With an online Master’s in finance, your career and financial earning potential are unlimited! Unlike other careers in which a doctorate is required to reach the top of your industry or even perform the job in finance, you can become whoever you want to be with a Master’s degree. 

What Will You Learn With This Degree?

If you decide to pursue an online Master’s degree in finance, you can expect to learn the ins and outs of managing money, including how to invest money to get the best return. You may take courses like the ones listed below: 

  • Financial Planning
  • Corporate Finance
  • Banking
  • Financial Markets
  • Investment Management

These are just a few of the course topics you may take while pursuing your degree. The specific topics learned during your Master’s education will be determined by the school you choose and the specific concentration you select within finance. 

What Are the Potential Careers for an Online Master’s in Finance? 

After you obtain an online Master’s degree in finance, the world is your oyster as many careers are looking for individuals with finance knowledge. Whether you want to be a room analyzing numbers all day or in a boardroom commanding the attention of the rest of the executive team, it’s easy to find a place in finance explicitly suited to your wants and needs.  

Some popular careers that graduates with an online Master’s in finance are attracted to include financial managers, financial analysts, personal finance advisors, and chief financial officers. What all of these careers have in common is that they involve handling money and investments and ensuring their clients or employers get the best return on their investments. 

What Is the Potential Salary You Can Expect?

You can also expect a pretty nice annual salary when pursuing any of the careers listed above. The lowest paying job listed above is a financial analyst who brings home just over $85,000, and the highest-earning job listed above is a chief financial officer who can expect an average annual salary of $189,600

What Are the Best Online Masters in Finance Degrees?

Online College Plan uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the best programs. We factor in how robust the school’s online education is, how well that school delivers on its promises, how affordable the program is, and how selective the school is as a whole. For more information, see our methodology page.

  1. MERIT: 100

    Pennsylvania State University is a tried and true school known for producing knowledgeable and confident businessmen and businesswomen. Penn State has opened up its world-class education to everyone with their world campus, which allows people across the globe to earn a degree. 

    Expect to work hard to earn the Master of Finance degree from Penn State, as the same curriculum that is taught on the ground is taught to their online students. This program is accredited by AACSB, which is one of the two major accreditors of business schools in the US. The coursework taught for this degree will prepare you for certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst®. 

    Applicants that should apply for the Masters of Finance degree offered through Penn State should have completed coursework in business statistics, corporate finance, and microeconomics. Students that are accepted into this program are required to complete a one-week residency at their main campus before graduation.

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  2. MERIT: 89.98

    The University of Washington is frequently named among the best public universities in the nation. The school is also listed among educational institutions called public ivies, meaning you get the best education for public school tuition. So, you can imagine that being a University of Washington Husky is a pretty big deal!

    UW offers a Master of Science in computational finance and risk management (MS-CFRM) to its students in both an on-ground and online format. If the degree sounds pretty advanced, it is. The university warns students interested in this program that the program is designed for students that have strong analytical and mathematical skills. The program is geared toward developing next-level financial risk management skills and competencies. 

    If you’re not sure that you have the time to dedicate to an online program in finance full time, then take advantage of this program, which offers a full-time and flexible part-time option.

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  3. MERIT: 82.19

    If your goal is to become a chief financial officer of a business after you graduate with your online Master’s in finance degree, then choose the degree offered by Indiana University who claims to be the number one producer of CFO’s of all public universities and the third-best of all universities in the nation. 

    The Master of Science in finance degree offered by Indiana University is made for those that are looking to take their knowledge to a new level and transition into a new career quickly. The degree consists of only 30 credit hours of college work and can be completed in as little as 15 months, although you can take up to three years if you desire. Classes for this program start only one time per year, so make sure you don’t miss the application deadline, which is August 1st of every year for a fall start.

