loader

You are here

Interested in studying abroad?

Check out our comprehensive guides

Masters in Finance Degrees: US vs Europe

Masters in Finance Degrees: US vs Europe main image

Included in the QS World University Rankings: Business Masters Rankings is the Masters in Finance Rankings 2019, which features 158 of the world’s top business schools for this degree, based on a methodology in which each institution was considered using five indicators: employability, value for money, alumni outcomes, thought leadership and diversity.

55 of the top business schools in the ranking are based in the US, while 79 are based in Europe. If you’re thinking of studying a master’s in finance degree in the US or Europe, how can you decide which suits you the best? Read on as we compare and contrast important pieces of information to help you decide.

United States

Looking firstly at the top business schools in the US for master’s in finance degrees, and its top three entrants are all ranked within the global top 10: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Sloan School of Management is the country’s top entrant at third in the world, while UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business is eighth and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management is 10th.

Sloan achieved a perfect score for the thought leadership category, demonstrating its excellent reputation and strong history of ground-breaking ideas in management and finance, such as the Black–Scholes model. The school’s next highest scores are for alumni outcomes and employability, with 92 percent of its Master of Finance students in employment three months after graduation, earning an average starting salary of US$80,000. Tuition fees for this course are over double the global average of $33,073, currently standing at $78,000.

Of course, Sloan is by no means the only top business school in the US charging high tuition fees, but for many students, the high price tag will be worth every penny when you consider the huge probable return on their investment. Graduates of US master’s in finance courses typically earn a starting salary of $67,890. When you narrow the results down by the value for money indicator, the highest-ranked US institution is UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business – its Master of Financial Engineering costs $68,725, but students have a starting salary of an incredible $160,083 – double that of MIT’s Sloan.

If you place importance on your master’s in finance classmates and faculty members being diverse, Florida International University, appropriately enough given its name, is the leading US institution in the diversity indicator, with 63 percent of students and 60 percent of faculty members coming from outside the US. Overall, around 68 percent of students in US master’s in finance classes are international, with eight nationalities represented – this is slightly below the global average of 71 percent of students being international, made up of 10 nationalities. And in terms of gender, US business schools have the same percentage (41 percent) of female students enrolled in master’s in finance courses as the global average.

masters in management

Europe

Across the Atlantic, Europe is home to 79 of the world’s top business schools for master’s in finance degrees, including 25 in the UK. Of the UK entries, four are in the global top 10, with London Business School (LBS) taking the top spot for the second time this year for its MSc in Finance degree, which earned its strongest scores in the employability and alumni outcomes indicators. 92 percent of LBS’ Class of 2017 graduates accepted job offers three months after graduation, with an average starting salary of a whopping $91,522. Tuition fees for this course currently stand at £45,250, equivalent to around US$51,500.

While this is undoubtably a lot of money, this fee is still lower than global average, $56,798. Master’s in finance courses are on the whole about $4,400 lower than the global average, and $15,500 lower than the US. However, average starting salaries are also lower, standing at $52,376, while the global average is $56,798.

Elsewhere in Europe, other strong business schools for this program include France’s HEC Paris (ranked second in the world for its Master in International Finance degree) which earns the highest score in the ranking for the alumni outcomes indicator, with 99 percent of graduates finding employment within three months. Also featured in the top 10 is Spain’s ESADE, ranked seventh for its MSc in Finance program, again with a very high score for alumni outcomes.

If you’re interested in choosing a highly diverse place to study, LBS is again ranked number one for the diversity indicator, with 95 percent of students and 83 percent of faculty members coming from outside the UK. Overall, 80 percent of students at ranked master’s in finance degree classes are from outside their host country, higher than the global average of 71 percent. 16 nationalities are represented in a typical class, which is twice as many as the US. 

Alternatively, if you want to study at a business school which offers an excellent value for money and return on your investment, the strongest European school for the value for money indicator is Spain’s ESIC Business & Marketing School (ranked 101+ overall for its Master in Financial Management) ranked second in the world for this indicator. The tuition fee is only $16,200, and 2017 graduates earned an average starting salary of an impressive $87,500, far higher than the global average.  

At a glance: Master’s in Finance Degrees in the US and Europe

Below you can see how the top 10 US and European business schools compare for factors such as average starting salary and tuition fees.

United States

Institution

2019 rank

Course

Location

Tuition fees

Average starting salary

Percentage of international students

Percentage of women

MIT Sloan

3rd

Master of Finance

Cambridge, MA

$78,000

$80,000

88%

37%

UC Berkeley (Haas)

8th

 

Master of Financial Engineering

Berkeley, CA

$68,725

$160,083

No data

16%

UCLA (Anderson)

10th

Master of Financial Engineering

Los Angeles, CA

$75,816

$90,000

91%

9%

USC (Marshall)

27th

Master of Science in Finance

Los Angeles, CA

$68,000

$76,786

61%

38%

Texas (McCombs)

33rd

MS in Finance

Austin, TX

$48,000

$69,593

25%

33%

Illinois (Gies)

35th

Master of Science in Finance

Champaign, IL

$60,315

No data

97%

59%

Georgia Tech (Scheller)

36th

MSc in Quantitative and Computational Finance

Atlanta, GA

$56,067

No data

70%

30%

Georgetown (McDonough)

=39th

Master of Science in Finance

Washington DC

$75,360

No data

12%

30%

Boston (Questrom)

=43rd   

Master of Science in Mathematical Finance

Boston, MA

$55,052

$74,513

97%

42%

Babson (Olin)

48th  

MS in Finance

Babson Park, MA

$53,040

No data

76%

41%

Europe

Institution

2019 rank

Course

Location

Tuition fees

Average starting salary

Percentage of international students

Percentage of women

London Business School

1st

MSc in Finance

London, United Kingdom

$51,500

$91,522

95%

28%

HEC Paris

2nd  

Master in International Finance

Jouy-en-Josas, France

$54,599

$84,091

90%  

28%

London School of Economics

=4th

MSc Finance

London, UK

$46,218

$63,516

90%

40%

Oxford (Saïd)

=4th   

MSc Financial Economics

Oxford, UK

$55,734

$59,381

91%

42%

Cambridge (Judge)

6th  

Master of Finance

Cambridge, UK

$59,455

$63,516

No data

33%

ESADE

7h

MSc in Finance

Barcelona, Spain

$33,036

$59,290

97%

27%

ESSEC

9th

Master in Finance

Paris and Singapore

$26,429

$83,370

48%

23%

Bocconi

11th

Master of Science in Finance

Milan, Italy

$32,017

No data

28%

30%

ESCP Europe

12th

Advanced Master in Finance

Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Turin, Warsaw

$26,669

$85,292

31%

25%

EMLyon

13th

MSc Finance

Lyon, France

$23,100

$69,300

No data

18%

 Which one gets your vote? Let us know in the comments below, and find out more about studying in a particular country with our study destination guides.

Related categories:

arman a, Philip Y & 2 others saved this
Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

Want to leave a comment?

Please login or register to post
comment above our articles

0 Comment