What undergraduate majors are required for students interested in the ERM degree program?

The short answer is any major. Risk management is becoming a very important function within today’s corporations, small or large. As evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies should expect the unexpected and plan accordingly. Risk managers play a role throughout the organization, including within their operations and supply chain, in their marketing efforts, within IT functions, in the finance department, and in corporate planning functions. They identify risks, create risk mitigation plans, and oversee recovery efforts. The best risk managers are thoughtful, complex, and holistic thinkers. They are not satisfied with the status quo because they know circumstances change. As such, risk managers are interesting individuals with a broad knowledge of business, environment, and technology, and they can make quick, decisive decisions in the presence of uncertainty.

What types of career opportunities exist for ERM graduates?

In the past, risk and business continuity experts were professionals from other disciplines who learned risk principles on the job. Increasingly, organizations seek risk professionals who have academic credentials consistent with the knowledge required for these positions. A relatively new position, chief risk officer (CRO), is becoming commonplace in large organizations. Relevant entry level positions can be found in many functions within the organization, including the following: risk analyst, supply chain analyst, internal auditor, compliance analyst, major events planner, IT project analyst, cybersecurity engineer, emergency planner, and sustainability specialist. Mid-level positions include: risk management director, business continuity manager, risk consultant, compliance officer, cybersecurity manager, senior business analyst, campus security officer, emergency management director, and loss prevention manager.

Are there any networking events just for ERM students?

Yes. Twice each semester, the faculty organize events that provide opportunities for career-enhancement advice along with social interaction. These events include guest speakers (usually open to both full-time and on-campus students) and job-hunting advice (usually for on-campus students) that includes resume reviews and mock interviews. We also maintain a LinkedIn group of alumni, faculty, and current students (called BU MET ERM Community).

What courses are required?

The master’s degree program in Enterprise Risk Management at BU MET comprises ten courses (40 credits):

Degree Core Courses (four courses/16 credits)

  • MET AD 610 Enterprise Risk Management
  • MET AD 632 Financial Concepts
  • MET AD 715 Quantitative and Qualitative Decision-Making
  • MET AD 741 The Innovation Process: Developing New Products and Services

Specialization Courses (four courses/16 credits)

  • MET AD 617 Business Continuity Management

And three of the following:

  • MET AD 613 (Enterprise Risk Planning and Compliance) – taken after MET AD 610
    • Prerequisite for AD 613 is AD 610
  • MET AD 614 Disaster Management
    • Prerequisite for AD 614 is AD 617
  • MET AD 618 Technology Risk Management
    • Prerequisite for AD 618 is AD 610
  • MET AD 612 COO-Public Emergency Management
    • Online course only available for part-time students
  • MET AD 805 Capstone Project in Enterprise Risk Management
    • By permission only – requires a special project approved by a faculty member.

Electives (two courses/8 credits)

  • Two 4-credit courses offered through Metropolitan College (except MET AD 501 or MET AD 630). Graduate-level courses may also be selected from other Metropolitan College departments or other Boston University schools and colleges, with an advisor’s approval.

The graduate certificate in Enterprise Risk Management at BU MET comprises four courses (40 credits) chosen from the following:

  • MET AD 610 Enterprise Risk Management
  • MET AD 617 Business Continuity Management
  • MET AD 613 Enterprise Risk Planning & Compliance
    • Prerequisite for AD 613 is AD 610
  • MET AD 614 Disaster Management
    • Prerequisite for AD 614 is AD 617
  • MET AD 618 Disaster Management
    • Prerequisite for AD 618 is AD 610
  • MET AD 612 COO-Public Emergency Management
    • Online course only for part-time students

How many courses should full-time on-campus students take?

You should not rush through the program because graduate courses are more rigorous than undergraduate courses. The normal load for a full-time student is three or four courses. Most students can comfortably take three courses in a semester, but some students can struggle when taking four courses, especially in their first semester. Tuition fees can be saved by taking only two courses during your last semester (i.e., part-time tuition fees would apply).

Examples:

  • Fall (three courses, including MET AD 610 and MET AD 617); Spring (three or four courses, including MET AD 613 and MET AD 614); Summer (one or two courses); and Fall (including AD 618 – as a part-time student)—Completion December (Year 2)
  • Fall (three courses, including MET AD 610 and MET AD 617); Spring (three courses, including MET AD 613 and MET AD 614); Fall (three courses, including AD 618), and Spring (one course)—Completion May (Year 2)
  • Fall (four courses, including MET AD 610 and MET AD 617); Spring (four courses, including MET AD 613, MET AD 614, and MET AD 618); and Summer (two courses)—Completion August Year 1 [Not recommended because there would be little time to prepare for job-seeking]

How many courses should part-time on-campus students take?

