In almost everything humans do, there is a degree of risk involved. In broad terms, risk can be defined as the probability of something terrible happening – the uncertainty regarding the effects/implications of an activity on something that humans value, with a concentration on negative, undesirable repercussions. In a company or a business, risk management is the function that protects the long-term interests of owners, creditors, and customers, as well as the entire society. It is so critical in today’s corporate environments, in both the public and private sectors, that in most cases, an effective and dependable risk management system necessitates skilled and high-quality expertise in a variety of domains, including statistics, mathematics, finance, engineering, computing, and actuarial science. The modern era is fraught with ambiguity. Companies throughout the world must do everything they can to protect their investments, from the crash of worldwide markets to the emergence of a global pandemic.

The Master’s in Risk Management online teaches students to identify, anticipate, and manage the risks that businesses and organizations face. They will also learn how to apply risk management theories and principles to real-world scenarios and how to create and implement effective loss-prevention and mitigation methods. Graduates of this program will improve their academic capabilities and credentials in an area of knowledge that is critical to their employers’ long-term success.

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Online Masters in Risk Management

Risk Management is usually studied in business schools. Finding a program that suits individual needs and professional goals, one that offers quality and credibility, is an arduous task. Based on factors such as the experience and quality of the faculty, reputation of the institution, program format and structure, infrastructure, student support services, cost, and more, here is a list of the best online masters in risk management degree programs:

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of Washington
1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, Washington 98195
Indiana University, Bloomington
107 South Indiana Ave., Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Columbia University in the City of New York
West 116 St and Broadway, New York, New York 10027
Boston University
One Silber Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
Mercyhurst University
501 E 38th St, Erie, Pennsylvania 16546
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
701 B Street – Suite 110, San Diego, California 92101
Norwich University
158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, Vermont 05663
St. John’s University
8000 Utopia Pky, Queens, New York 11439
Albany Law School
80 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, New York 12208
Purdue University Global
2550 Northwestern Avenue, Suite 1100, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Masters in Risk Management Programs

A master’s degree in Risk Management typically consists of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and workshops. Some universities periodically host industry professionals as guest speakers. Exams, written assignments, presentations, and research projects are likely to be part of assessment techniques adapted to each module’s requirements.

The Risk Management degree program prepares students for leadership and professional roles by providing theoretical and practical knowledge. Students will graduate with the knowledge, skills, and understanding of various risks such as macroeconomic and financial risk, operational risk, organizational risk, technical risk, and regulatory and legal risk. Aspects like data, privacy, and ethics, as well as climate change and sustainability risk, human capital risk, and reputational risk, are also covered by the program, depending on the coursework and electives chosen. Managing risk and ensuring financial compliance is at the forefront of the Risk Management degree program. Overall, the master’s in risk management serves as the foundation for professional designations and licenses in various sectors and industries, such as in insurance, financial services, climate change, government, and more.

Masters in Risk Management Degree Types

Risk Management studies can be taken up from two distinct approaches – the Master of Science or MS in Risk Management, or the Master of Business Administration or MBA in Risk Management.

MS in Risk Management

The Master of Science in Risk Management, or MS Risk Management online, uses a more scientific and technical approach to Risk Management studies. It covers the subject from various non-business angles, making it suitable for sectors such as climate change, health care, etc.

MBA in Risk Management

The Master of Business Administration, or MBA Risk Management, broadly approaches Risk from a business standpoint. It focuses more on business aspects such as finance, revenue, cost-management, growth, profits, etc. This degree type is more suitable for those who already have or want to start a career in business or with a corporation.

