Finance Programs and Careers in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities offer a diverse range of finance programs. The guide below provides information to help you choose from the different degrees in finance available in the state, including bachelor’s and master’s programs as well as certificate and doctoral programs. Some schools in Pennsylvania offer full-time, accelerated degrees, while other schools have part-time formats, evening and weekend classes, and even fully online degrees. Students with finance degrees in Pennsylvania may have an advantage in finding career opportunities in the state after graduation. Read below to learn about different finance degree options and employment opportunities in the world of finance.

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 Pennsylvania
Select Schools in Pennsylvania with Finance Degrees
Pennsylvania Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
Finance Associations in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Finance Program Comparison

We have developed the following table to help you compare all of the finance programs in Pennsylvania 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
Alvernia UniversityACBSPBS-FinanceN.Av.63%$23,174$27,798
Bucknell UniversityAACSBBSBA: Accounting & Financial ManagementN.Av.90%$25,250$39,493
Cabrini UniversityACBSPBS-FinanceN.Av.55%$17,750$22,475
Carnegie Mellon UniversityAACSBBS-Computational Finance;
MS-Computational Finance;
Clarion University of PennsylvaniaAACSBBSBA-Finance: Corporate Finance;
BSBA-Finance: Personal Financial Planning;
DeSales UniversityACBSPBS-Finance;
Drexel UniversityAACSBBSBA-Finance;
MS-Quantitative Finance;
Duquesne UniversityAACSBBSBA-Finance;
Certificate-Financial Planning
Eastern UniversityBSBA-Financial Services;
Elizabethtown CollegeACBSPBS-Finance;
BS-Financial Economics;
Gannon UniversityACBSPBSBA-Finance;
BSBA-Risk Management & Insurance;
Grad Cert-Finance
Geneva CollegeACBSPBSBA-Finance;
Grove City CollegeACBSPBS-Finance;
Holy Family UniversityACBSPMBA-FinanceN.Av.58%Yes$20,250$15,294
Immaculata UniversityACBSPBS-Finance;
BS-Financial Planning;
Indiana University of PennsylvaniaAACSBBS-Finance;
Juniata CollegeIACBEBS-Finance EmphasisN.Av.78%$26,775$26,844
King’s CollegeAACSBBSBA-Management: Finance ConcentrationN.Av.64%$22,541$26,791
La Roche UniversityACBSPBA-Finance;
La Salle UniversityAACSBBS-Finance: Investment and Financial Analysis;
BS-Finance: Risk Management;
BS-Finance: Managerial Finance;
Lebanon Valley CollegeACBSPBS-Analytical FinanceN.Av.78%$22,188$27,459
Lehigh UniversityAACSBBS-Finance;
MS-Financial Engineering
Lincoln UniversityBA-Finance;
Mercyhurst UniversityIACBEBA-FinanceN.Av.68%$19,000$23,605
Messiah UniversityACBSPBS-Finance;
Muhlenberg CollegeBachelor-FinanceN.Av.84%$23,439$33,603
Pennsylvania State University-Main CampusAACSBBS-Finance22.9%71%$19,500$24,724
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State AbingtonBS-FinanceN.Av.N.Av.$19,500N.Av.
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend CollegeAACSBBS-Finance;
Bachelor of Business: Finance

