NIU launches Financial Risk Management program in Chicago

stocksNorthern Illinois University is launching a new program in downtown Chicago this fall, offering students an opportunity to earn a Master of Science degree in financial risk management.

The program, which begins Monday, Sept. 12, will provide evening classes in the heart of Chicago’s financial district at 105 W. Madison St. It will be geared specifically to the needs of financial industry professionals seeking to gain a competitive edge in an important field that is currently experiencing great demand.

“The recent financial crisis made many businesses aware that they are vulnerable to what were formerly regarded as improbable events,” NIU Finance Department Chair Gina Nicolosi says. “This resulted in an urgent need for professionals skilled in the areas of forecasting and risk modeling, as well as those capable of navigating through an increasingly complicated regulatory landscape.”

Students enrolled will learn how to better assess and respond strategically to changes in a rapidly shifting risk environment.

The 10-course program focuses on the latest advances in hedging and risk mitigation techniques, as well as how to incorporate the use of complex financial instruments such as swaps, futures, forwards and options. Upon completion they will be prepared to test for either the prestigious Financial Risk Manager certification or the Professional Risk Manager certification.

To ensure that the program prepares students for the demands of today’s business environment, Nicolosi and her faculty spent a year meeting financial executives from the Chicago finance community.

Gina Nicolosi
Gina Nicolosi

They consulted representatives from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Reserve, the National Futures Association and more than 10 financial services institutions that serve on the NIU Department of Finance Advisory Board.

The end result is a program that provides students with a robust and meaningful learning experience, one that focuses on solid approaches to risk in the context of a highly complex business environment.

“Our students benefit greatly from the college’s long history of ongoing collaboration with industry,” NIU College of Business Dean Balaji Rajagopalan says.

“We have outstanding faculty who consistently create and deliver high quality academic programs. The input they receive from accomplished executives in the Chicago area about real-world needs ensures the knowledge that students gain from NIU becomes powerfully distinctive.”

Fully accredited by AACSB International, NIU’s M.S. in Financial Risk Management provides a significant cost savings that ranges from 25 percent to 58 percent when compared to total program costs from other institutions in the Chicago metropolitan area.

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