Risk and reward are two crucial concepts in the realm of business leadership. Businesses invest time, energy, and capital in order to pursue opportunities for market gain, brand advancement, and profits. But doing so entails inherent risks that can be identified, quantified, and protected against. Insurance is one of the primary instruments businesses use to manage uncertainty, hedge against misfortunes, and manage risk. General training in the field of business administration generally integrates some coursework that introduces students to insurance industry practices and to the concepts associated with enterprise risk management (ERM). Many MBA program also offer electives that delve into some of the complexities of risk management and insurance, and a select number of MBA programs provide additional advanced instruction in areas like global risk management, financial modeling, risk analytics, and insurance regulations as part of a designated concentration or specialization in risk management and insurance.
MBA in risk management and insurance programs are Master of Business Administration degree programs that have a track consisting of several courses that address topics in the specialized field of business insurance and its relationship to managing risk. Students in these programs learn general business proficiencies as part of the core MBA curriculum. This typically includes coursework in accounting and financial reporting, sales and marketing, project and personnel management, professional communication and leadership skills, business law and ethics, and other aspects of business administration. In addition, students in an MBA in risk management and insurance program take two or more courses that address the complexities of identifying, assessing, and mitigating risk, and understanding the role insurance plays in ERM.
Online MBA programs provide what is often a more convenient and flexible alternative to campus-based MBA programs. For example, online programs can accommodate students who may be working full-time, students who cannot or would prefer not to relocate or commute to college or university campus, and students who want to attend a program with a risk management and insurance specialization but do not live near a school that offers that concentration. Students in an online MBA in risk management and insurance program receive all or most of their instruction online, through a learning management system (LMS). LMSs are used to stream live and recorded lectures, host class discussion forums, administer exams, and provide students with a range of other instructional activities. Students who attend an online program are also typically able to contact instructors and administrators through the LMS, which may also provide access to a school’s library and/or other educational resources.
Online MBA programs with a risk management and insurance specialization are generally designated as such, although there is some variation. Some programs are designated as insurance and risk management (IRM) programs, and other programs have tracks in insurance or risk management. OnlineEducation.com researches online MBA programs and classifies them based on their curricular focus and on several other important factors. Programs on the site must be offered by accredited, non-profit colleges and universities that have a business or management school accredited by one of three organizations: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). In addition to offering a clear track or cluster of specialized courses in topics relevant to risk management and insurance, online MBA in risk management and insurance programs must offer all or most of their instruction online. Programs that require students to attend more than two campus visits per year are not currently included in our database.
The bulk of the coursework in an online MBA program, regardless of the area of specialization, is devoted to a core curriculum that covers a range of areas considered central to effective business management and administration. This typically includes classes in subjects like financial and managerial accounting; business economics; sales and marketing strategies; financial management; human resources and project management; operations and logistics; and organizational leadership. In lieu of what would otherwise be elective coursework, students who opt for a specialization in risk management and insurance take several courses in relevant topics. This may include classes in the principles of risk management, risk management analytics, workforce risk management, corporate risk management, and/or insurance law and regulations. Many online MBA programs incorporate a final capstone project that challenges students to apply what they have learned in the program to a real-world business problem. Students who opt for a specialization generally complete a capstone project in that area of specialization.
Risk management and insurance specialization coursework in an online MBA program is typically comprised of between two and six courses, some of which may be electives. While course offerings vary by program, the table below offers an overview of the subjects that are typically covered in the risk management and insurance component of an MBA program.
|Principles of Risk Management & Insurance||An introduction to the fundamentals of risk, insurance company operations, insurance industry regulations, and strategies for measuring and reducing a firms exposure to risk.|
|Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)||And overview of ERM and the processes by which managers identify risk and opportunity and take action to mitigate a firms exposure.|
|Risk Financing||An introduction to risk retention and risk transfer concepts, and to the various types of insurance, including self-insurance, retrospective rating, reinsurance, and contractual risk transfer.|
|Enterprise Risk Analytics||Emerging analytical approaches to risk reduction, including interlinked data-inputs, analytics models, business statistics, optimization techniques, simulation, and decision-support tools.|
|Strategic Risk Management||An examination of risk management from the point of view of the business entity, with a focus on identifying potential risks, minimizing exposure, and maximizing potential return on investments.|
|Sustainability Risk Management (SRM)||An examination of the principles of SRM and how companies use the principles of risk management to reduce harm to the environment and create opportunities for investors.|
The basic eligibility requirement for admissions to online MBA in risk management and insurance programs is similar to admissions requirements for other online MBA programs. Students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and may be asked to furnish letters of recommendation, written answers to essay questions, and/or a personal goals statement along with their undergraduate transcripts. Some online MBA programs have a minimum GPA requirement, while others may consider a candidates GPA along with other factors, such as standardized test scores (GMAT or GRE). While an undergraduate degree in business is typically not an admissions requirement, some programs do have one or two prerequisites, such as a college-level mathematics course and/or an introduction to business/economics course. Prospective applicants are advised to check with an admissions officer at programs they are considering in order to determine their eligibility for admissions.
There are several variations in online MBA program formats that can impact the relative convenience and flexibility of a particular program. The factors that prospective applicants should take into account when researching programs include: the method of online instruction (synchronous vs. asynchronous instruction); full-time and part-time enrollment options; and whether or not a program requires students to attend on-campus sessions. These format variations may be important considerations for students who anticipate scheduling conflicts for courses that meet at designated times, for students who are concerned about how long it will take to complete their MBA degree and/or the number of courses they will have to take per term, and for students who may not be able to travel in order to attend required campus visits. Additional information on these formatting differences is available on our general Online MBA Programs page.