Finance Programs and Careers in Alabama
The following guide provides detailed information on finance degrees and careers in Alabama. Those interested in an advanced degree in finance in the state will find a wide range of options. Some universities offer full-time, accelerated programs, while other schools have evening and weekend classes or degrees that can be completed fully online. For example, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a Finance emphasis or a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree. Graduates can find a variety of career opportunities in the finance industry in Alabama after graduation. Continue reading for details on specific degrees in finance, as well as potential post-graduation employment opportunities and salary information for those seeking careers in this field.
- There are 20 colleges and universities with finance degree programs in Alabama.1
- No schools offer a certificate in finance.1
- 1 school offers an associate’s degree in finance.1
- 19 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in finance.1
- 7 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in finance.1
- 1 school ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- No schools ranked in Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Business and Finance Majors 2020.3
- No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Finance Programs 2021.4
- No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Finance Programs 2021.5
For not-for-profit colleges and universities with finance degree programs.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of Finance Programs
- Top-Ranked Schools with Finance Programs in Alabama
- Select Schools in Alabama with Finance Degrees
- Alabama Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
- Finance Associations in Alabama
Alabama Finance Program Comparison
We have developed the following table to help you compare all of the finance programs in Alabama from not-for-profit schools. In addition to allowing you to compare the business school’s accreditation, finance degrees that appear in bold are Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute University Affiliation Programs, those that have been recognized for curricula aligned to preparing for the CFA Exam.
|School Name||Accreditation||Finance Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate6||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Median Debt7||Net Price1|
|Alabama A&M University||AACSB||BS-Finance;|
|Alabama State University||ACBSP||BS-Finance;|
|Auburn University at Montgomery||AACSB||BSBA-Finance;|
|Jacksonville State University||AACSB||BS-Finance;|
|Jefferson State University||ACBSP||AAS-Business Management: Banking & Finance||N.Av.||N.Av.||—||$3,794||N.Av.|
|BSBA-Economics: Financial Economics;|
BSBA-Global Business: Accounting and Finance;
BSBA-Risk Management and Insurance;
MBA-Global Business: International Finance
|Troy University-Dothan||ACBSP||BSBA-Global Business: Accounting and Finance||N.Av.||N.Av.||Yes||N.Av.||N.Av.|
|Troy University-Montgomery||ACBSP||BSBA-Global Business: Accounting and Finance||N.Av.||N.Av.||Yes||N.Av.||N.Av.|
|University of Alabama||AACSB||BS-Finance;|
Minor-Risk Management, Insurance, and Financial Services;
Minor-Personal Wealth Management;
|University of Alabama at Birmingham||AACSB||BS-Finance;|
|University of Alabama in Huntsville||AACSB||BSBA-Finance;|
|University of Mobile||ACBSP||BSBA-Finance||N.Av.||55%||—||$16,750||$21,847|
|University of Montevallo||AACSB||BBA-Finance||N.Av.||55%||—||$17,028||$16,027|
|University of North Alabama||AACSB||BBA-Finance;|
|University of South Alabama||AACSB||BSBA-Finance;|
|University of West Alabama||ACBSP||BBA-Finance;|
BBA-Quantitative Finance and Econometrics;
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Top-Ranked Schools with Finance Programs in Alabama
Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019
- University of Alabama (#50)
Georgetown CEW’s ROI Ranking by Long-Term Net Present Value 2019
The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) has compared 4,500 colleges and universities on graduates’ return on investment (ROI). We use their net present value (NPV) ranking, which is the current dollar value of earning a four-year degree from the school over a 40-year horizon.
- Auburn University (#576; $995,000)
- Samford University (#627; $982,000)
- University of Alabama in Huntsville (#709; $960,000)
- University of Alabama (#975; $905,000)
- University of Alabama at Birmingham (#1,246; $854,000)
- University of South Alabama (#1,706; $793,000)
- University of North Alabama (#1,727; $789,000)
- Troy University (#1,830; $776,000)
- University of West Alabama (#1,872; $770,000)
- Jacksonville State University (#2,252; $724,000)7
Select Schools in Alabama with Finance Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
At Alabama A&M University’s College of Business and Public Affairs, students can earn an AACSB-accredited Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance degree. The 123-credit hour program prepares students for finance careers in not-for-profit, private, and public organizations. The required coursework includes Managerial Finance, International Financial Management, and Principles of Finance. A 147-150 credit hour combined 4+1 program is available for students to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance in only a year after completing the BS. The College of Business and Public Affairs offers students extracurricular professional organizations such as the Finance Club and TVA Investment Challenge Program. Students must pass a Senior Exit Exam prior to graduation and a grade of “C” or better is required for all major courses. A minor in Finance is also available.
The University of Mobile’s ACBSP-accredited School of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a track in Finance. In addition to basic course requirements, the program consists of 54 core business credits that emphasize leadership, management, communication, and ethics. Students complete an additional 18 credit hours in Finance for the Finance track, including such courses as Personal Finance; Financial Management; and Money and Banking. Students learn the fundamental skills to succeed in business environments through practical application and real-world experiences. Internships with local businesses are encouraged. Students may opt to participate in the full-service, student-run creative agency the Good Work Agency to gain business branding experience. Merit-based scholarships are available for qualifying students.
Traditional Master’s Programs
The AACSB-accredited Brock School of Business at Samford University offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program that aims to prepare students for leadership positions in global business settings. Students can choose a Finance concentration to complete the degree with 39-48 total credit hours. The curriculum emphasizes professional ethics, teamwork, and effective communication. Required coursework includes Managerial Finance, Economics of Competitive Strategy, and Operations Management. Prerequisite coursework may need to be completed prior to beginning the program. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 must be maintained. Prospective students must demonstrate managerial potential through work experience or prior academic experience. This program is also available online. A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a concentration in Finance is also offered.
The University of Alabama’s (UA) AACSB-accredited Culverhouse College of Commerce offers a Master of Science (MS) in Finance degree that can be completed in one year. The 30-credit hour curriculum focuses on foundational theories and applied knowledge in investment banking, corporate finance, and financial derivatives. Students examine topics such as the role of financial intermediaries, the management of markets, and the valuation of financial assets. Students are not required to specialize but can choose to pursue formal tracks. The Financial Engineering track is designed for students interested in working in the financial services industry, and the Corporate Finance track is aimed at those pursuing careers within major corporations. A Real Estate track is also available. Required coursework includes Financial Management, Quantitative Investment Analysis, and Bank Administration. Students without a background in business may need to complete prerequisite courses before starting the program.
Students can earn an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at the University of North Alabama (UNA). By choosing specific electives, students can earn a concentration in Finance that prepares students for positions in banking, investment analysis, or corporate finance. Students can start the 34-credit hour program at three different points throughout the year and may complete the curriculum in 12 to 18 months by studying full-time (or in 24 to 30 months studying on a part-time basis). Managers and career professionals with at least five years of work experience can advance their careers by studying leadership strategies, managerial skills, and advanced business accounting. For those with significant business experience, the University of North Alabama also offers an online Executive MBA. A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance is also available.
Online and Hybrid Programs
At the AACSB-accredited Raymond J. Harbert College of Business at Auburn University (AU), students can earn an online Master of Science (MS) in Finance following the same curriculum as on-campus students. The program consists of 30 credit hours and some credits can be transferred from another university with administrative approval. Students who have not completed undergraduate prerequisites such as microeconomics and business analytics may need to take additional coursework before studying core subjects like financial analysis, financial engineering, and investments. After completing the core curriculum, students choose either a thesis or non-thesis option to finish their degree. Coursework includes Applied Financial Management, Financial Analysis, and Cost Analysis and Systems. By adding just a few additional hours of coursework, students can complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in addition to the MS. This program is only open to students from the United States.
