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MBA in Risk Management & Insurance

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Gain Innovative Expertise Managing Risk

Learn risk fundamentals, gain strong consulting skills, and prepare to impact business. Expert faculty span the spectrum of behavioral analytics, enterprise risk management, and decision-making under uncertainty. Our long history has deep industry connections for rich networking and meaningful hands-on applied learning experiences.

Develop exceptionally strong critical thinking and analytical skills

Interact with industry leaders in risk management and insurance

Graduates land at leading firms, earning an average salary of six figures


Risk and Insurance Program

U.S. News & World Report, 2022-2023

Global Center of Insurance Excellence

One of only 20 institutions worldwide to receive this honor

—International Insurance Society


The Wisconsin MBA curriculum integrates a strong foundation in general management with highly focused preparation in your chosen career field, starting with your first semester. This immediate immersion prepares you for success in an internship.

Year 1

First Semester

  • Data to Decisions
  • Financial Accounting
  • Introduction to Financial Management
  • Leading and Working in Teams
  • Business Strategy
  • Operations Management
  • Principles of Risk Management
  • Risk Management and Insurance Topics

Second Semester

  • Ethics, Integrity and Society
  • Consulting Practicum
  • Marketing Management
  • Economics for Managers
  • Risk Analytics and Behavioral Science
  • Advanced Topics in Risk Management
  • Elective (optional)

Year 2

First Semester

  • Sustainability Risk Management
  • Management of the Insurance Enterprise or Commercial Insurance Contracts
  • Risk Financing
  • Risk Management and Insurance Topics
  • Elective

Second Semester

  • Management of the Insurance Enterprise or Commercial Insurance Contracts
  • Cyber Risk Management
  • Seminar in Risk Management and Insurance
  • Elective
  • Elective (optional)

The curriculum also includes specialization electives such as risk analytics and behavioral science; insurance company operations; risk financing techniques; and sustainability, environmental, and social risk management. You can also choose electives in other business topics for cross-functional career preparation.

Applied Learning

Applied learning sessions with senior executives prepare you to tackle some of the industry’s most pressing challenges.

a group of MBA students gathered around a table

Build your résumé

Small program size means you get a lot of interaction and firsthand experience, including:

  • Consulting projects to produce actionable plans for respected firms (beginning semester one)
  • Classroom presentations by industry practitioners
  • Site visits to leading businesses
  • Regular participation in major industry conferences for direct exposure to cutting-edge practices and to leaders in the risk management and insurance fields
Students gathered around a table

Learn from industry leaders

Projects are conducted with a corporate sponsor and offer opportunities to present and learn from leaders in the industry. Recent examples:

  • Identified risk management opportunities to make small- and medium-sized organizations more resilient
  • Helped a major insurer identify opportunities to enhance its digital offerings
  • Conducted captive management, enterprise risk management, and construction risk management studies

Expert Support and Career Connections

Specialization Leadership

Joan Schmit

Faculty Director Joan Schmit is an expert in insurance operations and enterprise risk management and has a passion for developing the next generation of leaders in the field. A professor with the Wisconsin School of Business since 1988, Joan teaches and arranges applied learning classes in the risk management and insurance program. She is active with industry organizations.

Advisory Board

Highly engaged advisory board members have deep ties to industry and consult on curriculum, projects, and networking.

Christy Kaufman speaking with MBA students

Christy Kaufman

VP of Property and Casualty, Risk and Compliance, USAA
Director, Rogers Behavioral Health Board
Board Advisor, Monitaur

Christy Kaufman developed a ground-up Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program and headed Insurance Services for Zillow. She led strategy, governance, and compliance for American Family Ventures, headed ERM, and served as chief of staff to the general counsel of Marsh & McLennan Companies. She was also formerly a consultant for Aon and Ernst & Young, assisting clients in the areas of ERM, compliance, governance, business continuity planning, crisis management, and strategic risk financing.

World-class Faculty

Our expert faculty offer a deep-dive risk and insurance program that sets you apart.

Justin Sydnor talking during a forum

Justin Sydnor

Professor, Risk and Insurance
Leslie P. Schultz Professor in Risk Management and Insurance

Justin Sydnor’s research interests are in psychology and economics, applied microeconomics, (behavioral) industrial organization, insurance markets, and risk and decision-making.

Program Voices

Jenna Herr
“Wisconsin is widely recognized for producing stellar leaders in risk management and insurance. Professor Joan Schmit described at my visit all the ways the program could help me pursue my interest in the field. But she also explained how I could integrate my interest in tech and analytics. It was a very different approach from other schools, where those passions were considered ancillary to the core curriculum.”
Jenna Herr (MBA ’19)
Director, Risk Management & Insurance, Equity Residential
Jenna was named one of 100 MBAs to Watch, Poets & Quants 2019.
Read more of Jenna's story
“The applied learning project allowed me to gain real-world risk management experience by working on a complex and multifaceted project in a corporate environment. It was an extraordinary opportunity to complement my background while enhancing my subject expertise and leadership skills, which were valuable to my early career success.”
Josh Berman (MBA ’16)
Assistant Vice President, Financial Lines, Zurich North America
“Collaborating with the risk management and insurance students at the Wisconsin School of Business provided valuable insights into United’s attritional losses and risk profile. The students identified opportunities to more strategically collect data that we are implementing to improve risk awareness at United. Working with students who bring talent, enthusiasm, and a fresh perspective is one of the benefits of developing strong partnerships with educational institutions.”
Andy Nottestad (BBS ’92)
Managing Director–Risk Management, United Airlines, Inc.
Risk Management and Insurance MBA Advisory Board
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Connect With Top Employers

Connect with employers through classroom visits, networking events, and applied learning projects. Frequent recruiters:

Amazon logo
American Family Insurance logo
Liberty Mutual Insurance logo
Kemper logo
GCIE logo
Willis Towers Watson logo
“When we are looking for the brightest and best to staff our risk management consulting teams, our first stop is the risk and insurance program of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. We have had great success hiring students from the program over the years, as they have practical, real-world experience applicable to today’s rapidly changing insurance industry. Another distinguishing characteristic… is their superb analytic skills—critically important when conducting cost-benefit analysis of alternative risk-financing structures.”
James A. Swanke Jr., CPCU, ALCM, ARM
Senior Director, Captive Solutions, Willis Towers Watson

Risk & Insurance Careers

Common career paths

  • Risk Management
  • Consulting
  • Venture Capital

Common job titles

  • Insurance Leadership Development
  • Risk Manager
  • Risk Management and/or Financial Services Consultant
  • Insurance Product Manager
  • Broker
  • Analytics Consultant

Your MBA. Your Career Success.

High staff-to-student ratio means you get unlimited support—and exceptional connections—as you step into your ideal career.

Learn more about our career-launching results

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