Degree Programs

Information about degree programs in the area of risk management at the Penn State Smeal College of Business.


At the undergraduate level, Smeal offers the Actuarial Science major, as well as the Risk Management major with options in Enterprise Risk Management and Real Estate.

Actuarial Science stresses the application of mathematical and statistical concepts to the measurement of life and other risk contingencies, while at the same time giving students a broad understanding of the business environment.

Risk Management is a rigorous program of study designed to prepare students for positions in production, finance or 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. Risk analysis touches a wide range of systems including management and control of enterprise risk, legal, political, economic, and property risk assessment.

Risk Management major options include:

  • Enterprise Risk Management (ERM): a senior corporate function designed to increase the value of a firm through the optimal treatment of risk. ERM encompasses a variety of risks, including strategic, financial, hazard, and operational risks. Students majoring in ERM are prepared to work in corporate risk management departments, risk management consulting, regulatory compliance, and a variety of financial services industries, including insurance, personal credit, and benefits management.
  • Real Estate (R EST): a wide range of professional opportunities in corporate real estate management, real estate brokerage, appraisal, risk management, mortgage lending and banking, development and governmental service are possible for students in this option.


At the graduate level, Smeal offers a one-year residential Master's in Real Estate Analysis & Development Program, a full-time resident MBA Program and an Executive MBA Program with coursework in risk and decisions, as well as a Ph.D. Program emphasis in Real Estate.