The Top Finance MBAs in Chicago


The finance industry has always gone hand in hand in the MBA. Even as MBAs are becoming increasingly popular in other industries, finance is still the biggest MBA job sector and accounts for 22 percent of all MBA jobs, according to the 2014/15 QS Jobs and Salary Trends Report.The Chicago Metro—brimming with top-notch MBA Programs with finance concentrations—is a great destination for any prospective MBA looking to breaking into the finance sector. Here are a few of your options:

Booth School of Business – The University of Chicago

Home to the nation’s first Executive MBA program, Chicago Booth is one of the premiere business schools in the country and offers full-time, Evening, Weekend and Executive MBA programs.

The full-time program offers two different finance concentrations: finance and analytic finance. The finance curriculum, covers both corporate finance and investments and prepares students to answer the following questions: should a company buy or build? Should they borrow money or issue stock? How should they compensate executives? Should they hedge costs, and if so, how? Investment courses prepare you to make decisions in financial markets: what determines stock and bond prices? How do you evaluate a fund manager? What financial risks carry big rewards, and how should an investor allocate his or her portfolio to take advantage of them?

Meanwhile, the analytic finance concentration allows for an even deeper knowledge of financial theories, their application to a variety of business problems, and the empirical work by which we learn how the financial world works. According to Booth, the school offers the largest number of advanced finance classes of any business school and the analytic finance concentration gives recognition to students who pursue this specialization.

Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University

Originally founded in 1908 as the Northwestern University School of Commerce part-time evening program, the Kellogg Graduate School of Management was a founding member of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business. Today, the school is ranked among the top graduate business school’s in the world.

Similar to Booth, Kellogg also offers MBA concentration in finance and analytic finance. The finance major provides students with a foundation in corporate finance and financial markets that supports every business function. The curriculum provides a working understanding of the financial decision-making process in organizations and insight into how financial markets function. The finance major can help MBAs on their targeted career paths, which include investment banking, money management, venture capital, real estate, insurance and corporate control and treasury functions. According to Kellogg, each year, financial services companies hire some 20 percent of the total Kellogg School graduating class

The analytic finance major was added to the curriculum in 2001-02 and provides a more technical understanding of financial markets and the theory and tools that underlie modern finance practice. This major is designed for students who plan to take specialized finance positions.

Kellstadt Graduate School of Business – DePaul University

Kellstadt offers full-time, part-time, Specialized and Weekend MBA programs, as well as more than 100 courses in 20 MBA concentrations and 17 specialized masters degrees. One of these concentrations is finance.

The Kellstadt finance MBA concentration provides students with in-depth, applied learning that will enable you to successfully understand, analyze and navigate today’s increasingly sophisticated global financial markets.

Finance students and program alumni also have access to DePaul’s finance industry-related centers, including the Arditti Center for Risk Management, Center for Financial Services and Driehaus Center for Behavioral Finance. These centers centers provide guidance, professional networking opportunities and real-world education through conferences that feature nationally and internationally known speakers, including executives from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, among other financial institutions.

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

Lake Forest as a bit of an interesting past. Founded in 1946 in order to offer management training during the post WWII industrial boom, Abbott Laboratories, Fansteel Metallurgical Corporation and Johns-Manville Products Corporation joined forces with Lake Forest College to form the Lake Forest College Industrial Management Institute. Lake Forest Graduate School of Management eventually separated from Lake Forest College and today, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management is an independent, not-for-profit institution.

LFGSM also offers some interesting MBA options, such as the Immersion MBA and a Leadership MBA. The Leadership MBA is a general management business degree for applicants with prior work experience. The LMBA offers a finance specialization. Students in this track can expect to take courses like Investments, Entrepreneurial Finance, Advanced Topics in Healthcare Finance, Global Finance and Global Focus.

Liautaud Graduate School of Business – University of Illinois at Chicago

The Liautaud Graduate School of Business offers both full-time and part-time MBA degrees for students in the Chicago metro, as well as a variation on the part-time options called the Weekend MBA and the Flexible MBA, which are designed for working professionals

Liautaud also offers MBA concentrations, including one in finance. Students in this track will gain a better understanding of financial assets and how to manage risks and investments. Students can look forward to courses such Corporate Finance, Portfolio Analysis, Financial Decision Making and Risk Management.

Mendoza College of Business – Notre Dame University

The Mendoza College at Notre Dame offers an MBA concentration in Corporate Finance, which has been designed for students who wish to help a company find money to run the business, grow the business, make acquisitions, plan for its financial future, and manage cash on hand. According to Mendoza, students aiming to have one of the following jobs should consider following this track: Financial Analyst, Business Analyst, Commercial Banker, Strategist, Risk Management Leadership Program, Entrepreneurship, CFO and Executive.

Quinlan School of Business – Loyola University

Founded in 1922, Loyola University Quinlan School of Business is the only Jesuit business school in Chicago. It is also the only school on this list to offer a MBA/MSF Finance degree in which students completing the dual degree will earn an MBA with a specialization in finance and an MSF degree. The dual degree in business and finance requires four less courses than if each degree were earned separately.


About the Author

Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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