Finance Schools in Illinois

Students pursuing a graduate finance degree in Illinois have several options at college and universities, which offer programs that lead to the Master of Science (MS) in Finance or the Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a finance specialization. Programs may be offered on a full time or on a part-time basis. In addition to the graduate finance degree programs in Illinois, various online universities feature master’s programs in finance, which can be completed entirely online.

Quick Facts

  • There are 34 colleges and universities with finance degree programs in Illinois.
  • 10 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in finance.
  • Highest graduate rate*: Northwestern University, 93%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Northeastern Illinois University, 40%.1
  • Highest net price per year*: Loyola University Chicago, $29,671.1
  • Lowest net price per year*: University of Illinois at Chicago, $11,932. 1
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for finance programs in Illinois: $14,689 – $43,779.2
  • 4 schools in the Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2013: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (21), DePaul University (60), Bradley University (98) and Illinois State University (99).
  • 3 schools in the US News Best Business Graduate Schools in 2013 (top 100):University of Chicago (6), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (47) and DePaul University (93).

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

Master’s in Finance Degree Programs in Illinois

DePaul University

DePaul University maintains a competitive Master of Science in Finance degree program that equips students to become financial analysts and specialist professionals by focusing on the understanding of modern financial markets. This education prepares students to take a sophisticated approach to financial problems and make informed decisions to move businesses forward. DePaul is consistently recognized by publications including the Princeton Review, US News & World Report, and Entrepreneur. School alumni include Gerald Beeson, COO and Senior Managing Director of Citadel Investment Group, LLC and Richard Driehaus, President of Driehaus Capital Management, Inc.

Lewis University

Lewis University offers a Master of Science in Finance degree through its Graduate School of Management with emphases on portfolio management, investment analysis, and financial strategy. The program also teaches advanced technical skills for working with today’s investment tools and strategies. Upon graduation, students are prepared to take the rigorous CFA Level 1 Exam. Lewis University has been recognized for its various strong points by US News & World Report, the Princeton Review, and Colleges of Distinction.

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business confers a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree in which students may choose from two concentrations, corporate finance or risk management. Students enrolled in the program typically take 18 to 36 months to complete the degree, and may take courses either full-time or part-time. The development of analytical skills is a core focus for all MSF degree tracks. The Quinlin School of Business has a superior reputation driven not only by academic excellence but by its active research centers, including the Center for Risk Management and Center for International Business.

Career Opportunities for Graduates in Illinois

Chicago, Illinois’ premier city, is a major financial center and finance graduates have a wealth of career opportunities in the city and its many surrounding suburbs, many of which are home to the corporate headquarters of well-known names in business and finance. Forbes has noted Illinois’ relatively friendly business environment and its high quality of life. PepsiCo, maker of not only Pepsi brand beverages but also Frito-Lay snacks, Quaker products, and prepackaged Starbucks drinks, has a strong presence in Illinois. PepsiCo has a cohesive company culture built around the concept of responsible corporate citizenship and continual improvement. As a multi-billion dollar corporation with significant business in Illinois, PepsiCo relies on financial analysts to examine its vending and product offerings for risk and profitability. Allstate Insurance is another nationally recognized brand with strong ties to Illinois. Allstate’s corporate headquarters are in Northbrook, and the company frequently hires at this and other Illinois locations for financial analysts and managers to support its business.

Illinois Financial Analyst and Manager Salary and Job Outlook

At the state level, financial analysts in Illinois make an average annual salary of $80,430 while financial managers average a salary of $115,230.5 The Chicago, Joliet, and Naperville metro corridor alone is estimated to employ approximately 8,000 financial analysts and over 16,000 financial managers. This puts Illinois within the top five highest employment levels for these occupations.7 As the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 54,200 financial analyst positions and 46,300 financial manager positions will be made available at the national level between 2010 and 2020 and indicators are that a number of these jobs will be created in Illinois, finance graduates may want to consider beginning their careers in this state.8

Illinois Finance Salary and Jobs

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Salary
Financial Analysts10,690$80,890
Financial Examiners2,060$83,090
Financial Managers25,660$88,570
Loan Officers12,400$75,260
Personal Financial Advisors9,370$83,650

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

1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Niche College Search: https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-accounting/?type=private&type=public
3. Bloomberg Businessweek: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-best-undergrad-business-schools/
4. US News and World Report: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm#13-0000
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16974.htm
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132051.htm
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-6