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Risk Management

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Admissions Application Procedure

Admission Windows/Contact Information​:
January 10 - June 30 
If accepted, students are 
  permitted to register for Summer and Fall courses.  
Program Admissions:
Cara Marshall, PhD 
Powdermaker Hall,
Room 306F
September 1 - November 30
If accepted, students are 
permitted to register for
Spring courses.

Queens College Undergraduate Students 

Well-qualified Queens College undergraduates may qualify for direct admission (no application necessary) into the full MS in Risk Management. In particular:

Queens College undergraduates majoring in Accounting, BBA, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Science, or Mathematics may be automatically admitted into the MS in Risk Management (in the concentration of their choice) if they meet the following three criteria:

(i) a major GPA of 3.7

(ii) an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher

(iii) completed at least 12 weeks of employment or internship related to their field of study before matriculating into the Risk Management MS program.

Students who believe they meet these criteria should contact the Program Director and submit proof of relevant internship/work experience as well as a Queens College transcript. 

All others should complete an application (see General Admissions Process below).

The General Admissions Process​

Whether applying for a Masters in Risk Management or the 12-credit Advanced Certificate in Risk Measurement, all applicants (except those well-qualified QC undergraduate students mentioned above) need to submit

1. Application

2. Official transcripts from all schools

3. Two letters of recommendation (academic or professional)

4. 500 word essay that answers the question: “Why do you want to enter the program?”   

5. Resume

6. GMAT or Equivalent* 

7. TOEFL > 100 if an applicant is from a non-primary English speaking country.  A TOEFL < 100 means that an accepted candidate will need to take ESL at Queens College before starting the coursework, and potentially during the program.  A TOEFL < 100 will not be the basis for admission denial. 

If an applicant has not yet taken the GMAT, the applicant can submit all other materials and request an Initial Review by the admissions committee. The admissions committee will respond to the applicant with a Target Range of GMAT (percentile) scores. This will allow applicants to make the most informed choice about the merits of preparing for and taking the GMAT.  

In the Initial Review process, the admissions committee will review the application materials. Based on the submitted portfolio of items 1-6 above, the committee will advise the applicant on the strength of his or her application in the following categories: Likely, Competitive, and Reach.  The GMAT Target Ranges will accompany the strength indication on the Initial Review feedback. For example, an applicant whose Initial Review has a “Likely” designation would have an accompanying low threshold for the GMAT. An applicant whose Initial Review has an “Reach” designation would have a high threshold for the GMAT, meaning he or she would need to achieve a high score on the GMAT to be accepted into the program. 

The Target Range for the GMAT varies on a case by case basis. Because the committee evaluates candidates on a portfolio basis, including the college record, the duration of relevant work experience, recommendations, the essay, and the resume, there is no simple formula for the target GMAT. 

*GMAT Equivalencies include: GRE, CFA (Level 1), CPA (1), SOA/CAS exam (1), LSAT, MCAT or 10 years or more of related work experience.  As an alternative to the GMAT, we now offer an Internal Entrance Exam.  This is a content-based exam (based on select CFA material).  For information on what to prepare for the Internal Entrance Exam: IEE.pdfIEE.pdf.  Complete your application and then send Elvira Casper an email to schedule your Internal Entrance Exam date.

The Admissions Decision

Here are factors that go into the committee’s decisions:

  • The transcript:  Grades in college, specific courses taken, and their academic rigor. Because the program is analytical and quantitative, a transcript with grades in courses that are directly related to the curriculum, such as math and finance, will be strengthen an application relative to a transcript with the same grades in courses unrelated to the curriculum. However, prospective applicants who have done well with a rigorous liberal arts background, even without substantial math, finance, accounting, or computer science coursework, are strongly encouraged to apply. Course prerequisites can be met after acceptance to the program. Most accepted students have not met all prerequisites.  
  • Recommendations: The recommendations give the applicant opportunity to tell the committee something about his or her work habits and character that are not otherwise visible in the transcript, resume, or test scores. 
  • Essay:  We encourage applicants to write the essay in their own voice. Even if English is not the applicant’s primary language, the committee would prefer to read an authentic essay, written by the applicant in his or her own voice. 
  • Resume: The resume gives the committee a more complete perspective of the applicant.
  • The committee evaluates duration and relevance of one’s work experience to risk management. Related experience is interpreted broadly, including internal audit, assurance, compliance, financial analysis and budgeting, financial services industry functions generally, such as custody, underwriting, or settlement, and insurance brokerage, among others. An applicant who would be able to significantly leverage his or her career prospects by virtue of completing the degree program is encouraged to apply.  
  • GMAT: The GMAT is an opportunity for an applicant to demonstrate aptitude for analytical and critical thinking. Generally, the committee looks for good scores in the Quantitative section of the test, but good scores in the Verbal and Analytical writing sections, as well as the Integrated Reasoning may also factor significantly. 
  • ​Putting it all Together: The committee also evaluates the totality of the application. Were the grades in college a factor of working full time to pay for tuition? Has the applicant passed Level 1 of the CFA, or Exam P of the Society of Actuaries, either of which is a major accomplishment and indicates that the applicant is prepared to do well in the program? Does the applicant have excellent grades in academically challenging courses but did not perform as expected on the GMAT due to lack of preparation? The committee makes every effort to evaluate candidates in context with their life and academic experiences. 

Preparing to Apply

​1. Read about the curriculum and about Queens College.
2. Start an application online at Queens College graduate admissions. Click here​: Office of Graduate Admissions​
3. Contact your undergraduate university and have transcripts sent.​
4. Prepare for GMAT. Budget study time over the next few months and set your date. Keep a schedule of preparing for the test. Arrange for study materials. **
5. Contact supervisors or professors to provide a recommendation for you. All they need to do is agree to provide a recommendation and the application system will contact them. 
6. Update your resume.
7. Write your essay. Limit it to 500 words.
8. Prepare one document that has both your resume and essay together. The application system allows only one uploaded document. 
9. Schedule an appointment to meet Professor Cara Marshall, Director of Admission for the Risk Management Program. And, arrange to visit a class or event on campus and arrange to meet a current student.​

** If you are already preparing for the CFA, SOA, CPA or other exam, you may opt to take this alternate and submit those results when they become available.​  Alternatively, you can choose to take our Internal Entrance Exam instead.  For information on what to prepare for the Internal Entrance Exam: IEE.pdfIEE.pdf. ​



 Frequently Asked Questions
  • Admissions are based on a rolling process within the admission window.
  • Decisions are usually made within 30 days after an application is complete.
  • Applicants must notify Elvira Casper at if they would like an Initial Review.
  • In certain cases, the Admissions Committee may request an interview with the applicant. 

Additional Resources:

 Office Information


Office Hours:

Monday - Friday - 8am-4pm

For more information, please contact Elvira Casper at

Program Director:
Cara Marshall, PhD

Student Office Hours Fall 2018

Wednesday - 9:20pm-10:00pm

Thursday - 7:30pm-9:30pm

Also available by appointment

Powdermaker Hall, Room 310B
(718) 997-5387​

Program Coordinator:
Elvira Casper
Powdermaker Hall, Room 331
(718) 997-5507




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