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  4. MERIT: 80.52

    Johnson & Wales can trace its history of training business professionals all the way back to 1914, whose main campus is located in Providence, Rhode Island. Today the school serves business students and other career-oriented professionals. The school is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education

    The Master of Science in finance degree offered through Johnson & Wales University can get you into a new career within 15 months. There are two tracks to choose from, one that will lead you toward becoming a financial planner and another that will prepare you to become a chartered financial analyst. If you’re interested in the financial planner track, the school offers a specialized curriculum that allows you to apply to become a certified financial planner. 

    If the thought of taking the GMAT is enough to deter you from pursuing education, there may be a way around that, as the school waives this test for those that have an undergraduate GPA of 2.85 or higher.

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  5. MERIT: 79.91

    Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University is home to over 33,000 students. The school can trace back its business school roots all the way to the 1950s. AACSB has accredited the business school since the early 1970s. The business programs offered through Colorado State University’s global program are well regarded and recognized by employers, so your Master’s will be seen as a quality business degree. 

    The Master of Science in finance degree offered by CSU is suited for those who want a well-rounded finance education and the ability to specialize in a specific area of finance. There are 15 specializations that you will be able to choose between, with each specialization requiring the completion of four courses. 

    For those conscious about tuition and finances, you can be reasonably certain that you won’t see abnormal tuition inflation during your program as the school hasn’t raised its tuition in more than seven years.

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  6. MERIT: 77.80

    You’ve likely seen the commercials advertising some of Southern New Hampshire University programs, and you may have wondered if their programs are as good as they say they are. We are here to tell you that for at least their finance degree, they offer an excellent education at an affordable price. 

    If you choose Southern New Hampshire University, you will be pursuing a Master of Science in finance degree with two available concentrations: the corporate finance option or the investments & securities option. You can complete this degree in a little over a year if you take two courses per 10-week term. 

    The MS in finance degree from SNHU is both regionally accredited and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). These accreditation tell employers that you have received the highest quality education in business.

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  7. MERIT: 75.32

    As the oldest educational institution of higher education in the state of New York and one of only eight ivy league schools, rest assured that you will be receiving an established top tier business education. U.S. News & World Report ranks Columbia University as the third best university in the nation right behind two other ivy league schools. 

    The finance degree offered by Columbia University is a genuinely unique degree perfect for individuals who are interested in finance but are also curious about other topics and how they relate to finance. Columbia offers a Master’s degree in methods of finance, which integrates computer science, mathematics, engineering, economics, and finance. 

    To be considered a competitive applicant to this program, Columbia is looking for students with a bachelor’s in mathematics, engineering, computer science, or economics. Your undergraduate GPA should be at least a 3.0 or higher.

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  8. MERIT: 75.25

    Auburn University is located in Auburn, Alabama, and is one of two of the state’s flagship universities. You’ll see the tigers wearing their characteristic burnt orange and navy colors at NCAA Division I games. If you aren’t that interested in sports, no problem because this university is a major academic institution whose degrees are highly regarded. 

    The Master of Science in finance degree offered by Auburn University is only 30 credit hours in duration. The university recommends that students not take more than six credit hours or two courses per semester, which means you can expect this degree to take you around 2.5 years to complete. If you’re looking for a more relaxed schedule and are in no rush to complete the program, you can take up to six years to complete your degree. 

    Auburn University also has a dual degree program in which students can pursue a Master of Science in finance and an MBA simultaneously.

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  9. MERIT: 74.98

    A degree from Harvard! Need we say more? Ok, let us talk about the online degree offered by Harvard. There has been some skepticism about the quality of Harvard’s online programs, but the fact is the skepticism is misplaced because this is much of the same education taught by some of the same faculty as their on-ground degrees. The only distinguishing factor from the on-ground cohorts is that the students earning their degree online will be earning a Master’s in liberal arts in extension studies with a finance concentration. 

    The finance degree offered by Harvard University consists of 12 courses, with at least two of the classes taken at their main campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. If two on-ground courses sound daunting, there are three options to complete these on-ground courses: 15-week on-ground classes, online classes with an intensive weekend on-ground, or three-week January or summer classes.

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  10. MERIT: 73.96

    The University of Maryland is located in College Park, Maryland, and is in relatively close proximity to Washington, D.C. The close proximity to this governmental hub is one reason why this school has received large amounts of research grant money and has close ties with governmental agencies. A finance degree earned through the University of Maryland may be a perfect option for those wanting to work in government finance. 

    With the University of Maryland’s online Master’s degree program in accounting and financial management, you’ll gain an in-depth knowledge of organizational finances and how to advise organizations to maximize profits. The degree consists of 36 credit hours of coursework throughout which you must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA or higher at all times. 

    The program’s admission requirements are relatively strict, requiring applicants to have completed at least 15 credit hours of accounting courses with a grade C or better.

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  11. MERIT: 72.37

    Boston University is an unassuming school located in Boston, Massachusetts, that has graduated or employed eight Nobel Laureates and almost two dozen Pulitzer Prize winners. U.S. News and World Report includes Boston University in the Top Ten Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBA programs) in the nation. 

    If you’re looking to focus specifically on global finance, then you should give serious consideration to Boston University’s online Master of Science in financial management (MSFM), which focuses on investment analysis and international finance. This degree program will prepare you to sit for the Chartered Financial Analyst® certification test. The school and its business programs are accredited by AACSB International. 

    To complete this degree, you can expect to take ten online courses for a total of 40 credit hours. You’ll be taught by faculty that have doctoral degrees in business or finance as well as professors with real-world experience applying finance knowledge.

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  12. MERIT: 71.92

    The Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University, established in 2007, is a relative newbie to the business world, but don’t discount the degree as it’s from one of the most respected universities in the nation. Eduniversal ranks the Carey School of Business as the 28th best business school in the nation. 

    The Master of Science in finance degree from JHU is a program that can be completed in as little as one year and consists of 36 credit hours. This is a STEM-designated program with a total tuition of $71,600 per year. The statistics of this program are nothing to laugh at—the median age of students is 23 years and almost 3/4 of the graduates receive full-time job offers within six months of graduation. 

    There are opportunities to apply for scholarships, loans, and other payment options that can help you finance your education at Johns Hopkins.

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  13. MERIT: 71.41

    Unless you’re from Missouri, you may not have heard about Webster University, which is located in Webster Groves, Missouri, but the school has a lot to offer for students seeking an online finance degree. The school was founded in the early 20th century and continues to provide undergraduate and graduate degrees to a student population of more than 22,000. 

    The Master of Science in finance degree from Webster University was created to give its students a broad and comprehensive understanding of the finance field. Students will also learn about topics such as accounting and economics, which often go hand-in-hand with finances. This degree program is accredited by ACBSP and is also regionally accredited. 

    The Master of finance degree consists of 36 credit hours of coursework, 30 of which are in the core curriculum. There are three course prerequisites you need to take before entering the Master’s program: 

    • Accounting Theory and Practice
    • Current Economic Analysis
    • Applied Business Statistics
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  14. MERIT: 70.69

    As the third-largest university in the state of Texas, the school has almost 50,000 students, which means that there will be a lot of alumni to help you out when and if you may need them. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Houston’s undergraduate business program as the third best program in Texas. 

    If you decide to pursue the online Master of Science in finance degree from the University of Texas, you’ll be taking the first step toward your new career in finance. The degree consists of 30 credit hours of coursework that can be completed in 18 months when taking two classes per semester. This business degree is accredited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. 

    The MS in finance program allows its students to select a healthcare administration concentration, which requires students to take 12 credit hours of coursework. This concentration does increase the overall program length to 36 hours in total.

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  15. MERIT: 70.26

    Nova Southeastern University, sometimes referred to as Nova, is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The school consists of 18 colleges, including the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, which offers the Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance that you should consider pursuing. 

