Finance Programs and Careers in Wisconsin
Wisconsin universities offer a variety of finance-related programs, from undergraduate certificates to PhD programs. Students can complete an accelerated or full-time curriculum or follow flexible part-time and online schedules. Finance graduates may find work in Wisconsin as analysts, bankers, or finance managers, or in many other financial industry positions. The following page provides details on different finance programs in Wisconsin as well as data on finance employment and salaries.
- There are 23 colleges and universities with finance degree programs in Wisconsin.1
- 3 schools offer a certificate in finance.1
- 5 schools offer an associate’s degree in finance.1
- 17 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in finance.1
- 7 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in finance.1
- 1 school ranked in Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019.2
- No schools 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
- 1 school 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 Wisconsin
- Select Schools in Wisconsin with Finance Degrees
- Wisconsin Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
- Finance Associations in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Finance Program Comparison
We have developed the following table to help you compare all of the finance programs in Wisconsin 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||Accreditation||Finance Degree(s)||Acceptance Rate6||Grad Rate1||Online Options?||Median Debt7||Net Price1|
|Edgewood College||ACSBP||BS-Business: Finance||N.Av||N.Av.||—||$19,375||N.Av|
|Madison Area Technical College||—||AS-Finance; AS-Risk Management and Insurance||N.Av||22%||Yes||$7,785||$9,138|
|Marquette University||AACSB||BS–Business Administration: Finance;|
BS-Business Administration: Real Estate;
BS-Business Administration: Finance;
BA-Leadership and Management: Finance;
BA-Strategic Business Administration: Finance;
|Saint Norbert College||—||BBA-General Business: Finance||N.Av||73%||—||$23,250||$26,540|
|University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire||AACSB||BBS-Business Finance;|
|University of Wisconsin-La Crosse||AACSB||BS-Finance;|
BA-Finance: Risk Insurance and Financial Planning
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||AACSB||BBA-Finance, Investment, and Banking;|
BBA-Risk Management and Insurance;
MS-Global Real Estate;
|University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee||AACSB||Certificate-Investment Management;|
Graduate Certificate-Investment Management;
MS-Management: Finance Analysis
|University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh||AACSB||Certificate-Finance and Investments;|
Certificate-Insurance and Risk Management;
BBA-Finance and Business Law;
BBA-Economic: Quantitative Economics;
Minor-Insurance and Financial Planning;
Minor-Risk Management and Actuarial Science
|University of Wisconsin-Parkside||AACSB||AS-Financial Economics;|
BA-Economics: Monetary and Financial Economics;
BA-Economics: Quantitative Economics;
|University of Wisconsin-River Falls||AACSB||BBA-Finance||100%||N.Av.||—||$15,500||N.Av|
|University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point||AACSB||AAS-Applied Finance;|
|University of Wisconsin-Stout||ACSBP||Minor-Investments and Finance||N.Av||N.Av.||—||$16,838||N.Av|
|University of Wisconsin-Whitewater||AACSB||BBA-Finance;|
|Western Technical College||—||AAS-Financial Services||N.Av||48%||—||$6,918||$9,122|
|Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College||—||AS-Financial Services||N.Av||46%||Yes||N.Av||$10,723|
- * Combined program.
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Top-Ranked Schools with Finance Programs in Wisconsin
Forbes’ Best Business Schools 2019
- University of Wisconsin-Madison (#35)
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.
- Marquette University (#128; $1,280,000)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison (#232; $1,178,000)
- University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse (#506; $1,019,000)
- University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (#665; $972,000)
- University of Wisconsin-Stout (#747; $952,000)
- Saint Norbert College (#845; $932,000)
- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (#883; $923,000)
- University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (#993; $901,000)
- University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (#1,003; $899,000)
- Carroll University (#1,017; $896,000)7
US News & World Report’s Best Graduate Finance Programs 2021
- Marquette University (#21 tie)
Select Schools in Wisconsin with Finance Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
Carroll University’s School of Business offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Finance that teaches students to analyze financial data and use that information to develop and evaluate business strategies. The four-year program requires 128 credit hours to complete, of which 64 credit hours are courses from the Finance major. Required courses cover subjects such as Investment Management, Management of Financial Institutions, and Applied Risk Management. Students are required to take at least one credit of internship study to complete the program. Applicants to the BS in Finance will need to submit a completed application, their high school transcript, and scores from either the ACT or SAT. Graduation from the program requires a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 with no grades lower than a D. Students pursuing other majors may be interested in Carroll’s Minor in Finance.
The Dahl School of Business at Viterbo University hosts a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance that seeks to give students a foundation of financial knowledge and analytical, communication, leadership, and decision-making skills. Full-time students can complete the 120-credit hour program in four years. Coursework is divided between Viterbo’s core curriculum courses and Finance courses such as Financial Planning/Wealth Management; Financial Management; and Investments. Undergraduate Viterbo applicants should have high school-level prerequisites as follows: four credits in English, three in math, three in natural science, three in social science or history, and three in electives. Letters of recommendation, essays, resumes, and personal statements are recommended during the application process but not required. Graduation from the BBA in Finance requires a total GPA of 2.5 or above, and at least a 2.75 GPA in all business courses. Viterbo business majors in other programs may be interested in Dahl’s Minor in Finance.
Traditional Master’s Programs
The Graduate School of Management at Marquette University offers a part-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Finance that can be completed in as little as two years. Students in the MBA in Finance will gain an understanding of business literacy, strategic decision making, and leadership. Completion of the program requires at least 33 credit hours, with 12 credit hours in the Finance specialization. Classes are typically taken once a week, either in-person or online. Courses in the Finance specialization include Bank Management; Real Estate Finance and Investments; and Entrepreneurial Finance. Admission to the program is on a rolling basis and requires an undergraduate degree and GMAT or GRE scores. The testing requirement may be waived for students with a suitable combination of work experience and undergraduate GPA.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) School of Business offers a Master of Science (MS) in Finance with a specialization in Applied Security Analysis designed for UW-Madison Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) students. The fifth-year program will help students prepare to take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) I and II exams. MS in Finance students begin the 27-credit hour curriculum during their senior year, taking graduate courses such as Security Analysis, Analysis of Fixed Income Securities, and Introduction to Applied Security Analysis along with their final year of BBA courses. Collectively, UW-Madison Finance students manage over $20 million in assets as part of the program. Juniors wishing to apply to the program must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants from other schools might be interested in UW-Madison’s Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance with a specialization in Applied Security Analysis or MS in Real Estate programs.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The Lubar School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UW-Milwaukee) hosts a Master of Science in Management (MS) in Finance Analysis that seeks to provide the theoretical and technical knowledge necessary to work within complex financial markets. The Financial Analysis program should prepare students to take the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. Completing the 33-credit hour program requires 12 elective courses and 21 required core courses, including Corporate Finance, Financial Strategy, and Investments. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree and acceptable GMAT scores. Students without a business or finance background may need to complete additional courses in foundational subjects such as corporate finance and financial modeling. UW Milwaukee also offers multiple Master of Business (MBA) degrees, including an accelerated 20-month MBA.
Online and Hybrid Programs
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UW-Whitewater) has an online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Finance designed to prepare graduates to work as security analysts, financial planners, and investment managers. Students in the BBA Finance program must complete 120 credit hours and 20 hours of community service to graduate. Classes are delivered asynchronously to allow students to study on their own schedules. The four-year program features courses such as Business Finance, Financial Institutions, and Corporate Financial Management Decisions. Applicants to the program will need to submit high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and an entrance exam. Graduates of the BBA in Finance may want to consider further study with UW-Whitewater’s Master of Science (MS) in Finance.
The Batterman School of Business at Concordia University-Wisconsin (CUW) offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Finance concentration. Students will learn aspects of real estate investment, security analysis, risk management, and the fundamentals of finance. The 36-credit hour program requires an undergraduate degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. Additional coursework may be necessary for students without previous business coursework. MBA students will take five courses in finance in addition to the MBA core classes. Finance courses offered include Fraud Management, Financial Institution Management, and International Finance. Enrollment is part-time, allowing students to graduate in less than two years. Graduates wishing to continue their studies can continue into CUW’s Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) with a Finance and Economic Management concentration.
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside (UW-Parkside) hosts a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance that can be completed entirely online in as little as one year. The 30-credit hour program seeks to prepare students for careers as financial analysts, finance managers, investment bankers, and in other roles in the finance field. Students of the MBA in Finance will take 24 credit hours of MBA courses and six credit hours of finance electives. Finance courses offered include Investments, International Financial Management, and Management of Financial Institutions. Students without previous business coursework will need to complete two foundation courses in addition to the MBA curriculum. Applicants to the MBA program must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirement must have three years of professional experience and provide letters of recommendation.
Wisconsin Finance Careers and Salary Outlook
Wisconsin is home to many financial institutions and large companies providing potential opportunities for those with advanced degrees in finance. Milwaukee and Madison, the largest cities in the state, are home to most of the state’s financial institutions. Financial companies such as Northwestern Mutual, American Family Insurance Group, and Sentry Insurance are headquartered in Wisconsin, offering analyst, accountant, and managerial positions. Johnson Financial Group and Associated Bank are among the banking companies that have centers in Wisconsin. Other large national companies based in Wisconsin include Johnson Controls, Menards, and Fiserv.
Finance graduates in Wisconsin may find opportunities around the state after graduation. While average annual wages in the state are generally lower than national averages, employment is forecast to grow across the financial industry over the next several years.9 Financial manager positions in Wisconsin are expected to increase by 15.1%, the highest rate of growth among financial occupations in the state.9 Loan officer positions have the lowest projected growth among Wisconsin’s financial professionals at 2.7%.9 Personal finance advisor positions in Wisconsin are projected to grow by 9.2% through 2028, exceeding the national average of 7% during the same period.9 The Madison metro area has the 10th-highest concentration of financial examiners in the US, while the Eau Claire area has the 10th-highest average annual salaries for financial examiners in the nation, at $107,480 per year.10 Personal financial advisors make up 1.85 of every 1,000 jobs in Wisconsin, the fourth-highest concentration in the country, and in Milwaukee financial advisors account for 3.67 of every 1,000 jobs, ranking third among US metropolitan areas.11 Among non-metropolitan areas, Northwest Wisconsin has the highest average salaries for financial managers in the nation at $160,920 annually.12
Wisconsin Finance Salary Information
|Occupation||Number Employed8||Average Salary8|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||151,820||$67,930|
|Financial and Investment Analysts and Other Specialists||5,860||$78,920|
|Personal Financial Advisors||5,320||$108,610|
Finance Associations in Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Association for Financial Professionals (WIAFP): Not-for-profit organization for financial professionals that provides educational opportunities,networking events, and conferences to its members.
- Wisconsin Government Finance Officers Association (WGFOA): Professional organization for public finance officials that provides educational opportunities, promotes awareness of the profession, and enables professional networking opportunities.
- Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA): Advocates for the banking industry in Wisconsin and provides opportunities for continuing education for banking professionals.
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, Wisconsin: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wi.htm
9. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm
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, Personal Financial Advisors: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132052.htm
12. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Financial Managers: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm