Finance Programs and Careers in Virginia
This guide is designed to give prospective students important information on degrees focused on finance in Virginia. Virginia’s colleges and universities offer a range of finance degrees. Many of these programs offer emphasis areas, such as global finance, real estate, and banking. The variety offered by Virginia finance schools allows students in the state to find a program that fits their individual career goals. These programs also provide flexibility in course load and location requirements, offering part-time enrollment and/or fully online degrees. Continue reading to learn more about finance degrees and career opportunities in Virginia.
- There are 24 colleges and universities with finance degree programs in Virginia.1
- No schools offer a certificate in finance.1
- No schools offer an associate’s degree in finance.1
- 23 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in finance.1
- 6 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in finance.1
- 2 schools ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- 5 schools ranked in Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Business and Finance Majors 2020.3
- 1 school 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 20215
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 Virginia
- Select Schools in Virginia with Finance Degrees
- Virginia Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
- Finance Associations in Virginia
Virginia Finance Program Comparison
We have developed the following table to help you compare all of the finance programs in Virginia 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 Name||Accreditation||Finance Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate6||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Median Debt7||Net Price1|
|Christopher Newport University||ACBSP||BSBA-Finance;|
Master’s in Financial Analysis
|College of William and Mary||AACSB||BBA-Finance;|
BBA-Finance: Management and Organizational Leadership;
BBA-Finance: Process Management and Consulting;
|Ferrum College||—||BSBA-Financial Management||N.Av.||29%||—||$12,500||$23,010|
|George Mason University||AACSB||BS-Finance;|
BS-Financial Planning and Wealth Management;
|Hampton University||IACBE||BS-Accounting and Finance;|
|James Madison University||AACSB||BBA-Finance;|
BBA-Finance: Financial Analysis;
BBA-Finance: Risk Management;
MS-Healthcare Administration: Finance;
|Norfolk State University||AACSB||BS-Business: Finance||N.Av.||36%||—||$24,000||$12,645|
|Old Dominion University||AACSB||BFIN-Finance;|
BFIN-Personal Finance Planning;
BFIN-Risk Management and Insurance;
BBA-Finance: Insurance and Real Estate;
|Regent University||ACBSP||MBA-Finance and Investing||N.Av.||57%||Yes||$9,500||$15,062|
|Shenandoah University||AACSB||BBA-Economics and Finance||100%||60%||—||$19,800||$29,311|
|University of Mary Washington||AACSB||Minor-Financial and Quantitative Analysis||N.Av.||65%||—||$15,000||$21,640|
|University of Virginia||AACSB||BS-Commerce in Finance;|
MBA-Finance: Corporate Finance/Investment Banking;
|University of Richmond||AACSB||BSBA-Finance||N.Av.||89%||—||$19,500||$25,282|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||AACSB||BS-Business: Finance;|
BS-Business: Financial Technology;
BS-Finance: Risk Management and Insurance;
MA-Economics: Financial Economics
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||AACSB||BS-Commerce in Finance;|
|Virginia State University||AACSB||BS-Accounting and Finance;|
|Virginia Military Institute||AACSB||BA-Economics and Business: Financial Management||N.Av.||79%||—||$19,500||$13,428|
|Virginia Union University||—||BS-Finance and Banking||N.Av.||29%||—||$15,000||$21,417|
|Washington and Lee University||AACSB||BS-Business Administration: Commerce||N.Av.||94%||—||$19,500||$23,301|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Top-Ranked Schools with Finance Programs in Virginia
Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019
- University of Virginia (#13)
- College of William and Mary (#44)
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.
- Washington and Lee University (#38; $1,578,000)
- Virginia Military Institute (#84; $1,375,000)
- University of Richmond (#105; $1,375,000)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (#107; $1,313,000)
- Virginia State University (#119; $1,291,000)
- George Mason University (#147; $1,291,000)
- College of William and Mary (#173; $1,227,000)
- James Madison University (#229; $1,181,000)
- Marymount University (#324; $1,098,000)
- University of Mary Washington (#405; $1,056,000)7
Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Business and Finance Majors 2020
- Christopher Newport University
- College of William and Mary
- Roanoke College
- University of Richmond
- University of Virginia
US News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Finance Programs 2021
- University of Virginia (#10)
- National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors–Virginia Chapter (NAIFA Virginia): Professional organization committed to promoting and enhancing the insurance and finance industry.