    The MBA with a concentration in finance gives you the versatility that accompanies an MBA with the specialized knowledge necessary for a finance career. You get the best of both worlds with this degree. You’ll be taught by professors with real business knowledge and fortune 500 business executives. The degree is designed to provide you with a broad understanding of corporate finance, securities analysis, portfolio management, and financial institutions and markets, among other topics.

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  16. MERIT: 70.04

    West Texas A&M University is part of the legendary Texas A&M educational system known for its business acumen and sports prowess. The school was formally called West Texas State before joining the Texas A&M system in 1990. West Texas A&M University consistently comes in as one of the best online graduate business schools, excluding its MBA by U.S. News & World Report. 

    WT offers a Master of Science in finance and economics­ (M.S.F.E.) degree, which may be perfect for those wanting to focus on economics as well as finance. The 36 credit hour program is designed to be completed in two years, but it can be completed more quickly by highly motivated students. 

    If you want to avoid taking the GMAT, the university provides a waiver for this test for students that have at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. To earn your degree, this university requires a comprehensive final exam upon completion of all required coursework.

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  17. MERIT: 68.87

    The University of Michigan is primarily known for two things: high research, and academic achievement—along with its maize yellow and blue colors. The main campus of the University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but the Dearborn campus is only 35 miles west. 

    Students that have enrolled in the Master of Science in finance degree from the University of Michigan can’t stop raving about the quality of the education and the learning that took place during their pursuit of the finance diploma. More than 90%, according to the UMD degree website, would recommend this degree to others. 

    You will be able to select one of two concentrations while earning your finance degree: a corporate finance concentration and an investment concentration. Both programs are 30-33 credit hours in duration.

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  18. MERIT: 68.84

    Like the number 16 ranked best online Master’s in finance degree in this list, West Texas A&M, Texas A&M is part of the Texas A&M University System. This campus is located on the outer edge of the Dallas-Fortworth region and has over 12,000 students enrolled in its programs. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked this school’s MBA program as one of the top five in the nation. 

    The Master of Science in finance offered by Texas A&M University-Commerce was created to enhance the skills that students already possess while teaching them to handle financial problems they are likely to encounter in their jobs. The degree allows specialization in investments, financial planning, and corporate finance. The Master’s is set up to allow students to become eligible to take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exams upon graduation.

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  19. MERIT: 67.33

    With a motto like Ad Astra Per Scientiam translated into English as “To the stars through science,” you would expect this university to take their science programs pretty seriously, and you would be right! More than half of the students enrolled in this university are part of the College of Engineering. With that said, the university’s online business programs are nothing to scoff at as their MBA program will give you the tools to accomplish anything you desire in the business realm.

    The MBA in accounting and finance program from the Florida Institute of Technology is formed around practical skills. During this program, students will formulate a business plan utilizing the knowledge and skills taught during their program. The school is regionally accredited, and its business program is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

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  20. MERIT: 67.23

    Denver is known for being more than the capital of Colorado—it’s also home to the University of Colorado Denver, the largest research institute in the state. There are two primary campuses, one in Denver and the other in Aurora. The business degrees offered through this university are a popular major for students to choose due to the abundant opportunities available to work with big business in the Denver region. 

    The Master of Science in finance and risk management degree through the University of Colorado Denver is designed specifically so that students are ready to take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam upon graduation. Students are able to choose between five specializations:

    • General Finance
    • Financial Analysis and Management
    • Commodities
    • Risk Management and Insurance
    • Economics
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  21. MERIT: 66.90

    The University of Massachusetts Lowell awards a range of business degrees to its students. Five departments within the Manning School of Business offer business degrees, ranging from bachelor’s to Ph.D.s. In 2020, U.S. News and World Report named this university among the Best Online Graduate Business Schools in the nation. 

