Finance programs deal with the economics of the claims on resources. Stated more simply, working in Finance means dealing with numbers relating to personal, national, and international success with resources and other components at play. 

Doctoral degrees in finance are designed to provide the highest level of educational and research-based instruction in the field of finance. They involve in-depth knowledge and understanding of economic principles, financial management, financial decision-making, and investments.

Doctoral programs combine theory with practice to provide a comprehensive education in finance. Graduates of a doctoral degree in finance typically go on to work in research, academia, and/or executive-level positions in the financial sector.

The two main areas of employment with a Ph.D. in Finance are researchers covering a specific industry (such as energy, software, or communication) and analysts who build mathematical models and computer programs that price things such as stocks & bonds.

Because of the specialization required in the field of choice, deciding which area of Finance suits you best is a good idea before you jump into a Ph.D. program.

What to Expect from an Online Doctorate in Finance Degree

While the specifics will vary on the school and finance concentration you choose, below is a general overview of a doctorate in finance’s potential curriculum regardless of whether you’re planning to study in business schools or community colleges.

Furthermore, various programs align with multiple career goals in industry or academia and offer courses based on these specific learning outcomes.

Concentrations Available for an Online Doctorate in Finance Degree

Accounting and Finance:

Accounting and finance online doctoral programs are geared toward individuals interested in working in a university. This degree is focused on letting students master research methods and processes instead of focusing on direct industry training in financial and mathematical concepts. 

Personal Financial Planning:

A doctorate in personal financial planning provides students with an interdisciplinary skill set that combines financial planning theories, empirical statistics and research, and an understanding of how human social contexts, relationships, and cultures can influence financial planning processes and outcomes.

Graduates of personal and financial planning are prepared for careers in business or academic pursuits, such as a college or university faculty. They can also work as a personal financial advisor.

Financial Management:

Students in this concentration learn research and development techniques and advanced finance skills. Aside from that, they are also taught strategies for creating projections and solving ROI issues.

Financial management concentration is built on a solid foundation of current industry theory, ensuring students’ success in the complex global finance environment.

Curriculum for an Online Doctorate in Finance Degree

Introduction to Empirical Methods:

These introductory finance courses provide a solid foundation in theoretical and academic research methods by delving into diverse techniques and quantitative tools used in finance and economic analysis.


Topics in macroeconomics usually concentrate on two or three major current research areas, such as wage inequality or economic growth. Students study relevant literature and participate in class discussions.

Theory in Finance:

Regardless of your finance concentration, you are to complete a finance theory course. Students will start at introductory levels to advanced courses to understand the single period and dynamic models.

Economic Analysis:

Economic analysis courses are typically part of multiple microeconomics theory courses. These courses cover topics such as consumer and producer choice and the nature of equilibrium in competitive markets.

Applied Behavioral Finance:

In the business world, learning financial behavior is a must. Through applied behavioral finance, students learn to apply current theory and research to real-world scenarios such as financial planning and business practice through active discussion, lectures, and written assignments.

Careers with a Doctorate in Finance

Earning an online doctorate in finance prepares a graduate to work in or out of the finance industry. Advanced knowledge of financial principles and analytical skills enable them to hold high-level positions in governments, major corporations, or academia.

Financial Manager

Financial managers supervise the employees tasked with the business’s budget and financial reporting. They are in charge of finalizing forecasts, financial statements, and business reports.

Furthermore, they study current market trends to find ways to increase a company’s profits by broadening its consumer base. Professionals who completed finance degree programs at the doctorate level are bound to get faster raises and promotions. 

Compensation and Benefits Manager

Compensation and benefits managers help businesses modify existing compensation agreements and determine competitive wage rates accordingly. These managers oversee the pay and benefits distribution of employees. They also look for and select investment managers, insurance brokers, and benefit vendors.

Individuals with a Ph.D. will be able to manage employees effectively and will have the tools needed to create new organizational structures.