- Commonwealth Association for Financial Professionals (CAFP): Professional association that provides programs for members to expand their knowledge of financial topics.
Select Schools in Virginia with Finance Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance and a minor in Finance. Students are also able to add a concentration level of study to this degree. Concentrations are an additional six to nine credits and include Accounting; Entrepreneurship; Management and Organizational Leadership; Marketing; Process Management; and Consulting. Required courses for the Finance major include money and debt markets, equity markets and portfolio management, and corporate financial strategy. Those pursuing a BBA in Finance will participate in the Mason School Student Management Investment Fund (SMIF) which gives students the opportunity to work with real-world portfolio management. Participants are trained by faculty and professional mentors through a series of lectures and workshops, are guided to make investments based on qualitative and quantitative analysis and will be exposed to active industry practices.
The Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with a concentration in Finance. The Robins School is AACSB-accredited and is a CFA Institute Program Partner for training Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs). Students are able to choose a concentration track in either Corporate Finance Studies or CFA. The Corporate Finance track is designed for individuals who are interested in working in public or private financial institutions while the CFA track prepares students for the CFA Level 1 Exam. To qualify for the BSBA program, students must have at least a 2.7 GPA after completing 12 prerequisite courses that include economics, mathematics, and accounting. They must also pass an online Excel competency exam. Once the Finance major is declared, students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA to remain within the Robins School of Business. Students are also able to apply for job opportunities within the business school, which offers positions such as student research assistant, event assistant, and photographer.
Traditional Master’s Programs
Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) School of Business offers a Master of Science (MS) in Business with a concentration in Finance. This 45-credit, 15-course finance degree can be completed either full-time or part-time. The 15 credits of prerequisite and foundation courses may be waived for qualified students. The MS in Business is a part of VCU’s Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate Department, allowing students to take elective courses in a variety of topics. Core courses offered include Financial Management of Financial Institutions, International Finance, and Current Issues in Corporate Finance. A course entitled Field Project in Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate is taken at the end of the program and is designed to give students hands-on knowledge and experience before graduation. In this course, students work closely with a faculty advisor to create a practical research project and produce an investigative written report. This program is best suited for students with an undergraduate degree in business, but those with a background in economics, mathematics, or engineering may also be considered for the program. An undergraduate degree from an accredited university is required to apply, as well as GMAT or GRE scores.
Virginia Commonwealth University offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Economics with a concentration in Financial Economics. This 30-credit program is designed to help students enter economic analysis roles in both government and corporate settings and prepare for finance and economics doctoral programs. Foundation classes such as Concepts in Economics and Financial Concepts of Management are offered early in the program to give students a fundamental understanding of economics before delving into more specialized study. Specialized electives for the Financial Economics concentration include Financial Management; Investments and Security Analysis; and Derivatives. Virginia Commonwealth University also offers graduate professional development in the form of career coaching, workshops and webinars, and an Executive MBA Alumni Network. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited university is required for admission, along with GMAT or GRE scores. Application deadlines are in July, November, and March. Prerequisite courses of Calculus with Analytic Geometry or Introduction to Mathematical Economics are also required prior to admission.
The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia (UVA) offers a Master of Science (MS) in Commerce with a concentration in Finance designed for students without a business background. This 10-month, full-time program is aimed at recent graduates of liberal arts, science, or engineering degrees. Introduction to Financial Accounting, Principles of Economics: Microeconomics, and Introduction to Statistics are all prerequisite courses that must be completed prior to admission. This program is broken down into three parts: Part 1: Build a Foundation in Business; Part 2: Develop a Specialty; and Part 3: Study the Global Context of Business. The business foundation courses offered include Strategic Cost Management, Financial Accounting, and Marketing and Quantitative Analysis. Finance is offered as a specialty and this track helps prepare students for careers in corporate finance, investment banking, financial consulting, and more. The final portion of the UVA degree, the Global Immersion Experience, is an international program that focuses on the complexities of global commerce. This term starts with a week-long on-campus intensive course designed to build a foundation for international experience and is followed by a three-week international residency. These trips take place in late April through early June and are a requirement for graduation.
