Best Undergraduate Finance Schools

Updated on January 3, 2024

Finance is a popular and competitive field to get into. For those looking to break into finance, whether investment banking, financial analysis, asset management or other areas, picking the right undergraduate program is key. The following are 10 of the top undergraduate finance schools based on academics, career outcomes, networking opportunities and more.

New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business

Location: New York, NY

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Avg SAT: 1480

Tuition: $53,308

Avg Salary: $77,920

Website: stern.nyu.edu

The NYU Stern School of Business is one of the top business schools in the country. Its undergraduate business program allows students to concentrate in finance, providing them with an in-depth education in financial markets, investments, financial modeling and more. Graduates go on to careers at top financial firms in New York and beyond.

University of Pennsylvania Wharton School

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Avg SAT: 1520

Tuition: $57,244

Avg Salary: $77,152

Website: wharton.upenn.edu

The Wharton School at Penn is considered one of the best business schools in the world. Undergraduates concentrating in finance receive world-class training in financial analysis, business valuation, derivatives, Excel modeling and more. Wharton’s powerful alumni network leads to careers at top financial institutions globally.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management

Location: Cambridge, MA

Rating: 10/10

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Avg SAT: 1540

Tuition: $53,450

Avg Salary: $93,400

Website: mitsloan.mit.edu

MIT Sloan is one of the most prestigious undergraduate business programs. Students receive rigorous training in finance, taking advanced courses in investments, corporate finance, options pricing, blockchain and financial technology. Graduates are highly sought after by quantitative hedge funds, investment banks and fintech firms.

University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business

Location: Berkeley, CA

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 16%

Avg SAT: 1425

Tuition: $44,007 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $73,576

Website: haas.berkeley.edu

UC Berkeley’s business program allows undergraduates to study finance full-time during their last two years. The Haas School of Business is located near Silicon Valley, providing prime access to finance careers in tech. Students take courses in fintech, blockchain, algorithmic trading and venture capital.

Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Location: Bloomington, IN

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Avg SAT: 1325

Tuition: $20,752

Avg Salary: $60,300

Website: kelley.iu.edu

The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University offers highly-ranked business and finance programs at an affordable price for in-state students. Finance students complete the Applied Investment Management (AIM) program, managing a $23 million portfolio. Kelley also has certificates in asset management, corporate finance and more.

University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business

Location: Austin, TX

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 45%

Avg SAT: 1325

Tuition: $38,914

Avg Salary: $60,800

Website: www.mccombs.utexas.edu

McCombs offers undergraduate degrees in finance and financial analysis. The curriculum focuses on Excel modeling, business valuation, portfolio analysis and more. McCombs’ location in Austin provides access to finance and technology jobs. Students can get hands-on experience through internships.

University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 27%

Avg SAT: 1465

Tuition: $55,046

Avg Salary: $70,400

Website: michiganross.umich.edu

The University of Michigan’s BBA program allows students to concentrate in finance, taking advanced courses in derivatives, venture capital, financial analysis and modeling. Ross graduates obtain careers across finance, including investment banking, private equity, corporate finance and commercial banking.

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Location: Washington D.C.

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 14%

Avg SAT: 1445

Tuition: $57,480

Avg Salary: $77,920

Website: msb.georgetown.edu

Georgetown’s undergraduate business program offers a finance track teaching financial modeling, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and other topics. Located in Washington D.C., McDonough provides access to finance internships and jobs in the nation’s capital.

Boston College Carroll School of Management

Location: Boston, MA

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 27%

Avg SAT: 1425

Tuition: $60,550

Avg Salary: $70,500

Website: www.bc.edu/csom

Boston College finance majors take courses in investments, equity analysis, fixed income securities and derivatives. They also manage an endowed investment portfolio. BC’s Boston location gives access to the finance and asset management industries in the city.

Babson College

Location: Wellesley, MA

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 24%

Avg SAT: 1350

Tuition: $52,816

Avg Salary: $67,600

Website: www.babson.edu

Babson specializes in entrepreneurship education but also grants BS degrees in finance. The finance program focuses on venture capital, private equity, social impact investing and applied finance skills critical for startups. Finance students manage a student-run fund with $250K under management.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best double major or minor combinations with a finance degree?

Common double major or minor combinations with finance include accounting, economics, mathematics and computer science. These provide complementary analytical and quantitative skills.

Are internships necessary for a career in finance?

Yes, finance internships are essential for full-time roles after graduation. They provide hands-on experience. Top firms like investment banks predominantly hire candidates who have completed 1-2 prior internships.

What jobs and starting salaries can one expect with an undergraduate finance degree?

Common first jobs include investment banking analyst ($85K), private equity/venture capital associate ($70-90K), financial analyst ($60-70K) and asset management associate ($55-75K). Salaries vary but all are lucrative fields.

Is a master’s degree or MBA required to advance in a finance career?

While not always required, an MBA or master’s degree like a MiF or MS Finance can be useful for long-term career advancement, especially into leadership roles in finance. Many professionals pursue graduate education at top schools mid-career.

How important are quantitative and analytical skills for undergraduate finance programs?

Strong mathematical, analytical and Excel modeling skills are crucial for finance degrees. Students take multiple courses in statistics, econometrics and managerial decision modeling. Being comfortable analyzing quantitative data is key.

Should students consider attending Ivy League or elite schools for finance?

Yes, attending a top ranked school like Wharton, MIT Sloan or Harvard gives a recruiting edge for competitive finance jobs at firms that focus hiring on target schools. However, finance careers are still accessible from many other strong business schools.

How competitive is landing a job in investment banking or private equity after graduation?

Jobs in investment banking, private equity, hedge funds and other high-paying finance roles are highly competitive. Networking early via clubs, alumni contacts and informational interviews can increase chances of landing interviews and offers for top firms.

Should those interested in finance consider minoring or double majoring in computer science?

Yes, given the influence of financial technology and big data in finance, minoring or double majoring in CS can be a significant advantage. Programming skills allow analysts to build financial models more efficiently and automate workflows.

How important are freshman year grades for finance recruiting timelines?

Investment banks and some finance firms recruit sophomores for internships, so freshman year grades are important. Students should target a GPA of 3.5 or higher to be competitive for finance roles and top firms that recruit early on-campus.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.