15 Best Online PhD in Finance Programs [2024 Guide]

By Joy Cromwelle
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on April 20, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
Ready to start your journey?
Looking for Online PhD in Finance Programs? Some schools have no GRE and offer accelerated courses to help you finish faster.

Looking for Online PhD in Finance Programs? Some schools have no GRE and offer accelerated courses to help you finish faster.

accountants working in the office

A doctoral degree in finance may be your ticket to the career you’ve always wanted.

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This online finance degree can help you pursue an executive role or a teaching job related to accounting, banking, asset management, or financial policymaking.

Universities Offering Online PhD in Finance Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

1. Capella University

With Capella University in Minnesota, students can study online to earn a DBA with a concentration in Accounting or a PhD in Business Management with a concentration in Accounting.

These programs are designed to help students learn about theories, methods, rules and ethical issues that influence accounting practice and consider the implications of practicing accounting within a global marketplace.

Before graduation, DBA students are expected to complete two residencies and submit a major research project. PhD students are expected to do three residencies and complete a dissertation.

Both programs use Capella’s GuidedPath format with weekly discussions and specific deadlines for submitting assignments.

  • PhD in Accounting
  • DBA in Accounting

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

2. City University of Seattle

When you study with City University of Seattle, you’ll have the opportunity to choose your own area of specialty for your DBA program.

Students who choose the Specialized Study concentration can submit a proposal for the graduate-level courses they would like to take as part of their studies.

If you’re interested in finance, you may be able to request courses on the topics of finance and accounting. During online classes, you’ll have opportunities to engage in live conversations with faculty.

You’ll be expected to submit a dissertation during your doctoral studies and complete three different residencies.

  • DBA in Business Administration (Finance concentration)

The City University of Seattle is Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

3. George Fox University

As you pursue a DBA with a concentration in Accounting from George Fox University, you may take classes like Advanced Applications of Ethical Reasoning and Compliance in Accounting and Advanced Topics in Accounting.

In addition, you’ll need to complete both a dissertation and a practicum for the program. During the practicum, you’ll have opportunities to try your hand at teaching or consulting.

Most of the work for this hybrid DBA program is online, but you’ll need to report to the school’s campus in Oregon a few times a year.

  • DBA in Accounting

George Fox University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

4. Hampton University

If you’re interested in a PhD in Business Administration, check out Hampton University in Virginia. The program students to pursue a concentration in Accounting and Finance by taking multiple credit hours of elective courses.

These electives include classes like Financial Accounting and Reporting Research, Accounting Theory, Corporate and Financial Institutions, and Behavior Finance.

Students at this university take online courses during the traditional school year and come to campus for two summer residencies. This PhD program is appropriate for current professionals and for those straight out of a master’s program.

  • PhD in Business Administration

Hampton U is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

5. Kansas State University

Do you believe that it is critical for individuals and families to have a solid financial plan for their future? If so, you may be interested in the PhD in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University.

You may choose to use this degree in the business world or spread your knowledge to others by working in an academic setting.

During the online doctoral program, you’ll need to come to the school’s Kansas campus for a few intensive sessions and go overseas to expand your knowledge about global markets. A dissertation is required for this program.

  • Hybrid PhD in Personal Financial Planning

Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

6. Liberty University

For those interested in numbers and money, Liberty University’s online DBA offers two concentration options: Accounting and Finance.

Both programs begin with the same core courses, but Accounting students take specialized classes like Accounting for Decision Making and Advanced Auditing while Finance students focus on classes like Managerial Finance and Advanced Financial Statement Analysis.

Whichever track you choose, you will need to take a comprehensive exam and complete a dissertation before graduation from this Virginia university. Accounting graduates often work as auditors or budget supervisors, and Finance graduates may choose to become treasurers or financial managers.

  • DBA in Accounting

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

7. National University

You can pursue a DBA or a PhD in Business Administration from National University. NU is a network of nonprofit institutions headquartered in San Diego, CA.

The school encourages students of either program to pursue high-level leadership positions, but the PhD program is research-based, and the DBA involves the application of research findings that are already available.

