Seattle’s Top Options for Finance Degrees

Finance Degrees

With its high concentration of industries centering in technology and sustainable design, as well as hospitality, banking and retail, the Seattle metro is a prime destination for those seeking advanced finance degrees in a diverse and thriving economy.

Washington, with its recent ranking by CNBC as one of the top ten cities in the country in which to do business, holds great appeal for those pursuing finance industry positions. Individuals who have decided to embark on deeper immersion in the areas of financial reporting, theory, analysis and investments, an advanced finance degree is a wise choice.

Here is a closer look at some of the Emerald City’s strongest finance education programs.

Albers School of Business and Economics – Seattle University

Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics offers a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree that is geared toward students who have previously earned an undergrad or graduate degree in business. Aimed toward developing students’ overall expertise in communication skills and quantitative analysis, the program further specializes in investment practices and the dynamics of operations in financial institutions. Opportunities for discussion of the deeper issues of ethics in business and finance also abound with pursuit of the Albers School MSF.

Students who graduate with this degree can find plentiful opportunities in a variety of fields including risk management, banking, credit analysis, trading and personal financial planning.

Albers also offers a joint JD/MSF degree, which can open many avenues for careers in corporate law for financial institutions, among other fields. For part-time students, the degree can be completed in two years with two courses per quarter; those able to pursue the degree full-time with four courses per quarter will earn the degree in a year.

Seattle Pacific University School of Business

Seattle Pacific University’s School of Business, Government and Economics offers a specialized MBA in finance with a strong basis in business ethics. Founded in the 1890s as a Methodist seminary school, each area of the MBA curriculum offers students a strong philosophical foundation. Along with the finance emphasis, the Seattle Pacific MBA grants degrees with a focus in management, social and sustainable business; and information systems, technology and human resources.

Small class size is another hallmark of SPU’s program, as evidenced by the following comment from 2006 MBA Eric Schumacher, who found fulfillment in a career as an Associate Vice President at US Bank’s Washington State commercial division. “I wanted smaller classes with teachers who were passionate about what they were teaching. I also wanted to be part of a community… SPU delivered on all counts. The MBA program did a great job of teaching what it means to be a manager, and what it means to be a leader. It also goes without saying that SPU has done an exemplary job of teaching ethics.”

For students entering with an undergraduate business degree, the program requires 45 credits. For those who have a non-business undergrad background, applicants must complete nine courses or 27 credits in ‘core’ business classes, or carry over similar pre-MBA coursework toward this requirement.

Students seeking the finance MBA can choose from courses such as Investments and Portfolio Management; Futures, Options and Risk Management and International Finance.

Foster School of Business – University of Washington

University of Washington’s Foster School of Business is another prime destination for finance studies. As recent host of the annual Pacific Northwest Finance Conference and the biannual Summer Finance Conference, the Foster School is a hub for research and knowledge exchange outside the classroom, as well as for intensive training for finance careers.

Foster offers a Ph.D. in Finance as well as an undergraduate concentration in the field. The rigorous Ph.D. program requires entrants to have proven knowledge of microeconomics, calculus and linear algebra, in addition to a strong basis in foundational business education. GMAT scores and strong prior academic performance are required for entry. GRE scores are also accepted but GMAT is preferred.

Finance Ph.D.s are expected to generate research projects covering such areas as issues in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, financial management, venture financing and patterns in the behavior of interest and foreign exchange rates.

Course requirements for a Foster Ph.D. in finance include seminars in Capital Market Theory, Corporate Finance and Financial Research. Each student establishes an advisory committee for his/her thesis that will guide research as well formulate options for real world applications.


About the Author

Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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