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10 Best Business Schools for Finance – Top MBA Programs in 2021

Some of the best business schools for finance offered an average median salary between $120,000 – $170,000 for its MBA class of 2019. Stanford MBA graduates who went into financial services post-MBA earned the highest median salary of $170,000, followed by Wharton, Chicago Booth, Harvard, and Duke Fuqua. The MBA Finance salary at these business schools is around $150,000, on average.

Best Business Schools for Finance - Top MBA Programs

In this article, we rank the top 10 MBA programs for careers in Finance. Read on to know about the best business schools for finance in 2021.

Check out our article on why you should pursue an MBA in Finance? Learn about the scope, salary, and career opportunities post-MBA Finance in 2021. 

For the purpose of ranking these MBA Programs in Finance, we have taken into consideration business schools that send a significant percentage of their class into the Finance industry.

This statistic indicates that a significant amount of the school’s resources would be allocated to preparing students for success in these fields. These resources include  MBA program faculty, coursework, and career services.

These business schools also help you in building relationships with employers and bringing them in to hire students in school facilitated events.

Best Business Schools for Finance in 2021

Here are the Top 10 MBA Programs for a career in finance:

  1. Cornell SC Johnson School of Business
  2. Wharton School of Business
  3. Columbia Business School
  4. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  5. Chicago Booth School of Business
  6. NYU Stern School of Business
  7. Harvard Business School
  8. Georgetown McDonough School of Business
  9. Dartmouth Tuck School of Business
  10. Yale School of Management
Top MBA programs in  Finance 2021 Finance Industry Hires (%) Median Salary (US $)  Median sign-On Bonus (in US $) GMAT Score
Cornell Johnson 37% $131,693 N/A 696
Wharton 35.80% $1,50,000 $50,000 722
Columbia 34.30% $1,39,642 $38,750 726
Stanford 33% $1,70,000 $30,000 734
Chicago Booth 31.3% $1,50,000 $40,000 730
NYU Stern 29.40% $1,50,000 $57,323 723
Harvard 29% $1,50,000 $30,000 730
Georgetown (McDonough) 27.00% $1,25,435 N/A 694
Dartmouth Tuck 24.00% $1,45,000 N/A 720
Yale SoM 23.10% $1,28,750 $40,000 720

The top 10 MBA programs mentioned above have an average GMAT score between 696 – 734. We can help you achieve a 700+ on the GMAT. Why don’t you try out our FREE Trial? We are the most reviewed online GMAT Preparation company in the GMATClub with more than 1950 reviews as on September 24, 2020.

Cornell SC Johnson School of Business

Best Business School for Finance - Cornell Johnson

In 2019, 37% of Cornell Johnson graduates chose careers in the finance industry with an average starting salary of $131,693.

22% of the class chose careers in Investment Banking by function. Following is a detailed breakdown of the full-time hires and salary in finance by function:

Function Average Salary % of students
Corporate Finance $121,361 8%
Equity Debt Research $119,625 4%
Investment Banking $140,846 22%
Real Estate $105,080 2%
Others $127,000 2%

Immersion Learning at Cornell Johnson

Cornell Johnson pioneered immersion-based performance learning back in 1990 when it introduced an immersion strategic semester in operations. This enabled students to combine classroom learning with practical experience through factory tours and Kaizen projects.

Today Cornell Johnson offers immersion-based performance learning in up to eight different functional areas. The following immersions are available for students looking to deep-dive into finance careers:

Immersions generally take place in the second semester of the first year of the MBA Program. This timing of the immersion helps you hit the ground running for internship recruiting in the summer.

MBA Finance Concentrations

Cornell Johnson also provides optional concentrations in the second year of the MBA program. These concentrations provide added depth or breadth and help students in positioning themselves for employment. Following are some of the concentrations available in finance:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Investing
  • Financial Analysis
  • Private Equity

Clubs and other resources

Investment Management Club: Students aspiring to careers in finance can learn more about the field through Johnson’s Investment Management Club. The club provides a forum to discuss investment-related topics and opportunities available in Investment Management.

The IMC also organizes various events such as job treks to both Boston and New York City so members can learn more about the career options available.

Old Ezra Finance Club: The Old Ezra Finance Club is one of the oldest and largest student groups at Cornell. It owes its name to one of the University’s co-founders, the late Ezra Cornell. It organizes a variety of events such as:

  • Seminars
  • Town Halls
  • Club Meetings
  • Weekly Roundtable Discussions
  • Mock Interviews

Learn more about Cornell Johnson School of Business and its class profile 2021 in this article.

