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25 Best Colleges for Finance 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 2/21/2020

This list highlights the best 25 colleges with a Bachelor's in Finance, in order of highest median salary one year after college. With a median starting salary of $107,700, University of Pennsylvania outranks the other schools on the list. The lowest median debt for the top 25 Finance Degrees is $14,633, at University of Washington - Seattle. The range of median salaries for the top 25 schools is $60,800-$107,700.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Philadelphia (PA) Philadelphia (PA) $63,452 $19,500 $107,700
#2 #2 Pittsburgh (PA) Pittsburgh (PA) $61,344 Not Reported $91,500
#3 #3 Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $62,052 $17,000 $81,400
#4 #4 Notre Dame (IN) Notre Dame (IN) $60,301 $19,000 $77,100
#5 #5 Winston Salem (NC) Winston Salem (NC) $62,128 $18,250 $71,900
#6 #6 Champaign (IL) Champaign (IL) $33,686 $19,500 $68,700
#7 #7 Chestnut Hill (MA) Chestnut Hill (MA) $64,176 $16,375 $68,500
#8 #8 Villanova (PA) Villanova (PA) $61,618 $25,793 $68,300
#9 #9 Bethlehem (PA) Bethlehem (PA) $59,930 $22,196 $68,200
#10 #10 Dallas (TX) Dallas (TX) $61,980 $19,270 $68,100
#11 #11 Santa Clara (CA) Santa Clara (CA) $57,534 $19,500 $68,100
#12 #12 Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $62,200 $24,500 $67,800
#13 #13 Bronx (NY) Bronx (NY) $58,467 $26,000 $66,900
#14 #14 Austin (TX) Austin (TX) $41,070 $16,750 $66,800
#15 #15 College Park (MD) College Park (MD) $39,469 $18,077 $64,600
#17 #17 Salt Lake City (UT) Salt Lake City (UT) $29,837 $15,000 $63,400
#18 #18 New Orleans (LA) New Orleans (LA) $62,844 $22,500 $62,800
#19 #19 Syracuse (NY) Syracuse (NY) $60,135 $27,000 $62,400
#20 #20 Harrisonburg (VA) Harrisonburg (VA) $30,152 $22,250 $62,100
#21 #21 State College (PA) State College (PA) $38,651 $25,000 $61,800
#22 #22 Philadelphia (PA) Philadelphia (PA) $58,965 $27,500 $61,500
#23 #23 Waltham (MA) Waltham (MA) $56,500 $23,250 $61,300
#24 #24 Madison (WI) Madison (WI) $39,427 $22,000 $60,900
#25 #25 Seattle (WA) Seattle (WA) $40,740 $14,633 $60,800

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in Finance degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Philadelphia (PA)
Median Salary $107,700
Median Debt $19,500
Annual Tuition $63,452
Graduation Rate 96%

The University of Pennsylvania offers a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a concentration in Finance through its competitive Wharton School.

The program places a strong emphasis on a broad academic experience, as well as on the basic tools needed to successfully cope with the rapidly evolving global economy. The program emphasizes a range of possible careers, from banking and asset management to portfolio and financial institution management. Students will learn the basics of markets, data analytics, the relationship between governments and the private sector, ethical management, and various global factors.

The program is extremely flexible, accommodating student interests. All majors must choose a concentration, which is a four-course cluster, and students may choose more than one. Among the concentrations are Finance, Statistics, Global Analysis, and Business Analytics.

Among the courses in the program are Corporate Finance, Investment Management, Financial Derivatives, Corporate Valuation, and Behavioral Finance. About 25% of students study abroad, and 30% graduate with dual majors.

The University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia. The school was founded in 1740 and belongs to the Ivy League.

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Pittsburgh (PA)
Median Salary $91,500
Median Debt Not Reported
Annual Tuition $61,344
Graduation Rate 91%

Carnegie Mellon University features a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a concentration in Global Markets and Finance. Unusually, the Economics degree is a joint program of the university’s Tepper School of Economics and its Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Science. This results in economics within a strong liberal arts context.

The Economics program itself is heavy on data research and analysis. The general degree program teaches students a broad understanding of all facets of economics, including markets, investment, and global systems, as well as ethics and communications. The concentration in Global Markets and Finance is focused on macroeconomics and global financial issues such as exchange rates and the role of central banks. Students will gain a comprehensive grounding in national and international finance. They will learn analytical skills, the importance of data-driven decision making, and the interrelationships of national and international institutions.

Courses include Econometrics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Big Data and Machine Learning in Finance, and Financial Crises and Risk. Study abroad is strongly encouraged.

The school is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Washington D.C.
Median Salary $81,400
Median Debt $17,000
Annual Tuition $62,052
Graduation Rate 96%

Georgetown University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Finance through its McDonough School of Business. The major requires 40 credits and results in a strong business and economics understanding with a degree in the liberal arts tradition.

The program focuses on a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of finance, including a background in corporate finance, international finance, global institutions, financial statement analysis, and corporate governance. Students will learn the relationships of various factors in the field, data and analytical skills, and other tools to better understand the workings of finance in a rapidly changing context. They will learn to apply basic finance tools to new technologies.

The course offerings include International Finance, Investment Banking, Global Financial Markets and Institutions, and Fintech and Blockchain. Study abroad is encouraged. Graduates are prepared for employment in finance, but many students find careers in other fields. They are also well prepared for graduate studies.

The university was founded in 1789, and is the oldest Catholic university in the United States. It is grounded in the Jesuit traditions of academics and service. Georgetown is located in Washington, D.C.

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Notre Dame (IN)
Median Salary $77,100
Median Debt $19,000
Annual Tuition $60,301
Graduation Rate 96%

The University of Notre Dame features a Bachelor of Arts in Finance through its Mendoza College of Business.

The program is grounded in Notre Dame’s liberal arts tradition. The Finance program exposes its students to the full range of careers in finance, including investment banking, money management, corporate finance, and real estate. Students will learn the basic tools in finance, such as data analysis. They will be well prepared for employment or entering graduate programs. Many students opt for MBAs or law school.

Students are encouraged to study abroad. Several of Notre Dame’s departments offer courses at the London campus, including the Mendoza School. Courses featured in the degree program include Managerial Economics, Corporate Governance & Catholic Social Teaching, Global Portfolio Management, and Investment Theory.

The university is located in Notre Dame, Indiana, adjacent to South Bend. Founded in 1849, UND remains committed to the ideals of Catholic education, combining academic quality with social ethics. About 80% of the student body is Catholic.

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Winston Salem (NC)
Median Salary $71,900
Median Debt $18,250
Annual Tuition $62,128
Graduation Rate 90%

Through its School of Business, Wake Forest University offers a Bachelor of Science in Finance. The program emphasizes a mix of financial economics, accounting, and applied statistics. It’s also a gateway degree to Wake’s one year MA in accounting.

The program focus is oriented to financial accounting and prepares students for careers in data-driven aspects of finance, such as portfolio management, investment and commercial banking, and financial consulting. Students will learn to use accounting and data analysis tools. Students are encouraged to pursue an internship between the junior and senior year, and to also pursue certifications like Chartered Financial Analyst. Studying abroad is also encouraged, and 63% of the students in the Business School do so.

Among the courses in the curriculum are Legal Environment of Business, Applied Quantitative Analysis for Finance, Financial Markets & Institutions, and Fixed Income and Financial Engineering.

Wake is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The university dates to 1834. It has a historical association with the Baptist Church, but is now ecumenical Christian.

Visit Wake Forest University's website.