Top Ten Undergraduate Programs for Finance

This list is based on the US News ranking of best undergrad programs for finance. They are ranked based on peer assessment surveys, among other things.

August 23, 2022

This list is based on the US News ranking of best undergrad programs for finance. They are ranked based on peer assessment surveys, among other things.

Best Colleges for a Degree in Finance

1. University of Pennsylvania

Finance is one of the available concentrations in UPenn’s undergraduate business school. The program prepares its students for careers in all areas of finance, including asset management, financial markets, global investment banking, commercial/industrial financial management, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, and global management consulting.

Finance Concentrations Required Courses:

  • FNCE 100
  • FNCE 101
  • 4 additional credits in the Finance Department

Finance Tracks:

  • Capital Markets and Banking
  • Corporate Finance
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital
  • Investments
  • Quantitative Finance

2. New York University

NYU Stern offers an undergraduate concentration in finance that prepares students with the analytical and technical skills required to enter a career in the financial industries. Generally, the finance curriculum can be divided into two areas: investments/capital markets and corporate finance.

Finance Concentration Required Courses:

  • Foundations of Finance
  • 12 credits of upper-division finance courses
  • Any 3 finance electives

Finance Elective Options:

  • Financial Modeling & Analysis
  • Financial Statement Modeling
  • Global Macroeconomics
  • Macroeconomic Foundations for Asset Prices
  • Business, Economy, and the Policy in Midst of COVID-19
  • The Financial System
  • Foundations of FinTech
  • Scientific Computing in Finance
  • Algorithmic Trading & Quantitative Strategies
  • Risk & Portfolio Management
  • Financial Securities & Markets
  • Continuous-Time Finance

3. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

The Ross School of Business at UMich offers a general bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a lot of room for electives in different areas, including finance. There are many banks and other financial institutions that recruit directly from the undergraduate program at Ross. For residents of Michigan, this program is especially appealing because of the low in-state tuition.

Finance and Banking Elective Options:

  • Making Financial Decisions
  • Corporate Financing Decisions
  • Capital Markets and Investment Strategy
  • Fixed Income Securities and Markets
  • Corporate Investment Decisions
  • Financial Trading
  • Options and Futures in Financial Decision Making
  • Real Estate Fundamentals
  • Commercial Real Estate Finance
  • Applied Quant/Value Portfolio Management

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

At MIT, the Finance Track is an integrated program of courses and activities designed to expose students to the institutions and practices of the financial world. The classes provide students with a foundation in accounting, strategy, economics, and finance. MIT has a broad course offering of finance and finance-adjacent electives so students can pick and choose what interests them and what will benefit their careers.

Finance Concentration Required Courses:

  • Managerial Finance
  • Corporate Finance
  • Communication (optional)
  • Accounting
  • Microeconomics
  • Probability and Statistics

Finance Elective Options:

  • Financial Markets
  • Options and Future Markets
  • Fixed Income Securities and Derivatives
  • Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital
  • Advance Corporate Finance
  • Mergers, Acquisitions, and Private Equity
  • International Capital Markets
  • Corporate Financial Strategy
  • Analytics of Finance
  • Financial Engineering
  • Advanced Analytics of Finance
  • Financial Data Science and Computing
  • Functional and Strategic Finance
  • Asset Management, Lifecycle Investing, and Retirement Finance
  • Healthcare Finance
  • Financial Market Dynamics and Human Behavior
  • Taxes and Business Strategy
  • Business Analysis Using Financial Statements

5. University of Texas at Austin

Texas McCombs tailored their finance program to match the unique path each student takes in the professional world. BBA finance students start with a required course, FIN 357, followed by a number of elective options to fit their interests and goals. There is a general finance major option or students can choose one of six tracks: banking, investment management, corporate finance and investments, energy finance, real estate finance, and financial markets/banking.

Finance Major Required Courses:

  • Business Finance
  • Investment Management
  • Integrative Finance
  • 12 credits of track-specific courses

Finance Elective Options:

  • Intermediate Microeconomics for Business
  • Energy Finance Practicum
  • Finance Practicum
  • Money and Capital Markets
  • Advanced Topics in Finance
    • Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing
    • Valuation of Energy Investment
    • Financial Planning for Wealth Management
    • Financial Technology
    • Optimization Method in Finance
    • Economic Principles of Managerial Decisions
    • Corporate Finance Fellows
  • Research Topics in Finance
  • Valuation
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Banking and Financial Intermediation
  • International Finance
  • Advanced Investment Analysis
  • Portfolio Analysis and Management
  • Independent Research in Finance

6. University of California–Berkeley

The undergraduate curriculum at Haas emphasizes a well-rounded approach built on a foundation of liberal arts courses. Students will graduate with a BS in Business Administration but are able to tailor their coursework to their interests with the large selection of electives. All undergraduate Haas students are required to take a foundational course in Finance.