    Undergraduate business majors who have taken Financial Accounting, Business Financial Analysis and Microeconomics with a grade of B or higher are eligible for enrollment into the Master of Science in finance. Those who have not taken these classes will be required to take them before being eligible for admission into the Master’s program. Ten courses compose this degree with five of the courses made of foundational topics, and the other five focused on finance.

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  22. MERIT: 65.75

    National University is a private college located in La Jolla, California, that offers associates, bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D.s to their online and on-ground students. On-ground campuses are located through the state of California, and there is one campus in Nevada. The school has over 170,000 alumni worldwide, which may come in handy if you ever find yourself looking for a new job. 

    The Master of Business Administration through National University allows its students to choose between a variety of concentrations, including financial management. Classes are held every four weeks, and the school accepts year-round enrollment, which means you could be starting your MBA degree next month! The degree consists of anywhere from 54-63 credit hours of work, which is double the amount required by other programs in this list.

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  23. MERIT: 64.18

    As the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in the United States, Georgetown University has a long history of educating its students that dates back to the late eighteenth century. Georgetown University is considered a very selective school for admission, which means that if you are lucky enough to get a degree from this school, it carries some weight. 

    The McDonough School of Business offers the online Master of Science in finance. You can choose to pursue this program part-time or on a full-time basis. The degree is composed of six core courses and six elective courses, along with a two-day orientation experience and a weeklong opening residency. You finish off the degree with a capstone global consulting project to incorporate and show off all you learned throughout the program.

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  24. MERIT: 62.24

    Middle Tennessee State University was founded in the early 20th century as a normal school, which are schools dedicated to training teachers and educators. Today the school offers over 80 degrees and majors ranging from education and music to business and science. This is an NCAA Division I school with a student body of almost 22,000. While the school has an excellent business program, they are known for their music business education, in which students learn the business of producing and running a music studio. 

    MTSU offers a Master of Science in finance degree that is composed of 33 credit hours. The core curriculum consists of 24 credit hours, with the remaining nine credit hours dedicated to elective courses. Students can complete the MS in finance degree in one year with a dedicated, diligent study regime.

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  25. MERIT: 61.81

    Bellevue University is one of those universities that is becoming well known for providing an outstanding online education at a nearly unbeatable price. Around 10,000 students are currently enrolled in its programs, of which approximately 3,500 are postgraduates. The school’s motto is “Real learning for real life”, which seems to exactly what you would want from a finance degree. 

    Bellevue University offers a Master of Science in strategic finance that is 36 credit hours in duration. To obtain a concentration, in which there are 20, students need to complete nine credit hours of coursework. Some of the many concentrations include:

    • Accounting Concentration
    • Acquisition and Contract Management Concentration
    • Business Analytics Concentration – BAN
    • Cybersecurity Concentration
    • Entrepreneurship Concentration
    • Executive Coaching Concentration
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  26. MERIT:

    The University of Miami is another American university that is easily recognizable by its orange, green, and white school colors. If you watch NCAA football, you are well acquainted with the Hurricanes powerhouse talent. If you choose this school to pursue your financial education, you’ll attend the Miami Herbert Business School. 

    The University of Miami takes the confusion out of getting your Master of Science in finance degree by breaking down the questions you really want to know. The program will take you 16 months to complete, and you’ll be taking 32 credit hours of courses. You can choose between two certificate options: a certificate in corporate finance and a certificate in financial decision making.

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  27. MERIT: 61.43

    Mississippi College is the oldest college in the state and is home to more than 5,000 students. Students at Mississippi College mean business—it’s the most popular academic major students choose. The school’s sports teams play in the NCAA Division II Gulf South, and their school colors are gold and blue. 

