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New MS in Finance Course Prepares Students for Risk Management Certification

As the field of finance expands into sub-specialties such as asset management, risk management, structured finance, wealth management and advisory, students must rise to the challenge of marketing themselves to employers who are seeking specific skills. For employers, the change means more specific differentiation between finance capabilities.

To minimize market confusion and develop global standards in the area of financial risk management, the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) developed the Financial Risk Management® (FRM®) certification program.

GARP’s FRM® certification is a highly respected designation among members of the financial and risk management community. The certification requirements, which include understanding of theory and tools and relevant industry experience, aid students in becoming an accomplished financial risk management professional.

The FRM® certification is a rigorous, multi-year process consisting of four major steps:

  • Part I Exam covering 100 questions over four hours
  • Part II Exam covering 80 questions over four hours
  • Demonstrated two years relevant work experience
  • 40 hours of voluntary, continuing education credits over a two-year period

The popularity of the certification has kept pace with the exploding market demand for qualified risk professionals. In fact, the number of FRM® exam applicants has doubled or tripled each year—growing from 208 exam registrants in 1997 to almost 43,000 in 2015. Those who earn the certification have excellent employment prospects in today’s dynamic financial market environment.

New Course Prepares Student for FRM® Certification

In response to the growing market, American University’s Kogod School of Business will introduce a new course designed to ready students for Part I of the GARP FRM® exam. The first class of participating students will complete the course during the Spring 2017 semester and prepare to take the FRM® exam in the Fall of 2017.

The course will closely follow the GARP’s FRM® Part I requirements by covering the following topics:

  • Quantitative analysis
  • Fundamental risk management concepts
  • Financial markets and products
  • Valuation and risk models

GARP has assembled extensive online resources that cover all Exam I topics, which will serve as the primary course materials during the class. AU is currently working closely with GARP to ensure that course topics are sufficiently rigorous and relevant to the exams focus, which changes on a yearly basis.

As an added benefit, the course will help students understand prior finance courses with a structured risk management perspective, which will enable them to demonstrate to employers that they are both qualified and dedicated to pursuing a career in risk management.

Risk management expert Dr. Bill Spinard will teach the course. Dr. Spinard is highly qualified for the position, as he has spent his career advising companies on risk management issues. He recently retired as an Executive Director with Ernst and Young and received his MBA and PhD from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The MS in Finance program at Kogod is built upon the foundation of expanding the world of financial theory and practice for our students. Many electives offered after the core courses help students prepare for a professional certification. Our FRM® course is an integral part of our efforts to organize our finance program into market relevant specialties.


Discover how the MS in Finance program at the Kogod School of Business positions you to compete in today’s job market.

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