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Best MBA programs in Finance | World rankings

It seems to be a clear trend for many professionals. The closer you get to a money management role, the more you’ll make for yourself. That is one of the reasons that make careers in finance a hot favourite among MBA students.

Here’s a list of the top 10 MBA Finance programs in the world that can get you closer to your career (and financial) goals.

Top 10 Ranking MBA Programs with Finance Specialization

Professionals in the finance sector usually take home fatter and juicier pay cheques compared to their peers in other industries. A lot of MBA aspirants hope to land a high-paying post-MBA job in investment banking, corporate finance, private equity and related fields which are looked upon as the top ROI (Return on investment) options by many. The other popular areas include venture capital, retail/corporate banking, hedge funds and forex management.

So, if finance is where you see yourself post-MBA, it would help if you channelize your efforts in the right direction by getting into a top university that can provide you with the required finance knowledge and job assistance.

A specialisation in finance gives you the theoretical and practical knowledge in various finance related areas. These insights would give you a clear perspective of the responsibilities associated with each role thus helping you make the right career decision.

The internship opportunities serve as the testing ground for you to know what suits you the best. You’ll also find out if you’re comfortable in the professional role that seemed so attractive when you read about it. We list the top business schools in Finance as per the rankings provided by US News.

1. University of Pennsylvania – Wharton

The MBA curriculum offers flexibility in terms of opting to take the entire core course or being able to waive several courses and focus on the electives that suit your interest or career goals. The MBA program allows you to choose your two-year focus.

There are various options like an entrepreneurial focus, marketing focus, financial services focus among others. The school uses a combination of lectures, case study and simulations as well as practical methods to deliver the latest updated content to give you the best possible learning experience.

2. The University of Chicago – Booth School of Business

You can opt for finance or analytic finance concentration. The finance concentration covers both corporate finance and investments. Corporate finance helps you decide the course of financial planning and financial decisions for a company.

Courses in investments will teach you about financial markets and the various aspects to be considered while making related decisions. The analytic finance concentration dwells on various financial theories and application of these theories in the business world.

You can also keep yourself busy by participating in various activities and events held by various groups that will give you more exposure to the finance world and help develop network and skills.

3. New York University (NYU) – Stern

The MBA program offers numerous choices for specialisations in finance which include financial systems and analytics, quantitative finance, banking, corporate finance, financial instruments and markets.

The diversity in the number of choices ensures that you get to delve deeper into a particular area and thoroughly understand the responsibilities associated with the various roles. The faculty is involved in constant research so that they can train you with the specific required knowledge and the latest market practices in that field.

4. Columbia Business School

The finance and economics division is the largest at Columbia University. This division offers three of the core courses: corporate finance, global economic environment and managerial economics. Even the accounting division has faculty with excellent track records in research, teaching and practice.

You will learn the various applications of financial accounting information and how this information can be used with advantage by managers. This division is also involved in research on various other topics like managerial accounting, tax, information economics, and corporate finance.

5. Stanford Graduate School of Business

The first year covers the general management topics to create a solid foundation. The second year offers a flexible curriculum where you can take the electives of your choice or choose among courses offered at other Stanford schools.

A lot of finance related seminars and courses are offered and you can personalise the course of your study in the areas of your choice.

6. MIT Sloan

You can opt for the finance track within the MBA program at the end of which you’ll receive a certificate in finance along with your MBA degree. The finance track at MIT Sloan is specially designed to provide you with an in-depth knowledge and exposure to the various finance theories, their applications, various practices as well as the career choices you can opt for.

You’ll also be able to interact with peers having similar interests. Your elective choice will help you get a better understanding in the area of your choice. You can also participate in the onsite events or seminars and various social events outside class to strengthen your network.

7. University of California Berkeley – Haas School of Business

For those wishing to pursue a finance career, your curriculum starts with an introduction to finance topics as a core course. The other finance areas that are covered include corporate finance, entrepreneurial finance and asset management.

The college is located close to San Francisco’s financial district. This opens doors to various job or internship opportunities in the finance sector. You can explore various clubs as per your interests or take advantage of the dedicated team in charge of financial services recruiting.

8. UCLA Anderson School of Management

For Finance aspirants, the core course: managerial finance and theory of finance are required to be completed. The core courses provide a strong base after which you can opt for an elective.

The various career tracks with finance focus include corporate finance, investment banking, financial risk management, real estate and portfolio management.

9. Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management

The Finance major is the more popular option and covers the entire range of career options and industries. You can also opt for the Analytical Finance major which is a recent addition.

This major goes deeper into the technical side of financial markets and modelling.

10. University of Michigan’s – Ross School of Business

The curriculum offers various options so that those interested in finance can take up more finance electives giving them an edge in the competition.

Read these related articles:
Master in Finance (MS / MFin / MSc) versus MBA: Requirements, fees, salary, careers
Top Masters in Finance Programs in the World
Top ranking Masters in Finance from Germany with scholarship for Indian IT professional
Masters in Financial Engineering (MFE) in Singapore for a Career in Finance

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About Swati
After working for over a decade in technical and managerial roles in the corporate world, Swati now works as a freelancer and writes on a variety of topics including education, career guidance and self-improvement.

6 thoughts on “Best MBA programs in Finance | World rankings”

  1. Hi Swati, Thanks for the list. Would you recommend the same colleges for an applicant who already has experience in the capital markets and would want to refresh his financial skills which help him prepare for a global career in equities. What do you think of MBA programs at UNC Kenan Flagler or the Rotman MBA?

  2. HI Manik, as with most other leading MBA programs, the ones listed here focus on a broad-based exposure to the basic concepts of business management first and then allow options for students to choose electives in Finance.

    If your primary objective is to refresh your finance skills, joining one of these programs will be a very expensive option.

    Other programs (like UNC and Rotman that you’ve asked about) which are not listed here will also have similar approach i.e. providing a basic foundation on management theory and plenty of electives to choose from.

    Other than the reputation of the program among recruiters in the finance industry, the student’s prior experience will also count. You’ll have an edge over others if you want to get back into a capital markets career.

  3. Its interesting that to specialize in Finance, you must first make an extremely dubious financial decision of either liquidating your savings, mortgaging your house, taking on debt, forgoing 2 years of income, or all 4. All to specialize in finance which may or may not pay the rent. 🙂

  4. @Pranay: Interesting thought!

    The other way to think of it is that someone who can take so many dubious decisions in such a short duration is better prepared to take dubious risks with other people’s money in 2 years 😉

  5. I work in Gujarat electricity board in distribution sector as junior engineer, want to do MBA in finance, but can’t leave my job. So the only option is distance learning. will it be helpful for me or not ?

  6. What is the procedure to pursue MBA in banking in the above universities or any other foreign university?Please let me know in detail.


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