Budget Analyst

As the job title suggests, Budget analysts assist organizations of all sizes in maintaining a balanced budget by helping them stay on track with their finances. These savvy number crunchers aren’t just concerned with past and present spending.

They also assist organizations in planning for the future and weighing the benefits and drawbacks of large purchases. Though they rarely make final spending decisions, their recommendations are invaluable to company executives.

Securities, Commodities, and Financial Service Sales Agent

Sales agents in securities, commodities and financial services deal with various products and clients. Agents spend most of their days interacting with people, whether discussing the status of a merger deal with a company executive or selling stock to a private individual. Because agents deal with large sums of money and work under time constraints, the job is usually stressful.

Chief Financial Officer

The chief financial officer is part of the C-suite, which refers to the top executives in a company. People in this position significantly impact the company’s investments, capital structure, and income and expense management. CFO assists the CEO with forecasting, cost-benefit analysis, and the acquisition of funding for various initiatives.


These online Ph.D. programs, offering the Best Online Doctor of Finance Degree, give individuals a chance to expand and specialize their knowledge and careers. They are listed in random order. Why do you ask?

As each program has its own unique qualities and coursework options, you should consider checking out each one individually to determine which one is right for you. They all are quality programs based on the following findings:

  • 100% online programs available, often awarded as a Doctor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance,
  • Coursework focused on helping students achieve the highest Leadership or Management positions within the field of Business Finance,
  • Taught by faculty with real-world work expertise in Finance, designed to enhance your client’s finances, as well as the company you work for,
  • Prepares Finance online students for the corporate world, including studies in capital investments, financial management, financial analysis, mergers & acquisitions, along with managerial finance and strategic planning, among many other pertinent topics,
  • Affordable tuition; with Financial Aid Options,
  • Appropriately Accredited,
  • Programs that offer various Concentrations as a PHD in Finance,
  • Dissertation/Capstone Project may be required.

To delve deeper, please see our Methodology page.

Best Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance


Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance

Program Standouts:

Franklin’s Doctor of Business Administration is one of the most transfer-friendly finance programs that aims to reinforce the core technical aspects of quality research and provide students with communication and technological skills.

Furthermore, it is a hands-on degree that allows for subject mastery and field application. That means students will be ready to research and communicate complex issues as they work to solve organizational-wide problems.

Franklin University’s applied doctorate in business administration program is designed to assist students in making a name for themselves and conducting and solving real-world business issues. This program will improve their leadership abilities by helping them understand and apply theories and transform an organization.

Campus Location: Columbus, Ohio

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Admission Requirements:

  • Master’s degree from an institutionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • English Language Testing & TOEFL IELTS
  • Personal essay
  • 30 hours of business-related coursework

Course Sample:

  • Development of Management Theory Practice
  • Organizational Behavior, Culture & Effectiveness 
  • Organizational Leadership 
  • Org Sys Perspect Theory & Application
  • Strategic Thinking, Dec. Making/Innovation
  • Organizational Performance Analysis
  • Ethics & Social Responsibility
  • Change Management & Organizational Development

Degree Outcomes: 

Because students will have a more advanced organizational strategy and performance research as part of their online Doctor of Business Administration program, they’re more likely to be hired to become financial managers.

They’ll know how to investigate, use, and apply the research of their study to increase the depth and breadth of their own analytical and critical-thinking skills.



Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance

Program Standouts:

Liberty University offers one of the best Doctor of Business Administration in Finance programs offered 100% online. The degree program provides advanced training in professional management and human resource development.

The focus on finance equips students to attain the highest level of business knowledge from a financial perspective. Beginning with an overview of financial analysis, students study financial management, capital investment decisions, financing decisions, and managing for value creation.