Troy University offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Global Business with a concentration in Accounting and Finance that can be completed 100% online. The 36-credit hour program prepares students to solve real-world problems faced by financial managers through hands-on tasks such as preparing and analyzing financial reports. Managerial finance is emphasized throughout the program providing students with opportunities to practice advanced cost accounting duties. Students also gain an understanding of financial analysis through studying investments, portfolio analysis, security analysis, and financial planning. Required courses in the curriculum include Financial Reporting and Analysis; Intermediate Financial Management; and Financial Statement Analysis. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Global Business with a specialization in Finance is also available online.
The AACSB-accredited Collat School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Students interested in a finance concentration can complete an additional three credit hours beyond the 36 required for the MBA. Students are trained in analytical processes, organizational behavior, and strategic planning. The curriculum prepares graduates for decision-making in leadership roles in modern organizations. The program is ideal for working professionals, with courses available in the evening or completely online. Coursework includes Accounting and Finance for Managers; Topics in Corporate Finance; and Global Financial Management. Most students complete the program in one to two years with part-time options available. A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance and a minor in Finance are also available.
Alabama Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
Alabama is home to many large banking headquarters, including Regions Financial Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, and centers for BBVA Compass Bancshares and Superior Bancorp. Wells Fargo has an operations center in the state, as does the investment management company Harbert Management Corporation. Alabama is home to a sizeable automotive manufacturing industry, including Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Hyundai. State banks and financial services companies operate in the cities of Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, and Mobile, as well as in other hubs around the state. Graduates from finance schools in Alabama may find positions in one of these companies as analysts, managers, bankers, accountants, and more.
The average annual salary for financial analysts in Alabama is $85,240, lower than the national average of $94,160.8,9 However, financial analyst positions in the state are projected to grow at a rate of 9.1% through 2028, slightly higher than the national average of 6.2%.10 Financial managers earn a mean wage of $129,090 in the state, lower than the national average of $147,530.11 Financial manager positions are projected to grow at a rate of 16.4% through 2028, on par with the national average of 16%.10 The nonmetropolitan area of Birmingham-Hoover has the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for financial examiners nationally.12 Statewide, financial examiner positions are expected to grow at a rate of 9.5%, slightly higher than the national average of 7.1%.10 Personal financial advisors in Montgomery earn the highest salary of all metropolitan areas in the nation with an annual average of $178,100 a year, much higher than the national average of $119,290.13 These positions are projected to grow in the state by 6.7% through 2028, on par with the national average projection of 7%.10
Alabama Finance Salary Information
|Occupation||Number Employed8||Average Salary8|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||78,600||$73,180|
|Financial and Investment Analysts and Other Specialists||2,110||$85,240|
|Personal Financial Advisors||1,950||$118,950|
Finance Associations in Alabama
- Chartered Financial Analysts Society Alabama (CFA Society AL): State chapter of the global professional network for those in the investment industry that promotes professional standards and provides networking opportunities.
- Association for Financial Professionals Alabama (AFP Alabama): Professional association for those in the treasury and cash management field with networking events and continuing education opportunities.
- Government Finance Officers Association Alabama (GFOAA): Statewide organization for professionals in the finance sector of the government or other not-for-profit groups that provides training to professionals in the industry and also hosts association events.
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Forbes Best Business Schools 2019: https://www.forbes.com/business-schools/list/
3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2020 Edition. The Princeton Review, 2019.
4. US News & World Report Best Undergraduate Finance Schools 2021: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/business-finance
5. US News & World Report Best Graduate Finance Schools 2021: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/finance-rankings
6. US News & World Report Best Business Schools 2021: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools
7. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Ranking ROI of 4,500 US Colleges and Universities: https://cew.georgetown.edu/cew-reports/CollegeROI/
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Alabama: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_al.htm
9. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial and Investment Analysts, Financial Risk Specialists, and Financial Specialists, All Other: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132098.htm
10. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm
11. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial Managers: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm
12. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial Examiners: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132061.htm
13. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Personal Financial Advisors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132052.htm