Finance Elective Options:

  • Macroeconomic Analysis for Business Decisions
  • Microeconomic Analysis for Business Decisions
  • Financial Accounting
  • Intermediate Financial Accounting
  • Advanced Financial Accounting
  • International Trade
  • Operating and Financial Reporting Issues in the Financial Services Industry
  • Corporate Finance and Financial Statement Analysis
  • Corporate Strategy and Valuation
  • Financial Institutions and Markets
  • Investments
  • Introduction to Financial Engineering
  • Personal Financial Management
  • Behavior Finance
  • Special Topics in Finance

7. Boston College

The finance undergraduate concentration at Boston College is known for its rigorous curriculum, innovative research, and world-class faculty. The classes are designed to provide students with both quantitative and analytical skills to succeed inside and outside of the classroom. The school also hosts weekly seminar series where visiting scholars address emerging issues in the field of business and finance.

Finance Cour Courses:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Fundamentals of Finance
  • Corporate Finance
  • Investments

Finance Elective Options:

  • Derivatives and Risk Management
  • Corporate Financial Strategies
  • Financial Policy
  • International Finance
  • Investment Banking
  • Fixed Income Analysis
  • Data Analytics in Finance
  • FinTech and Cryptocurrencies

8. Carnegie Mellon University

The Tepper School of Business at CMU offers a BS in Computational Finance in conjunction with the CMU Department of Mathematical Sciences. Students accepted to the program can decide which college they want to designate as their “home” and will concentrate on classes from that department. The program prepares students for a career in building mathematical models for the finance industry and combines skills in business, mathematics, probability, and statistics.

Computational Finance Required Courses:

  • Differential and Integral Calculus
  • Integration and Approximation
  • Concepts of Mathematics
  • Matrices and Linear Transformations
  • Calculus in Three Dimensions
  • Differential Equations
  • Numerical Methods
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Introduction to Mathematical Finance
  • Discrete-Time Finance
  • Continuous-Time Finance
  • MSCF Studies in Financial Engineering
  • Probability
  • Introduction to Statistical Inference
  • Modern Regression
  • Principles of Computing
  • Fundamentals of Programming and Computer Science
  • Principles of Imperative Computation
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics

For the program’s many elective offerings, see here.

9. Indiana University–Bloomington

The Kelley School of Business at IU offers a major in Finance. Students will have the opportunity to experience workshops and study abroad programs, and can complement their degree with a wide offering of minors. The school aims to provide its students with a foundational understanding of global business, economics, marketing, strategy, operations, and business ethics. Uniquely, Kelley also offers a Financial Diversity program that aspires to increase the diversity of professionals in corporate America and Wall Street.

Finance Major Required Courses:

  • Intermediate Investments
  • Intermediate Corporate Finance
  • Management Decisions and Financial Reporting
  • Cost Management

Finance Elective Options:

  • Tax Analysis
  • Taxes and Decision Making
  • Advanced Financial Accounting
  • Working Capital Management
  • Corporate Financial Strategy and Governance
  • Security Trading and Market Making
  • Behavioral Finance
  • Equity and Fixed Income Investments
  • Derivative Securities and Corporate Risk Management
  • International Finance
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Insurance, Risk Management, and Retirement Planning
  • Banking and Financial Intermediation
  • Money, Banking, and Capital Markets
  • Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Financial Data Analytics

10. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

UNC Chapel Hill offers a general undergraduate business degree in Business Administration; however, it also offers many different areas of concentration, including Investment Banking, Investment Management, and Multinational Finance. Students are also required to take courses outside of the business school in order to strengthen their liberal arts knowledge.

Finance-Related Core Courses:

  • Financial Accounting and Analysis
  • Corporate Finance
  • Business Analytical Applications

Investment Banking Concentration Courses:

  • Advanced Corporate Finance
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Financial Modeling for Leveraged Buyout Transactions
  • Buyout Structures and Deals
  • Applied Private Equity
  • Financial Modeling
  • Investment Banking
  • Introduction to Derivative Securities & Risk Management

See the full list of electives here.

Where Can I Start?

Interested in getting into finance? We recommend getting started early as the field is only becoming more competitive. Here are some articles to get you started:

What AP Test Scores Do Colleges Accept?

How to Write a College Application Resume

37 Free Resources to Break Into Investment Banking

Top 10 Undergraduate Business Programs

If you’d prefer to get feedback and advice one-on-one, our world-class coaches can help with any part of the college admissions process. We also have coaches with many years of experience in Investment Banking and related fields that can provide finance career-building tips. See them here and book a free intro call to get going!

Final Note

Here at Leland, we provide you with the content, community, and coaching that you need to get into your dream school. Sign up today to gain access to additional free resources, community events, small group classes, world-class coaching, and more.