finance require at least a bachelor's degree. Many programs require a GPA of 3.0 in a student's undergraduate work, but most do not require a finance degree. Students will likely need to take the GRE or GMAT assessment but may have that requirement waived with a qualifying undergraduate GPA. Depending on the program chosen, a student may need to provide references and a current resume. For a one-year program, it's extremely beneficial for a student to already have some finance courses in their undergraduate work so that some of the graduate courses may be waived.

Master of Science in Finance: Salary and Jobs

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors assist individuals and businesses in meeting their financial goals. An advisor may advise clients on investment risks and expected returns. A master's degree in finance not only increases the expertise of a financial advisor, but it can make him/her more desirable to future employers.

Financial Analyst

Similar to financial advisors, financial analysts help their clients to maximize their investment returns. A financial analyst will work with clients to build a suitable portfolio while watching for and reacting to any economic changes that may affect their clients' portfolios. An MS in Finance can ensure that a financial analyst has sufficient knowledge of variables and risks so that he/she can provide the best services.

Insurance Underwriter

An underwriter is responsible for reviewing information on applications and determining if a client will be approved for insurance. The insurance underwriter is also responsible for determining what the appropriate premium and coverage should be for a client. Although a degree in finance is not a requirement, it drastically increases the knowledge and appeal of an employee.

Financial Manager

Financial managers may work as chief financial officers (CFOs) within a company. A financial manager prepares all financial statements, reports, and estimated outlooks for the company, as well as monitoring finances and markets to make sure the business is operating efficiently. Many employers prefer candidates who have a master's degree (preferably in finance or a related field), although a bachelor's degree is all that is required at some companies.

Postsecondary Teacher

A master's degree in finance qualifies one to teach at the community college level in most cases. With work experience or further education, a person could teach at a four-year college as well. The knowledge gained during the master's program enables someone to teach students in early finance subjects.

Job Title Mean Salary (2018)* Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Personal Financial Advisor $88,890 7%
Financial Analyst $85,660 6%
Insurance Underwriter $69,380 -5%
Financial Manager $127,990 16%
Postsecondary Teacher $83,960 (all postsecondary business teachers) 15% (all postsecondary business teachers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A Master of Science in Finance can be completed online through several schools, and it can be completed in one year by taking several classes each term. Holding the MS in Finance degree can allow someone to work in many different positions, eventually moving up to chief financial officer if desired.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Colorado State University Global

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  • Florida Tech

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  • Capella University

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  • Regent University

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  • Davenport University

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  • Full Sail University

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  • Strayer University

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  • Liberty University

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