Master of Science in Risk Management

The MS in Risk Management (MSRM) Program at the University of San Francisco provides a coordinated, sequential approach to the tools and knowledge covered by the Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) exam designation offered by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). The MSRM Program also immerses the student in the specialized set of skills and knowledge required in the financial field. This industry-valued training also helps students to seek and obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation. MSRM faculty include both USF professors and Bay Area financial professionals who deliver a program that is strong in both theory and practical applications for today's financial markets.

The Program of Study  

  • The twenty month MSRM Program is uniquely structured to integrate the skills and knowledge required in financial risk management as well as financial analysis and investment management. The Program equips students to prepare for the Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) exam and CFA® exams.
  • Program modules contain a well-defined set of skills embodied in the internationally recognized risk manager credential – the FRM® credential. Modules of study focus on quantitative risk analysis, derivatives, credit risk, market risk, investment management risk and the legal and operational aspects of integrated risk management.
  • The MSRM program takes place in a high-tech classroom environment where faculty and students have real-time access to a large variety of financial software programs and data.
  • The Program begins in August of each year (Fall admission). All classes in this part-time program are offered on Saturdays and occasionally on an evening.

Learning Outcomes  

  • Analyze the dynamic nature of risk management including Value at Risk for market and credit risk.
  • Examine the role of derivative instruments in hedging risk with case studies specific to pensions, mutual funds and hedge funds.
  • Address regulatory risk requirements and their role in corporate governance and operations.
  • Prepare for the Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) exam and CFA® exams.
  • Focus on the use of mathematics, statistics and computer programming in modeling and managing financial risk.

Why the MSRM Program?  

  • Our Risk Management program is designed for math, computer science, engineering or economics majors who seek a risk management career in the finance and investment industry.
  • The MSRM does not require work experience. The Program meets the needs of recent university graduates – and people changing careers – who want to build expertise and training in the risk management field.

Preparation for the FRM® and CFA® exams
The MSRM Program equips students to prepare for the Financial Risk Manager (FRM®) exam and CFA® exams. The Program offers a coordinated, sequential approach to the tools and knowledge covered by the FRM® exam and GARP (Global Association of Risk Professionals) designation.

The Cohort Experience 

Students in the MSRM progress through the program as a single group (or "cohort") of peers, who start together in August and finish after a set sequence of courses. The cohort model of education allows faculty to tailor practical examples and assignments in the courses to the unique needs and interests of individuals in each cohort.

Complementary strengths within each cohort provide students with the opportunity to learn with and from one another throughout the program. The cohort structure also encourages study groups that provide mutual support during the MSRM coursework and study for FRM® and CFA® exams.

The cohort structure reinforces mutual support throughout the program and encourages MSRM students to develop collegial and professional networks that continue well beyond the program.


Fall Semester, Year 1
The program is 36 credits and twenty months in length.  The following courses are required to graduate:

Spring Semester, Year 1

Fall Semester, Year 2

Spring Semester, Year 2