Wharton School of Business

Given its reputation as the finance school, it’s not surprising that almost 35.8% of the class chose careers in the finance industry. A large chunk of students chose careers in Investment Banking (11.8%) and Private Equity (11%). The median salary of students choosing careers in the Finance Industry is $ 150,000.

Best Business Schools for Finance - Wharton

Professional Clubs and Events

Students who are pursuing careers in finance can participate in various professional clubs such as:

The finance club also sponsors the Wharton Finance Conference, which brings leaders in the field such as the vice-chairman of CIB Americas at Deutsche Bank and the Managing Director at Bank of Merrill Lynch as the keynote speakers. It also organizes resume reviews, mock interviews, career panels, Day-on-the-Job Fridays in which students get to visit, network, and events to interact at the leading financial institutions.

Rock Star Finance Faculty

The finance department at Wharton has 38 professors, which include Jeremy Siegel and Franklin Allen, and offers 30 courses. Franklin Allen is a winner of numerous teaching awards and co-author of Principles of Corporate Finance (one of the most widely used finance textbooks in the world).

Learn more about the Wharton MBA Program and its Employment Report and Salaries. Also take a look at Wharton MBA Essay Tips for 2021 intake. 

Columbia Business School

Because of its Manhattan location and its traditional hiring pipeline to major Wall Street Banks, Columbia Business School has one of the best MBA programs for finance. Bulge Bracket banks return in droves to recruit CBS graduates in masse every year.

Almost 34% of its class recruited for careers in finance with median salaries and bonuses starting at $139,642 and $38,750, respectively.

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Columbia has actively diversified its recruiting efforts. As a result of which Consulting has overtaken finance as the largest recruiter of Columbia graduates.

Best Business School for finance - Columbia

Private Equity and Venture Capital Club

Reportedly one of the largest clubs at CBS, the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club, organizes professional development events, internship programs connecting students with Venture Capital and Private Equity firms. It also participates in annual local and national competitions such as the Venture Capital Investment Competition, which CBS won in 2014.

The Private Equity and Venture Capital conference attract industry leaders such as the co-founder of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

Investment Banking Club

The Investment Banking Club works directly with Investment Banks to plan events for its members, including resume reviews, interview sessions, and networking affairs. Modeling and valuation workshops provide additional help and practice outside the classroom.

New York City Location

Benefitting from its New York City location, upper-level courses, particularly in finance, are often taught by adjunct faculty who work on Wall Street. Every year C-level finance executives and public figures come to campus to lecture. Recent campus speakers include Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, and Barbara Corcoran.

Learn more about the Columbia Business School and its employment reports and salaries. Also have a look at the MBA essay tips for Columbia MBA 2021 intake.

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business consistently sends more than a quarter of its class to careers in finance. In 2019, 33% of its MBA class chose careers in the finance industry. The median salary and Bonus offered were US$ 170,000 and US$ 30,000 respectively.

Best business schools for finance - Stanford GSB

Venture Capital Club

One of the largest clubs on campus with upwards of 200 students, the Venture Capital Club is one of the most active clubs on campus. The club connects students interested in developing or investing in new technologies with leading venture capital firms. Primary focus areas include clean technology, biotechnology, internet/mobile, and enterprise/infrastructure.

It also organizes advanced sessions on how to craft an appropriate term sheet, what kind of funding one should target, and various legal issues associated with venture capitalism. Group dinners and lunches organized by the club include representatives from Benchmark Capital, Sequoia Capital US, and Kleiner, Perkins Caufield, and Byers.

Nobel Prize-Winning Finance Faculty

With faculty such as Myron Scholes and William Sharpe, both professors emeritus now, Stanford GSB can claim some impressive credentials in the areas of Finance and Economics. Scholes received the Nobel prize for creating the Black-Scholes options pricing model, and Sharpe received the award for developing the capital asset pricing model (CAP-M).

Finance and Investment Club (F&I)

With more than 250 members, the Finance and Investment Club aims to provide students a forum to learn more about the various aspects of the financial world. For members who are seeking careers in finance, it also provides training, tools, and the contact necessary to secure jobs in areas such as Investment Management and Banking.

It also organizes a speaker series, training seminars that cover the basics of specific industries. By hosting job treks, students visit firms and network with employees it serves students interested in finance careers.

