Saint Leo University’s new online MBA program provides a pathway to an MBA in Risk Management and a CPCU designation.
For business professionals managing work and family responsibilities, earning a master’s degree in business (MBA) is no small achievement.
An MBA tops the list as the most popular, as well as one of the most versatile, graduate degrees in the United States – a credential that reinforces credibility in the corporate world and is preparation for leadership positions.
Something similar can be said for the insurance industry’s prestigious Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. Earning the designation demonstrates mastery of the most important aspects of the risk management and insurance field, validates the individual’s industry expertise, and increases his or her value to their organization.
A new Saint Leo University MBA concentration in risk management now makes it possible for insurance industry professionals who would like to earn both an MBA and a CPCU to work toward the two credentials at the same time.
Available totally online, the risk management concentration is offered as a traditional two-year program where students take one online class each eight-week term, or in an accelerated format, which students can complete in one year by taking two classes each term. A graduate certificate options is available as well.
All MBA students at Saint Leo University complete seven core courses as part of the university’s foundational graduate business program. Similar to other MBA concentrations offered through Saint Leo’s Donald R. Tapia School of Business, the concentration in risk management is a specialized curriculum of five additional courses.
“The MBA concentration in risk management coursework is designed to provide students with the essential knowledge requirements that are aligned with the CPCU designation,” says Saint Leo’s assistant professor of finance Dr. Rick Scott who led the effort to develop the program. “This is rigorous program that combines courses from the nine required CPCU courses into five.”
The five courses comprising the concentration cover risk management, insurance, specialized finance, accounting, and law and ethics. Designed to teach students how property-casualty insurance functions work together, the courses are linked to the CPCU online curriculum designed by The Institutes – the provider of the CPCU designation program.
“Since The Institutes courses are tied into our online shell, students can be assured that all of the material they need to learn to be prepared for the CPCU exams are fully covered,” says Dr. Scott. “The concentration will have all of the courses students need for a CPCU professional designation and there will be no need for them to take any additional courses to prepare for CPCU exams.”
The risk management courses included in the MBA program and a few of the highlights of each course are:
Risk Management and Insurance Fundamentals
This course is an introduction to risk management and covers fundamental concepts such as risk assessment, control and financing and how to analyze insurance policies and use insurance as a risk management technique. The course prepares students for the CPCU exams associated with the CPCU 500, CPCU 520 and ERM 57 courses.
Finance and Accounting for Insurance Professionals
This course demonstrates how corporate finance and accounting methodologies are applied to property-casualty insurers. It includes basic corporate finance and accounting techniques, specialized insurance financial techniques, personal financial planning and personal risk management topics and investment basics. The course prepares students for the CPCU exam associated with CPCU 540 and CPCU 553.
Insurance Business Law and Ethics
In this course, students learn about the application of relevant contract, commercial, property, tort, and agency laws to the insurance and risk management industry. They also learn about law related to business entities and employment and the basics of the international legal environment. Material covered in the course prepares students for the CPCU exam associated with the CPCU 530 and Ethics 312 courses.
Commercial Property Insurance
This course demonstrates how commercial insurance is applied to protect against the property exposures most organizations face. Students gain the skills and knowledge needed to manage commercial property, business income, marine, commercial crime, equipment breakdown, business owners, and industry-specific coverages. The course prepares students for the exam associated with the CPCU 551 course.
Commercial Liability Insurance
This course demonstrates how commercial insurance can be applied to protect against liability exposures such as commercial general liability, auto, worker’s compensation, and more. It also covers the management of cyber and terrorism risks. The course prepares students for the CPCU exam associated with the CPCU 552 course.
Online courses keep students on track
In addition to working toward an MBA and CPCU designation at the same time, taking courses through Saint Leo’s online platform provides students with the accountability and structure not found in a typical CPCU self-study format.
“Students certainly use a self-study program to prepare for the CPCU exams, but it requires tremendous discipline,” says Dr. Scott.
“While Saint Leo’s course of study is quite ambitious –a lot of work is required for each 8-week class – our instructors provide personal guidance and support that can be critical to successfully earning both credentials. And with more people than ever working in the insurance industry, Saint Leo graduates will be highly qualified candidates for job opportunities and promotions.”
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