The 10 Best Colleges and Universities for International Students Pursuing Undergraduation Finance Degrees

College Hall at the University of Pennsylvania, the highest ranked finance program and the 19th most populated by international students.
College Hall at the University of Pennsylvania, the highest ranked finance program and the 19th most populated by international students. | Source

Why Finance for International Students?

For those with interests in math, money, and business, earning finance degree can create a variety of career opportunities that are both fulfilling and high-paying. A finance degree is particularly appealing to international students, since their financial skills can lead to career advancement in their home countries.

Each year, nearly one million students travel to the united states to study at American high schools, colleges, and graduate schools. Where do they go? What schools are best for international students, especially those looking to earn a finance-related degree?

Key Factors for International Students

There are three main characteristics that are most important for many international students when choosing an undergraduate program:

  • Reputation. This is critical. If a student is going to travel half-way around the world, they want to ensure they are going to one of the best schools. More importantly, they want to make sure that they school they graduate from is one that is recognized in their home country. The reputation of a college or university can vary from country-to-country, but the best way to measure reputation is through published rankings from media outlets such as U.S. News and World Report and Forbes.
  • Relevant degree programs. It is important that students find the academic program that not only fits their needs and interests, but that can earn them a good job back at home. Students who study abroad make a large investment of time and money and they (along with their families) and they need a degree that will pay-off and be respected in their home communities. Relevancy of degree programs can be measured by the degrees, majors, concentrations, and classes offered in addition to the flexibility students have to switch between related programs in an attempt to the best fit.
  • Welcoming campuses. Students studying abroad often face vast differences in culture, language, and teaching methods. Choosing a college or university that will help students adjust and acclimate is a critical factor and can lead to a much higher change of degree completion. Perhaps the best and measure of a campus's ability to host international student is number (or percentage) of students currently attending from other countries. If a school's population is made up of at least 10% international students, chances are, it will be easier for incoming students to feel welcome, fit in, and make friends.

Naturally, there are other important details such as cost, admission requirements, and location. However, the ten colleges and universities listed below have been primarily selected based on the three factors of reputation, relevancy, and welcoming.

A panoramic view of UC Berkeley, a top 20 school for both national ranking and number of international students.
A panoramic view of UC Berkeley, a top 20 school for both national ranking and number of international students. | Source

The Top Ten

(click column header to sort results)
School Name  
U.S. News National Ranking  
Percentage of International Students  
Finance-Related Degree Programs Offered  
University of Pennsylvania
7
12%
B.S. in Economics, concentration in Finance or Accounting
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
7
8%
B.S. in Management Science, concentration in Finance
University of Southern California
23
20%
B.S. in Business Administration, concentration in Finance and Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Carnegie Mellon University
23
20%
B.S. in Computational Finance and B.S. in Economics
New York University
32
12%
B.B.A, concentration in Finance or Accounting
University of California Berkley
20
16%
B.S. in Business, concentration in Finance or Accounting
Dartmouth College
10
9%
B.A. in Economics, concentration in Money and Finance
University of Wisconsin
41
11%
B.B.A. Major in Finance or Accounting
Ohio State University
52
15%
B.S. in Business Administration, concentration in Finance or Accounting
University at Buffalo SUNY
109
16%
B.B.A, Major in Financial Analysis and B.S in Accounting

Where to Find It!

A marker34th and Spruce Street, Philadelphia 19104-6303 -
Spruce St & S 34th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
[get directions]

1. University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Forbes ranking: 11

Total cost (for one year): $59,600

SAT composite range (mathematics and critical reading): 1350-1540

Founded in 1740, The University of Pennsylvania, known simply as Penn, is one of America's oldest schools. The university ranked #1 nationally for finance programs and Wharton, the business school, is ranked in the top ten of undergraduate business schools. At Wharton, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a choice of over 20 different concentration programs including finance and accounting. In the 2012-2013 academic year, the Penn ranked 19th in hosting international students with over 5,700. Students get a lot of attention at Penn as the faculty-student ratio is 6:1 and nearly 70% of classes have less than 20 students.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Location: Cambridge, MA

Forbes ranking: 10

Total cost: $57,010

SAT composite range: 1410-1570

MIT is internationally known as one of the best research institutions only admits 9% of applicants each year. The International Students Office (ISO) and the International Students Association work to support the over 3,000 undergraduate and graduate international students enrolled in MIT. The Sloan School of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Management Science with a concentration in Finance.

3. University of Southern California

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Forbes ranking: 63

Total cost: $59,883

SAT composite range: 1270-1480

The University of Southern California tops the list of US schools hosting international students, enrolling nearly 10,000. The Leventhal School of Accounting offers students a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The Marshal School of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with the option to concentrate in Finance.

4. Carnegie Mellon University

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Forbes ranking: 42

Total Cost: $59,710

SAT composite range: 1320-1520

Though there are not as many international students at Carnegie Mellon, students studying abroad still comprise a large percentage of the 6,200 enrolled undergraduate students. The Intercultural Communications Center assists international students with English skills, giving them a better chance to succeed in their academic program of choice. The department of Mathematical Sciences teams up with the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, the Tepper School of Business and the Mellon College of Science to offer a Bachelor of Science in Computational Finance. The Tepper School of Business allows students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Poll

If you could attend any of these top five schools, which one would you choose?

  • University of Pennsylvania (Penn)
  • MIT
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • University of Southern California
  • New York University
See results without voting

5. New York University

Location: New York City, NY

Forbes ranking: 56

Total cost: 61,407

SAT composite range: 1250-1450

Located in the heart of Manhattan, New York University or NYU, is truly a global school. They host over 9,000 international students each year and nearly 20% of the students are from Asia or Pacific Islands. Each year, NYU provides opportunities for their students to attend conferences and events such as the International Student Leadership Conference in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Students who are selected to attend get all their conference costs covered. NYU's Stern School of Business offers business degrees with concentrations in ten different areas including finance and accounting.

6. University of California Berkley

Location: Berkeley, CA

Forbes ranking: 22

Total cost: $55,766

SAT composite range: 1220-1490

UC Berkeley, also known as "Cal" is one of America's finest public universities and is popular among international students and Asian-Americans. 37% of students are Asian or Pacific Islanders, compared to 30% of students identified as caucasian (or white). Cal comes in the top 20 for hosting international students with a recorded 5,632 enrolled during the 2012-2013 academic year. The Haas School of Business offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Business with options for both accounting and finance concentrations. UC Berkeley is ranked #5 nationally for finance programs according to U.S. News.

7. Dartmouth College

Location: Hanover, NH

Forbes rank: 16

Total cost: $61,398

SAT composite range: 1350-1560

Dartmouth is one of America's classic Ivy League schools. Not only is Dartmouth a top-ranked institution, but it is a very friendly school for international students, especially when it comes to scholarships. During the 2012-2013 school year, 260 international students received an average of $50,285 of financial aid, a rarity among major institutions. Like many of its peer institutions, Dartmouth offers a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a concentration in Money and Finance (among other concentration choices available).

Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin.
Bascom Hall at the University of Wisconsin. | Source

8. University of Wisconsin

Location: Madison, WI

Forbes rank: 68

Total cost: $40,012

SAT composite range: 1170-1410

The University of Wisconsin--Madison's business school grants Bachelor of Business Administration degrees with the option of a finance or accounting concentration. The BRIDGE program helps new international students to adjust during their first year. Over 4,500 international students attend the university and comprise 11% of the total student body. According to U.S. News, the University of Wisconsin ranks #15 and #21 nationally for accounting and finance programs, respectively.

9. Ohio State University

Location: Columbus, OH

Forbes ranking: 138

Total cost: $40,327

SAT composite range: 1150-1360

U.S. News ranks Ohio State in the top 12 nationally for both their accounting and finance programs. Ohio State is also ranked 15th for hosting international students, with nearly 6,500 enrolled in the 2012-2013 year. The Office of International Affairs helps international students get to the school and then guides them as they begin in their academic programs. Ohio State offers Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees through the Fisher College of Business with an option to concentrate in finance or accounting.

10. University at Buffalo SUNY

Location: Buffalo, NY

Forbes ranking: 300

Total cost: $32,947

SAT composite range: 1050-1260

Though this school does not rank as highly as some of the others on this list, the University at Buffalo, a State University of New York, may be one of the friendliest for international students. The International Student and Scholar Services office works hard to assist the over 5,300 international students who attend the university. A variety of student clubs have been formed to support students from different countries. Students from abroad represent 16%, or nearly one-in-six, of all students enrolled. The university ranks 18th nationally for hosting international students. UB's School of Management offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in financial analysis. A Bachelor of Science in Accounting is also an option provided by the School of Management.

Thanks for Reading!

I hope that you've found this hub to be a helpful tool in your college search. Please be sure to check out the websites of each university for more up-to-date information and resources.

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