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The best US colleges to study finance

Provo, UT — A recent study has identified the top US states and colleges for students pursuing a financial career, including stocks and trading, with Utah emerging as the leader.

The ranking, created by investing experts CreditDonkey, used nineteen metrics in five categories: admission standards, career outcomes, cost, finance specialization, and education quality. These metrics combined to score the best US colleges for a financial career, including stocks and trading, out of 100.

Top 10 US colleges for financial careers:

1. Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) 

Brigham Young University takes first place in the ranking, boasting exceptional scores across multiple metrics. With a final score of 69.77 out of a possible 100, Brigham Young University sets a high bar for academic excellence and offers students plenty of benefits.   

Whilst the college did not score in the top ten for any individual metric, its consistently strong scores across the board earned BYU the top spot. The college ranked the eighteenth best, scoring 86.31, for the cost and financial aid, and thirty-second best for its admission standards and popularity score, highlighting it as a college with excellent value-for-money. 

2. Florida International University (Miami, Florida)  

Securing the second position is Florida International University, with an overall score of 69.46. The college is an excellent choice for aspiring finance students, scoring incredibly high within the finance specialization metric.   

In fact, the study revealed Florida International University ranked as the top college for finance specialization nationwide, scoring 93.58 out of 100. This score showcases the college’s broad range of finance course choices for students and reflects the university’s dedication to delivering a tailored education in finance.  

3. CUNY Bernard M Baruch College (New York, New York)  

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College emerges as a solid contender, excelling again in finance specialization, ranked as the fifth best in the US, and identifying itself as a great college to equip students with specialized financial skills.   

The college achieved third place overall with a commendable score of 68.71 out of 100, showcasing remarkable performance across various metrics. Notably, it excelled in cost and financial aid, boasting an impressive metric score of 79.70. The college’s commitment to affordability and accessibility makes it an attractive option for students seeking high-quality and varied financial education.   

4. Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)  

Lehigh University’s overall score was 66.73, placing it firmly in fourth place. Additionally, its finance specialization score of 79.08 ranks it as the third best for financial course options, making it another excellent choice for students interested in stocks and trading.  

The university distinguishes itself with a remarkable score of 76.36 out of a possible 100 for career outcomes, reflecting its track record of preparing graduates for lucrative careers in finance.   

5. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, Illinois)  

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign stands out in fifth place with an impressive overall score of 66.37 out of 100 points.  

The university scored a massive 83.96 for admission standards and popularity, ranking twelfth for this metric and solidifying it as a top choice for students across the US. The college also scored impressively high for career outcomes (ranking seventeenth) and quality of education (ranking fifteenth).   

6. Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida)  

Florida State University ranks sixth and distinguishes itself with a commendable score of 66.14, making it the second college in Florida to make the top ten ranking.   

The college offers a great standard of academic excellence, scoring 74.39 out of 100 for the quality of education metric, which makes it the twenty-third best university for students seeking a well-rounded educational experience.   

Additionally, Florida State University ranks fourteenth within the finance specialization metric with a score of 70.56 – demonstrating its commitment to providing students with specialized finance skills and knowledge.  

7. University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)  

The University of Maryland stands out with a score of 65.78, highlighting the university as another superb option for students seeking a financial education.  

Moreover, its quality of education metric score came in at 75.81, the ninth best out of all the universities in the country, clearly reflecting the university’s emphasis on delivering high-quality education for aspiring finance professionals.  

8. University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida)  

Ranking eighth is The University of Central Florida. The university achieved an overall score of 64.81. It ranked twenty-fourth for the quality of education metric (scoring 74.11 out of 100), making it a clear contender for those wanting to start a career in the financial sector.  

9. University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, Wisconsin)  

Following closely behind is The University of Wisconsin-Madison, which scored just behind ninth place with an overall score of 64.80.   

The university scored highest in the quality of education metric, with a score of 75.39, ranking thirteenth best and reflecting the university’s dedication to using top-tier teaching techniques.  

10. The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas)  

Rounding out the top ten is The University of Texas at Austin, with a final metric score of 64.42 out of 100.  

Notably, the university scored an impressive 81.99 for admission standards and popularity, ranking it twenty-fourth in the country for this metric. 

Top 10 US Colleges for Financial Careers: 

Rank  Institution Name State Overall Index Score (/100) 
1 Brigham Young University Utah 69.77 
2 Florida International University Florida  69.46 
3 CUNY Bernard M Baruch College New York  68.71 
4 Lehigh University Pennsylvania 66.73 
5 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Illinois 66.37 
6 Florida State University Florida 66.14 
7 University of Maryland-College Park Maryland 65.78 
8 University of Central Florida Florida 64.81 
9 University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin 64.80 
10 The University of Texas at Austin Texas 64.42 

Speaking on the findings, the Director of Research at CreditDonkey, Anna Ge, says: “It is clear that starting a career within the finance industry, especially within stocks and trading, is of great interest to prospective students, largely due to the attractive financial benefits.  

“As the global financial sector continues to grow, universities are increasingly offering comprehensive programs to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in this field.  

“As the demand for skilled finance professionals continues to rise, those with a passion for stocks and trading have an unparalleled opportunity to make a significant impact in the world of finance, and students looking for a university tailored towards financial thinking should definitely take advantage of this study.”