Campus Location: Lynchburg, Virginia

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Admission Requirements:

  • Admission Application
  • Application fee
  • Official college transcripts – Transcripts must show a Master’s degree accredited by ACBSP or AACSB
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Proof of English proficiency

Course Samples:

  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Strategic Allocation of Financial Resources
  • Strategic Supply Chain Management
  • Advanced financial statement analysis

Degree Outcomes: 

“Liberty’s Doctor of Business Administration in Finance will give…insight into the key components in finance such as the fundamentals of investments and options and the various aspects of mergers and acquisitions.”

Graduates from the Doctor of Business Administration – Finance degree from Liberty University will graduate with specialized finance training and prepare for an exciting career in the corporate world.



National 2

Program Standouts:

National University offers a Financial Management Ph.D. completely online. The students in the Ph.D. program at National University explore research and development analyses used to manage and allocate financial resources and develop effective strategic planning for projection and ROI issues.

NU’s professors teach advanced finance skills, including financial statement analysis, advanced financial business decision models, investment selection techniques, and how financial institutions generate earnings and manage risks.

Campus Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Admission Requirements:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited university
  • Online application
  • Academic evaluation
    • Direct Entry: Individuals with a previously completed master’s degree must also have:
      • A generalized business area such as business management or business administration OR
      • A specialized business area (e.g., Master of Finance) AND an undergraduate degree in business
    • Evaluation Track: Individuals not meeting the direct entry requirements must have their transcripts evaluated to determine if previous coursework meets the Standard Curriculum requirements.

Course Samples:

  • Doctoral Studies in Business
  • Doctoral Comprehensive Strategic Knowledge Studies
  • Scholarly Literature Review
  • Ethics in Business

Degree Outcomes: 

“Our finance Ph.D. graduates work as educators at the university level or pursue a variety of research or practitioner-oriented positions in statistics, investment banking, financial analysis, and financial planning.”



Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance

Program Standouts:

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Finance: Management. Students in the program develop and use financial modes and theoretical tools to gain an understanding of some of the most challenging national and international financial problems. Students pursue original research and advanced knowledge in areas such as corporate finance and financial management.

The program also provides opportunities to analyze case studies and incorporate principles of social and behavioral research. Walden’s degree program in Finance is designed to expand expertise in financial theories, systems, and practices.

Campus Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Admission Requirements:

  • Official transcripts
  • Resume showing work history
  • Employment history and education history
  • Submitted application

Course Samples:

  • Financial Decision Making for Individuals and Firms
  • Financial Markets: Risk and Return, Capital Structure, and International Dimensions of Finance
  • Corporate Financial Management
  • Research Theory, Design, and Methods

Degree Outcomes: 

Graduates of Walden’s Ph.D. in Finance: Management will be prepared to bring fresh knowledge, ideas, and perspectives to their field through potential career fields such as:

  • Collegiate teaching
  • Consulting
  • Upper-level public policy or corporate policymaking
  • Leadership
  • Organizational innovation and change

The degree program at Walden University prepares individuals for careers in private industry, international agencies, consulting, or collegiate teaching.



Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance

Program Standouts:

Trident University offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business Administration which gives students the option of 5 different concentrations, one of which is Finance/Management. The Ph.D. Business Administration program at Trident is designed to shape individuals into innovators and thought leaders who are qualified to become teachers, researchers, and scholars.

The concentration in Finance is offered 100% online and is designed for individuals with a solid background in the field of finance, accounting or economics. The program is also geared toward students who are interested in contributing to research in related bodies of knowledge, such as:

  • international finance,
  • economic growth and development,
  • financial management,
  • auditing,
  • and taxation.

