The Wisconsin PhD Program in Actuarial Science, Risk Management, and Insurance is offered by the Risk and Insurance Department at the Wisconsin School of Business. We are a nationally recognized Center of Actuarial Excellence. We have received grants to support a variety of industry-related research projects and the introduction of our Technology-Enhanced Learning initiative.

Core Areas of Research

Student research is supported by faculty in four core areas:

  • Actuarial science
  • Risk management
  • Insurance
  • Decision-making under risk and uncertainty

Our faculty have specific areas of expertise in microinsurance, insurance regulation, financial management of insurance organizations, corporate risk management, behavioral economics, predictive modeling, healthcare analytics, health services management, and statistical methods development. Our faculty members contribute to significant advancements in the field, as evidenced by our recently published journal articles.

Academic Requirements

All students must meet the general PhD requirements of both the UW–Madison Graduate School and the Wisconsin School of Business. Applicants to the program should have the following:

  • A strong mathematics and statistics background. We generally look for three semesters of calculus and linear algebra at a minimum for mathematics. For statistics training, we look for coursework covering applied regression models in statistics and/or econometrics.
  • A background in some combination of economics/finance, insurance, actuarial science, and statistics.
Peng Shi 
Peng Shi
PhD Faculty Coordinator

(608) 263-4745

View profile

Various shapes in the color green form a square above the words AACSB Accredited

Program Coursework

The course sequence for PhD students in actuarial science, risk management, and insurance is customized to fit each student’s unique research interests and background. You will work with a PhD faculty advisor to set an appropriate course sequence during your first two years of study. However, all students are expected to take the following minimum core course sequence:

  • Two semesters of PhD-level Microeconomic Theory
  • Two semesters of PhD-level Econometrics
  • Panel-data statistics/econometrics
  • Seminar in Actuarial Science, Risk Management, and Insurance I
  • Seminar in Actuarial Science, Risk Management, and Insurance II
See Guide for all course requirements.

Faculty Research Interests

Daniel Bauer
Research interests:
  • Risk evaluation
  • Quantitative finance
  • Risk management
  • Insurance economics
J. Tyler Leverty
Research interests:
  • Economics of insurance markets
  • Insurance company operations
  • Insurance regulation
  • Public policy issues in insurance
Anita Mukherjee
Research interests:
  • Insurance markets
  • Development economics
  • Law and economics
  • Psychology and economics
Marjorie Rosenberg
Research interests:
  • Applications of statistics and actuarial science
  • Bayesian methodology related to health insurance
Joan Schmit
Research interests:
  • Development of insurance in emerging markets
  • Insurance regulation, especially focused on capitalization and solvency
  • Reputation risk
  • Economics of litigation strategies including cross-country comparisons of liability regimes
Peng Shi
Research interests:
  • Predictive modeling
  • Multivariate regression models
  • Longitudinal/panel data
  • Asymmetric information in insurance
Justin Sydnor
Research interests:
  • Psychology and economics
  • Applied microeconomics
  • Behavioral industrial organization
  • Insurance markets
  • Decision-making under risk

Connect with Current Students

We encourage you to contact our doctoral students in actuarial science, risk management, and insurance to hear their perspectives on the Wisconsin PhD Program.

View current student profiles

See Our Placement Results

Graduates of our PhD specialization in actuarial science, risk management, and insurance have accepted tenure-track positions at top research universities.

View recent placements