Specialization options for both PhD and DBA students include Financial Management and Advanced Accounting. All faculty hold doctoral degrees, and many tracks can be completed fully online. Dissertations are required for PhD programs.

  • PhD in Business Administration – Advanced Accounting
  • DBA in Financial Management
  • DBA in Advanced Accounting

National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

8. Rutgers University

This university offers a PhD in Management; concentrations include Finance, Accounting or Accounting Information Systems. The concentration in finance offers courses like Investments, Corporate Finance, Theory of Corporate Disclosures, Control and Governance, and Econometrics.

The concentration in accounting offers courses like Current Topics in Auditing and Empirical Analysis of Financial Reporting. Students are expected to take a qualifying exam and defend a dissertation before graduating from these programs. The school recommends that students have master’s level education in mathematics, economics or computer science before applying for enrollment.

  • PhD in Accounting

Rutgers University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

9. Sacred Heart University

Although Sacred Heart University does require DBA in Finance students to come to its Connecticut campus, the program is described as “low-residency,” and it is structured to fit the schedules of people who are already in the workforce.

Each student is part of a cohort that provides opportunities for networking and group projects. During the course of the program, students study topics like mathematics and global markets and choose electives like Fixed Income Securities or Portfolio Management.

Students are also required to submit a dissertation before graduation. The school’s DBA graduates often find work in government, academia, and corporations.

  • DBA in Finance

SHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

10. Saint Leo University

You can get an online DBA from Saint Leo University in Florida. The program offers classes like Analytics for Decision Making, Organizational Behavior and Social Responsibility, and A History of Applied Management Theory. It can help you acquire research skills and learn how to apply your findings to real-world business applications.

Before graduation, you will be expected to take a comprehensive exam, defend a dissertation and complete a practicum. This DBA course of study is particularly well-suited for students who want to go into consulting, but the school’s graduates also teach, work as CFOs, manage organizations and become investment analysts.

  • Doctor of Business Administration

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

11. Trident University

Whether you want to earn an online DBA or a PhD in Business Administration, you can pursue your degree from Trident University in California.

One available concentration for the PhD program is Accounting and Finance; students on that track study topics like auditing, global markets, corporation finance, and taxation.

The DBA is a generalist degree that doesn’t include specialization. If you go the PhD route, you’ll need to complete a dissertation, and if you choose a DBA, you will be expected to complete a doctoral study. To help you move through the online program, the university offers its Doctoral Positioning System tracker.

  • PhD in Business Administration – Accounting

Trident University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

12. University of Dallas

Students at the University of Dallas can earn a DBA through a mix of online classes and time on the school’s Texas campus.

This program is designed for those who already hold leadership positions in the business world and desire increased advancement, and its flexible nature helps working professionals earn their doctoral degrees while remaining in their current jobs.

This generalist program includes classes like Agile Organizations and Emerging Technologies. If you choose this university, you will be expected to join a colloquium and defend a dissertation and will have the option to complete a teaching practicum.

  • DBA in Business Administration (Finance concentration)

The University of Dallas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

13. University of South Carolina

The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina offers an on-campus program through which you can earn a PhD in Business Administration.

One available concentration for this program is Finance, and classes include Current Issues in Finance, Empirical Methods in Financial Research and Theory of Finance.

Faculty in this department have earned multiple recognitions, including the Alfred G. Smith, Jr. Excellence in Teaching Award and the Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award. A master’s degree is recommended before admission to the program, but it is not a requirement.

  • Hybrid DBA in Business Administration – Finance

The University of South Carolina is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

14. University of the Cumberlands

The PhD in Business program at the University of the Cumberlands takes business courses ranging from comparative economic and corporate finance to managerial ethics and responsibility. Students can choose one of their specialty areas like accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, etc. The Curriculum of this program will engage students in the theories, strategies, and tactics that they need to.

  • PhD in Business (Finance concentration)

The University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

15. Walden University

Whether you’re interested in DBA or a PhD, you can earn it from Walden University. The DBA program offers concentrations like Accounting and Finance. On the path to earning a DBA, you can complete a doctoral study, assemble a portfolio or take part in a consultation program in which you work with a local organization or company.

