The Largest Risk and Insurance Schools

Emily Holbrook


September 1, 2010

When it comes to teaching risk management, bigger is not always better. But the largest programs are respected for both their size and the future risk managers they teach. Here is a rundown of the top 15 schools ranked by the number of students they graduated during the 2009-2010 school year.

1. University of Georgia: 129
UGA boasts the largest undergraduate program of its kind in the United States, and its Terry College of Business grads have gone on to work for HBO, Honeywell and Pepsi. "RMI's energetic, impassioned faculty members are adept at making textbook material come alive," said Dr. Robert Hoyt, UGA's chair of insurance.

2. Temple University: 120
This Philadelphia school first offered risk management and insurance courses in 1913. With the help of the local insurance industry, TempleOs RMI program has grown exponentially since then with approximately 800 students taking the program's "Introduction to Risk Management" course each semester. More than 130 students participated in internships over the summer, and nearly every student is involved in Gamma Iota Sigma, the international risk management fraternity.

3. University of Wisconsin-Madison: 94
UW-Madison's RMI program began in 1938, and one of its students, John S. Bickley, went on to form the International Insurance Society. The school's long tradition of excellence in teaching, research and service was given a boost this year with the formation of the Risk Management and Insurance Alumni Association.

4. Appalachian State University: 55
Though a relative newcomer compared to the top three, App State is a powerhouse. The program began in the late 1970s and has grown steadily. The school's RMI Society invites professionals to speak to students each month and schedules philanthropic events such as working with Habitat for Humanity.

5. Florida State University: 44
FSU's RMI department houses two insurance centers: the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center (Cat Center) and the Center for Insurance Research. Students are active with Florida industry associations and have travelled to the RIMS Annual Conference and Exhibition for the previous eight years. While enrolled, students are encouraged to pursue professional designations and participate in job shadowing.

6. Georgia State University: 39
Founded in 1953, the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at GSU is home to one of the largest risk management research centers in the world. And GSU is keeping pace with the industry -- the school recently created the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk, a research center that, when fully operational, will have a multi-million dollar annual budget with a network of more than 100 researchers worldwide.

6. The University of Hartford: 39
Hartford's RMI program has the distinction of receiving the Spencer Educational FoundationOs ORisk Manager in ResidenceO grant for the past 11 years. And for the past 20 years, students from the program have been chosen to participate in the Anita Benedetti student involvement program. The R.C. Knox Center for Insurance and Risk Management Studies also provides financial support for student clubs and hosts symposia that majors are invited to attend.

8. Olivet College: 30
Last year, Olivet unveiled its Risk Management and Insurance Center, and this year, the school partnered with the Thomas M. Cooley Law School to assist with the creation of the Master of Laws in Insurance law degree (one of only two in the nation). The school's RMI students also host the "Extreme Risk Takers" surplus lines insurance symposium for other schools.

8. University of North Carolina-Charlotte: 30
UNC Charlotte's Belk College of Business enjoys generous support from the North Carolina insurance community. Since 2005, the schoolOs RMI program has brought in more than $90,000 from local industry associations and individuals, including the Carolinas Chapter of RIMS, North Carolina Association of Insurance Agents, North Carolina Insurance Federation and Allen Tate Insurance.

10. Ball State University: 28
This Muncie, Indiana, school has established a formidable RMI program since its inception in the late 1980s. The program has its own advisory board made up of industry leaders, and RMI students have earned prestigious scholarships, including the Angus Robinson, Jr. Memorial and Spencer Educational Foundation scholarships. Even more impressive, the schoolOs RMI program has had 13 students earn the University Associate - Certified Risk Manager designation.

11. Middle Tennessee State University: 22
Located in Mufreesboro, Tennessee, MTSU enjoys generous support from the local insurance community through, among other outlets, the Insurance Liaison Committee, which was created in 1984 to offer professional guidance to the chair of insurance. The school frequently sends its RMI majors to the NAPSLO conference in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as international conferences such as PRIMA and IMMR. The school's RMI department and the students within it have won 81 awards total since the program was developed in 1984.

12. Virginia Commonwealth University: 20
VCUOs RMI program was founded in 1968 by Davis Ratcliffe, a retired insurance executive and Dr. Travis Pritchett, former head of the American Risk and Insurance Association. The schoolOs RMI students Ograduate with good knowledge of commercial property-liability insurance, risk management, insurance law, employee benefits and life and health insurance -- along with finance theory and practice,O said Debbi Little, director of the Risk and Insurance Studies Center.

13. University of Louisiana - Monroe: 19
Though a relatively new entrant to the university-level RMI program, UL Monroe has enjoyed quick success. It attracts more than a dozen high-level executives from area insurance companies each year to talk to students about the skills students need within the profession, current issues facing insurers and reinsurers, agents and brokers, and ethical conduct in the industry. The program began a high school insurance agency internship program to introduce and attract a younger generation of students to the industry.

14. St. John's University: 17
As part of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business, St. John's School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (SRM) has a history that stretches back to the turn of the 20th century with the formation of the Insurance Society of New York. The SRM library, which dates back to 1901, boasts the world's largest collection of risk and insurance literature and in 2009, the SRM was recognized as a Center for Actuarial Excellence bye the Society of Actuaries.

15. University of Louisiana - Lafayette: 16
Located in the Cajun country of south Louisiana, UL-Lafayette's RMI program is 15 years old and experiencing tremendous support from the local insurance community, which the school refers to as their "partnership with industry" approach. Students in the school's Moody College of Business RMI program take classes with a focus on commercial property/casualty, life/health insurance, employee benefits and business risk management.

15. Baylor University: 16
The RMI program at this Waco, Texas school, officially founded in 1960, places an emphasis on the economic, statistical and financial theories underlying the insurance and risk management markets. Baylor students are active with RIMS, NAPSLO, the Insurance Council of Texas, the Houston Marine Insurance Seminar and academic organizations such as the American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA), the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and the Risk Theory Society.
Emily Holbrook is the founder of Red Label Writing, LLC, a writing, editing and content strategy firm catering to insurance and risk management businesses and publications, and a former editor of Risk Management.