Best Degrees For Banking and Becoming a Banker


This article considers the best degrees for banking and becoming a banker.

Banking is an interesting and diverse field with many types of career opportunities. It not only consists of simple management of funds, but also the sale of investment products and management of loans. Students intent on becoming bankers should concentrate on degrees that have a heavy emphasis on finance.

Quick links:

Featured Degree Programs


The best degree for the field is likely accounting, and most accredited schools have such a degree programs available year round. Another good degree might be a degree in business, especially if the student has an interest in the managerial side of banking. Regardless of the choice, a degree that prepares students for a career in banking can help to ease the path towards future employment.

Ranking and Profing the Best Degrees for Banking

This is a list of thirty different programs, fifteen graduate, and fifteen undergraduate, all of which can lead to or advance a career in banking. Banking is one of the most complex fields in the finance industry. For students desiring to enter the banking field, the degree options are many, but in this highly competitive market, three degree types stand out: economics, finance, and accounting. This list features some of the best online programs in each of those categories at both the undergraduate, and graduate levels.

The point of this list is to provide students with a clear picture of possible paths to their end career goal. The undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees can be mixed and matched to create a point of view that will remain competitive, but help to distinguish students in the incredibly competitive environment that is the banking industry.


Online Economics Degree – Top Degrees for Banking

Economics is a broad field with many professional and academic applications and career paths. An undergraduate degree in economics can open up doors in many industries and banking is no exception. With an undergraduate economics degree students will find themselves qualified for many entry level positions, and as with all undergraduate degrees in the finance field, a graduate degree is typically required to advance to the highest levels of the field.


Image Source

The economics program at PSU provides students with an in depth understanding of the key mathematical and statistical models used by the finance industry. Students also study human behavior and how it is influenced by incentives, and the effect of human behavior responding to incentives can have an effect on the market as a whole.

Tuition: $16,800/year

University of Detroit–Mercy: BA in Financial Economics


Image Source

University of Detroit at Mercy offers two undergraduate economics programs and the BA in Financial Economics is tailored specifically to serve the needs of students seeking to enter the finance industry. The primary focus of this program is on financial economic theory and its application. The program also delves into the history of markets and economics to provide the student with a strong grasp of the field’s history.

Tuition: $18,660/year

University of Alabama at Birmingham: BS in Economics


Image Source

The online program in economics at UAB utilizes cutting edge technology and online teaching methods to ensure that students get the most out of their online education. The BS in Economics program is one of the Collat School of Business’ most recent additions and provides the student a broad study of core economics principles, and the role of economists in applying those principles to the finance industry.

Tuition: $16,398/year

Utah State University: BS in Economics


Image Source

Utah State University is a well regarded public institution and also offers one of the cheapest economics programs for aspiring bankers. The importance of economists in the finance industry increases as the influence and complexity of the finance industry does the same. This program is designed to prepare students for work in the finance industry as it becomes ever more important.

Tuition: $8,700/year

Oregon State University: BA/BS in Economics


Image Source

Both the traditional and online programs at OSU have been nationally recognized as among the best. In the finance industry as a whole, and banking is no exception, the reputation of your school matters. OSU is an affordable choice with a great reputation. The online classes are taught by the same faculty as the traditional classes, and the school makes no distinction between online and traditional students on the diploma awarded, indicating confidence that their online programs are of equal quality to the traditional.

Tuition: $12,195/year


Online Master’s in Economics – Best Degrees for Banking

Johns Hopkins University: MS in Applied Economics


Image Source

Johns Hopkins University is a world renowned school, and not just for the medical field. That a school ranked #12 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report is offering online graduate programs is another huge endorsement of the online delivery. The MS in Applied Economics program is taught by the same renowned faculty as the traditional program. Students interested in banking can tailor their studies to fit their needs.

Tuition: $36,990

Georgia Southern University: MS in Applied Economics


Image Source

One of the three main areas of focus for the MS in Applied Economics at Georgia Southern is financial economics. Students will study the applications of qualitative analysis, regulatory industry analysis, and more. The program is designed to provide students with a competitive edge that will help boost advancement in their career.