Learn more about the Stanford Graduate School of Business and its employment reports and salaries. Take a look at Stanford MBA Essay Tips for 2021 intake. 

Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business

Known for its quants focused program, Chicago Booth sent 31.3% of its 2019 class into careers in the finance industry. Median salaries and bonuses for students entering careers in Finance are US$150,000 and 40,000, respectively.

Top MBA Programs for finance - Chicago Booth

Nobel prize-winning distinguished faculty

With names like Eugene Fama, Gary Becker, and Robert Fogel associated with the school, Chicago Booth has a long history of economic and financial scholarship. It has 32 professors dedicated to teaching nearly 40 finance classes every year.

Professor Fama, generally regarded as the “Father of Modern Finance,” served as inspiration for David Booth. Specifically, Fama’s philosophy on indexing (purchasing a broad range of stocks representing the market at large rather than a handful of stocks). David Booth formed Dimensional Fund Advisors as a manifestation of Fama’s theories. Today Chicago Booth is a $300 million partner in the company.

Student Groups and Events

Chicago Booth has several student groups on campus that focus either completely or partially on the industry. Some of them are:

  • Investment Banking Group
  • Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Group
  • Private Equity Group
  • Corporate Financing Group
  • Credit Restructuring Distressed Investing and Turnaround Group
  • Hedge Fund Group
  • Investment Management Group

 Investment Banking Group

The IBG is one of the largest student groups on campus and offers extensive resources to its members. It offers resume reviews and interviews session, and lunches events to help the student in the recruiting process.

Corporate Finance Group

The Corporate Finance Symposium, one of the CFG’s signature events, attracts dozens of students and representatives from companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Exxon Mobil, Target, Prudential, Microsoft, and Citigroup. Graduates participate in networking sessions and attend company presentations to learn more about the strategic role of finance.

Learn more about the Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business and its employment reports and salaries in this article. Also, have a look at Chicago Booth MBA Essays Analysis and Tips for 2021 intake

A 700+ GMAT Score can increase your chances to get into top MBA programs for finance. We can help you achieve a 700+ GMAT Score. Try out our FREE Trial Today! 

NYU Stern School of Business

In 2019, 29.40% of its MBA class chose careers in the finance industry. The median salary and Bonus offered were US$ 150,000 and US$ 57,323 respectively.

Top MBA Programs in Finance - NYU Stern

New York City Location

With its location in New York City and proximity to Wall Street, the NYU Stern School of Business sent more than 1/3rd of its class into careers in the finance industry. Stern graduates go on to work in financial powerhouses throughout New York City and across the country.

Large Finance Faculty and Plentiful Resources

The finance department is the largest academic department and boasts of over 70 full-time faculty. Nobel Laureates such as Robert Engle, Nouriel Roubini, Aswath Damodaran, and Edward Altman is a part of the finance faculty at Stern.

Graduate Finance Association

Touting a membership of over 850 students and alumni, the graduate finance association helps students prepare for careers in finance. It hosts educational events such as the annual training, Street Valuation Seminar, and GFA Lunch and Learns.

Representatives from major organizations such as Citi, JP Morgan, and American Express attend the GFA Lunch to discuss their experiences in Investment Banking, research, and sales/trading.

Stern Investment Management and Research Society (SIMR)

The 400-member strong SIMR serves as a great resource for all finance-minded graduate students at Stern. It also sponsors several events throughout the year, such as:

  • Non-Equities Pitch Competition
  • Stock Pitch Competition
  • Modeling/Valuation Bootcamp

The annual Investment and Research Conference, a marquee SIMR event, brings together students, faculty experts, and industry practitioners to discuss market issues.

Learn more about the NYU Stern School of Business class profile 2021 and its employment reports and salaries. 

Harvard Business School

Although HBS is a general management-focused program, 29% of its class entered careers in the financial services industry. With a median starting salary and a signing bonus of US$ 150,000 and US$ 30,000, respectively, the median total compensation is almost US$ 200,000.

Top MBA programs for finance - Harvard

What makes HBS a Top Business School for Finance?

Besides its enormous brand value and cachet, HBS offers various resources to students looking to build a career in finance.

Curriculum and Electives

HBS offers 18 Elective Curriculum (EC) and 2 Required Curriculum (RC) classes for a total of 20 courses in the Finance Unit. However, courses in other units, such as “Business Analysis and Valuation Using Financial Statements” in the accounting and management unit, are also popular with students.

