Finance Programs and Careers in Arkansas
This guide provides information for students looking to pursue degrees and careers in finance in the state of Arkansas. Students of all backgrounds and skill levels can find a finance degree that fits their individual career goals. Finance schools in Arkansas offer students the option of earning a Certificate in Finance, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance, Master of Science (MS) in Finance, or Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) with a concentration in Finance. Arkansas schools offer a variety of scheduling options, with on-campus, hybrid, and fully-online finance degrees available for working professionals. Continue reading to learn more about earning a finance degree in Arkansas as well as finance career opportunities and salary information in the state.
- There are 14 colleges and universities with finance degree programs in Arkansas.1
- 1 school offers a certificate in finance.1
- No schools offer an associate’s degree in finance.1
- 14 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in finance.1
- 4 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in finance.1
- No schools ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- 1 school 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 Arkansas
- Select Schools in Arkansas with Finance Degrees
- Arkansas Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
- Finance Associations in Arkansas
Arkansas Finance Program Comparison
We have developed the following table to help you compare all of the finance programs in Arkansas 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|
|Arkansas State University||AACSB||BS-Finance;|
Minor-Financial Wealth Management;
|Arkansas Tech University||AACSB||BSBA-Finance;|
BS-Applied Statistics: Actuarial Science
|Henderson State University||AACSB||BBA-Finance||N.Av.||39%||—||$11,000||$11,910|
|John Brown University||ACBSP||BBA-Finance;|
|Ouachita Baptist University||AACSB||BA-Finance||N.Av.||63%||—||$14,608||$19,962|
|Southern Arkansas University||AACSB||BBA-Finance;|
|University of Arkansas||AACSB||BSBA-Finance;|
BS-International Business: Finance;
|University of Arkansas at Little Rock||AACSB||Certificate-Financial Accounting Analysis;|
Certificate-Financial Data Analytics;
MBA-Financial Accounting Analysis
|University of Arkansas at Fort Smith||AACSB||BBA-Finance||N.Av.||35%||—||$7,388||$10,032|
|University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff||ACBSP||BSBA-Finance||N.Av.||33%||—||$12,250||$11,345|
|University of Central Arkansas||AACSB||BBA-Finance;|
BBA-Insurance & Risk Management;
|Williams Baptist University||—||BS-Finance||N.Av.||39%||—||$11,952||$18,487|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Top-Ranked Schools with Finance Programs in Arkansas
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.
- University of Arkansas (#792; $944,000)
- John Brown University (#839; $933,000)
- Harding University (#1,383; $838,000)
- Ouachita Baptist University (#1,391; $837,000)
- University of Central Arkansas (#1,675; $797,000)
- Lyon College (#1,750; $786,000)
- Southern Arkansas University Main Campus (#2,024; $749,000)
- Henderson State University (#2,153; $734,000)
- University of Arkansas at Little Rock (#2,167; $732,000)
- Arkansas Tech University (#2,287; $720,000)7
Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Business and Finance Majors 2020
- University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
Select Schools in Arkansas with Finance Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
Harding University’s Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration offers an ACBSP-accredited Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance for students seeking financial business knowledge. The 128-credit hour program includes 48 credit hours of core business courses and 27 credit hours of finance courses, including Money and Capital Markets; Advanced Financial Management; and Quantitative Business Analysis. Classes emphasize business ethics, global awareness, communication, and technology. Students work on teams to solve business problems and create presentations. Business students may participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, such as the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the International Business Society (IBS). At the school’s Center for Professional Excellence, students can attend job fairs, have their resume critiqued, and participate in mock interviews. Merit-based scholarships are available for business students who qualify.
Arkansas State University
At Arkansas State University’s (ASU) Neil Griffin College of Business, students can earn an AACSB-accredited Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance. Students can select from two concentrations: Financial Management and Banking. The program is eight semesters long and requires the completion of 120 college credit hours. Major requirements include courses like Financial Institutions and Markets, Capital Management, and Money and Banking. Students must maintain a grade of at least “C” or better in all coursework attempted. ASU offers on-campus organizations such as the Accounting Club, Finance and Banking Club, and the Graduate Association of Business Students. Fall and spring career fairs are also available for students to attend on-campus, with the spring career fair focusing heavily on opportunities for business students. Minors in Finance and Financial Wealth Management are offered, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance.
Traditional Master’s Programs
University of Arkansas
At the University of Arkansas’s (UARK) AACSB-accredited Walton College of Business, students can earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Financial Management. The 22-month program emphasizes the retail, supply chain, and consumer industries to prepare students for finance careers in today’s business landscape. Students are only accepted for the fall semester; however, online prerequisite courses may be completed in the summer prior to beginning the program. The 53-credit hour program challenges students to build pricing models and launch new consumer products that create value for both the shareholder and consumer. The program’s required coursework includes Financial Markets and Valuation; Business History and Practice; and Introduction to Supply Chain Management. The school also offers a PhD in Finance for those interested in pursuing academia, as well as a Master of Science (MS) in Finance, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a Finance concentration, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Business with a Finance concentration.
University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas’s (UARK) Walton College of Business offers a Master of Science (MS) in Finance that can be completed in one year. Four areas of concentration are offered: Business Analytics; Digital Technology; Energy Finance and Risk Management; and Supply Chain Management. Of the 33 total credit hours required, 21 credit hours must include the following core courses: Advanced Corporate Financial Management; Financial Markets and Valuation; and Investment Theory and Management. Students are only accepted for the fall semester and the application deadline is April 15th. GMAT or GRE scores are required. The Walton College of Business also offers a PhD in Finance for those interested in pursuing academia, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Financial Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a Finance concentration and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Business with a Finance concentration.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
At the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s (UALR) College of Business, Health, and Human Services, students can earn an AACSB-accredited Flex Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Financial Accounting Analysis. This program is highly customizable and students can opt to use videoconferencing to join classes live from the comfort of their own home. The 32-credit hour program can be completed at your own pace in as little as 18 months; students may take up to six years to complete the program. Three credit hours of foundational courses may be required prior to beginning the program. Graduate assistantships are available. Students can select from such courses as Analysis of Financial Statements, Financial Modeling, and Predictive Data Analysis. Certificates in both Financial Accounting Analysis and Financial Data Analytics are also offered, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance and minors in Finance, Real Estate, and Personal Finance.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University offers an online version of its on-campus, AACSB-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance. This 33-credit program can be completed entirely online, preparing students for the fast-paced and technology-driven business world. Twenty-seven credits of core classes are required, with course titles including Accounting for Planning and Control, Managerial Economics, and Corporate Financial Management. Classes specifically offered for the finance concentration include Financial Statement Analysis and International Financial Markets. An undergraduate degree from an accredited university and GMAT scores are required for admission. Arkansas State University offers career services, including resume building, personalized career coaching, and development workshops. A career fair is also held in the spring that is specifically for business students. Prospective students may also be interested in the school’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance and minors in Finance and Financial Wealth Management.
Arkansas Tech University
At Arkansas Tech University’s (ATU) College of Business, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a concentration in Finance in a blended format. The AACSB-accredited program offers several courses online for the working professional. Students learn quantitative skills and practice analyzing complex data and transforming it into easy-to-understand professional presentations. The program challenges students to take a critical approach to the functions of business while using standardized software to solve financial business problems. Ethical decision-making is emphasized throughout the program and hands-on simulations allow students to gain practical financial experience. Students can take such electives as Personal Finance, Principles of Real Estate, and Financial Institution Management. Internships are encouraged. A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Applied Statistics with a concentration in Actuarial Science is also available.
University of Central Arkansas
The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) offers a 30-credit Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance. This flexible finance degree allows students to choose the class style that works best for them. Daytime, evening, and online classes are offered, and students may choose to complete the degree fully on campus, online, or through a blended option. Twenty-one credit hours of core business classes are required, ensuring students understand all facets of the business world in addition to their chosen concentration. The Finance concentration requires nine credits focused on financial matters. Courses include Bank Management; International Finance; and Entrepreneurial and Small Business Finance. An undergraduate degree in business is not required to apply, but some students without a business background may have to take prerequisite courses. GMAT scores are required and students may start the MBA program during any term. Each student is eligible to apply for private scholarships and graduate assistantships. A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance and a BBA in Insurance & Risk Management are also available.
Arkansas Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
Walmart is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas and is one of the largest employers in the state. Several other Fortune 500 companies are based in the state, such as Sam’s Club in Bentonville, Tyson Foods in Springdale, Murphy Oil in El Dorado, and Dillard’s in Little Rock. There are also many banks and financial institutions headquartered in Arkansas, including Arvest Bank in Lowell, First Security Bank in Searcy, and Bank of the Ozarks in Little Rock. Southern Bancorp is based in Arkadelphia and manages $1.2 billion in assets. These institutions are spread throughout the state, giving graduates in all areas of the state finance career options.
According to Projections Central, over the 10-year period between 2018 and 2028, financial examiner positions are expected to grow by 10% in Arkansas, above the national projected rate of 7.1%.8 Financial manager positions are projected to grow more than the national average, increasing by 21.6% in Arkansas compared to 16% nationally.8 At a projected rate of 13.3%, financial analyst positions are expected to grow at twice the rate of the national average of 6.2%.8 Loan officer positions are projected to grow at a rate of 11.7%, higher than the national estimated rate of 7.7%.8 However, while job growth is promising, salaries run below the national average for financial professions. Financial examiners in Arkansas earn an average salary of $66,100, as compared to the national average of $92,330.9,10 Financial managers earn an average annual salary of $107,990, significantly lower than the national annual average of $147,530.9,11 Financial analysts and other specialists earn an average of $63,610 in Arkansas as compared to $94,160 nationally, and loan officers in the state earn an average annual salary of $71,970 while the national average is $76,200.9,12,13
Arkansas Finance Salary Information
|Occupation||Number Employed9||Average Salary9|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||53,110||$63,520|
|Financial and Investment Analysts and Other Specialists||1,900||$63,610|
|Personal Financial Advisors||910||$87,960|
Finance Associations in Arkansas
- Arkansas Bankers Association (ABA): Professional organization for Arkansas bankers with the mission to promote banking through education and member services.
- Arkansas Society of Certified Public Accountants (ARCPA): Professional society of CPAs that provides educational opportunities and professional development to promote the integrity of the profession.
- Financial Planning Association of Arkansas (FPA): Association of professionals committed to promoting financial planning through advocacy, education, and networking.
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. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm
9. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Arkansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ar.htm
10. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial Examiners: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132061.htm
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 and Investment Analysts, Financial Risk Specialists, and Financial Specialists, All Other: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132098.htm
13. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Loan Officers: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132072.htm