You should not rush through the program because graduate courses are more rigorous than undergraduate courses. The normal load for a part-time-time student is one or two courses per semester (including the summer term). Most students can comfortably take one course in a semester, but some students can struggle when taking two courses. For part-time students, course scheduling usually depends on other commitments and the specific course offering.

How many courses should online students take?

The normal load for an online student is one or two courses per term. Unlike on-campus courses, online courses are offered over seven weeks. Therefore, each semester includes two online terms (Fall 1 and Fall 2; Spring 1 and Spring 2). Because specialization courses are offered less frequently than core courses, it is recommended that you take the specialization courses as soon as possible. Moreover, taking core courses later will help you study these important topics in the context of a risk or business continuity manager.

What is MET AD 805 Capstone Project in ERM?

This course is an “independent study” course that requires a student to work with a faculty member on a project of mutual interest. It is generally taken by a part-time student who needs to learn more about a specialized ERM topic, or a full-time student who is working on a research project with a faculty member. It is the student’s responsibility to identify a project and communicate with a specific faculty member with whom they wish to collaborate.

What can I expect in the ERM courses?

The majority of ERM courses are led by experienced practitioners who have taught courses at Boston University for many years. They are, in effect, permanent part-time practitioner-educators. In fact, many of them have played a role in developing the ERM curriculum and individual courses. The ERM faculty web page describes the background of these instructors. ERM classroom lectures usually consist of significant interaction among professors and students, so that a joint learning environment is achieved. Online courses especially benefit from the interaction among students, most of whom hold positions that create relevant scenarios for discussion of risk principles.

What professional organizations are there for ERM students?

Full-time students are encouraged to join the Risk Management Society (RIMS), which is an international organization with a local chapter in Boston.

What elective courses should I take?

Elective courses enable students to further customize their curriculum to help achieve their career goals. Some students choose to leverage their undergraduate degree and take courses that combine risk topics with their undergraduate focus. For example, an undergraduate finance major may want to take elective finance courses that focus on risk. Or, an undergraduate computer science major may want to take elective courses concerning cybersecurity. Finally, an undergraduate engineering student may want to take operations or supply chain management courses. You should consult with your advisor regarding your elective courses and avoid any elective courses during your first term.

Can a full-time, on-campus student take any online courses?

Technically, yes (after the first semester), but NOT recommended. Our online courses have seven-week schedules—taking them in the fall or spring makes doing well in other courses almost impossible, because online courses require twice the time commitment while they are in session. Also, online courses are designed for part-time working students who take one course only—they require a lot of reading and independent work, and they are not offered with many lectures. Full-time students without work experience usually struggle in these courses.

Are there prerequisites for any ERM courses?

Yes, MET AD 613 and AD 618 needs to be taken after MET AD 610, and MET AD 614 needs to be taken after MET AD 617.

Can I add a graduate certificate?

Yes, by taking two of your elective courses and two additional courses in a specialty area, you can add a graduate certificate with a minimum of 12 courses (48 credits) in total. The Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management and Graduate Certificate in Applied Business Analytics align well with ERM. Please visit the Programs page to see specific certificates and their course requirements.

Are on-campus ERM students able to serve as Teaching Assistants or Graduate Research Assistants?

Yes, many of our top students serve as Teaching Assistants or Graduate Research Assistants, mostly after they excel during their first semester. This can be a good way to gain valuable leadership experience, work closely with a professor, and earn some extra money during your time as a student.

Can a full-time international student get an internship?

Yes, after two full semesters (not including summer) you can enroll in a 1- or 2-credit internship course. This course will not reduce the total number of courses needed for the degree, but it will appear on your transcript. You are responsible for obtaining an offer letter from an employer. You will have a faculty member as mentor in the internship course. You can contact Paula Baker for more details (see contact information below).

Who do I contact for help?

The main telephone number for the Administrative Sciences department is 617-353-3016, and the email address is adminsc@bu.edu. When making an inquiry, always include or have ready your BU ID number. It is usually best to call the office and make an appointment to speak with the person who can provide assistance.

Susan Sunde, ssunde@bu.edu (1010 Commonwealth Avenue, 4th Floor) is the main student advisor for on campus students focused on campus course enrollment and policy administration.

Tara Kelly, tkelly89@bu.edu (1010 Commonwealth Avenue, 4th Floor) is the main student advisor for online students focused on course enrollment and policy administration.

Paula Baker, pshbaker@bu.edu (1010 Commonwealth Avenue, 4th Floor) is a student advisor for international students who are interested in internships (along with Susan Sunde).

Who is my academic advisor?

You have two academic advisors, who serve different needs. For online students, Tara Kelly is your main contact for administrative matters (registering, etc.); this role is performed for on-campus students by Susan Sunde. For all ERM students, Prof. John Maleyeff, maleyeff@bu.edu (1010 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 429) is your academic advisor focused on course selection and career planning.