Ph.D. in Business Administration with a major in Risk Management and Insurance

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  Deadline to Apply!

Begin your application today by entering the Graduate Admissions Portal.

Submit your application by:
January 15 – Application review begins and will continue until positions are filled.
March 1Application submission deadline. All supporting materials must be received by March 15.

  Contact Us

  • Contact Dr. Patricia Born, program director, for more information on the RMI major, its content and curriculum.
  • Email Elizabeth Kistner, Ph.D. graduate advising director, for more information about the admissions process.

Graduate Programs Office
  877-587-5540 (toll free)


Risk Management and Insurance is one of seven majors offered through FSU’s College of Business’ Ph.D. in Business Administration. Housed in the Dr. William T. Hold/The National Alliance Program in Risk Management and Insurance, the RMI major admits one candidate each fall (on average), and the program takes four to five years to complete.

  • Offers faculty with research expertise in insurer operations, insurance market performance and regulation, catastrophe risk management and the economics of risk and uncertainty
  • Includes primary courses covering the fundamentals of risk management/insurance and research courses in mathematical economics and applied quantitative methods
  • Encourages support area studies in finance econometrics, real estate and statistics
  • Includes two to three years of coursework culminating in a comprehensive exam, followed by two years of research and teaching, culminating with a dissertation

For an overview of FSU’s Ph.D. in Business Administration and its seven majors, download the brochure.

  Student Accomplishments


East Carolina University; University of Akron; University of Connecticut; Illinois State University; Troy University


Courtney Bass, 2013-14 Spencer Educational Foundation Pre-Dissertation Award
Jill Bisco, Best Student Paper Award, Southern Risk and Insurance Association Annual Meeting
Dana Telljohann, 2022 Spencer Scholarship award recipient

Defended Dissertation

  • "Value and Strategy: An Analysis of the Surplus Line Insurance Market" by Courtney Bass Baggett; Dr. Cassandra Cole, major professor
  • “The Role of Asymmetric Information in the U.S. Health Insurance Market,” by E. Tice Sirmans; Dr. Patricia Born, major professor

  Program Requirements

The RMI doctoral program emphasizes current research topics in Risk Management, Insurance Operations and Performance, Insurance Regulation, and Risk Theory. In addition, students are taught a variety of theoretical and empirical research methods and tools using statistics, econometrics, and mathematical economics.


All Risk Management and Insurance Doctoral students must have completed undergraduate level courses in Calculus I, Calculus II, and Linear Algebra.

Major Requirements

All RMI doctoral students must complete courses in three areas: Tools for Analytical Research (TAR), Primary RMI and Support.

I. Tools for Analytical Research (TAR) Area

Students must take the following three courses:

  • ECO 5403 Static Optimization
  • ECO 5416 Econometrics I
  • ECO 5423 Econometric Theory

Students must also take three additional quantitative courses in Statistics, or Economics numbered 5000 and above with the approval of the doctoral program adviser. Examples include:

  • ECO 5424 Econometrics/Panel Data
  • ECO 5427 Limited Dependent Variables
  • STA 5440 Probability Theory
  • STA 5206 Analysis of Variance
  • STA 5207 Applied Regression Methods

RMI doctoral students are expected to have or acquire computer literacy through coursework or self-study

II. Primary RMI Coursework

The primary area courses and seminars provide opportunities for in-depth study. RMI doctoral students must take the following doctoral seminars and courses:

  • RMI 6195 Seminar in Life and Health Insurance
  • RMI 6296 Seminar in Property and Liability Insurance
  • RMI 6395 Seminar in the Theory of Risk and Insurance

Students must take an additional three RMI elective courses approved by the doctoral adviser. Examples include RMI 5136 (Employee Benefit Plans), RMI 5345 (Risk Management in the Business Enterprise).

Students will take at least two additional doctoral-level economics courses that are not included in the Tools and Research area above. The two economics courses will be chosen in consultation with the program director. RMI doctoral students also are expected to have or acquire computer literacy through course work or self-study.

In addition to these courses, first-year and second-year students will participate in a professional development series that will be an additional registered course in each semester of the first two years of the program. The development series is designed to introduce doctoral students to the roles and responsibilities of faculty, including research ethics, communication with faculty at other universities, the research review process, balancing research, teaching and service, among other topics.

In addition to the regularly scheduled seminars, the RMI faculty and doctoral students meet periodically to share the results of recent research conducted by FSU faculty and doctoral students and by invited scholars from other universities. RMI doctoral students are required to attend these RMI brown bag seminars and invited lectures.

III. Support Area Coursework

RMI doctoral students typically choose a support area in Finance. The courses for this support area include:

  • FIN 6804 Foundations of Financial Theory
  • FIN 6809 Markets and Institutions
  • FIN 6842 Empirical Methods
  • FIN 6527 Seminar: Corporate Finance/Investments

Normally, three or four courses are required in the support area. In addition, at least two of the courses required in the support area cannot be used to satisfy other requirements. The support area is chosen in consultation with the RMI doctoral program adviser.

There is also a required research paper that must be completed by the end of the second year. The paper is directed by the RMI faculty and is designed to prepare the student for the dissertation and subsequent research.

Sample Course Sequence*





Year 1


  • ECO 5403 Static Optimization
  • ECO 5416 Econometrics I
  • RMI Seminar
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • ECO 5423 Econometric Theory 
  • RMI Seminar
  • Elective or DIS
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • ECO 5427 Limited Dependent Variables
  • STA 5440 Probability
  • Elective or DIS

Year 2

  • FIN 6808 Financial Theory I
  • STA 5207 Applied Regression
  • RMI Seminar
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • FIN 5935 Financial Theory II
  • FIN 6842 Research Methods
  • Elective or DIS
  • GEB 6931 Professional Development
  • Comprehensive Exam (June)
  • Dissertation

Year 3

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation

Year 4

  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
Year 5
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation
  • Dissertation and Defense

*Actual schedule subject to course offerings and availability.

  Application Process

Admission decisions are made by the college’s Doctoral Admissions Committee and are based on a combination of factors, including prior academic record from accepted universities; GRE or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores taken within the past five years; letters of recommendation; experience; record of accomplishments. Admission is competitive and focused on students with grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher and GMAT scores of at least 600 or GRE scores of at least 155 on each section of the revised GRE.

Application Checklist

  • Login to (applications will only be accepted through this portal).
  • Begin your application by logging in with your FSUID or clicking the link to register to get one.
  • Complete your online application form and submit.
  • Include the names and contact information for at least 3 (required) references.
    • This will generate automated email sent to your references by our system to request that they submit a recommendation for you and answer a series of standardized questions.
  • Submit your Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages).
  • Submit a current resume or C.V.
  • Pay the nonrefundable $30 application fee.
  • Required transcripts: Unofficial transcripts uploaded to your application, provided they are in English and have grades assigned to coursework, will be sufficient for the first round of review. An official transcript will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that each college or university you have attended submit an official transcript to FSU (see below for email/address).
    • Transcripts are considered official if they are sent directly to FSU (either through the U.S. mail or electronically) by your undergraduate or graduate institution.
  • Required test scores: Unofficial test scores are sufficient for the first round of review. Complete the Self-reported Test Score Form. Official test scores will be required if you are accepted into the program.
    • Request that official GMAT or GRE scores (and TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/DuoLingo/Cambridge C1 Advanced/Michigan Language, if applicable) be submitted to FSU (see below for email/address)
    • Test scores will only be considered official if sent directly from the testing service. The code for ETS to send (GRE and TOEFL) scores to FSU is 5219. The code to send GMAT scores to FSU is PN8K567.
    • An English proficiency exam score (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE) must be submitted for international applicants whose native language is not English or who have not received a college degree from an institution where the instruction is primarily in English.
  • Have transcripts and test scores sent to or:

    Graduate Admissions Office
    222 S. Copeland St.
    314 Westcott Building
    Florida State University
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-1410

International Applicants

International applicants should visit for information concerning financial responsibilities, degree equivalency, etc.

English Language Proficiency Exam
International applicants whose native language is not English or who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in an English-speaking country are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL,) the International English Language Testing System (IELTS,) the Pearson Test of English (PTE,) Duolingo, Cambridge C1 Advanced Level, or Michigan Language Assessment and submit official test results in order to be admitted to Florida State University. The College of Business requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the internet-based test, a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS exam, or a minimum of 66 on the PTE, a minimum score of 120 on Duolingo, a minimum score of 180 on Cambridge C1 Advanced Level, or a minimum score of 55 on the Michigan Language Assessment taken within the past two (2) years.

  Program Costs

Ph.D. students typically take 27-33 credit hours each year. Here are the estimated program costs for the 2023-2024 academic year:

  • Florida residents: $479.32 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $12,941.64 - $15,817.56 per year.
  • Non-Florida residents: $1,110.72 (tuition plus fees) per credit hour. Total estimated program cost is $29,989.44 - $36,653.76 per year.

Note: These costs do not include required books, supplies for courses, or required health insurance. Costs are subject to change. Fees above do not include some per-term flat fees for FSUCard and facilities use. For a breakdown of on-campus student fees and their explanations, visit the university’s Tuition Rates page.

      Residency Information

    The doctoral program is a full-time program that lasts four to five years. Students should plan to live in the Tallahassee area year-round, including summers. Our program is not set up for individuals who wish to take courses part time or online.

      Financial Assistance

    The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. The goal of the college is to provide assistantships and/or fellowships to all of our admitted doctoral students, subject to overall enrollment and fiscal limitations. Most doctoral students who request funding, who maintain a satisfactory level of academic and work performance, and who are in residence receive financial assistance from the college. Annual stipends and supplementary assistance such as travel expenses for conference attendance will vary among cohorts and programs. Students who are not Florida residents should note that tuition waivers associated with assistantships only cover the out-of-state portion of their tuition for year one of the program. Out-of-state tuition waivers are generally not available for years two through five.
    Doctoral students on assistantship are supported for four full academic years, contingent upon satisfactory performance in the program. Eligibility for fifth-year support is considered for a student having made substantial progress toward placement at a research-oriented university. For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.


    The College of Business awards financial assistance to applicants based on academic criteria and performance. There are various scholarships available for graduate students. Visit our graduate scholarships page to learn more.

    (Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all completed application materials before January 15 to be eligible for additional funding opportunities at the university level.)

    • For a full list of Florida State University funding and awards, visit
    • For more information on Florida State University's research and research funding, visit
    • For more information on Florida State University's graduate fellowships and awards, visit

    Risk Management Faculty