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Great ValleyAACSBMaster of Finance;
Grad Cert: Financial Risk Management
Pennsylvania State University-Penn State HarrisburgAACSBBS-Capital FinanceN.Av.N.Av.$19,500N.Av.
Pennsylvania State University-World CampusBS-Finance;
UG Cert-Financial Planning;
Robert Morris UniversityAACSBBSBA-Finance;
BSBA-Financial Planning
Rosemont CollegeBS-Finance;
Saint Francis UniversityIACBEBS-Finance;
BS-Finance: Entrepreneurship;
Saint Joseph’s UniversityAACSBBS-Finance;
Saint Vincent CollegeACBSPBS-Finance: Corporate Finance;
BS-Finance: Computational Finance;
BS-Finance: Investment Management;
BS-Finance: Behavioral Finance;
Shippensburg University of PennsylvaniaBSBA-Finance;
BSBA-Finance: Personal Financial Planning;
Grad Cert-Finance
Slippery Rock University of PennsylvaniaBSBA-Finance;
Susquehanna UniversityAACSBBS-Finance72%72%$26,430$27,079
Temple UniversityAACSBBSBA-Finance;
MS-Quantitative Finance & Risk Management;
MS-Financial Analysis;
MS-Financial Analysis and Quantitative Risk Management;
MBA-Financial Management
Thomas Jefferson UniversityACBSPBS-Finance;
University of PennsylvaniaAACSBBS-Finance;
University of PittsburghAACSBBSBA-Finance;
MS-Finance and Business Analytics
University of Pittsburgh-JohnstownBS-Finance;
BS-Finance: CFA
University of ScrantonAACSBBS-Finance;
Villanova UniversityAACSBBBA-Finance;
Waynesburg UniversityIACBEBSBA-Finance;
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaAACSBBS-Finance;
BS-Mathematics: Mathematical Finance;
Westmoreland County Community CollegeAAS-Business: Finance;
Certificate-Business: Finance
Widener UniversityAACSBBSB-Finance;
BSB-Finance: Financial Planning;
MS-Taxation and Financial Planning;
Grad Cert-Taxation and Financial Planning
Wilkes UniversityACBSPBS-Corporate Finance;
BS-Financial Investments
York College of PennsylvaniaACBSPBS-Finance;

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

Top-Ranked Schools with Finance Programs in Pennsylvania

Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019

  • University of Pennsylvania (#5)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (#17)
  • Pennsylvania State University (#34)
  • University of Pittsburgh (#37)

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 Pennsylvania (#16; $1,832,000)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (#25; $1,750,000)
  • Lehigh University (#29; $1,688,000)
  • Villanova University (#39; $1,563,000)
  • Bucknell University (#72; $1,417,000)
  • Drexel University (#85; $1,374,000)
  • Saint Joseph’s University (#216; $1,192,000)
  • Muhlenberg College (#218; $1,191,000)
  • Duquesne University (#220; $1,187,000)
  • La Salle University (#229; $1,181,000)7

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

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Lehigh University
  • Lycoming College
  • Saint Joseph’s University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Villanova University

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

  • University of Pennsylvania (#1)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (#7 tie)
  • Pennsylvania State University-University Park (#21 tie)
  • St. Joseph’s University (#30 tie)
  • University of Scranton (#30 tie)

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

  • University of Pennsylvania (#1)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (#13 tie)
  • St. Joseph’s University (#19)
  • Pennsylvania State University-University Park (#29 tie)

Select Schools in Pennsylvania with Finance Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Alvernia University

Alvernia University is home to a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance that prepares students for entry-level finance careers as well as for graduate study. Financial markets and experiential learning are emphasized in this program. Required courses include Fraud Examination; Insurance and Risk Management; Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management; and Corporate Finance. Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one internship; there are also opportunities for undergraduates to contribute to faculty research projects. Past program graduates have gone on to work for such companies as Prudential, Vanguard, and Ernst & Young. Finance majors may also opt to apply for Alvernia’s 4+1 program, which allows them to earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in just one year following graduation from the bachelor’s program.

Saint Vincent College

Students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance through the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government at Saint Vincent College. Students choose a concentration for the Finance major from the following options: Corporate Finance; Computational Finance (requires a Math minor); Investment Management (CFA); Investment Management (CFP); or Behavioral Finance (requires a Psychology minor). Though the required courses vary according to the concentration area, all students will complete a business education core consisting of such courses as Corporate Finance; Statistics; Financial Accounting; and Calculus. A senior portfolio project provides students with the opportunity to apply classroom and experiential learning to a real-world business problem. Past program graduates have typically found employment within three months of receiving their degree. Graduates have also gone on to pursue master’s and PhD degrees at some of the nation’s top business schools.

