Finance Schools in Iowa

This guide is designed to help students explore their options for graduate studies in finance in the state of Iowa. Students can choose from specialized degrees in finance or pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a financial focus. This choice gives each student the option to pursue their own path and focus on the finance courses that will best help them achieve their goals. Programs in Iowa also allow for flexibility for working students. For example, Upper Iowa University offers an MBA which can be completed entirely online and Drake University has a unique hybrid program. Accelerated programs are also available; Iowa State University features a finance master’s that can be completed in as little as one year.

Finance Program Stats

  • There are 11 four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with finance degree programs in Iowa.1
  • 5 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in finance.1

Institution-Wide Facts

  • Highest graduation rate*: Drake University 78%.1
  • Highest transfer-out rate*: Saint Ambrose University 31%.1
  • Highest net price per year*: Drake University $28,088.1
  • Lowest net price per year*: Iowa State University $13,623.1
  • Annual undergraduate tuition range for finance programs in Iowa*: $8,219-$39,900.1
  • No schools in the Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2016.2
  • 2 schools in the US News Best Business Graduate Schools in 2017 (top 100): University of Iowa Tippie College of Business (#64), Iowa State University Ivy College of Business (#65). 3

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

Schools in Iowa with Master’s in Finance Degrees

Traditional Master’s in Finance Programs

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Iowa State University

Iowa State University’s Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business offers a 30-credit Master of Finance (MFin) which can be completed in one year. This STEM-designated finance school features an emphasis on quantitative methods and other skills beyond what a traditional MBA can offer. Core topics of this finance degree include financial analysis and valuation, but students will also learn how to model financial and risk variables, simulation techniques, and effective risk management. A dual-degree program is also available for students who also want to pursue an MBA. Each entering cohort is approximately 15-20 students in size. GRE or GMAT scores are required to apply and applications are accepted in July, November, and April. Iowa residents are eligible to apply for a Heartland Scholarship, made available specifically for Master of Finance students. ISU also offers career services designed for business and finance graduate students. Services include personalized career advising, career development workshops, and access to employer databases for job searching.

University of Iowa

The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business offers a STEM-designated Master of Finance that emphasizes hands-on learning and real-world experience. This finance master’s requires 42 credits and most students complete the program in 16 months. Course titles include Global Structured Finance, Managerial Finance, and Financial Modeling. This finance school also offers electives specifically designed to help students gain hands-on experience. For example, students may choose to work as a team on an industry project for a corporate or institutional client or they have the opportunity to manage the Henry Fund, the College of Business’ endowed equity portfolio, currently valued at approximately $6 million and managed by finance master’s students. Students are only admitted for the fall semester, but applications are accepted in January, March, and June. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is required, as well as GMAT or GRE scores.

St. Ambrose University

St. Ambrose University offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) which can be completed in as little as one year. Students may choose to complete this 39-credit degree through an accelerated program or part-time, and most students graduate within two years. Classes are held in the evenings or online, making it ideal for working professionals. Finance courses are available, including Accounting for Managers, Managerial Economics, and Financial Management. Students also take classes in data analysis, business ethics, and operations management. New students may start in either the fall or spring semester. GMAT scores are required for admission, as well as an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. St. Ambrose University career center offers on-campus networking events and career fairs. Students can also join Delta Mu Delta, an international honor society for business administration students.

Online Master’s in Finance Programs

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in corporate financial management. This 36-credit MBA gives students a solid foundation in core business courses, allowing them to apply what they are learning to all aspects of a business organization. After completing core classes, students choose an area of emphasis, one of which is corporate financial management. Students in this concentration take classes that focus on both theory and practical applications of financial management within the corporate business world. Course titles include Financial Markets and Financial Strategy, Ethics and Business Law for Accounting/Financial Managers, Derivatives and Risk Management, and Regulatory Environment of Financial Management. The program is concluded with a research seminar that serves as a capstone experience. This course allows students to fully research a business project that highlights all of the tools developed throughout the degree program. Students have the option of completing this degree through on-campus classes, online classes, or a hybrid program.

Drake University

Drake University College of Business and Public Administration offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in financial management. This degree is offered as a hybrid program, with approximately 50% of the program being delivered online. Drake University’s unique hybrid program gives students the opportunity to develop connections with their classmates and professors, while still affording them the flexibility of online courses. This program emphasizes data analysis and practical applications of business theory. Each student starts with the course Leading with Data, which provides an overview of the importance and functions of data analysis within the business world. Students are also given opportunities for practical applications of coursework by working with local businesses and nonprofits on real-world projects. GMAT or GRE scores are required to apply, and applications are accepted in January, April, and August. Scholarships are also available for new and returning students.

Iowa Career Opportunities for Graduates

Recent graduates in Iowa have many opportunities for employment, due to the many companies and banks that make their home in the state. Agriculture and food production are top industries in Iowa, making it home to large companies such as A.Y McDonald Manufacturing Company and Hy-Vee, which rely on financially-trained and business-savvy employees, such as master’s of accountancy grads. Many banks and financial institutions are also located in the state of Iowa. Most notably, Principal Financial Group is headquartered in Des Moines, managing assets of approximately $496 billion with a workforce of nearly 15,000 people. Transamerica, an insurance and financial services company, also has a major office in Cedar Rapids. Other large banks in Iowa include Bankers Trust Company in Des Moines, United Bank of Iowa in Ida Grove, and Bank Iowa in West Des Moines.

Iowa Finance Job Information

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Salary
Business and Financial Operations Occupations66,910$63,610
Financial Analysts1,850$78,740
Financial Examiners930$74,330
Financial Managers8,770$110,290
Financial Specialists, All Other1,360$66,920
Loan Officers5,180$69,500
Personal Financial Advisors1,710$95,480

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of 2018.4

Iowa Salary and Job Outlook

Iowa is a great state for recent master of finance graduates since financial jobs are on the rise, significantly outpacing the national average. Over the 10-year period between 2014 and 2024, financial jobs are expected to grow in Iowa at nearly double the national average in some cases.4 Specifically, financial manager positions are projected to grow by 12.8% in Iowa as compared to the national average of 6.8%.4 Financial examiners will also see significant job growth, with a 17.9% increase in jobs projected in Iowa (compared to 9.7% nationally).4 Financial analyst positions are also expected to grow by 15% in Iowa over that 10-year period, as compared to 11.7% nationally.4 While job growth is projected to be high in Iowa, salaries tend to be lower than the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For example, financial analysts in Iowa earn an average of $78,740 as compared to $97,640 nationally.5,6 Personal financial advisors are expected to take home $95,480 in Iowa, with the national average being $123,100.5,7 Financial examiners also earn below the national average, making an average salary of $74,330 in Iowa, compared to $88,940 nationally.5,8

Additional Resources

Directory of Iowa Master’s in Finance Programs

Drake University
2507 University Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311
(512) 271-2011

Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
(515) 294-4111

Saint Ambrose University
518 Locust St
Davenport, IA 52803
(563) 333-6000

Upper Iowa University
605 Washington St
Fayette, IA 52142
(563) 4245-5200

University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
(319) 335-3500

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, Iowa: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_IA.htm
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016, Financial Analysts: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132051.htm
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016, Personal Financial Advisors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132052.htm

8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016, Financial Examiners: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132061.htm