Campus Location: Cypress, California

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission

Admission Requirements:

  • Masters degree from an accredited college/university in a related field
    • Without a masters degree applicants must have a:
      • Bachelors degree in a related field
      • Minimum GPA of 3.6
      • GRE or GMAT scores
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on the transcript of the most recently conferred master’s degree
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Information technology skills
  • Minimum five years of professional work experience in business or other professional fields


The DBA with a concentration in Finance is comprised of the following:

  • Core Courses
  • Concentration Courses
  • Dissertation Series
  • Dissertation Continuation

Degree Outcomes: 

“From the classroom to the culmination of the Ph.D. dissertation, students will master advanced research and quantitative skills needed for a successful career teaching and performing scholarly research at the university level.” – Dr. Indira Guzman, Program Director for Ph.D. in Business Administration



Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance

Program Standouts:

LIGS University has a 100% online interactive Ph.D. programs that specialize in Financial Management or Risk Management. At LIGS, students are able to enroll at any time of the year. Students decide the time, length, and intensity of their studies in order to combine their online Ph.D. program with work, family, and hobbies.

With a finance program specializing in Financial Management or Risk Management, students are able to choose from subjects according to their interests and professional needs.

Specialization allows students to improve knowledge and skills in fields that are important to them. The opportunity to gain knowledge in areas outside the chosen subjects is gained by attending online webinars in various fields.

Though the finance program at LIGS is 100% online, LIGS provides a study counselor who is there to help students during their studies. Lecturers at LIGS University are professionals who share their knowledge and experience in order to give students useful perspectives into the field of study they have chosen.

Campus Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Accreditation: International ASIC Premier University Accreditation

Admission Requirements:

  • Proficiency in the chosen language of study
  • Masters degree
  • CV
  • Photograph
  • Copy of a document proving the highest degree earned

Program Specializations:

  • Financial Management
  • Risk Management

Degree Outcomes: 

LIGS University students and graduates work:

  • In middle and senior management positions
  • At firms of all sizes
  • As entrepreneurs all around the world
  • In the private and public sectors



Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance

Program Standouts:

The online Doctor of Business Administration – Quality Systems Management degree at Cambridge College Global (CCG) is one of the best finance programs that apply theory to real-world practice. The program provides students with advanced knowledge to solve business problems.

The curriculum includes ten core business courses delivered entirely online, allowing students to study from anywhere and anytime while learning and exploring the most current business practices, research, and trends. 

Doctoral students complete assignments, conduct research, and complete other required academic tasks. Students are required to present their findings at a professional conference on their own.

Campus Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Official college transcripts
  • Personal essay 
  • Current Resume (reflecting at least eight years of work experience).
  • SAT and ACT results

Program Specializations:

  • Lean, Six Sigma, and Organizational Assessment
  • Ethics, Social Responsibility, and Legal Issues in Business
  • Benchmarking, Reengineering, and Cost of Quality
  • Quality System Design and International Quality Standards

Degree Outcomes: 

Graduates of the Doctor of Business Administration in QSIM will have a broad range of skills, knowledge, and abilities to serve as senior Quality Systems & Improvement Management experts within organizations. Most graduates become the best financial analysts.



Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance

Program Standouts:

The online Doctor of Business Administration degree at the City University of Seattle is designed for professionals to develop advanced skills. The program has the option for students to transfer four graduate courses into the program and specialize their study in an area such as Finance (upon the approval of the Registrar).

The degree program focuses on organization interventional thinking, agile business practices, leadership, and critical thinking while developing specialized business knowledge in the area of the student’s choice.

The online DBA at the City University of Seattle is supported through Professor Live Chat and a highly interactive teaching model that includes one hour per week of lecture and live chat. The estimated time to complete the program is between three and four years.

Campus Location: Seattle, Washington

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application (see website if unable to complete online application)
  • Transcripts from other institutions
  • If required, proof of English proficiency
  • Contact admissions advisor

Course Samples:

  • Organizational Development Theories and Trends
  • Financial Decision-Making
  • Organizational Identity and Culture

Degree Outcomes: 

According to City University of Seattle’s website: 92% of doctoral students surveyed are “satisfied” or “highly satisfied” with their overall student experience.

Some of the job titles of alumni with a DBA from City University of Seattle:

  • CEO
  • CFO
  • President
  • Executive Director
  • Director
  • Business Consultant



Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance

Program Standouts:

Johnson & Wales University provides students with an Online Doctor of Business Administration – Finance degree. The program is designed to support student learning in a convenient format for working professionals while remaining comprehensive and rigorous.

Once admitted, the first step in ensuring a smooth transition to doctoral study, online learning, and Johnson & Wales University is a mandatory no-credit online orientation.

The program is designed to let students prepare to develop and lead initiatives for innovation and change and expand organizational capacity.

Campus Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

Admission Requirements:

  • Transcripts, diplomas, and/or certifications from all postsecondary schools
  • Personal essay
  • Résumé tailored to DBA application specifications
  • Two letters of recommendation

Sample Courses:

  • Organizational Strategy and Design
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Advanced Strategies in Organization Development
  • Problems and Methods in Marketing Management
  • Leading and Managing Large-Scale Transformation

Degree Outcomes: 

Graduates of the finance degree will be able to create, conduct, and present applied research that addresses real-world business issues. They’ll be able to use advanced communication skills to share complex information, organizational vision, and actionable guidelines in the business world. According to the school, most of their graduates go on to become financial managers.



Online Doctoral Degrees in Finance

Program Standouts:

Kansas State University offers a Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning. The degree is a hybrid program that allows students to take online courses during the fall and spring semesters and participate in intensive 10-day summer visits.

Three consecutive summer residency sessions on the Kansas State campus are required. For the final summer session, students will travel abroad as a group to see how global markets work and how they affect financial planning in the United States and worldwide.

The degree program at Kansas State University is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to achieve success as college and university faculty, and practitioners of financial planning.

Kansas State faculty are committed to enhancing students’ personal development and preparing them to excel academically and professionally.

Campus Location: Manhattan, Kansas

Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Admission Requirements: 

  • GPA of 3.0 or better. In some cases, a 2.75 will be permissible if the last 60 hours of study were at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Admission into the Kansas State Graduate School
  • GRE/GMAT scores from within the last five years

Course Samples:

  • Investing for the Family’s Future
  • Estate Planning for Families
  • Insurance Planning for Families
  • Personal Income Taxation

Degree Outcomes: 

Graduates of the doctoral program in personal financial planning at Kansas State University meet the educational requirements for careers including:

  • Registered Financial Consultant
  • Registered Financial Associate
  • Certified Retirement Counselor
  • Accredited Financial Counselor


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pursue a Doctorate after earning an MBA in Finance?

Yes. Admission to most doctorate programs, especially in business schools, requires a master’s degree. An MBA or master’s degree in finance would be beneficial in meeting this requirement.

A doctorate in finance will help you land a promising career as a professor or researcher in academia. Professionals frequently pursue a doctorate to demonstrate their ability to conduct research and specialize in a specific field.

Are online business degrees respected and credible?

An online program should require you to work just as hard as a traditional on-campus program. Furthermore, it is unlikely that your official records will show how you obtained your degree. The class format in which you complete your coursework is less important than whether you attended an accredited university.

How long will it take to obtain a Doctorate in Finance?

Most doctorate in finance online takes three to five years to complete. Some programs can be completed part-time, but it will take longer.

Must I be an expert Mathematician to excel in the field of Finance?

No, you do not need to be an expert mathematician to excel in the field of finance. While having a good understanding of basic mathematical concepts such as algebra and calculus can be beneficial, financial success does not necessarily require a deep understanding of math.

Many successful finance professionals have achieved success by relying on strong analytical skills and financial market knowledge instead of advanced math skills.

Key Takeaways

A doctorate is the most advanced and one of the most prestigious degrees that can be obtained. A doctorate in finance can help you open up many career doors and increase your earning potential if you have a financial background or are interested in specializing in finance, economics, and statistics.

Completing your coursework in a DBA in Finance program online can help you get a solid education in a format that works for you and prepare you for the next step in your career.

Additional Information: