Finance Programs and Careers in North Carolina

    This guide to finance degrees in North Carolina provides information to help you decide the best school for you based on your personal and professional goals. North Carolina, a hub for the banking industry and many major companies, has many opportunities for students with degrees in finance. The numerous finance schools in North Carolina offer a range of programs, from traditional bachelor’s and master’s in finance to Master of Science (MS) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees with concentrations in areas like financial analytics, investment, and corporate finance. Finance schools in North Carolina also offer programs for different types of students, with full-time, part-time, and fully-online programs. Continue reading to learn more about the options for earning a finance degree in North Carolina as well as employment and salary information for finance gradautes.

    Quick Facts

    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 North Carolina
    Select Schools in North Carolina with Finance Degrees
    North Carolina Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
    Finance Associations in North Carolina

    North Carolina Finance Program Comparison

    We have developed the following table to help you compare all of the finance programs in North Carolina from not-for-profit schools that offer programs with a concentration in finance. 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 NameAccreditationFinance Degree(s)Acceptance Rate6Grad Rate1Online Options?Median Debt7Net Price1
    Campbell UniversityACBSPBBA-Finance;
    BBA-Trust and Wealth Management;
    MBA-Financial Services
    Catawba Valley Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance: Financial ServicesN.Av.37%$5,250$8,006
    Cleveland Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Dipoma-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Accounting: Financial
    Duke UniversityAACSBBS-Economics: Finance;
    MBA-Energy Finance;
    MBA-Financial Analysis/Accounting;
    MBA-Financial Technology;
    MS-Quantitative Financial Economics
    Durham Technical Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and FinanceN.Av.22%Yes$8,250$8,245
    East Carolina UniversityAACSBBSBA-Finance;
    BSBA-Finance: Risk Management and Insurance;
    Grad Certificate-Finance
    Edgecombe Community CollegeCertificate-Financial ServicesN.Av.43%$8,148$4,723
    Elon UniversityAACSBBSBA-Finance;
    Fayetteville State UniversityAACSBBS-Banking and Finance;
    Fayetteville Technical Community CollegeAAS-Financial ServicesN.Av.17%Yes$5,848$4,490
    Forsyth Technical Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance: Financial ServicesN.Av.21%Yes$6,745$3,326
    Gardner-Webb UniversityACBSPBS-Economics and Finance;
    Minor-Economics and Finance
    Guilford Technical Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance;
    Diploma-Accounting and Finance
    Haywood Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance: Small Business Financial Advisor;
    Diploma-Accounting and Finance
    High Point UniversityBSBA-FinanceN.Av.65%$18,324$38,745
    Johnson & Wales University-CharlotteBS-FinanceN.Av.59%Yes$17,836$24,030
    Johnston Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Diploma-Accounting and Finance
    Lenoir Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance Bookkeeping
    Lenoir-Rhyne UniversityACBSPBA-FinanceN.Av.52%$15,000$19,034
    Methodist UniversityACBSPAA-Financial Economics;
    BS-Financial Economics;
    Minor-Financial Economics
    Mitchell Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Personal Finance;
    Diploma-Accounting and Finance
    Nash Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Diploma-Accounting and Finance
    North Carolina A&T State UniversityAACSBBS-FinanceN.Av.51%$21,980$9,097
    North Carolina State UniversityAACSBBS-Accounting: Financial Analysis;
    MS-Financial Mathmatics, MBA-Financial Management
    Pitt Community CollegeAAS-Financial Services;
    Certificate-Basic Financial Services
    Queens University of CharlotteAACSBBBA-Finance;
    Randolph Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance;
    Diploma-Accounting and Finance
    Richmond Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and FinanceN.Av.39%YesN.Av.$3,499
    Rockingham Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and FinanceN.Av.28%N.Av.$3,688
    Rowan-Cabarrus Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance: Insurance;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance: Government;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance Services;
    Diploma-Accounting and Finance
    Sandhills Community CollegeAAS-Finance;
    Certificate-Business Administration: Banking and Finance;
    Certificate-Finance Analytics
    South Piedmont Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance
    Surry Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Certificate-Accounting and Finance
    University of North Carolina at Chapel HillAACSBBA-Business: Investment Banking;
    BA-Business: Investment Management;
    BA-Business-Multinational Finance;
    MBA-Investment Management;
    MBA-Corporate Finance
    University of North Carolina at CharlotteAACSBBSBA-Finance;
    BSBA-Finance: Real Estate;
    BSBA-Finance: Risk Management and Insurance;
    MS-Mathematical Finance
    University of North Carolina at GreensboroAACSBBS-FinanceN.Av.59%$15,000$11,108
    University of North Carolina at PembrokeAACSBBSBA-Finance;
    MBA-Financial Services
    University of North Carolina at WilmingtonAACSBBSBA-Finance;
    MS-Finance & Investment Management;
    Vance-Granville Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and FinanceN.Av.36%$3,500$4,129
    Wake Forest UniversityAACSBBS-Finance;
    Wake Technical Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and FinanceN.Av.25%Yes$7,808$5,758
    Wayne Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and Finance;
    Diploma-Accounting and Finance
    Western Carolina UniversityAACSBBSBA-FinanceN.Av.62%$15,500$12,965
    Wilkes Community CollegeAAS-Accounting and FinanceN.Av.37%$5,988$3,348
    Wingate UniversityACBSPBA-Finance;
    Winston-Salem State UniversityBSBA-Finance;