HBS also offers diverse electives such as “Investing in Emerging Markets,” Creating Value through Corporate Restructuring,” and “Financial Management of Smaller Firms.”

Venture Capital and Private Equity

Courses related to Private Equity and Venture Capital include:

  • Venture Capital and Private Equity
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Entrepreneurship in Healthcare IT and Services

The Venture Capital and Private Equity class involves the VCPE game in which students are assigned to 3-4 person teams and operate as private firms’ operations in a virtual market. The firm runs for 8 “game-years” and can choose from up to 9,000 companies to invest. Teams develop strategies, structure investments, negotiate with other groups to co-invest, and make decisions regarding portfolio management.

Venture Capital and Private Equity Club

The VCPE Club helps its members recruit for jobs in the VC and PE industry by organizing events and developing programs that address students’ employment-related concerns.

The annual VCPE conference attracts as many as 550 participants and features keynote speakers such as the co-managing partner of Bain Capital, the President and CEO of the Baupost group, and the Managing Director and co-head of US buyout at the Carlyle group.

HBS Finance Club

The finance club at HBS aims to provide an interface between industry, faculty, and HBS students. It organizes events such as A Day on Wall Street, in which students travel to New York City for a 2-day tour of Investment Banks and meet with finance professionals for formal presentations as well as informal talks.

The Finance Club also brings speakers such as Merrill Lynch, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, and the President of Barclays Capital. The club also hosts conferences that include keynote addresses from top finance industry executives. Previous speakers include the CTO of Financial services at Intel and founder and executive chairman of Evercore Partners.

The theme of the conference is different every year. Previous conference themes include “The Future of Finance,” “The Art of Creating Value,” and “Finance in the New Era of Growth.”

HBS Investment Club

The mission of the HBS Investment Club is “to improve members’ understanding of investment management, to help members develop practical investment skills and test them in the markets, and to create superior access to career opportunities in the investment industry.”

In pursuit of the above mission, the HBS Investment club organizes a speaker series which has featured speakers such as:

  • The founder and CEO of the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management
  • The founder and former portfolio manager of Shumway Capital Partners
  • Portfolio manager for the Magellan Fund
  • A hedge fund manager at Pabrai Investment Funds
  • The founder of Chilton Investment Company
  • The founder of Perry Capital.

Finance recruiting partners of HBS include American Express, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse AG, Fidelity Investments, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and Goldman Sachs Group.

Learn more about Harvard Business School and its class profile 2021. Also, take a look at Harvrad MBA Essay Tips for 2021 intake. 

A 700+ GMAT Score can increase your chances to get into top MBA programs for finance. We can help you achieve a 700+ GMAT Score. Try out our FREE Trial Today! 

Georgetown McDonough

McDonough School of Business sent 21% of its class into careers in finance. The average salary for students who chose careers in finance is $125,435. Moreover, 98% of students who were looking for employment received at least one offer at three months from graduation.

Top MBA programs for Finance - Georgetown

Center for Financial Markets and Policy

Housed at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, the Center for Financial Markets and Policy sponsors original research, provides thoughtful commentary, and hosts dialogues and conferences involving scholars and practitioners on key financial market issues.

Through these activities, the center enriches the intellectual life of the University and the Washington-based policy community and contributes to an informed public discussion regarding critical financial market debates.

Financial Markets Quality Conference

The center organizes an annual financial markets quality conference which features panel discussions with leading experts. Previous panels conducted include “Trends and Forces driving the capital markets” and “Regulatory and policy environment.” Topics for discussion. Previous keynote speakers at the events include the CEO of JP Morgan Asset & Wealth Management, President and CEO of Nasdaq, the CEO of INFRA, and the commissioner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Learn more about Georgetown McDonough School of Business and its class profile in this article.

Dartmouth Tuck School of Business

Part of the Ivy League Dartmouth College, the Tuck School of Business is one of the oldest and the first business school to offer a master’s degree in business. Its small class size and rural setting belie its MBA Program’s strength.

In 2019, 24% of Tuck graduates chose careers in finance, with a median salary of $ 145,000. The average GMAT score for its incoming class of 2021 is 720.

Top MBA Programs - Darthmouth Tuck

Private Equity and Venture Capital Club

Tuck’s Private Equity and Venture Capital Club (formerly the Private Equity Club) helps students interested in the private equity industry by organizing a range of educational and professional events. Club members also work closely with faculty and the center of private equity and career development offices to enhance the school’s curriculum and job prospects for students interested in careers in this field.

