Best Online Bachelor’s in Risk Management Programs

Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleBachelor’sin Risk Management2017
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Certain subfields of the business sector are experiencing rapid growth, and the demand for graduates with specialized knowledge is increasing. One of these in-demand specializations is risk management and insurance. As a result of healthcare reform and an aging population, employment in positions related to risk management is projected to increase nearly 30% by 2024. An online bachelor’s degree in risk management will prepare you to market yourself in this high-demand field, while providing fundamental business skills useful across industries.

An online risk management degree instructs students in core financial principles and specialized concepts in risk management and insurance. Students pursuing a risk management degree online gain a thorough understanding of management, finance, and statistics. They explore the insurance industry, learning how policies are developed and about methodologies used to determine risk. Coursework also covers underwriting, negotiation, and financial counseling.

Many programs allow students to specialize even further, offering electives in fields such as law and entrepreneurship. Other programs include thorough instruction in topics pertaining to insurance. Graduation requirements vary considerably; students may be required to complete a portfolio or pass a comprehensive exam. Some programs also include an internship with a local business or firm.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Eastern Kentucky University 73.00 37% Richmond, KY

Located in Richmond, EKU has recently begun offering distance education programs, including an online bachelor’s in business administration program with a concentration in risk management and insurance. EKU students earning their risk management degree online gain a broad business education while completing specific coursework in risk management. The 120-credit program is career-focused; graduates work as managers, underwriters, and claims specialists.

The curriculum includes eight-week courses in marketing, management, liability, and health insurance. Coursework is delivered asynchronously through Blackboard and includes no on-campus requirements. All online students pay in-state tuition, regardless of residency. Transfer students may apply up to 30 previously earned credits toward the degree.

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2 Indiana State University 70.00 43% Terre Haute, IN

Indiana State offers a focused online bachelor’s degree in risk management, which is one of four programs in the country with more than 11 course offerings in risk management and insurance. The program is ideal for students who want to focus on risk management, rather than earning a broader degree in business administration.

The 120-credit curriculum includes a liberal arts core, a business core, 27 credits of insurance coursework, and 9 credits of risk management coursework. Insurance courses include life insurance and employee benefits. Risk management courses include insurance operations and an optional insurance internship. About 25% of the program’s graduates find employment in insurance sales or marketing, and 75% work as actuaries or in claims or loss control.

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3 University of Central Arkansas 61.50 41% Conway, AR

UCA offers a 120-credit online bachelor’s degree in business administration with a 24-credit major in insurance and risk management. The program's curriculum blends general studies in risk and life insurance with specialized courses in corporate risk management, investments, and personal financial planning. Students complete a 38-credit general education core in addition to a 30-credit business foundation, which includes coursework in statistics, economics, accounting, and computer skills.

All students in UCA's affordable online program pay in-state tuition, regardless of residency. Graduates of the online bachelor’s degree in risk management program work as underwriters, insurance agents, and employee benefit consultants.

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4 University of Houston-Downtown 60.00 12% Houston, TX

UHD is home to many of the University of Houston System’s business-related distance education programs. One of UHD’s standout programs is the bachelor's of business administration in insurance and risk management. The flexible program allows working professionals to earn their risk management degree online, while still providing hands-on learning in the form of field trips, group projects, and industry meetings. UHD arranges paid internships with insurance and risk management groups throughout Houston.

The 120-credit program includes coursework in economics, marketing, and accounting, in addition to studies in risk management theory and practice, such as casualty insurance and property insurance. Most students complete the program in four years.

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5 Franklin University 55.50 13% Columbus, OH

Located in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin University has provided continuing education for adult learners since 1902. Franklin offers a flexible online bachelor’s degree in risk management. Students may take courses in formats lasting 6, 12, or 15 weeks, and the asynchronous course delivery fits around professional schedules. Transfer students may apply up to 94 approved credits toward the 124-credit program.

The program’s curriculum includes a general education core, a 28-credit business core, and a 24-credit risk management core. Coursework covers property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, retirement planning, and employee benefits. Franklin’s experienced faculty prepare graduates to work as claims adjusters, insurance agents, and underwriters.

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Each online bachelor’s degree in risk management program has different requirements, course delivery methods, and objectives. This section explores common program features and formats.