    • — indicates none.
    • N.Av. indicates no data available.

    Top-Ranked Schools with Finance Programs in North Carolina

    Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019

    • Duke University (#14)
    • University of North Carolina (#15)

    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.

    • Duke University (#24; $1,754,000)
    • Wake Forest University (#126; $1,282,000)
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#223; $1,185,000)
    • North Carolina State University at Raleigh (#303; $1,113,000)
    • Elon University (#526; $1,013,000)
    • University of North Carolina at Charlotte (#893; $921,000)
    • Campbell University (#912; $917,000)
    • Wingate University (#1,064; $888,000)
    • Queens University of Charlotte (#1,226; $858,000)
    • University of North Carolina Wilmington (#1,226; $858,000)7

    Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Business and Finance Majors 2020

    • Catawba College
    • High Point University
    • University of North Carolina-Greensboro

    US News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Finance Programs 2021

    • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (#9)

    US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Finance Programs 2021

    • Duke University (#12)
    • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (#21 tie)

    Select Schools in North Carolina with Finance Degrees

    Traditional Undergraduate Programs

    Campbell University

    At Campbell University, students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance or a BBA in Trust and Wealth Management. These programs emphasize small class sizes, allowing students greater opportunities to interact with the school’s highly-qualified faculty. Students also have access to the First Citizens Trust and Wealth Center, a technologically up-to-date learning lab for banking and finance. Other opportunities include the school’s Center for Financial Literacy and Economic Education and a 4+1 BBA to Master of Business Administration (MBA). Academically competitive freshmen may be admitted to the BBA program as BB&T Business Fellows, a special cross-major program within the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business that provides academic enrichment and scholarship opportunities. Campbell University also offers a Minor in Finance.

    Gardner-Webb University

    Gardner-Webb University (GWU) offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Economics and Finance. This program prepares graduates to work with individuals and businesses providing financial advice and economic forecasting. Students take 36 credit hours of business courses, including courses in accounting, marketing, and management, as well as 24 credit hours in economics and finance. Electives offered include Money and Banking; Labor Economics; Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; and Risk Management and Insurance. The program is housed within the Godbold School of Business, which encourages students to take advantage of study abroad and other extracurricular activities in order to build their professional networks and career preparedness. Students interested in finance careers who wish to major in another subject, such as Management, may be interested in GWU’s Minor in Economics and Finance.

    Traditional Master’s Programs

    Duke University

    The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University (Duke) offers a two-year, full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) with concentration options including Energy Finance, Finance, Financial Analysis/Accounting, and Financial Technology (FinTech). Students typically study with a cohort of peers, emphasizing networking and team learning. The curriculum has few required courses, allowing students to optimize their plan of study according to their personal interests and career goals. Some core courses may even be waived through equivalency exemptions. Electives offered include Probability and Statistics; Global Institutions and Environment; Impact Investing; and Entrepreneurial Strategy. After an initial month-long immersion, courses follow a six-week format, meaning that students focus on a limited number of course topics at one time. For the first academic year, students complete group projects with the same roster of four to five peers, learning how to work and lead in a team environment.