Online and Hybrid Programs
The George Mason University School of Business offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Financial Management. This MBA is designed to focus on leadership, industry demand, and widening perspectives to reach and interact with a global economy. The degree consists of 48 credits and key courses in the emphasis include Business Analysis and Valuation; Corporate Financial Policy, Financial Markets; Venture Capital and Private Finance; Investment Analysis; Futures, Options, and Other Derivatives; Risk and Portfolio Management; and International Finance. The length of the program is 33 months. There is also an accelerated option that allows students to complete the degree in two years. With asynchronous courses, students are able to build their own flexible schedule according to their needs. Start terms for online access are in the fall, spring, or summer. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of two years’ professional working experience.
At Old Dominion University’s (ODU) Storme College of Business, students are able to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) with four Finance major options: Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Real Estate, and Risk Management and Insurance. The undergraduate programs are offered in person or online. Students can use the online module as an opportunity to complete a degree (at least 30 credits must be taken at ODU) or they can take the full program (120 credits) online and graduate with a BSBA from ODU. Applicants must first be accepted to the university before being accepted to the Storme College of Business. This program prepares students to perform in roles such as personal financial advisor, financial analyst, sales agent, budget analyst, and pursue other careers in financial services.
Regent University’s School of Business and Leadership offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance & Investing that has been rated in the top 10 best online MBA programs in Virginia by US News & World Report. Regent’s MBA is ACBSP-accredited and their programs are offered online with eight start dates per year. The program consists of 42 credits that can be completed flexibly within the student’s schedule; the two-and-a-half-year plan is broken up into six to eight credits per semester. Students learn how to access, invest, and allocate capital, explore domestic and global financial markets, and create advancement in financial institutions. This specialized finance MBA allows students to see financial capital from both the firm and investor perspectives. Featured courses include Data Analysis for Decision Making, Financial Planning, Financial Analysis, and Portfolio Analysis. Master’s applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program. The admissions committee evaluates applicants based on academic achievement, alignment with program outcomes, writing quality, and leadership experience.
Virginia Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
The financial sector is steadily growing in Virginia, with many banks and corporations based in northern Virginia. These include RosettaStone and Capital Advantage. Other financial institutions based in the state include Capital One, which is a major employer in McLean, Virginia; Navy Federal Credit Union; Oxford Finance; and Freddie Mac. Many government contractors are also based in Virginia due to the proximity to Washington DC, and these companies often need financially savvy employees.
Virginia ranks third nationally for the highest concentration of business and financial operations occupations (major group).8 Average salaries are comparable to the national averages in many finance careers; for example, personal financial advisors earn an average of $126,220 in Virginia, compared to the national average of $119,290.9 Financial and investment analysts, financial risk specialists, and financial specialists (all other) also earn high salaries in Virginia, making an annual average of $99,000 compared to an average of $92,330 nationally.10 Projections for job growth in Virginia’s financial sector are also promising. Over the 10-year period between 2018 and 2028, financial manager positions in Virginia are expected to increase by 16.3%, compared to the national projected growth rate of 16%.11 Financial examiners may also be in higher demand in Virginia, with an expected growth rate over the same 10-year period of 13.6%, compared to 7.1% nationally.11
Virginia Finance Salary Information
|Occupation||Number Employed8||Average Salary8|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||283,820||$86,060|
|Financial and Investment Analysts and Other Specialists||14,020||$99,000|
|Personal Financial Advisors||4,500||$126,220|
Finance Associations in Virginia
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, Virginia: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_va.htm
9. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Personal Financial Advisors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132052.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/current/oes132098.htm
11. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm