MBA in Insurance & Risk Management (IRM)

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Risk touches every organization. Those who know how to manage it, avoid it, and cope with it, are indispensable. With risk management professionals expected to be in high demand, more and more companies are looking to hire professionals who have advanced degrees in the subject.

Transformational trends in the modern business landscape present strategic risks that threaten to undermine both operations and value propositions across practically every sector, especially in the field of insurance, where there’s a renewed call for high level expertise and leadership. Insurance underwriters, claims investigators, financial managers, labor relations managers, risk management consultants, organizational planning directors, inventory administrators, benefits and wage managers can advance their career prospects and professional expertise by obtaining a deep and specialized understanding of the insurance and risk management sector that goes above and beyond the usual MBA curriculum.

In today’s business terrain (and in these programs), strategic thinking is at a premium. Students learn to not only identify potential risks, but also to develop and enforce procedures to mitigate those risks, and do so in an efficient, data-driven, and tactical way.

All MBA programs that specialize in risk management cover loss prevention techniques, unique accounting systems, and in-depth explorations of otherwise siloed areas like labor laws, employee benefits, and derivative risks. But programs that deliver this in an online format allow young professionals to continue to advance their careers while concurrently advancing their education.

Whether it’s through implementing computer-based simulation models, tuning organizational management practices for a more nuanced approach, or efficiently outpacing waves of regulatory and market disruption, the financial industry needs risk management professionals educated in the forward-thinking paradigms of the 21st century.

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Professors to Know in Online MBA in Insurance & Risk Management (IRM) Programs

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    Mark J. Browne, PhD - St. John's University

    Dr. Mark J. Browne is the faculty chair for the School of Risk Management at Saint John's University Tobin School of Business, where he teaches classes in risk corporate risk management. He received his MA and PhD in risk management and insurance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Huebner fellow. Dr. Browne has served as president of the American Risk and Insurance Association, the Risk Theory Society, and the European Group of Risk and Insurance Economists. With his research appearing in numerous scholarly journals, Dr. Browne is frequently contacted by the media for expert comment on the areas he specializes in, and he testified before the US Senate committee on banking, housing, and urban affairs after Hurricane Katrina. He received the Beta Gamma Sigma Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence and the American Risk and Insurance Association's Excellence in Teaching Award, among many other accolades.

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    Jennifer Conrad - University of North Carolina

    Dr. Jennifer Conrad is the Dalton L. McMichael senior distinguished professor of finance at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. She received her MBA and PhD from the University of Chicago. An award-winning professor, she teaches classes in financial management and investments. Her early research focused on the causes of predictable patterns in investment returns, and trading strategies related to such patterns like contrarian investing. Currently she is exploring the relationship between credit default swaps and the equity market, as well as the determinants and effects of high-frequency trading. Dr. Conrad has served on the board of directors of the American Finance Association, the Western Finance Association, and the Financial Management Association.

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    Stephanie R. Nesbitt, JD - Utica College

    Stephanie R. Nesbitt is the director of Utica College's MBA and RMI programs, as well as an assistant professor of risk management and insurance. She received her JD from the University of Buffalo School of Law, and her MBA from Syracuse University. Prior to joining Utica's faculty, Ms. Nesbitt worked as a risk manager and associate counsel for Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare. An accomplished featured speaker at several national and regional conferences, her talks focus on topics such as the impact of risk management on healthcare quality, insurance cost allocation methods, and individual and team accountability to improve healthcare quality. Ms. Nesbitt is a member of the American Society of Hospital Risk Managers.

Featured Online MBA in Insurance & Risk Management (IRM) Programs

Rated one of the very best online MBA programs in the nation, the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School incorporates a uniquely virtual curriculum (the MBA@UNC) that involves face-to-face virtual classes, multimedia coursework, and virtual information sessions hosted by alumni and executives to mirror in-person recruiting sessions.

After taking core courses in introductory finance and financial accounting, students pursuing the investment management specialization take electives such as corporate finance, derivatives, financial statement analysis, information for decision making, incentives and strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and taxes and business strategy. In addition, students may enroll in select courses at partner schools. The program consists of 66 credits, and requires students to attend two global immersions. These are three-day intensive learning experiences where students travel to major business centers around the world. GMAT or GRE scores are required, but waiver applications exist for students with significant and relevant work or academic experience.

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Accreditation: AACSB
Expected Time to Completion: 18-36 months
Estimated Tuition: $1,728.46 per credit

Utica College's online MBA with a specialization in insurance and risk management is designed to give graduates a career-focused skill-set in an in-demand business sector by providing a customizable curriculum with a strong analytical basis. The business core focuses on principles of leadership, financial fluency, data-driven decision making, the global consumer market and its logistics, and strategy.

The insurance and risk management specialization (one of seven available) comprises four classes, which cover insurance and risk management fundamentals, property and casualty risk management for business, insuring and managing risk for the person, and managing risk across enterprise. A final capstone project focuses on practical applications and the strategic execution of all learned material. The program totals 30 credits and can be completed entirely online. No GMAT or GRE scores are required.

Location: Utica, New York
Accreditation: ACBSP Candidate
Expected Time to Completion: Two years
Estimated Tuition: $650 per credit
3St. John's University, Tobin College of Business

Taught by an internationally distinguished faculty, the online MBA program at St. John's University focuses on case studies, real-world projects, and global perspectives so that graduates can gain a cross-functional understanding of both the interconnected business landscape and the nuanced specializations within it. Core coursework makes up the bulk of the program, with nine classes that cover topics such as industrial economics, global financial and managerial reporting, decisions in marketing management, and law and ethics.

As part of the risk management and insurance concentration (one of three possible tracks), students take classes in property liability insurance and reinsurance, life-health insurance and employee benefits, and trading risk in the global reinsurance market. The program consists of 36 credits and may be completed entirely online. GMAT scores are required, but can be waived for qualified applicants.

Location: Queens, New York
Accreditation: AACSB
Expected Time to Completion: 1.5-3 years, with full time and part time options available
Estimated Tuition: $1,215 per credit
4Concordia University, Online School of Business

The online MBA with a focus in risk assessment and management at Concordia University brings a uniquely Christian lens to the world of financial risk, and offers the chance to learn and engage with a wide spectrum of perspectives that are represented by a diverse student body—over 40 percent of which is international.

In a nine-course core curriculum, students take courses in topics such as managerial economics, ethics and organizational leadership, applied statistical methods, corporate finance, and strategic management. For the risk assessment and management concentration, students choose classes from areas like fraud management, corporate risk management, loss prevention, securities analysis, and statutory accounting. Students synthesize their learning in the completion of a capstone project. The program consists of 39 credits, and can be completed entirely online. No GMAT or GRE scores are required.

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Accreditation: IACBE (International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education)
Expected Time to Completion: One to two years
Estimated Tuition: $699 per credit

The online MBA programs at Northcentral University feature a mentorship approach that offers one-on-one, individualized interaction with a doctoral faculty. All students take 18 units of foundational courses, which cover topics such as managerial decision making, business in the 21st century, innovation and marketing, and strategic knowledge studies. The financial management specialization equips students to evaluate the health of an organization, legal compliance issues, ethical concerns of stakeholders, and social responsibility as it relates to the conduct of business. Courses in the specialization delve into corporate finance, financial statement analysis, accounting for nonprofit organizations, and international finance. A capstone business simulation tests knowledge and assumptions in an immersive and competitive real world environment. The program consists of 30 credits, and can be completed entirely online. No GMAT or GRE scores are required.

Location: San Diego, California
Accreditation: WSCUC
Expected Time to Completion: 16-41 months
Estimated Tuition: $29,680 in total