The small class size and tight-knit community make it easier for students to stand out in Private Equity. Which also means higher odds of success during on-campus recruiting.

The club also hosts the school’s annual Private Equity and Growth Ventures Conference. The event has featured keynote speakers such as the managing director of Berkshire Partners and the President and CEO of CP-PIB. The event concluded with a networking cocktail reception and included additional speakers from companies including Monument Group, ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC, and Parthenon Capital Partners.

Faculty and Curriculum

With 21 professors combined in the fields of economics and finance and several course offerings in the fields of corporate finance, private equity, capital markets, economics, microfinance, real estate, and taxation, Tuck students can tailor and gain broad exposure to the finance field.

To help keep students abreast of the changing economy, Tuck has developed several courses and offers various resources. In an initiative called the News Hour program, students organized town hall meetings that bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guest speakers at least twice every quarter to discuss topics such as:

  • The presidential elections
  • The credit crisis and bailout
  • The global business outlook.

Tuck Finance Club

The Finance Club organizes recruiting and social events, resume reviews, mock interviews, workshops, and career panels on topics such as:

  • Valuation
  • A day in the life of a trader
  • How to succeed on Wall Street?

Students also visit investment banks in New York City, such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Jefferies Capital Partners, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Barclays Capital.

Tuck Investment Club

Tuck Asset Management (TAM, formerly called the Tuck Investment Fund) overseen by the Investment Club, allows students to learn about the portfolio management process in a hands-on manner. The club also provides plenty of meeting opportunities to practice stock pitches and do mock interviews with second-year students.

Learn more about the Dartmouth Tuck School of Business and its class profile 2021 in this article.

Yale School of Management

With an Ivy League parent university, the Yale School of Management sent 23.1% of its MBA class into careers in the finance industry. The average median salary is $128,750, with a signing bonus of $40,000.

The average GMAT score for its incoming class of 2021 is 720.

Faculty & Curriculum

According to Bruce DelMonico (Director of Admissions) at Yale SoM, the reason for the schools’ strong reputation in finance is its top finance faculty. Yale SoM has approximately 20 faculty members associated with its finance department, including Nicholas Barberis (specialist in behavioral finance), Gary Gorton (banking), and Andrew Metrick (regulation of the financial system).

Yale SoM also offers more than 40 finance-related electives, including “Corporate Finance, “Behavioral Finance,” “Investment management,” and” successful investing.” Students can also get an initial overview of the finance industry through the accounting and finance boot camp, which is sponsored by the school’s Finance Club.

International Centre for Finance

Established in 1999 to support research in finance, the International Center for Finance is central to the study of Finance at Yale SOM. It organizes conferences that have featured professors from the University of London, Union College, Harvard University, and the University of California San Diego. The conference brings together researchers from the fields of behavioral finance, behavioral economics, and behavioral decision-making.

Learn more about Yale School of Management and its class profile 2021 in this article. Also, take a look at Yale MBA Essay tips for 2021 intake. 

We hope this article provides valuable insights for you to make an informed decision in evaluating the Best Business Schools for Finance.

Learn about the best business schools for Marketing, Operations, Human Resource, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Business Analytics, and Consulting 

The top 10 MBA programs mentioned above have an average GMAT score between 696 – 734. We can help you achieve a 700+ on the GMAT. Why don’t you try out our FREE Trial? We are the most reviewed online GMAT Preparation company in the GMATClub with more than 1950 reviews as on September 24, 2020.

FAQs – Best business schools for Finance

Which MBA program is best for Finance in 2021?

Here are the best MBA programs for Finance:
1. Wharton School of business
2. NYU Stern
3. Columbia
4. Stanford GSB
5. Chicago Booth
Learn more about which of these business schools sent the majority of their class into the Financial industry.

What skills are required for MBA in Finance?

According to the GMAC corporate recruitment survey 2020, some of the key skills that are required in the Financial industry are:
1. Ability to handle the tricky global business environment
2. Versatile skill-set
3. Ability to navigate the challenges of technological disruption
Check out this article to know the MBA Finance scope, salary, and career opportunities in 2021.

What is MBA Finance syllabus?

Generally, an MBA program in Finance offers a mix of core and specialized courses. Some of the core courses taught are strategic thinking, operations management, marketing management, and financial accounting. The specialized courses include investment analysis, fundraising, portfolio management, and many more.

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