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Underwriter Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Aspiring insurance underwriters can study insurance and risk management at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Read on to learn more about educational options in this field.

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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

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.

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