Specializations in Masters in Risk Management Programs

Risk Management is actually a niche area within a business program. It is a concentration of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program in most instances. However, since Risk in the modern context has grown in scope and scale, it has given rise to a separate degree, with several options of concentrations and specializations as well. These concentrations and specializations are excellent for graduate students who want to specialize in one specific area of Risk Management and work in a particular sector. Some options to explore are:

  • Quantitative Risk Management
  • Investment and Financial Risk Management
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Compliance Risk Management
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • Healthcare Risk Management
  • Risk and Operations Management
  • Security and Risk Management
  • Compliance, Risk, and Anti-Money Laundering
  • Legal Risk Management, Contracting, and Compliance
  • Energy Risk Management
  • Sustainability and Climate Risk

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Masters in Risk Management Programs

Since risk is everywhere, the curriculum of a Risk Management degree covers many disciplines and domains. The Risk Management degree, therefore, has a wide range of core courses. Students are also required to pick electives and usually complete a capstone project or thesis. Here are some examples of Risk Management masters courses in the online degree program:

  • Enterprise Risk Management – Introduction and Overview
  • Macro and Country Risk
  • Bankruptcy Risk, Financial Regulation and Regulatory Risk
  • Concepts in Risk Management: Statistical Models
  • Risk and Decision Analytics
  • Organizational Change and Risk
  • Information Systems Risk and Cyber Risk
  • Statistics and Financial Risk Applications (Market Risk and Value at Risk)
  • Project Risk and Supply Chain Risk
  • Climate and Sustainability Risk
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Risk Management
  • Data Privacy and Ethics, Regulatory Requirements and Legal Risk
  • Operational Risk and Conduct Risk
  • Credit Risk and Derivatives
  • Risk Management in Fintech (P2P Lending, Blockchains, and Cryptocurrencies)
  • Economic Regulation, Conduct, and Risk Governance (Market Structures)
  • Corporate Strategic Risk
  • Strategic Human Resources and Human Capital Risk
  • Reputational Risk and Crisis Management
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Fundamentals of Risk Management
  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • International Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics
  • Managing Complexity, Uncertainty, and Subjectivity
  • The Management of Corporate Security
  • Credit Risk & Data Analytics
  • Risk-Taking and Decision Making
  • Quantitative Methods

Some options of electives students can expect in this program are:

  • Valuation
  • Investments
  • Leading Evolving Organizations
  • Designing, Managing and Improving Supply Chains
  • Project Management
  • Derivative Security Markets

On exiting the program, graduates of a masters in Risk Management would be equipped with a variety of skills. For example, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for management and leadership jobs in the enterprise continuity profession, as well as an understanding of the broader concerns of continuity, security, and risk management;
  • show proficiency in building acceptable plans for widely used enterprise risk management, business continuity planning, and disaster recovery frameworks and processes, as well as defining and analyzing exposures and available response options;
  • estimate the frequency and severity of individual exposures using quantitative and qualitative data;
  • assessing and evaluating financial risks within the confines of a legal and ethical environment;
  • demonstrate a working grasp of risk management terminology and practices;
  • comprehend and factor the various components of business continuity as they affect the firm’s continuous operations, from supply-chain management to higher-level strategy formulation, encompassing markets and industry sustainability; and
  • conduct individual and organizational management/financial reviews.

Accreditation for Masters in Risk Management Programs

An institution’s accreditation shows that it has been evaluated and meets or exceeds the criteria for assessing institutional excellence. Accreditation affirms and confirms that a college has all the resources necessary to accomplish its stated goals through appropriate educational programs and that it can demonstrate that it will continue to do so in the future. Institutional integrity is considered as part of the accreditation process, which is unconditional and applies to the entire organization. Accreditation is a seal of assurance for students that the university’s offerings are of the highest quality. Detailed information on accreditation is available in the comprehensive Accreditation Guide.

In the domain of Risk Management, accreditation is offered by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, also known as AACSB International, a global nonprofit association, which provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and learning and development services to over 1,700 member organizations and more than 900 accredited business schools worldwide.

Colleges that offer accredited online masters in Risk Management may also be accredited by one or more regional bodies, such as:

  1. New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  2. Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)
  3. Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  4. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  5. Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  6. Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Timeline For Graduating From Masters in Risk Management Online Programs

A Master’s degree in Risk Management online typically takes 1 year of full-time study or 2 years of part-time study to complete. Credit hours and timeframes vary by college, program, and program format and structure. It must be noted that programs requiring a thesis tend to take slightly longer than ones that do not need one.