If you would prefer to earn a PhD in Management, you can select a 21st Century Finance concentration, which requires the completion of a dissertation. Both the DBA and PhD tracks can be completed through online study.

  • PhD in Accounting
  • DBA in Accounting

Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Online PhD in Finance Programs

If you have a particular area of interest within the world of finance, then you may want to select a corresponding degree concentration.

A concentration can give you opportunities to take an array of courses designed to hone your knowledge on that particular topic.

PhD in Finance

female accountant working in an office

If you are a numbers person, there’s a good chance that you like accounting just as much as you enjoy general financial topics. This concentration can allow you to explore both of these areas of study.

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You might put this degree to work in corporate or academic settings. You may also be interested in an Online PhD in Accounting program.

PhD in Financial Management

financial managers having a meeting

Being in charge of a company’s financial resources requires a special set of managerial leadership skills. A concentration in financial management can help you gain those skills.

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This concentration is designed to teach topics like building a solid financial strategy and navigating international markets.

PhD in Financial Planning

financial advisor talking to a couple

Helping individuals do their best with their money is the goal behind a concentration in financial management.

This concentration can help train you to guide wise financial choices as you learn not only about asset management and investment growth but also about how to influence smart decision-making through relational know-how.

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With a PhD Financial Planning degree, you may help others manage their money, lead a financial advisement company, or teach future finance students.

Doctorate in Finance Salary

Doctorate in Finance Salary

Earning your doctoral degree in finance may open many career paths to you. Once you graduate with this degree, you may work in an academic setting, a nonprofit organization, the corporate world, or the public sector.

Here are a few jobs you may be able to look forward to, along with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics job outlook and average salary information.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts are responsible for setting an organization’s budget and helping the company stick to it.

  • Outlook for job growth: 5% increase
  • Median salary per year: $78,970

This may be an enjoyable career path for those who want to understand all facets of a company – tracking and justifying where each penny goes. Budget analysts make recommendations for investment and expenditure to boost their company’s profitability.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are responsible for paying attention to the market in order to make recommendations on how people or businesses should invest their resources.

  • Outlook for job growth: 6% increase
  • Median salary per year: $83,660

Rather than monitoring their business or organization, they monitor the economy as a whole. This career may be ideal for those who find financial markets interesting and have a deep understanding of investments.

financial analyst working in the office

Personal Financial Advisor

Consider this career path if you want the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping others plan for their futures.

  • Outlook for job growth: 5% increase
  • Median salary per year: $89,330

You might also need to have a knack for marketing and sales as you attract and welcome new clients to your firm. In this role, you might work for a successful money management company or start your own practice.

Finance Professor

You may be able to pass your knowledge onto others by teaching students at the university level.

  • Outlook for job growth: 7% increase
  • Median salary per year: $88,010

Like many careers, you’ll need more than knowledge of the financial sector to be successful in this position. You’ll need organization and communication skills to be able to teach effectively. You’ll also need to be willing to prove your teaching effectiveness to your department via annual reviews.

If you enjoy teaching, researching, and discussing business, you may find yourself quite at home among the faculty of a business college.

Curriculum for Finance PhD Programs

Curriculum for Finance PhD Programs

Similar to a MBA in finance or online master’s in finance, when pursuing an advanced degree in finance, you’ll likely take a variety of courses designed to equip you with a thorough understanding of financial matters and how they relate to decision-making for individuals and businesses.

Your classes may include:

  • Accounting and Control for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Valuation
  • Data Analysis for Investments
  • Financial Management for International Business
  • Human Resource Development
  • Investment Portfolio Analysis
  • Managerial Finance
  • Mathematical Foundations for Finance
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Money, Capital Markets & Economic Growth
  • Quantitative Research Design & Methodology
  • Real Estate Finance
  • Real Option Valuation
  • Risk Management
  • Strategic Thinking for Decision-Making
  • Stochastic Foundations of Finance

Since your program will likely encourage you to take a mix of both foundational classes and specialized electives, the coursework listed above includes both core classes and electives. Your PhD in finance requirements may also include a dissertation or capstone project. A growing number of doctorate programs have no dissertation required, but these tend to be professional doctorates, not PhDs.