Curriculum for an Online Bachelor’s in Risk Management

Course offerings and curricula vary by program, but some concepts are integral to any online risk management degree. Most risk management programs offer the following courses:

  • Insurance Law: Students explore basic legal concepts commonly encountered by risk management coordinators. Coursework covers the interpretation and construction of insurance contracts, liability insurance for companies, and claims.
  • Macroeconomics: This course provides a broad overview of macroeconomics concepts and how they pertain to risk management activities. Topics include employment, fiscal policy, and national debt.
  • Insurance Company Operations: This course examines the operating procedures and functions of insurance companies and common regulations and industry principles.

How Long Does it Take to get an Online Bachelor’s in Risk Management?

While most programs can be completed in two to four years, the length of an online bachelor’s degree in risk management depends on factors such as the program’s format and pacing. Transferring credits earned through previous coursework or industry experience may shorten the completion time.

Some programs are offered in an asynchronous, individually paced format, which allows students to complete coursework according to their own schedule. With few deadlines and no designated log-in times, asynchronous courses provide flexibility for busy students. Conversely, cohort-based programs are more structured; stressing collaboration and student-faculty interaction, students progress through the program together. Featuring strict deadlines and real-time participation, cohort and synchronous programs generally take longer to complete.

Choosing an accredited program ensures a high-quality education. An accredited school operates according to the ethical and academic standards set by accrediting bodies. Institutions may be regionally or nationally accredited.

Most nationally accredited institutions are for-profit, vocational schools, while regionally accredited schools are typically nonprofit institutions such as state colleges and universities. While credits earned at regionally accredited institutions transfer easily, credits from nationally accredited schools are rarely accepted by institutions with regional accreditation. Students who plan to transfer schools or to pursue a graduate program should ensure their school is regionally accredited.

Accreditation can also affect funding opportunities. The Department of Education relies on reports from accrediting bodies to determine which institutions are eligible for federal financial aid. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) ensures that accrediting bodies maintain high standards. Consisting of representatives from more than 3,000 institutions, CHEA advocates for public understanding of the accreditation process and maintains a comprehensive database of accredited schools and programs.

Job Placement for Graduates of Risk Management Bachelor’s Programs

Careers in risk management offer competitive salaries and great potential for advancement, and virtually all of them require a bachelor’s degree. Related positions available to professionals with an associate degree offer much lower salaries than positions requiring a bachelor’s degree. The table below demonstrates the significant difference in earnings between professionals with an associate degree in business administration and those with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Bachelor’s in Risk Management Salary

Salaries for professionals in risk management vary based on workplace and geographic location, but few factors influence earnings as strongly as professional experience. The following table demonstrates how work experience affects salaries for five risk management positions.

Job Title Entry-Level Salary Mid-Career Salary Late-Career Salary
Risk Manager $72,792 $88,295 $92,678
Claims Adjuster $44,966 $52,958 $66,240
Risk Management Consultant $64,852 $87,742 $110,000
Financial Manager $62,030 $73,795 $79,827
Insurance Underwriter $49,230 $57,602 $70,110

Bachelor’s in Risk Management Careers

Graduates with a degree in risk management work in a variety of industries. Individuals with strong math and analytical skills excel in a wide range of positions, some of which provide opportunities for self-employment. The following careers are ideal for professionals with a background in finance and specialized knowledge gained during a risk management degree online program.

Actuary

Actuaries work for insurance companies to determine the potential for financial risks and to develop policies that minimize loss. They measure probability and uncertainty using statistical research and modeling software and by applying financial theory.
Median Annual Salary: $100,610
Projected Growth Rate: 18%

Financial Manager

Primarily employed by insurance companies, organizations, and banks, financial managers assess and maintain an organization’s financial health and stability. In addition to setting financial goals and strategies, they influence the development of investment plans and activities.
Median Annual Salary:$121,750
Projected Growth Rate: 7%

Personal Financial Advisor

Frequently self-employed, personal financial advisors assist organizations and insurance companies with estate planning, investment management, and insurance policies.
Median Annual Salary: $90,530
Projected Growth Rate: 30%

Insurance Underwriter

Insurance underwriters evaluate insurance applications, analyzing situational risks to determine who and what should receive coverage. They help insurance companies determine amounts and premiums.

Budget Analyst

Working in a variety of settings, budget analysts organize the finances of institutions and organizations. They monitor and analyze spending and uncertainty to create budget reports and other financial plans.
Median Annual Salary: $78,340
Projected Growth Rate: 3%

When choosing the best way to finance your online bachelor’s degree in risk management, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to determine whether you qualify for federal funding opportunities such as grants, student loans, and work-study programs. Additionally, many organizations, companies, and individuals offer merit- and need-based scholarships. Students in niche fields, including risk management, may pursue field-specific scholarship opportunities.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.