Admission Requirements For Masters in Risk Management Online Programs

The essential requirement for an online master’s in Risk Management is an undergraduate degree either in Risk Management or in an area related to Risk Management. Here is a list of some of the other admission requirements generally asked to be fulfilled:

  • A completed Application Form with the requisite Application Fee
  • Official Academic Transcripts, with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher
  • A current Résumé covering relevant work/educational experience in the field
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • A Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose

Some colleges may also ask prospective students who have yet to demonstrate sufficient quantitative skills through academic or professional experience to submit a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score. Although colleges have been flexible on this requirement over a couple of years, students are advised to read the Program Guide or check with the college’s admissions office for exact information.

Free Risk Management Programs

Free courses and programs do not lead to a degree. However, they are a great way to supplement or complement a master’s program or drill deeper into a specific area of interest. Here are some sites that offer free programs and courses in Risk Management:

  1. Oxford Home Study Centre
    The Oxford Home Study Centre offers several types of programs in Risk Management, such as short courses, diplomas, certificates, advanced diplomas, etc. Almost all courses on offer are free to take.
  2. Alison
    Alison offers certificate and diploma courses in Risk Management-related topics, such as Chemical Safety: Accident Investigation, Elements of Food Safety Management Systems, Understanding Supply Chain Risk Management, and more.
  3. OpenLearn
    OpenLearn is a free learning platform delivered by The Open University as part of its Royal Charter commitment to support the community’s wellbeing. It offers an eight-session course that looks at how thorough risk analysis can be done and how to implement effective risk management procedures. Case studies and audio-visual elements supplement the course to explain the diverse and often complex risk management approaches used at Rolls-Royce and elsewhere.
  4. EdX
    EdX has courses that teach professional risk management practices, tools, and more with online courses from the New York Institute of Finance and other top schools and institutions. Topics include Cybersecurity Risk Management, Understanding and Communicating Risk, Risk Management Tools & Practices, and more.
  5. Class Central
    Class Central provides free online courses and MOOCs in Risk Management from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Hong Kong, the University of California, Irvine, Columbia University, and other top universities worldwide.

How to Pay for Masters in Risk Management Online Programs

Risk Management graduate degree programs, especially MBAs at top schools, cost a lot. High tuition fees coupled with other educational expenses and a constant rise in prices make it difficult for many aspiring and prospective graduate students to pursue advanced education. Fortunately, applicants can seek financial aid in various forms, some of which include:


To support further education, scholarships are often students’ first and best option because they are awarded based on academic achievement as well as other factors like community service and cultural heritage. Scholarships are merit-based, privately sponsored, alumna-supported, or awarded by religious, cultural, or commercial organizations. (Note: To prevent being defrauded online, read about Scholarship Scams.)


Grants are available to students in need of financial assistance. Unlike scholarships, grants are usually awarded based on financial need, not academic merit. However, student grades and test scores are also factored by institutions that offer need-based financial aid.

Employer Sponsorship

Apart from allowing its employees to work and study simultaneously, many corporations additionally pay for higher education if specific criteria are met. Working professionals who are interested in applying to graduate-level Risk Management degrees should check with their employers to see if they have any programs in place to encourage and fund education.

Payment Plans

Some universities allow students to spread out the cost of their tuition over a more extended period rather than paying it all at once at the beginning of the term.

Student Loans

Students can take out loans from the federal government, banks, or financial institutions to pay for their education. However, student loans must be returned with interest, and failing to do so can lead to a mountain of debt.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is a form that can be used to determine whether or not a student is eligible for financial aid. More information on the FAFSA can be found here.

For more information about various ways of funding advanced education, read the best Financial Guide.

FAQs about Masters in Risk Management Online Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do a master’s in Risk Management?