    Mississippi College offers a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance degree that will set you apart from your competition when it comes time to apply for jobs. The degree is tailored to the busy professional, and the school works with you to accommodate your busy schedule. This is a 30 credit hour degree in which you are able to select a focus. You can choose a concentration out of the five listed below:

    • Financial Management
    • Quantitative Management
    • Policy Formulation & Administration
    • Accounting Issues in Business Decisions
    • Advanced Financial Management
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  28. MERIT: 61.22

    The business alumni from Loyola University have gone on to become high ranking executives in some of the largest companies in the world, including McDonald’s and Baxter International, both of which are Chicago based companies. BusinessWeek has ranked Loyola University’s graduate business school as the best in the nation for ethics. 

    The Master of Science in finance degree from Loyola University will prepare you to take on markets in the Chicago region and beyond. In 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked the MS in finance program from this university as being the 27th best program in the nation. You can expect to take 12 courses which can be completed in around a year.

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  29. MERIT: 60.96

    Creighton University is a Jesuit based school that can trace its origins back to the late 19th century. The school is located in Omaha, Nebraska, home of the college world series. You may recognize this school by their mascot, which is a bluejay named Billy. You may even be able to catch a sports game and root on your school in one of their NCAA Division I games. 

    Creighton University offers a Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis (MIMFA) to educate its students in finances. The school also allows its students to enroll in a dual degree program in which students can also pursue a Master’s of Business Administration. The MIMFA is 30 credit hours in duration, and the MBA is 33 credit hours, but taking the dual degree option allows students to earn both degrees with only 48 hours of coursework.

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  30. MERIT: 60.2

    Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University is a school known for producing world-class engineer graduates. They are also becoming known for their online MBA programs for both traditional students and executives. Engineers may find this degree especially attractive as there are dual degree options for a Master of Science in engineering and an MBA. 

    The online Master of Business Administration is a rigorous degree designed to make you an expert in business. The program is 60 to 76 credit hours in length, which is significantly longer than other business programs reviewed in these rankings. You can choose between six concentration options:

    • Finance
    • Health Care Management
    • Human Resources
    • Information Technology
    • Marketing
    • Project Management
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With a Finance Degree Will I Be Able to Become an Accountant? 

With a Master’s degree in finance, you may or may not be able to sit for the certified public accountant exam. Generally, a finance degree will not provide enough credit hours in accounting to meet the minimum requirements to sit for the CPA exam. If your goal is to become a CPA, then you should look into Master of Science in accounting degrees, which include more accounting and auditing classes, and are specifically designed to meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. 

Those with an undergraduate degree in accounting or have a significant history of taking accounting classes may meet the requirements to take the CPA exam, but you should check with the school you select.  

Will the School I Select Accept Transfer Credits? 

Whether or not the school you decide to attend for your Master’s in finance degree will accept transfer credits depends on several factors. One of the most important aspects of transferring credits is whether or not the credits you are attempting to transfer were earned at a regionally accredited school. There are six regional accreditation bodies for higher education in the United States, and many schools require that you earned your diploma from a regionally accredited school if you wish to obtain a Master’s degree. 

Many schools also limit the number of credits you can transfer into the degree. They do this because you will be receiving a diploma with their school’s name on it, and they want to ensure that you graduate with the knowledge and competence expected from their graduates. Sometimes schools allow up to a quarter of the total credits of the degree to be transferred, but you should check with the school you select. 

How Many Hours Should I Dedicate Each Week to My School Work? 

The amount of time you need to learn the material in your Master’s degree thoroughly is unique to each person. Some people can learn new information more quickly, while others require many more hours of diligent study to make the information stick in their brains. You shouldn’t feel bad if you happen to be someone who needs more time to learn information, because what really matters is that you retain all you’ve learned. 

Figuring out how you learn best will also help you save time studying while earning your degree. Some students learn best by writing out the information, while others learn best by hearing the information in a lecture. Studying efficiently in a way that you retain information best will save you time during your week. No matter what kind of learning style that suits, one thing that will help you learn information more quickly is spaced repetition—looking at information multiple times before a test or the end of the course. 
If you’re interested in pursuing higher education, then you should check out 10 Best Online Engineering Programs and Top 20 Fastest Online Doctoral Programs!