Traditional Master’s Programs

Drexel University

At Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, students can earn a Master of Science in Quantitative Finance (MSF) degree. The 54-credit program can be completed in 24 months and students have the option to attend full-time, part-time, or online. The curriculum focuses on foundational theories used by financial professionals, with courses in Corporate Financial Management; Investment Management; and Financial Institutions and Markets. The program also emphasizes critical thinking skills and experiential learning and students have the option to pursue an internship or consulting experience with an employer in the finance industry. Many students pursue the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation post-graduation. Drexel University also offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Finance concentration.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University’s (Penn State) Smeal College of Business offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance that can be earned in two academic years. The first year of the program consists of core classes that emphasize fundamental business skills and the operations of international markets. In the second year, students choose their elective coursework. Finance course options include Financial Engineering and Corporate Strategy; Modern Portfolio Management-Theory and Practice; and Global Finance. Students learn about the challenges of international business and the tools to think critically and solve problems creatively. The MBA program emphasizes business leadership skills such as effective communication and interpersonal abilities. The curriculum at Penn State is designed with the input of corporate recruiters and alumni advisors, so students are taught industry-relevant skills and are connected with top companies post-graduation.

University of Pennsylvania

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a major in Finance or Quantitative Finance that can be completed in 20 months, including a summer internship. The MBA Finance major focuses on analysis and theory, while the Quantitative Finance major takes an emphasis on applied quantitative methods. MBA students within both of the Finance majors study tools that are applicable to real-world issues in finance and learn mathematical and statistical techniques for economic analysis. Academically competitive students may seek approval for an independent study project in finance to fulfill part of the degree requirements. Finance majors may graduate and find positions in financial management in business firms, financial institutions, and government and not-for-profit entities. The Wharton School also offers a PhD in Finance.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University offers a part-time online Master of Business Administration (MBA) through the Tepper School of Business with a major in either Finance or Quantitative Finance. Working professionals can study the same curriculum as full-time and part-time students with the flexibility of online classes. Students complete one live evening class per week for every course and study additional written or recorded material. Class sizes are small and online students can take advantage of a flexible format that still includes rigorous study and team-based projects. Online students are also required to attend immersive “Access Weekends,” held on campus every two months. These six yearly sessions allow students to access campus resources in person as well as network and create connections. The curriculum focuses on leadership development and analytics, teaching skills that help graduates navigate complex real-world business problems.

Lehigh University

At Lehigh University, working professionals can earn a flexible Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a major in Finance on campus or online. Known as the FLEX MBA to emphasize the flexibility of program options, students can complete the curriculum on campus in an accelerated 16 to 24 months or online and part-time in 24 to 72 months. Throughout the curriculum, students learn theories and concepts that are relevant to solving challenges in the business community. The coursework focuses on organizational leadership, globally-relevant business concepts, business value chain principles, and ethical decision making. The core curriculum is 21 credits, and students can then select 15 elective credits for their area of concentration. Finance electives include Advanced Topics in Financial Management; Financial Markets & Institutions; and International Financial Management.

Pennsylvania Finance Careers and Salary Outlook

Pennsylvania, the fifth-most populous state in the nation, has a growing financial sector. Most financial services and business institutions are clustered around the big cities in the state such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie. Pennsylvania is home to the headquarters of Allied Universal and PNC Financial Services Group. Other companies with a large presence in the state include Comcast, Rite Aid, and Aramark. Financial institutions like Money Mart Financial Services and Vanguard also have centers in Pennsylvania.

The finance job market in Pennsylvania pays comparable wages and has similar growth rates to national finance industry averages. Financial examiners in the state earn a mean salary of $92,790, similar to the national average of $92,330.8 The job outlook for Pennsylvania financial examiners is positive, with expected job growth of 5.9% through 2028.9 Comparably, financial managers in Pennsylvania earn a mean of $153,350 per year, higher than the national mean of $147,530.10 The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan corridor is one of the highest-paying areas in the nation for this occupation, with an average salary of $167,850.10 Job growth of 16.1% is expected for financial managers in Pennsylvania through 2028.9

Pennsylvania Finance Salary Information

OccupationNumber Employed11Average Salary11
Business and Financial Operations Occupations294,690$76,330
Financial and Investment Analysts and Other Specialists17,480$91,150
Financial Examiners1,750$92,790
Financial Managers20,140$153,350
Loan Officers10,270$74,870
Personal Financial Advisors9,260$104,330

Finance Associations in Pennsylvania

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 and Wages, Financial Examiners: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132061.htm
9. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm
10. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial Managers: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm
11. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Pennsylvania: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_pa.htm