A graduate of a masters in Risk Management will be well prepared for a job in enterprise risk management in a variety of fields. This degree’s curriculum covers macroeconomic and financial risk, regulatory and legal risk, and supply chain risk, among other “foundation” enterprise risk topics. Data, privacy, ethics; climate and sustainability risk; human capital risk; and reputational risk are all examples of risk management frontiers that are currently being defined and measured. Students will be able to: contribute to enterprise risk management development and oversee strategic risk discussions within their organization; assess the risks associated with all business decisions; and comprehend and communicate a global perspective on risk management.

Is an online master in Risk Management worth it?

What is the difference between an MS Risk Management and MBA Risk Management?

Where to do a master’s in Risk Management?

Careers and Salary Outlook For Masters in Risk Management Online Graduates

With risk involved in almost every aspect of human life and every commercial dealing or transaction, graduates of an online masters in Risk Management are readily and easily employed in a host of sectors, such as the insurance industry, business enterprise, trade, commerce, manufacturing, securities, banking, healthcare, financial markets, and more. Experts are needed in the areas of risk identification, risk assessment, risk control, and risk mitigation. Therefore, there is a (rising) demand for risk management professionals. Here are some typical job titles with their median annual salary and job outlook for 2020 to 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Some other job titles include:

  • Client Services Manager
  • Business Continuity Planner
  • Risk Consultant
  • Operational Risk Manager
  • Senior Specialist – Alternative Risk
  • Financial and Investment Analyst, Financial Risk Specialist
  • Credit Analyst
  • Actuary
  • Insurance Underwriter

Certifications and Licensure For Masters in Risk Management Online Students

Certifications are required for Risk Management graduates to demonstrate that they can successfully manage enterprise-wide risks and establish a robust risk culture with resilience and crisis-readiness for an organization. They are an excellent way to enhance a professional career alongside a graduation or post-graduation, besides which they allow one to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate skill and expertise with an industry-recognized credential. Here are a few Certifications for graduates of a Risk Management master’s to explore and consider:

  • Certified in Risk and Information systems Control (CRISC) by ISACA
  • RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP) by the Risk Management Society (RIMS)
  • Certified Risk Management Professional (CRMP) by DRI International
  • Certified Risk Association (CRA) by the Organisation of Certified Risk Managers (OCRM)

As for licensure, Risk Management graduates typically do not require any licenses to work. However, specific sectors like banking and insurance may need candidates to have additional credentials or state-issued licenses (requirements vary by state).

Additional Resources For Masters in Risk Management Online Students

In all fields of business, risk has always been present. Effective and efficient risk management, like revenue creation and cost-efficiency, underlies the value of an enterprise, regardless of the activity or industry. The goal of risk management is to manage and mitigate risk as efficiently as possible. Risk Management students and professionals should therefore network with peers in the industry, exchange views and ideas, compare observations, and seek help to better manage risk that is critical to a company’s strategy, operations, and financial success. Here are a few resources for Risk Management online students to explore for personal and commercial use:

  1. Institute of Risk Management (IRM)
    The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) is a leading professional body for Enterprise Risk Management that helps build excellence in risk management to improve the way organizations work. IRM provides globally recognized qualifications and training, research and thought leadership, and set professional standards, which define the knowledge, skills, and behaviors today’s risk professionals need to meet the demands of an increasingly complex and challenging business environment.
  2. Risk Management Association (RMA)
    The Risk Management Association (RMA) is a member-driven organization that serves risk professionals at financial institutions. The association provides resources and content, products, learning and events, and a strong community.
  3. Professional Risk Manager’s International Association (PRIMA)
    The Professional Risk Manager’s International Association (PRIMA) provides an open forum for the development and promotion of the risk profession. It hosts webinars, seminars, and publications and provides certification and learning tools as well.
  4. Risk Academy Blog
    The Risk Academy Blog claims to be about controversial thoughts on modern-day Risk Management in non-financial companies, training and consulting services. The blog is home to free books, videos, and articles and provides online courses and mentorship.
  5. Operational Riskdata eXchange Association (ORX)
    Operational Riskdata eXchange Association (ORX) provides access to various free resources for managing and measuring operational risk. The site contains resources such as research findings, how-to articles, and videos, among others.
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