Finance Programs and Careers in Tennessee

This guide provides detailed information on finance degrees and careers in finance in Tennessee. Potential students can choose from various programs, from Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degrees with a Finance emphasis to Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees with a Finance emphasis. Working professionals in the finance field have options to pursue part-time programs or complete select finance degrees completely online. 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 finance.

Quick Facts

  • There are 33 colleges and universities with finance degree programs in Tennessee.1
  • 2 schools offer a certificate in finance.1
  • 10 schools offer an associate’s degree in finance.1
  • 22 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in finance.1
  • 10 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in finance.1
  • 2 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

Tennessee Finance Program Comparison

We have developed the following table to help you compare all of the finance programs in Tennessee 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
Austin Peay State UniversityBBA-Finance;
BS-Mathematics: Actuarial Science;
MS/PSM-Computer Science and Quantitative Methods: Mathematical Finance
Belmont UniversityAACSBBBA-Finance86%72%$17,750$36,976
Bryan College-DaytonIACBEBA-Economics and FinanceN.Av.45%$11,738$16,650
Carson-Newman UniversityBS-Finance/Economics;
Chattanooga State Community CollegeACBSPAS-FinanceN.Av.20%$6,250$6,821
Christian Brothers UniversityBSBA: Finance;
Cleveland State Community CollegeACBSPAS-FinanceN.Av.30%$5,500$5,331
Columbia State Community CollegeACBSPAS-FinanceN.Av.29%$6,500$6,645
East Tennessee State UniversityAACSBBBA-Finance;
Freed-Hardeman UniversityACBSPBBA-Finance;
Lee UniversityACBSPBS-Finance;
Lincoln Memorial UniversityACBSPBBA-FinanceN.Av.55%$13,000$20,374
Lipscomb UniversityACBSPBBA-Finance;
Minor-General Finance;
Maryville CollegeBA-Finance/Accounting;
Middle Tennessee State UniversityAACSBBBA-Finance;
BBA-Risk Management and Insurance;
BBA-Real Estate;
MA-Economics: Finance
Motlow State Community CollegeACBSPAS-FinanceN.Av.36%$2,800$8,124
Nashville State Community CollegeACBSPAS-FinanceN.Av.19%Yes$6,885$7,168
Northeast State Community CollegeACBSPAS-FinanceN.Av.32%$3,143$6,506
Pellissippi State Community CollegeACBSPAS-FinanceN.Av.26%$5,250$6,293
Roane State Community CollegeACBSPAAS-FinanceN.Av.34%Yes$6,000$4,924
Southern Adventist UniversityIACBEBBA-Finance;
Tennessee State UniversityAACSBBBA-Economics and Finance: Finance;
Accelerated MBA-Finance;
Tennessee Technological UniversityAACSBCertificate-Banking and Financial Services;
Tennessee Wesleyan UniversityBBA-FinanceN.Av.41%$14,250$12,043
Union UniversityAACSBBSBA-Finance;
Minor-Actuarial Science
University of MemphisAACSBCertificate-Professional Real Estate;
Certificate-Financial Analyst;
Certificate-Financial Planning;
BBA-Finance: Real Estate;
Minor-Banking and Financial Services;
Minor-Business Finance;
Minor-Real Estate;
Minor-Risk Management and Insurance;
University of Tennessee-ChattanoogaAACSBBSBA: Finance;
Minor-Personal Finance;
University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleAACSBBSBA-Finance;
University of Tennessee-MartinAACSBBSBA-Finance;
MBA-Financial Services for Professionals
University of the SouthBBA-FinanceN.Av.79%$16,000$34,971
Vanderbilt UniversityAACSBMS-Finance;
Volunteer State Community CollegeACBSPAS-FinanceN.Av.23%$4,000$6,181
Walters State Community CollegeACBSPAS-FinanceN.Av.30%$2,625$4,130

  • * indicates combined program.
  • — indicates none.
  • N.Av. indicates no data available.

Top-Ranked Schools with Finance Programs in Tennessee

Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019

  • Vanderbilt University (#30)
  • University of Tennessee (#54)

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.

  • Vanderbilt University (#59; $1,462,000)
  • Christian Brothers University (#735; $955,000)
  • University of Tennessee-Knoxville (#839; $933,000)
  • University of the South (#1,003; $899,000)
  • Union University (#1,161; $869,000)
  • Bryan College-Dayton (#1,189; $864,000)
  • Lipscomb University (#1,198; $862,000)
  • Tennessee Technological University (#1,311; $846,000)
  • Tennessee Wesleyan University (#1,322; $845,000)
  • Belmont University (#1,450; $829,000)7

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

  • Middle Tennessee State University

Select Schools in Tennessee with Finance Degrees

Traditional Undergraduate Programs

Austin Peay State University

At Austin Peay State University (APSU), students can pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance through the College of Business. The 120-credit hour program prepares students to solve business problems and think critically. APSU offers curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students to expand their learning and knowledge such as a first-year seminar, first-year learning communities, undergraduate research, study abroad opportunities, community-based learning, internships, e-portfolio development, and capstone courses. Coursework includes Ethics and Diversity in Business; Selecting Equity Investments; and Financial Policy. A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Mathematics with a concentration in Actuarial Science is also available as well as a Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science and Quantitative Methods with a concentration in Mathematical Finance.

Belmont University

At Belmont University’s Massey Undergraduate School of Business in Nashville, students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance that prepares graduates for successful careers in corporate finance, insurance, investments, banking, and real estate. The AACSB-accredited program challenges students to complete market research and data analysis for experience solving real-life business problems and applying practical skills to theoretical financial concepts. Students can access the Massey Center for Financial Information, the Trading Lab where they manage $700,000 of fixed income and real equities and utilize state-of-the-art technology to manage investment funds. Internships are encouraged and the Massey Undergraduate School of Business boasts a historically high job placement rate.

Traditional Master’s Programs

University of Memphis

The University of Memphis (UM) Fogelman College of Business and Economics offers a Master of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) with an optional concentration in Finance. Coursework in the program emphasizes the specialty area of finance, with some courses from the Business Information and Technology department and some courses from the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate department. The 33-credit hour MSBA program requires a prerequisite in calculus; students with bachelor’s degrees in business or engineering usually qualify. The degree can be completed in two years and evening classes are available. Class sizes are small and students explore financial topics such as corporate finance and portfolio management. The UM Professional Development Center offers career resources for students, from networking events to resume workshopping.

Tennessee State University

The Traditional Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Tennessee State University’s (TSU) College of Business is designed for nontraditional students and working professionals. The AACSB-accredited program offers a concentration in Finance and consists of 36 credit hours. All courses are offered in the evening in downtown Nashville. Students develop business knowledge through strategic and technical tasks and a curriculum that includes coursework such as Business Strategy and the Economic Environment; Statistical Decision Making; and Behavior in Organizations. In addition to core classes, students can tailor nine credit hours of electives. TSU also offers an Accelerated Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Finance and an Executive MBA with online options for current finance professionals.

Vanderbilt University

At the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, students can obtain a Master of Science (MS) in Finance in as few as ten months. For those looking to further their careers, the program focuses on leadership and professional development training. Students learn the technical skills they need to work in fields such as corporate finance, investment banking, asset management, and real estate. Class sizes are small, and the 33 credit hours of coursework encourage collaboration and cooperation among students. Students can customize up to 50% of their courses with MBA-level electives, which allows students to focus on their career priorities. Preparation for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam is also available through the university.

Online and Hybrid Programs

Southern Adventist University

Southern Adventist University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance. The IACBE-accredited program offers a selection of courses that can be taken online, though the majority of courses must be completed in-person. The degree provides a foundation for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and prepares students for successful careers through job interviews and the Meet the Firms career fair. Networking opportunities are available through weekly meetings of the Collegedale Chamber of Commerce and mentorships include representatives from the fields of manufacturing, banking, financial services, real estate, and healthcare administration. Students can opt to participate in study tours based in the New York City financial district or abroad.

University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

At the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), students can pursue an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) concentrated in Finance that can be completed in 24 months. Students take core classes focusing on organizational behavior, accounting, finance, and entrepreneurship before completing a capstone. The coursework emphasizes the theoretical knowledge of business as well as the practical application of business techniques. The AACSB-accredited program particularly focuses on the skills and strategic thinking needed for entrepreneurial success. Students can also choose to pursue an MBA with a Business Analytics or Healthcare Administration concentration. The College also offers Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) tracks in Finance and Investments as well as a minor in Personal Finance.

University of Tennessee-Knoxville

At the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), working professionals can complete a Professional Master of Business Administration (MBA) that includes coursework in finance. This program is designed to be completed in 16 months while students continue to work full-time. The coursework is divided into classes held on campus on Saturdays and interactive, remote learning sessions on Tuesdays. Students have the option of participating in a week-long business immersion trip at an international location. The Professional MBA emphasizes theoretical business concepts and their applications in the workplace. Courses teach leadership skills, managerial strategies, and communication methods. Students deepen their business knowledge in school and in their workplace through applied learning case studies. A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with an emphasis in Finance is also available.

Tennessee Finance Careers and Salary Outlook

Although not a national financial hub, Tennessee offers local opportunities for graduates with degrees in finance. First Tennessee Bank and Pinnacle Finance Partners are local bank options for those interested in financial services positions. Many large companies, such as FedEx, AutoZone, and Caterpillar Financial Services (CAT Financial), have headquarters in Tennessee, offering positions for accountants and financial analysts. The urban centers of Memphis, Knoxville, and Nashville provide many opportunities for those with finance degrees and smaller cities like Chattanooga and Murfreesboro are growing as well.

The growing finance industry in Tennessee offers opportunities for those with advanced finance degrees. Financial examiners in Tennessee earn an annual mean wage of $87,180, slightly lower than the national average of $92,330.8,9 In the metropolitan area of Memphis TN-MS-AR, financial examiners earn one of the highest average salaries in the country with an annual mean wage of $118,830, much higher than the national average of $92,330.9 Average salaries for financial and investment analysts and other specialists are also higher in the nonmetropolitan area of South Central Tennessee, at $70,650 annually, significantly more than the national average of $94,160.10 Growth for financial analysts is projected at 14.2% through 2028, which is above the national projection of 6.2% overall.11 The state is also expected to see a growth of 10.7% in business operations specialist positions through 2028, which is higher than the national average of 6.3%.11 Financial manager positions are expected to grow at a rate of 22.8% over the same timeframe, again higher than the national rate of 16%.11

Tennessee Finance Salary Information

OccupationNumber Employed8Average Salary8
Business and Financial Operations Occupations134,980$64,690
Financial and Investment Analysts and Other Specialists, All Other8,680$68,070
Financial Examiners900$87,180
Financial Managers16,810$113,700
Loan Officers5,600$62,640
Personal Financial Advisors2,700$84,420

Finance Associations in Tennessee

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, Tennessee: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tn.htm
9. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial Examiners: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132061.htm
10. 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/2019/may/oes132098.htm
11. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm