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The 10 Best Schools For Finance In The World

What are the best schools for finance across the globe? Find out the top destinations to study finance including the likes of Oxford Saïd and Harvard

By  Fay Nyberg

Fri May 10 2024

Finance is a top career path for ambitious grads. In total, 43% of Gen Z prioritize employment in the sector, with a further 35% hoping to enter the adjacent field of investment banking and asset management, according to a 2024 survey. 

For those seeking the competitive advantage of attending a business school that’s highly-acclaimed for finance education, the annual QS MBA by Career Specialization Rankings places nine out of the top 10 best finance schools in the world in the US.

Read on to find out which business schools rank at the top of this year's list, and explore some of the unique characteristics that make the top business schools for finance stand out.

The 10 Best Schools For Finance

10. University of Michigan Ross School of Business

The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business is a top 10 ranking b-school when it comes to finance. With a fast-track finance MBA program, the accelerated course prepares ambitious students for summer internship positions at the end of the first year. 

The curriculum includes valuation, corporate financial policy, and financial modeling. There’s also a student-run MBA Investment Banking Club to support applications for internships and help Michigan Ross financiers’ careers progress. Ross MBA graduates are hired by the likes of Goldman Sachs, Barclays and BlackRock. 

9. Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management

The Johnson School is part of the University of Cornell, one of the largest universities in the US Ivy League. It ranks among the 10 best finance schools at number nine in this year's list. 

The two-year MBA course incorporates a summer internship and students can focus on finance by choosing a semester-long corporate finance immersion, which includes a mix of theory and practice.

Leading S&P 500 companies across a wide range of industries including finance hire Johnson’s MBA students for internships, including the likes of American Express and Bank of America.

Check out the Cornell Johnson MBA Class Profile

8. Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University offers a full-time MBA with a finance major. All MBA students begin their studies by looking at the basic tools and skills needed for a finance career. 

They can then hone their finance skills further by selecting electives such as value investing, or experiential learning courses with simulation elements such as impact investing and sustainable finance.

Faculty members here serve as editors of leading professional publications. Some like Professor Dean Karlan are founders of nonprofits dedicated to finding and promoting solutions to global poverty issues.

Check out the Northwestern Kellogg MBA Class Profile

7. University of Oxford Saïd Business School

If you’re looking to study a top finance MBA outside of the US, the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School is a top 10 ranking school that's based in England. The MBA curriculum includes core courses examining the foundations of business, plus elective options like corporate valuation and financial management for banks and insurers. 

MBA students at Oxford Saïd can apply to the MBA Finance Lab for the opportunity to work through case studies. The school also offers a DPhil in Finance and MSc in Financial Economics, with an option to combine a master’s degree with a one-year MBA. 

Find out how to successfully apply to the Oxford Saïd MBA

6. University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Just missing out on the top five in this ranking of the best finance schools, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business offers both an MBA in Analytic Finance and a  Master in Finance Program. Following up on the MBA with a concentration in finance means you select four finance-focused courses from options such as portfolio management and financial markets and institutions.

Esteemed faculty members here include Nobel Prize winners like Professor Eugene F. Fama, who is widely considered the ‘father of modern finance' and fellow Nobel Laureate, Professor Lars Hansen

Find out how to successfully apply to the Chicago Booth MBA

5. NYU Stern School of Business

The NYU Stern School of Business is number 5 in the QS MBA’s rankings of the best finance schools for 2023. The school takes a ‘flexible first’ approach to its MBA program, which is highly customizable. 

MBA students following the finance curriculum can select up to three specializations in related fields like financial systems and analytics, accounting, or supply chain management. There are also opportunities for real-world learning through participation in programs like the Michael Price Student Investment Fund, which offers hands-on asset management experience. 

Read the NYU Stern MBA Jobs & Salary Review

4. Columbia Business School

New York’s Columbia Business School has the lure of being located in the city that’s the center of global financial markets. Beyond the nearby bustle of Wall Street, this Ivy League school has more guest lectures and speaker visits to its campus than any other top business school. 

The MBA’s core finance elements focus on the foundational topics of value, financial accounting, and corporate finance. There are over 300 electives to choose from, with recommended courses to follow for a finance career path. The school also offers an MS in Financial Economics and a Finance PhD.  

Read the Columbia MBA Jobs & Salary Review

3. Stanford Graduate School of Business

Studying a finance MBA can give you a broad range of opportunities both within finance and beyond. For those who aspire to work with the biggest names in tech, Stanford's Graduate School of Business campus is located in the heart of Silicon Valley in California.

The first-year MBA curriculum includes the foundations of finance, financial accounting, and microeconomics. Those following a finance pathway can select year two electives including economics of the private equity industry, money and banking, and angel and venture capital financing for entrepreneurs and investors. 

Check out the Stanford GSB MBA Class Profile

2. Harvard Business School 

Boston-based Harvard Business School has a dedicated finance MBA curriculum and boasts a busy calendar of seminars delivered by top global names in finance.

The MBA program’s core modules in finance develop student’s ability to make financial and managerial decisions. Year two electives include investment management and field courses such as value creation in small and medium firms.

Among the key factors that make this Ivy League school standout are its award-winning faculty members. For example, professor Lauren J.Cohen was invited to brief US congress on policy matters and delivered a keynote address at the launch of Nigeria’s Central Bank digital currency.

Dive into the Harvard MBA Notable Alumni

1. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Wharton is the leading school for an MBA for finance in the QS list, coming out on top against the other best finance schools in the US.

The b-school has been a leading name in finance education and research for over 120 years. Global names in finance hire Wharton MBA students as staff and interns, including the Bank of America, Barclays, and Goldman Sachs & Company.

The Wharton MBA curriculum includes core modules such as corporate finance and macroeconomics, and the global economic environment. 

The wide variety of electives means you can customize the program to support a financial career pathway. Examples of options include international financial markets and cryptocurrencies or data science for finance. 

Read the Wharton MBA Jobs & Salary Review