Finance Schools in California

Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in finance have a plethora of options at California’s colleges and universities. Some programs allow students to concentrate in specific areas, including financial engineering. In addition to the many on-campus advanced finance degree programs in California, many universities offer completely online master’s in finance programs.

Quick facts:

  • There are 35 colleges and universities with finance degree programs in California.
  • 11 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in finance.
  • Highest graduate rate*: Claremont McKenna College 92%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: California Lutheran University 35%.1
  • Highest net price per year*: Loyola Marymount University $36,687.1
  • Lowest net price per year*: California State University-Northridge $10,458.1
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for finance programs in California: $10,984 – $44,463.2
  • 6 schools in the Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2013: University of California, Berkeley(11), University of Southern California(31), Santa Clara University (38), University of San Diego School (46), California Polytechnic State University (64) and Loyola Marymount University (65).
  • 10 schools in the US News Best Business Graduate Schools in 2013 (top 100): Stanford University (1), University of California-Berkeley (Haas)(7), University of California-Los Angeles (14),University of Southern California(26), University of California-Davis (40), University of California-Irvine(49), University of California-San Diego(73), San Diego State University (86), Pepperdine University(96) and University of San Diego (99).

*For 4-year colleges and universities that offer a finance degree program.

Master’s in Finance Degree Programs in California

Hult International Business School
Hult International Business School, with its main campus in San Francisco, offers students a truly international experience. One unique aspect of the school is that students may rotate from campus to campus throughout the world. This gives them the opportunity to work in Dubai, London, Shanghai, and in other important financial centers around the world. Students interested in finance may earn a master of finance degree and gain preparation for careers in international business and corporate finance as well as other areas.

Golden Gate University
At Golden Gate University in San Francisco, students may earn a master of science degree in finance or a master of business administration degree with a concentration in finance. The master’s degree in finance focuses on the practices of investment management and corporate finance to prepare students for careers in this field. The five core areas of coursework for the degree are finance, capital markets, investments, financial analysis, and financial modeling. Unlike many business schools, Golden Gate gives students the opportunity to choose between online courses, on-campus courses, or a combination of both.

University of California
The extensive system of the University of California includes the Berkeley campus Haas School of Business, which offers a master’s degree in financial engineering. The program prepares students for an assortment of careers within the finance industry. Coursework focuses on specialized training in risk management, derivatives, commodities investments, and hedge funds. Placement in a career is a top priority of the program. Additionally, the program requires a 12 weeks internship to provide real-world preparation for students.

Career Opportunities for Graduates

With a gross domestic product of close to $2 trillion, California’s economy is larger than that of many countries. Financial services make up a significant portion of the California economy. Numerous banks are headquartered throughout the state including Los Angeles Bank, Union Bank N.A., OneWest Bank, Bank of the West, Wells Fargo, and many others. Investment banks and other financial institutions in California include First Southwest Company, Venture Bank, and Imperial Capital.

California Financial Analysts and Manager Salary and Job Outlook

All areas of finance are growing, with personal financial advisors leading the way with a projected growth rate of 32 percent from 2010 to 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.5 Positions for financial examiners are increasing at a rate of 27 percent, and those for financial analysts at 23 percent.5 Salaries for financial careers are competitive with other fields. For all finance jobs, the mean salary in California is $75,160.6 Financial analysts earn an average annual salary of $101,040, while personal financial advisors can earn a mean salary of $88,520 in California.6 Budget analysts earn an average of $78,510 per year and credit analysts nearly the same at $78,490.6

California Finance Salary and Jobs

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Salary
Financial Analysts29,880$101,410
Financial Examiners3,250$89,560
Financial Managers66,450$137,150
Loan Officers28,470$81,350
Personal Financial Advisors22,390$92,830

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

California Financial Professional Associations

Southern California Association for Financial Professionals
California Society of Municipal Finance Officers

1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/?degree=4-year&state=CA&major=finance-accounting&sort=best
3. Bloomberg Businessweek: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-best-undergrad-business-schools/
4. US News and World Reprot: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ca.htm