Tuition: $12,300

Purdue University: MS in Economics


Image Source

Purdue University is one of the most respected state universities in the United States. This program may be expensive, but it is also an academically rigorous program where students study everything from public policy analysis to econometrics.

Tuition: $42,174

University of North Dakota: MS in Applied Economics


Image Source

Always one of the least expensive programs, the University of North Dakota offers online courses at the resident rate for non-residents. Though UND is a respected university, nationally recognized and AACSB accredited, its affordable price makes it one of the best bargains for the finance conscious banking professional.

Tuition: $9,163

University of Detroit–Mercy: MA in Financial Economics


Image Source

UDM’s unique MA in Financial Economics seems tailor made for those seeking to advance their finance career. The faculty that teaches the online courses also teaches traditional courses and has extensive experience in business, finance, and economics. As an MA program students will also learn about the history of the current economy and finance industry, how it came about, and its major institutions.

Tuition: $22,590


Online Finance Degree – Best Degrees for Banking

Finance is the most direct way of studying banking and may provide the most opportunities in the field. It’s also likely the most common degree held by people attempting to find a place in banking. Taking a minor in a subject related to the field that also shows you have had the opportunity to develop a unique perspective is one of the best ways to distinguish yourself. With a finance degree it may pay to begin earning a graduate degree as soon as possible, even if it means doing school and work at the same time.

Penn State University: BS in Finance


Image Source

Penn State’s online finance program is designed to give students a competitive edge by providing them with a strong core curriculum and the flexibility to take their finance degree in a direction that will help meet their career goals. This powerful program is AACSB accredited, ensuring that it will be respected by future employers.

Tuition: $16,800/year

University of Alabama at Birmingham: BS in Finance


Image Source

The BS in finance is offered by UAB’s AACSB accredited Collat School of Business. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the finance industry. Subjects including advanced financial management, money and banking, real estate finance, and financial research are among those at the core of the program..

Tuition: $16,398/year

Northeastern University: BS in Finance and Accounting Management


Image Source

Students in Northeastern’s finance program will find that their electives provide them with enough flexibility to focus their studies on a specific area to enhance their knowledge and help them in their pursuit of career goals. Students can choose from electives in: taxation, international finance, investment, and financial strategy.

Tuition: $15,036/year

University of Massachusetts–Amherst: BS in Finance


Image Source

The Isenberg School of Management’s approach to finance is to teach students the skills necessary to leverage financial strategy against the instability of markets. The school states flat out that through their program, finance students become finance experts.

Tuition: $27,632/year

University of Houston–Clear Lake: BS in Finance


Image Source

The finance program at UHCL is AACSB accredited and one of the cheapest high quality online finance programs you can find. The program is taught by good faculty, and designed to prepare students to have a positive effect on both their industry and society,

Tuition: $14,376/year


Online Master’s in Finance – Degrees for Bankers

Penn State University: Master of Finance


Image Source

Penn State University’s World Campus is the culmination of the school’s 100+ year history of distance education. Becoming a leader in online education always made sense for the school. The graduate program in finance offered online is AACSB accredited, and is designed to provide comprehensive training that will take any finance professional’s career to the next level.

Tuition: $30,750

Purdue University: MS in Finance


Image Source

Purdue is proud to state that its MS in Finance program distinguishes students from the pack. The program is rigorous, and designed to create high caliber finance professionals. The program utilizes a team based approach and does so on an international scale so students will learn alongside other professionals from around the world, building a global perspective into the program.

Tuition: $48,500

Northeastern University: MS in Finance


Image Source

Northeastern University is a top research university that offers many online programs. The AACSB accredited MS in Finance program takes 16 months to complete full time. NEU’s online program is taught by the same world renowned faculty, and uses the same rigorous program as the traditional degree.

Tuition: $42,990

Texas A&M University–Commerce: MS in Finance


Image Source

Like most programs, the nine hours of foundation courses required by the Texas A&M degree can be waived by students with the appropriate undergraduate training. The Texas A&M University system is one of the most respected in the United States and the online finance program offered by the Commerce campus is designed to help students meet the challenges of the 21st century finance industry head on.

