Our list of the Top 5 Online Doctoral Programs in Finance is a broad ranking which takes into account accreditation, general reputation, and cost. Online doctoral programs are becoming more of a reality as employers accept online Ph.D.s as valid. Further, technology has allowed educators to bridge distances with students in an unprecedented way. Prestigious institutions and state universities are among those who are now offering online doctoral programs in a variety of fields. The doctoral degree in Finance is very limited across the country. Generally, Finance is an emphasis housed within Business degrees. This list provides a group of institutions based on a reputation that we hope will help guide decisions in picking a top tier school. All schools on the list are accredited at the time of this list’s posting.
In constructing the list, a number of sites were used for research including U.S. News and World Report, The National Center for Education Statistics, and The Guide to Online Schools.
1. Kansas State University
Kansas State University offers the first, largely online doctoral degree in Personal Financial Planning in order to cater to those who already have busy careers and substantial roots where they live. Kansas State is a public institution that was founded in 1863. It is located in Manhattan, Kansas in the northeastern part of the state. The online program in Personal Financial Planning is offered in a hybrid format, with some of the program online and some in residency courses. The fall and spring semester courses are offered fully online with 10-day residency courses being offered during the summer. This means that you can earn your Ph.D. in five years or less, depending on how quickly you move through coursework.
Students attend three consecutive summer residencies that attempt to acquaint students with the university, connect them with their peers, and get face-to-face time with their faculty. The final residency is a capstone course where students travel as a group to a location abroad or to the capital of the state to study how markets work in various contexts. When you enter the program, you become a member of a small cohort in which you will participate in professional groups, assume professional leadership positions, and become involved in teaching, research, and publication.
The program is 90 credit hours involving research courses, professional courses, core content, and electives. Tuition is $626.60 per credit hour which makes tuition for the program at $56.394 total. U.S. News and World Report ranks Kansas State University at 135 among schools nationally and the 114 in Business programs nationally. They are also ranked at 95 for online MBA programs nationally. Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The college of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance collegiate Schools of Business.
2. Capella University
Capella University offers an online Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management with a specialization in Finance. Capella University is a for-profit institution located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is owned and operated by Capella Education company and most of its education is delivered online. The University began in 1993 and gained accreditation in the year 1997. The program in Finance is designed to help students become scholars who wish to go on to teaching, scholarship, and leadership. The curriculum focuses on research skills, scholarly writing, ethical theory, global economic issues, financial tech, and systems approaches.
Students who take more than six credits per quarter receive a flat-rate fee of $5000 maximum or $925 per credit hour up to six units. The max credit hours per quarter is nine. In terms of how the program progresses, students begin work on their dissertations from the start. The curriculum is designed to help students find their topics and subjects of interests as soon as possible. Faculty and exposure to research methodologies help point the student in the right directions. The program is 90 credit hours across three quarters. This means that the maximum a student will pay for the program is $82,250 in tuition costs. Students can transfer up to 12 credits.
45% of Capella University’s students are graduate students with the majority being in their business programs. The average age of Capella students is 40. 95% of students are enrolled part-time while 74% of the student body is female. Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North central Association of Colleges and Schools. Capella University business programs and specializations are accredited by the Accreditation council for Business Schools and Programs.
3. Trident University
Trident University is a regionally accredited, private university that is completely online. The school offers a range of degrees in business, education, information technology, and health sciences. Trident University offers an online Doctorate in Business Administration with a specialty in Accounting and Finance. The doctorate is 60 units long and also includes comprehensive exams and a dissertation. Much of the comprehensive exam focuses on statistics in the area which the student chooses to work, theory, and research methods.
Tuition for the program is $975 per credit hour or $3,900 per course. There are 56 credits necessary to complete the degree making it approximately $54,600 for the tuition for the degree. Retired military and their immediate family pay $870 per credit hour while members of the military, their immediate family, and Department of Defense Federal Civilian Employees pay $800 per credit hour. Dissertation continuing courses are $800 per course. There is a $0 charge for course materials, a $150 graduation fee, and $30 for a student payment plan to be set up.
The Ph.D. program seeks to train researchers in the fields of financial management, taxation, international finance, and economic growth and development. 74% of the student body at Trident University are members of the military. In order to be admitted to the program, a student must have obtained a master’s degree in any field, a minimum GPA of a 3.0, and mastery in English and analytical thinking skills. Trident University will accept up to four credit hours of transfer credits as long as those credit meet content standards for their program. Trident University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
4. Walden University
Walden University is a for-profit institution whose headquarters is in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The instruction offers degrees at all levels and is part of a global network of for-profit institutions that spans twenty-nine countries. Walden University also has partnerships with The University of Liverpool, University of Roehampton, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, and Monash University. Walden was established in 1970 to provide educational opportunities to working adults and educators.
Walden University offers an online Doctorate in Management with an emphasis in Finance. The program costs $980 per credit unit. The program is 86 total credits including 20 core credits, 15 foundation research credits, 5 advance research credits, 20 specialization credits, and 26 proposal, dissertation, and oral presentation credits. While most of the program is delivered online, there are four residencies that are mandatory. The residencies take 16 days in total. Most students take two years or more to complete the dissertation portion of the degree after two years of coursework are completed. A completed degree, for tuition, costs approximately $84,280 total.
Within the Finance concentration, students will develop skills in analyzing and thinking critically about financial models and theoretical tools for analyzing both national and international financial systems and problems. Students focus on the intricacies of corporate finance and financial management in their 20 specialization credits. Students analyze case studies, principles of social and behavioral research, and gain proficiency in understanding financial theories, systems, and practices. Students in the program go on to work in private industry, international agencies, college and university teaching, and consulting.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The online Ph.D. program in Business is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and, globally, Walden is accredited by the Global Accreditation Center of the Project Management Institute.
5. Northcentral University
Northcentral University is a for-profit, virtual university that was established in 1996 and received accreditation in 2003. In terms of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Northcentral University is classified as a research institution. Northcentral’s headquarters are located in San Diego, California. The university offers degrees in Business, Education, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Psychology.
The university is entirely online and was established for professionals who want to either get their first degrees or get an advanced degree in their field to fulfill professional requirements or gain promotions in their field. The point is, professionals and those already in the workplace have an opportunity at Northcentral University to work at their own pace as their professional and personal lives allow.
Northcentral University offers a Doctor of Business Administration degree with a specialty in Financial Management. Students who specialize in finance are trained to work in research and planning in order to serve companies in all sectors in the financial areas of cash flow and management. Students are prepared for work as financial analysts, budget analysts, loan officers, financial managers, financial planners, or investment bankers.
The program has no GRE or GMAT requirements. Tuition is $1,197 per credit hour with the program being a total of 60 credit hours. Therefore, the total for tuition comes out to approximate $71,820. This is a one-time learning management fee of $450 and $100-course materials fee for each course. There is 20 courses total in the program, making the course materials fee $2000 for the entirety of the program. The program takes about four years to complete if the student is full-time.
Northcentral University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.