Risk Management

Information on the Risk Management Major offered by the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

Organizations face a wide array of risks in today's rapidly changing and complex business environment. Operations can be disrupted by a variety of unanticipated factors, ranging from external forces like natural disasters and political risks to internal factors like faulty product design and flawed financial systems. CEOs make risky strategic decisions in an increasingly competitive marketplace where the cost of missteps is high. In recent years, firms have encountered new risks in the form of terrorism, global litigation, and the growing costs of human resources.

Careers in Risk Management

Corporations and nonprofits have turned to enterprise risk management in an effort to protect themselves from the adverse consequences of all of the above risks. Risk analysis touches a wide range of systems including management and control risk and legal, political, economic, and property risk assessment. This rigorous program of study is designed to prepare students for careers in risk management, financial services (including actuarial science, risk management, and real estate), and government agencies that demand quantitative and qualitative skills needed to meet modern risk assessment requirements.

Management Degree Requirements and Sample Schedules

Options in Risk Management

Students in the risk management major are required to elect one of three options:

  • Actuarial Science (ACTSC) Option: Determine and measure risk as a way of confronting business and social perils.
  • Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Option: Identify, analyze, and respond to business risks and opportunities.
  • Real Estate: Broker, manage, and develop real estate in public and private decision-making settings.

IN FOCUS
Institute for Real Estate Studies:
Part of a network of research centers at Smeal, the Institute for Real Estate Studies fosters discussion and research between the academic and business worlds and provides a focal point for real estate education at Penn State.