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Finance Schools in Arkansas

This is a guide for students looking to pursue an advanced degree in finance in the state of Arkansas. Students of all backgrounds and skill levels can find a finance degree that fits their individual career goals. Finance schools in Arkansas offer students the option of earning an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA), an MBA with a finance concentration, or even a PhD in Finance. Arkansas students also have options in how to accomplish their academic goals, with on-campus, hybrid, and fully online finance degrees available. For example, Arkansas State University offers a fully online MBA with a finance concentration and the University of Arkansas offers an Executive MBA that meets just once a month. These options allow working professionals to choose how an advanced degree fits into their schedule.

Finance Program Stats

  • There are 8 four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with finance degree programs in Arkansas.1
  • No schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in finance.1

Institution-Wide Facts

  • Highest graduation rate*: Ouachita Baptist University 70%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: University of Central Arkansas 37%.1
  • Highest net price per year*: Ouachita Baptist University $18,789.1
  • Lowest net price per year*: Arkansas State University $12,310.1
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for finance programs in Arkansas*: $8,061-$26,290.1
  • 1 school in the Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2016: University of Arkansas Walton College of Business (#74).2
  • 1 school in the US News Best Business Graduate Schools in 2017 (top 100): University of Arkansas Walton College of Business (#73).3

*For 4-year not-for-profit colleges and universities that offer a finance degree program.

Schools in Arkansas with Master’s in Finance Degrees

Traditional Master’s in Finance Programs

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University offers an AACSB-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance. This degree requires 27 credits of core business classes and nine additional credits of finance coursework. Late afternoon and evening classes are offered, making this program flexible for working professionals. Core business courses give students a broad overview of business practices, ranging in topics from economics, management, and business analytics. Arkansas State University offers on-campus organizations such as the accounting club, finance and banking club, and the graduate association of business students. A fall and spring career fair is also available for students to attend on campus, with the spring career fair focusing heavily on opportunities for business students. GMAT scores and an undergraduate degree from an accredited university are required to apply.

University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas’ Walton College of Business offers an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) that can be completed in two years. This program meets one Saturday a month, allowing flexibility for students with busy schedules. A four-day summer orientation is required for all students to attend, where they will participate in an accounting boot camp and the first course, Introduction to Strategy. Required courses feature a broad range of business topics, including management, economics, and marketing. In their second year, students choose a focused area of study to specialize in. The finance track requires elective courses like Advanced Corporate Financial Management and Investment Theory and Management. Students are only accepted for the fall semester and the application deadline is June 15th. GMAT or GRE scores are required, as well as a minimum of two years’ full-time work experience. Walton College of Business also offers a PhD in Finance for those interested in pursuing academia, which requires 42 credits of coursework, a written comprehensive exam, and a doctoral thesis.

Online Master’s in Finance Programs

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University offers an online version of its AACSB-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance. This 33-credit program can be completed entirely online, preparing students for the fast-paced and technology-driven business world. 27 credits of core classes are required, with course titles including Accounting for Planning and Control, Managerial Economics, and Corporate Financial Management. Classes specifically offered for the finance concentration include Financial Statement Analysis and International Financial Markets. An undergraduate degree from an accredited university and GMAT scores are required for admission. Arkansas State University offers career services, including resume building, personalized career coaching, and development workshops. A career fair is also held in the spring that is specifically for business students.

University of Central Arkansas

The University of Central Arkansas offers a 30-credit Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance. For recent graduates or working professionals alike, this flexible finance degree allows students to choose the class style that works best for them. Daytime, evening, or online classes are offered, and students may choose to complete the degree fully on campus, online, or through a blended option. 21 credits of core business classes are required, ensuring students understand all facets of the business world in addition to their chosen concentration. The Finance concentration requires nine credits focused on financial matters and course titles include Bank Management, International Finance, and Entrepreneurial and Small Business Finance. An undergraduate degree in business is not required to apply, but some students without a business background may have to take prerequisite courses. GMAT scores are required and students may start the MBA program during any term. Each student is eligible to apply for private scholarships and graduate assistantships.

Arkansas Career Opportunities for Graduates

Arkansas is home to many banks and large corporations that make it a good location for recent finance and business graduates. Most notably, Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas and is one of the largest employers in the state. Several other Fortune 500 companies are also based in the state, such as Sam’s Club in Bentonville, Tyson Foods in Springdale, Murphy Oil in El Dorado, and Dillard’s in Little Rock. There are also many banks and financial institutions headquartered in Arkansas, including Arvest Bank in Lowell, First Security Bank in Searcy, and Bank of the Ozarks in Little Rock. Southern Bancorp is based in Arkadelphia and manages $1.2 billion in assets. These institutions are spread throughout the state, giving graduates in all areas of the state financial career options.

Arkansas Finance Job Information

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Salary
Business and Financial Operations Occupations47,790$61,740
Financial Analysts910$68,590
Financial Examiners180$73,580
Financial Managers3,020$97,940
Financial Specialists, All Other310$51,710
Loan Officers2,360$62,730
Personal Financial Advisors910$104,410

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of 2018.4

Arkansas Salary and Job Outlook

Financial jobs in Arkansas are steadily on the rise, making it a great state for recent graduates. According to Projections Central, financial job growth in Arkansas often outpaces that of the national average.4 Over the 10-year period between 2014 and 2024, financial examiner positions are expected to grow by 17.2%, far exceeding the national projected rate of 9.7%.4 Financial specialists, all other, are projected to grow over double the national average, increasing by 12.3% in Arkansas and 4.9% nationally.4 While job growth is promising, salaries run below the national average for financial professions. Financial examiners in Arkansas make an average of $73,580, as compared to $88,940 nationally.5,6 Financial analysts earn $68,590 in Arkansas as compared to $97,640 nationally and personal financial advisors in the state make an average of $104,410 compared to $123,100 nationally.5,7,8

Additional Resources

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Bloomberg, Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-best-undergrad-business-schools/
3. US News & World Report, Best Business Schools in 2017: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings
4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Arkansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_AR.htm
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016, Financial Examiners: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132061.htm
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016, Financial Analysts: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132051.htm
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016, Personal Financial Advisors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132052.htm