Risk is part of every business decision

Finding the right balance between risk and reward, and a cost-effective way to mitigate risk, is as important for businesses as it is for individuals and our society. 

Does marijuana legalization increase the number of car accidents? Does enterprise risk management adoption improve investment efficiency? Are genetic tests beneficials or is it better to not know? Does Medicaid expansion increase or decrease emergency department utilization? Do capitalization levels constrain insurance companies’ ability to meet demand during recessions? 

Your research can inform business decisions as well as public policy.

In the PhD program at Iowa, you’ll work closely with our world-renowned faculty, perfecting your research, writing, and teaching skills. By the time you hold that PhD in your hand, you’ll have everything you need for a successful academic career in risk management and insurance (RMI).

Work with experts in the industry

Tippie faculty lead the way in both teaching and research. You’ll work alongside Thomas Berry-Stoelzle, who’s published a breadth of research into enterprise risk management and insurer operations. Or dive into topics like insurance economics and household finance with Cameron Ellis, health economics and public policy analysis with Meghan Esson, or economic analysis of prevention and precaution and risk preferences with Richard Peter. You’ll work closely with our respected faculty to identify your own area of focus within the RMI field.

"Insurance does no good if insurance companies don’t have the money to cover the policy, so I look at insurance markets along with public policy to figure out how to alleviate these problems."


While still a relatively young program, all of Tippie’s PhD graduates focusing on risk management and insurance to date have accepted tenure-track faculty positions. Initial placements:

  • University of New Hampshire
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Getting in

First, you need to meet the minimum PhD admission requirements. Other criteria for admission include:

Academic record

An undergrad concentration in risk management and insurance isn't required to be admitted. The minimum GPA is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. We also consider the rigor of your undergrad or master's institution(s), and grades you earned in relevant coursework, including risk management and insurance (if applicable), actuarial science (if applicable), finance, economics, statistics, and mathematics courses. The recommended background is coursework in risk management and insurance, finance and economics through intermediate micro and macro, math through one year of calculus, and introductory mathematical statistics.

GMAT or GRE score

Our admitted students average around 700 on the GMAT. The quantitative scores in particular are considered.

Letters of recommendation

We're interested in an assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and ability to succeed.

English proficiency

This requirement applies only to international applicants whose native language is not English. We follow the Graduate College's English proficiency requirements.

Statement of purpose

Content and overall seriousness are considered.

Contact us

Thomas Berry-Stoelzle

Thomas Berry-Stoelzle

Faculty Director, Vaughan Institute of Risk Management and Insurance



When you’re ready, submit your application through the admissions portal. Select the “Finance” program and type in “Risk Management and Insurance” in the area of interest text field.

Apply now