According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the minimum educational requirement for insurance underwriters is a bachelor's degree. However, relevant graduate programs are also available.
10 Schools with Underwriting Programs
The schools below offer degree programs in insurance and risk assessment, which can lead to underwriting careers:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees, In-state (2015-2016)*|
|Ohio State University - Main Campus||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,037|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$13,790|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $6,368 Graduate: $8,872|
|Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus||University Park, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $17,514 Graduate: $20,270|
|University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign||Champaign, IL||4-year, Public||Master's||Undergraduate: $15,054 Graduate: $18,041|
|University of Wisconsin - Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $10,415 Graduate: $11,870|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $6,507 Graduate: $11,543|
|Temple University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$15,188|
|University of North Texas||Denton, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$9,730|
|University of Georgia||Athens, GA||4-year, Public||Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate: $11,622 Graduate: $10,750|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for underwriting schools:
- Students may want to find out what percentage of graduates go on to gain certification from professional organizations such as the American College of Financial Services.
- Students should research internship opportunities provided by the school in order to ensure that they can gain experience working with a professional underwriter.
- Individuals who are considering research-based graduate programs may want to make sure that research opportunities are available in underwriting-related subjects.
- Students may want to find out about the school's computer lab facilities and software offerings; for instance, some schools have trading simulation labs and offer access to industry-standard software such as Bloomberg Professional.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
At the bachelor's degree level, it is possible to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Insurance and Risk Management. In these programs, students are introduced to fundamental business and management principles, and they gain experience with risk analysis and financial software. After completing introductory and general education coursework, students have the chance to take more career-focused electives in topics such as estate planning and liability insurance. Graduates are prepared for entry-level underwriter careers.
Master's Degree Programs
Aspiring underwriters may boost their future job prospects by earning a Master of Science (MS) in Insurance or Insurance Management. These programs combine advanced coursework in insurance-related topics with more general management coursework that prepares underwriters for leadership positions in the field. It is important to note that at some schools, students must be certified underwriters in order to enroll.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Individuals who want to pursue graduate-level research in the theory and applications of insurance and risk management can enroll in a PhD program. While a doctoral degree is not necessary for a career as an underwriter, PhD candidates may focus their dissertation on an underwriting-related subject.
Certificate programs in insurance and risk management are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate certificates introduce students to the fundamentals of the field, while graduate certificates provide a series of advanced courses that can help boost the careers of experienced underwriters. The credits earned in graduate programs may be applicable toward the educational requirements needed to take certain professional certification exams.
While schools rarely offer degrees specializing in underwriting, many schools offer insurance and risk management programs which can lead to underwriting careers. Relevant educational opportunities are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.