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    At the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Kenan-Flagler School of Business, students can earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in two years in a collaborative, customized learning environment. Formal concentrations available include Capital Markets and Investments; Corporate Finance; and Real Estate. Students can apply for admission to a full-time day program, part-time evening program, or online program (not all concentrations are available in all formats). The MBA at UNC-Chapel Hill boasts small class sizes and individualized experience. The program offers practical learning opportunities, such as student-managed investment funds and potential positions on local nonprofit boards. The program also has a strong global focus, with opportunities for one- to three-week international exchanges at partner business schools. Students graduate with practical experience and connections to a strong UNC alumni network.

    Online and Hybrid Programs

    Fayetteville State University

    The Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance program at Fayetteville State University is designed for working professionals and military veterans interested in furthering their careers. This program is the most affordable MBA program in the UNC system and can be completed in 12 months. The entire program can be completed online, with 93% of enrolled students choosing to complete their degrees in the online format. For those who want to mix in-person and online courses in a hybrid format, there are campus locations in Fayetteville and Goldsboro. Online classes are a mix of video presentations, real-time video conferences, and lessons from experienced and responsive faculty. Students finish the MBA core in 27 credit hours and then spend nine to 12 credit hours completing the Finance concentration courses.

    North Carolina State University

    North Carolina State University (NC State) offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance for those who want to complete a full 40-credit hour master’s in finance degree on their own schedule. The program can be completed in as little as 21 months or students seeking a slower pace may take up to six years. The coursework is available completely online with two three-day residencies in Raleigh. Classes start in the fall or spring semester. Students choose a “depth area” to focus on, such as financial management or supply chain management. Online courses offer podcasts, videos, and virtual team projects to help students develop concrete finance knowledge. MBA students at NC State are heavily recruited by local and national corporations, and the school works to provide a variety of networking and corporate events across the academic year.

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s (UNC) Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a concentration in Finance is highly ranked by US News & World Report. This finance degree features live online courses, individually-paced coursework, and networking opportunities through global immersion experiences. The program, which is referred to colloquially as “The No Compromise MBA,” takes 66 credit hours, which can be completed in 18 to 36 months. Most classes are taken online, with only two in-person immersive experiences required during the course of study. Students gain foundational skills in the field while learning about strategic leadership, and 76% of students were promoted or changed jobs while they were enrolled in the program. Even after leaving the program, graduates can continue to access career and academic support through the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

    North Carolina Finance Careers and Salary Outlook

    Graduates with finance degrees in North Carolina have opportunities to work for many national and international companies in the banking industry and financial sector. Charlotte, the state’s largest city, is also one of the largest banking centers in the US after New York City. Charlotte is home to Bank of America, as well as offices for Fidelity Investments and Wells Fargo. BB&T was founded in Wilson and now is headquartered in Winston-Salem. The information and biotechnology industries are also growing in the state, with large, global software companies like SAS Institute located in Raleigh.

    Finance grads in North Carolina can expect a growing and competitive job market within the state.8 The number of financial analysts is expected to grow by 13.7% through 2028.8 Financial managers in North Carolina, with projected job growth of 21.5% through 2028, make an average wage of $150,140, just above the national average of $147,530.8,9 Similarly, personal financial advisor positions in the state are expected to grow 21.9% through 2028.8 Personal financial advisors earn an average of $131,340 in North Carolina.10

    North Carolina Finance Salary Information

    OccupationNumber Employed11Average Salary11
    Business and Financial Operations Occupations232,620$76,170
    Financial and Investment Analysts and Other Specialists13,070$87,730
    Financial Examiners4,310$73,400
    Financial Managers16,680$150,140
    Loan Officers13,680$75,570
    Personal Financial Advisors7,690$131,340

    Finance Associations in North Carolina

    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, Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial Managers: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm
    10. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Personal Financial Advisors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132052.htm
    11. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, North Carolina: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nc.htm