Tuition: $19,056

University of Michigan–Dearborn: MS in Finance


Image Source

The finance program offered by the University of Michigan–Dearborn campus is open to those with and without an undergraduate education in finance with one caveat; individuals in the program must quantitative and analytical competence. Students currently taking undergraduate classes at the university can take up to six graduate credits in the finance program during their final semester.

Tuition: $21,720

Online Accounting Degree – Degrees for Banking

Accounting is perhaps a less direct path into banking than finance, but it’s more defined. All banks need accountants at varying levels, and at the management level, it’s never a bad thing to have a manager with an intimate understanding of accounting. Students can go the CPA route by immediately pursuing their graduate degree in accounting, but master’s degrees in either economics or finance can also provide an accounting professional with some perspective to help them advance to the highest levels of the industry.

University of Alabama at Birmingham: Bachelor’s in Accounting


Image Source

The online accounting program at UAB is one of the oldest programs of the partnership between UAB’s Collat School of Business and the online arm of the university. The program itself was one of the original 17 accounting programs accredited by the AACSB, which demonstrates a long history of excellence in the accounting program at UAB.

Tuition: $16,398/year

Colorado State University–Global Campus


Image Source

Students can transfer up to 90 eligible credits into the accounting program at CSU’s global campus. The program emphasizes accounting best practices that apply across private, non-profit, and government lines. In addition to accounting students also study finance, marketing, legal compliance and ethics.

Tuition: $10,500/year

Dakota State University: BS in Professional Accountancy


Image Source

Accounting is a much bigger part of business than just CPA positions. However it is students should be aware of new standards requiring CPAs to earn a graduate degree before sitting the CPA exam. This program is designed both for students seeking their CPA certification, and those that want to work in different areas of accounting. Banks, need both.

Tuition: $9,985.50/year

Indiana State University: BS in Accounting


Image Source

This program is designed to prepare students for graduate school, and entering the job market. While the program focuses on accounting, it also boasts a strong business core, and is AACSB accredited. Students may also minor in Finance, Insurance and Risk Management, and Forensic Accounting.

Tuition: $10,270/year

Washington State University: BS in Accounting

Image Source

Washington State University is considered to be one of the top universities in the country both for its traditional, and especially its online programs. The accounting program is AACSB accredited and students have several options if they wish to choose a minor. Minors relevant to banking include Business Administration, and Business Economics.

Tuition: $11,368/year


Online Accounting Master’s – Degrees for Banking

University of Alabama at Birmingham: Masters in Accounting


Image Source

The Master’s in Accounting program at UAB is the perfect compliment to its undergraduate counterpart. The program isn’t the most affordable, but it’s far from the most expensive. The website proudly states that the UAB online graduate program in accounting ranks 7th in the nation. Experienced award winning faculty, personalized education, and CPA certification prep are all reasons students might want to consider UAB.

Tuition: $26,070

Purdue University: MS in Accounting


Image Source

One of the most attractive aspects of the Purdue accounting program is that it can be completed in just ten months. So while it may be on the expensive side, students can begin taking advantage of the degree and everything it means to their career in less than one year.

Tuition: $40,582

University of Connecticut: MS in Accounting


Image Source

The University of Connecticut is one of the most respected universities in the United States and is ranked by U.S. News at #19 among state universities. The online graduate business programs offered by the school are also well regarded. The program is designed to help students meet the CPA exam requirements, and pass the exam, and also to prepare them for a wide variety of other roles within the accounting field.

Tuition: $22,500

St. John’s University–Queens: MS in Accounting


Image Source

This program is designed to communicate to students the wide variety of crucial roles accountants play in global finance. Students will learn to take nuanced theoretical concepts and apply them to complex real world situations. Accountants are much more than just bean counters in the modern marketplace and St. John’s University strives to instill excellence in each student.

Tuition: $34,650

University of Massachusetts–Amherst: MS in Accounting (New Program! Starts Spring 2015)


Image Source

This brand new program is offered online by the renowned Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. The innovative program can be completed in as little as eight months and can be taken either 100% online or through the hybrid model which incorporates a 12 week in-residence session for one summer.

Tuition: $22,500 (est.)


Related Topics

Best Online Finance Degree Programs
Best Online Mathematics Degree Programs
Best Online Banking and Financial Support Services Degree Programs