Master's degree programs in insurance are designed to teach students various methods for identifying, measuring and managing corporate risk. Most programs focus on the current legal, financial and ethical issues facing insurance professionals. Prior to graduation from these one-year programs, students must submit a thesis or pass a comprehensive exam. Some courses may be offered online.
Applicants need a bachelor's degree and a familiarity with corporate financial practices, microeconomics and statistics. Students can demonstrate proficiency by obtaining a grade of 'B' or better in undergraduate classes related to these subjects or by passing a competency exam prior to admission. Other admission requirements may include submitting scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), a letter of recommendation from the prospective student's professional supervisor, a resume detailing the applicant's leadership experience, and a written statement of the student's personal, educational, and career goals. Some master's degree programs in insurance also require the student to have a professional designation as a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) before admission. Students can earn this designation by meeting experience prerequisites, passing an exam, and agreeing to follow a stringent code of ethics.
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Master in Insurance
In total, students must complete 30 core credits and 12 elective credits before graduation. A few master's degree programs in insurance and risk management allow those who hold the CPCU designation to apply a specified number of credits toward the degree. Common coursework includes:
- Principles of risk management
- Insurance business operations
- Research methods for risk
- Employee benefits, life and health insurance
- Insurance finance and accounting
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Risk management professionals work primarily in the finance and insurance industries. Possible job titles include securities and commodity contract mediator, manager in a business enterprise, and insurance carrier agent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment for financial managers will grow 7% from 2014 to 2024. Financial managers earned a median annual income of $117,990 as of May 2015, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Those interested in continuing their academic pursuits after graduating from a master's degree program in insurance and risk management can apply for admittance to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in a number of concentrations, including risk management and insurance. The CPCU society also offers continuing education opportunities through symposiums, seminars and workshops, in addition to leadership training and public speaking opportunities.
In summary, a master's degree in insurance provides students with comprehensive training in risk assessment and management, and they can apply their skills to careers in the industry or future educational pursuits.