Choose programs with a capstone project if you’d like to finish your degree faster. Dissertations can often take 2-3 years more to complete after you finish your coursework.

DBA in Finance vs. PhD in Finance

DBA in Finance vs. PhD in Finance

When you have your sights set on a finance degree, there are two different doctoral routes you can take. You could earn a doctorate of business administration (DBA) in finance or pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in finance.

Although you can learn a great deal about numbers, money, and economics either way, the two different degrees will likely set you on divergent career tracks.

People often choose a professional doctorate, such as a DBA in Finance, if they want to put their education to work in the field — for example, working on Wall Street or in a Fortune 500 company.

A DBA in Finance:

  • Is typically pursued by those who want to stay with their current company or work for another corporation.
  • May involve drawing from others’ data and research for the culminating project.
  • Is often pursued by those with several years of professional experience.

A PhD in finance is often pursued by people who want to work in an academic setting. You may find that a PhD program focuses more on the theoretical aspects of finance than the practical ones.

A PhD in Finance:

  • Is typically pursued by people who want to conduct research, get published or teach.
  • Typically requires conducting original research.
  • May be good for those straight out of school, such as recent graduates of a master’s in finance or master’s in accounting program.

Think about what you want to do for your career, then choose the degree that best fits those goals.

Online vs. Traditional Finance Degree

financial degree student studying online

When it comes to online versus traditional finance doctoral programs, the main difference is the format through which the material is presented. The content should remain about the same, and the rigors of the program likely will as well.

You may choose a fully online program, an on-campus one, or a hybrid mix.

Accreditation for a Doctorate in Finance Online

Accreditation for a Doctorate in Finance Online

Universities receive accreditation as proof that their programs provide a thorough educational experience for students. Therefore, when you’re looking for a doctor of finance program, the school’s accreditation should be the first thing that you consider.

Reputable universities receive accreditation from a regional accrediting agency. These organizations give a broad stamp of approval to the entire school rather than to its individual programs. It is essential that you enroll in a school with regional accreditation.

In addition, there are several national and international organizations that provide accreditation specifically for business programs. Although this type of accreditation may not be absolutely essential, it’s certainly a valuable sign that the program is thorough, reputable, and excellent in quality.

A finance program may be accredited by:

The top finance PhD programs are accredited both regionally and programmatically by one of these specialty boards. You can find your chosen university’s accreditation by searching the US Department of Education’s accreditation database.

Financial Aid for a Finance Degree

Financial Aid for a Finance Degree

As you begin looking into finance PhD programs, don’t forget to also look into financial aid opportunities. At the doctorate level, you may still be eligible for federal financial aid as well as fellowships and scholarships from universities and scholarships from private organizations.

Your employer might even have tuition assistance programs available.

Can I Get My PhD Online?

financial analysts in a meeting

Yes, many universities offer online PhD and professional doctorate programs. This includes doctoral degrees in finance, public health, education, nursing, and organizational leadership.

This approach can help you earn your advanced degree in a format that fits your schedule.

Is an Online PhD Respected and Credible?

In an online program, you should have to work just as hard as you do in an on-campus program. Additionally, your official records are unlikely to specify how you earned your degree.

The important thing is not the format in which you completed your coursework but whether you attended an accredited university.

Are There Any Online PhD In Finance Programs?

professional shaking hands with his employer

Earning a doctoral degree in finance doesn’t have to require moving onto campus or uprooting your whole life. Rather, there are programs for a DBA or PhD in finance online.

In these programs, you can engage in a computer-based educational experience as you work toward your degree.

Getting Your PhD in Finance Online

accountant working in an office

To take your finance education to the highest level, you may want to pursue a doctoral degree in this field, whether a PhD or a DBA.

Completing your coursework online can help you receive a solid education in a format that fits your lifestyle and prepare you for the next step on your career path.

Use the above list of schools to narrow down the finance PhD programs for you.

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