The US is home to some of the world's biggest banks including the likes of JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs. As the largest economy in the world, studying a US Master in Finance program is a great way to launch your finance career.
If you’re an early-career grad looking to land a job in the industry, a Master in Finance offers as a strong foundation in finance concepts along with experience and connections at some of the country’s top firms.
To help you find the right program, we compiled a list of six top Masters in Finance in the USA, which are ranked highly by the Financial Times and QS in the latest Master in Finance rankings.*
Top Masters in Finance USA
1. University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business
QS Rank: 3 in USA (29 Globally)
Located in sunny California, the Master of Science in Finance at USC Marshall kicks off with a week-long math boot camp to get you into the mindset of a financial analyst.
While some of the programs on this list offer an optional summer internship, USC builds it into the MSF program alongside career support tailored to careers in finance. This support helped 95% of the class of 2019 receive job offers. The average Master in Finance salary for USC grads in 2019 was $74,987, according to the class employment report.
For international students, there is more good news: the whole program is STEM designated, meaning that students on an F-1 visa can apply for a 24-month extension of their optional practical training (OPT) after graduation. This means you can stay and work in the US for up to three years without an H-1B visa.
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management
QS Rank: 1 in USA (2 Globally)
MIT is known around the world for its excellence in STEM teaching and the Master in Finance program is no exception.
At 132 students, the class size is large for this list, with an average of 11 months’ experience across the cohort.
The STEM-designated program offers optional concentrations for students who want to specialize their learning further, with four topics available: financial engineering, impact finance, capital markets, or corporate finance.
The school also offers Action Learning modules, where students can apply their coursework in a practical environment. The school’s Finance Lab for example sees MiF students work alongside corporate partners to complete various data analysis tasks.
3. University of California at San Diego, Rady School of Management
FT Rank: 4 in USA (55 Globally)
This is partly due to the program's STEM designation, which makes it attractive to international students seeking careers in the US after graduation. It may also be thanks to the school’s global reputation for its work in econometrics, the statistical analysis of economic relationships.
Along with the mostly international cohort, the MiF is a great business master's for women, who make up 60% of the cohort. This bucks a trend across US business schools and ensuring a uniquely diverse experience.
4. Bentley University
FT Rank: 3 in USA (54 Globally)
Though not the biggest name on this list, Bentley University’s MiF program boasts the highest salary percentage increase for any FT-ranked US school, at 41%. Bentley grads are also among the top 25 highest earners in the FT rankings, with the FT reporting average salaries for Bentley graduates of $86,250.
Bentley offers students the chance to complete their teaching in under a year by taking summer courses, but if STEM-designation is important to you, it will take 12 to 16 months to complete.
5. George Washington University, School of Business
FT Rank: 2 in USA (47 Globally)
Located in the nation’s capital, George Washington University offers students the chance to be close to the action. As well as landing top finance jobs at institutions like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, alumni have also found success at public and government institutions like the World Bank and the US Department of Treasury.
The STEM-designated Master of Science In Finance is the second-most international FT-ranked Master's in Finance in the USA at 95% international students. However, this appears to have been impacted by the pandemic, as this number fell to 77% for the 2020 incoming class.
6. University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business
FT Rank: 1 in USA (43 Globally)
Austin is a great place to study for aspiring finance workers. It was ranked as the best city in the US for jobs by Forbes, and UT Austin’s program is the top US Master in Finance in 2020, according to the Financial Times.
The program sits at number 43 overall on the FT’s list and boasts the highest graduate salary of all FT-ranked US schools at $96,952, on par with many post-experience graduate salaries.
At just 10 months, the McCombs MiF is one of the shortest programs on this list, but the whole program is STEM-certified. The program offers five specializations, in Energy Finance, Corporate Finance, Consulting, Asset Management, and Investment Banking. Students can also take part in a business Practicum over the last half of the fall semester and the first half of the spring semester, working directly with sponsoring companies within their area of interest.
The program isn’t the most gender-balanced, with just 25% women in the cohort, but the small class sizes ensure that you are likely to be received into a supportive environment. The career outcomes speak for themselves; past recruiters include household names like Deloitte, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo.
If a career in finance is your goal, a US Master in Finance at one of these schools is a great bet.
Particularly if you are an international student, the STEM certifications offered by all these schools present an attractive route into the finance sector in the US, as well as a chance to tap into supportive student and alumni networks.
All programs listed are pre-experience, full-time, in-person degrees conferring qualifications solely in finance (as opposed to combined degrees like Financial Engineering).
All images in this article are sourced from business school Facebook Pages.