Finance Schools in Virginia
This guide is designed to give students important information on graduate degrees focused on finance in Virginia. Virginia universities offer a range of financially focused master’s degrees, including an MBA with an emphasis in finance, a Master of Arts (MA) in Economics with a concentration in financial economics, and a Master of Science (MS) in Commerce. Many of these schools emphasize the importance of global economics and offer an international residency. The variety offered by Virginia master’s in finance schools allows students in the state to find a program that fits their individual career goals. These programs also offer flexibility in course load and location requirements, offering part-time enrollment and even fully online degrees. If you are ready to find a finance job in Virginia, search our up-to-date job listings to see what’s available in your area. If you are a working professional and would like to know more about online degrees, read our Guide to Earning a Master’s Degree Online.
Finance Program Stats
- There are 8 four-year not-for-profit colleges and universities with finance degree programs in Virginia.1
- 1 school offers a master’s or advanced degree in finance.1
- Highest graduation rate*: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 84%.1
- Highest transfer-out rate*: Old Dominion University 29%.1
- Highest net price per year*: Hampton University $24,242.1
- Lowest net price per year*: Radford University $14,084.1
- Annual undergraduate tuition range for finance programs in Virginia*: $9,750-$32,582.1
- 5 schools in the Businessweek’s Top Business Undergraduate Programs in 2016: University of Virginia (#5), College of WIlliam and Mary (#12), James Madison University (#41), University of Richmond (#46), Virginia Tech (#64).2
- 2 schools in the US News Best Business Graduate Schools in 2017 (top 100): University of Virginia (#14), College of William and Mary (#57).3
*For not-for-profit 4-year colleges and universities that offer a finance degree program.
Schools in Virginia with Master’s in Finance Degrees
Traditional Master’s in Finance Programs
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business offers a Master of Science (MS) in Business with a concentration in finance. This 45-credit, 15-course finance degree can be completed either full-time or part-time. The 15 credits of prerequisite and foundation courses may be waived for qualified students. The MS in Business is a part of VCU’s Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate Department, allowing students to take elective courses in a variety of topics. Core courses offered include Financial Management of Financial Institutions, International Finance, and Current Issues in Corporate Finance. A course entitled Field Project in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate is taken at the end of the program and is designed to give students hands-on knowledge and experience before graduation. In this course, students work closely with a faculty advisor to create a practical research project and produce an investigative written report. This program is best suited for students with an undergraduate degree in business, but those with a background in economics, mathematics, or engineering may also be considered for the program. An undergraduate degree from an accredited university is required to apply, as well as GMAT or GRE scores. Application deadlines are in March, July, and November.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Economics with a concentration in financial economics. This 30-credit program is designed to help students enter economic analysis roles in both government and corporate settings and prepare for finance and economics doctoral programs. Foundation classes such as Concepts in Economics and Financial Concepts of Management are offered early in the program to give students a fundamental understanding of economics before delving into more specialized study. Specialized electives for the financial economics concentration include Financial Management, Investments and Security Analysis, and Derivatives. Virginia Commonwealth University also offers graduate professional development in the form of career coaching, workshops and webinars, and an Executive MBA Alumni Network. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited university is required for admission, along with GMAT or GRE scores. Application deadlines are in July, November, and March. Prerequisite courses of Calculus with Analytic Geometry or Introduction to Mathematical Economics is also required prior to admission.
University of Virginia
The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia offers a Master of Science (MS) in Commerce with a concentration in finance designed for students without a business background. This 10-month, full-time program is aimed at recent graduates of liberal arts, science, or engineering degrees. Introduction to Financial Accounting, Principles of Economics: Microeconomics, and Introduction to Statistics are all required prerequisite courses and must be completed prior to admission. This program is broken down into three parts: Part 1: Build a Foundation in Business, Part 2: Develop a Specialty, and Part 3: Study the Global Context of Business. The business foundation courses offered include Strategic Cost Management, Financial Accounting, and Marketing and Quantitative Analysis. Finance is offered as a specialty and this track helps prepare students for careers in corporate finance, investment banking, financial consulting, and more. The final portion of the UVA degree, the Global Immersion Experience, is an international program that focuses on the complexities of global commerce. This term starts with a week-long on-campus intensive course designed to build a foundation for the international experience and is followed by a three-week international residency. These trips take place in late April through early June and are a requirement for graduation. The class of 2017 had a 97% job placement rate, with 83% of those jobs being secured through the university. Fannie Mae, JPMorgan, and Bank of America were recruiting companies for UVA students within the past four years.
Online Master’s in Finance Programs
George Mason University
George Mason University’s School of Business offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Financial Management that can be taken on campus or, starting in August 2018, as a fully online program. The on-campus program can be completed in under two years and classes are offered in the evenings, two days a week. This 48-credit program requires 30 credits of core courses, a three-credit global requirement, and 15 elective credits in a chosen track. Core courses include Managerial Finance, Statistics for Business Decision Making, and Financial Reporting and Decision Making. The global residency course, Global Business Perspectives, follows the core curriculum and precedes elective courses. This is designed so students can incorporate a global perspective into their area of emphasis. Locations change with the global economy, with previous trips being held Brazil, China, and Germany. Five elective courses are then taken within a chosen track, with Financial Management courses including Corporate Financial Policy, Venture Capital and Private Finance, and International Finance. The fully online, part-time MBA can be completed in 33 months with an optional certificate in business analytics built into the curriculum. The content and evaluation methods of both the on-campus and online programs are identical. Application deadlines are in November, February, and April and GRE or GMAT scores are required.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) offers a Professional Master of Business Administration (MBA) that is geared towards full-time working professionals looking to build executive business skills. Virginia Tech’s approach to the MBA gives working professionals the opportunity to meet with fellow classmates and professors once a month while utilizing electronic and online content for distance coursework. Classes are held one full Friday and Saturday of every month, rotating between the university’s Roanoke and Richmond campuses. This program is cohort based and each class has approximately 30 students. Courses include Financial and Economic Environment of Business, Principles of Financial Management, Investments and Portfolio Management, and Global Finance. This program is specifically designed for students with experience working in a professional setting. Three years of full-time professional working experience are required to apply, with the class average being nine to 11 years of working experience. GMAT or GRE scores are also required to apply for most students, but may be waived depending on applicants’ previous degree and work experience. Because the program is cohort-based, entry is only allowed for the fall term.
Virginia Career Opportunities for Graduates
In Virginia, the financial sector is a steadily growing market, with many banks and corporations based in northern Virginia. Large companies based in Virginia include RosettaStone, Capital Advantage, and Logi Analytics. Important financial institutions are also based in the state, including Capital One, which is a major employer in McLean, Virginia. Navy Federal Credit Union, Oxford Finance, and Freddie Mac are other notable financial institutions headquartered in the area. Due to proximity to Washington DC, many government contractors are also sourced out of Virginia and often need financially-trained employees. Considering the major corporations, financial institutions, and government contractors that are based here, Virginia is an important state for those interested in finance and offers a growing job market for recent master’s in finance graduates.
Virginia Finance Job Information
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Salary|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||261,530||$82,750|
|Financial Specialists, All Other||4,380||$86,780|
|Personal Financial Advisors||4,560||$124,360|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of 2017.4
*Data not available from the BLS.
Virginia Salary and Job Outlook
The financial sector is increasing in Virginia, with the state often leading in job growth and salaries. Virginia is second only to Washington DC for the highest concentration of business and financial operations occupations (major group) and it also ranks fifth for annual mean wage.5 The salaries are also comparable to the national averages in specific financial careers; for example, personal financial advisors earn an average of $124,360 in Virginia, compared to the national average of $123,100.6,4 Financial specialists (all other) also earn high salaries in Virginia, making $86,780 compared to an average of $76,230 earned nationally.7,4 Projections for job growth in Virginia’s financial sector are also promising. Over the 10-year period between 2014 and 2024, financial analyst positions in Virginia are expected to increase by 16.4%, compared to the national projected growth rate of 11.7%.8 Financial examiners may also be in higher demand in Virginia, with an expected growth rate over the same 10-year period of 16%, compared to 9% nationally.8
- National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors – Virginia Chapter – NAIFA Virginia is a professional organization committed to promoting and enhancing the insurance and finance industry.
- Commonwealth Association for Financial Professionals (CAFP) – Professional association that provides programs for members to expand knowledge of financial topics.
Directory of Virginia Master’s in Finance Programs
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
925 Prices Fork Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Virginia: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_va.htm
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016 Occupational Employment and Wages, Business and Financial Operations Occupations: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes130000.htm
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016 Occupational Employment and Wages, Personal Financial Advisors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132052.htm
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016 Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial Specialists, All Other: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132099.htm
8. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm