From The Director

Greetings Students,

Predictive Analytics & Risk Management (PARM) at the University of Illinois is a pioneering program that prepares candidates for the nascent, but rapidly growing Predictive Analytics profession in FinTech and InsurTech. The PARM program has been developed in response to consistent feedback from our corporate partners as well as from the increasing use of advanced analytics in the financial industry.

As the financial industry embraces disruptive technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, autonomous vehicles, and the internet of things, it has become clear that it is no longer sufficient for financial institutions to rely on a simple grouping of accounts, actuaries, statisticians, and computer scientists with separate skill sets. Rather, the industry is seeking to hire professionals who understand the business context, have a broad view of enterprise risk management, and possess a deep knowledge of analytics, to bring forth creative solutions based on insights gained from data analysis.

Successful professionals must also develop the soft skills to communicate effectively with management and non-experts and bring innovative ideas to execution. However, traditional Masters programs are often either solely business focused or primarily a program that prepares one for a role with solely technical skills. The PARM program aims to fill this gap in the academic training and to offer a rich and well-rounded experience best suited for career development in the FinTech and InsurTech industry sector.

The program is highly interdisciplinary as a unique joint venture between the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with access to courses offered by Department of Finance in the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois. The core curriculum consists of a series of highly cross-disciplinary courses focused on real-business problems while also drawing on mathematical and statistical tools. There are also two concentrations catering to individual needs:

  • Financial and Insurance Analytics
    This track aims to provide fast-track elite education to early career quantitative and actuarial analysts. Emphasis is placed on in-depth coverage of analytics techniques and methodologies.
  • Enterprise Risk Management
    This track is more suited to business professionals who aspire to broaden their knowledge in data analytics to manage technological developments more effectively in their companies. A wide variety of course options are available to suit personal career development.

The program is designed with a combination of on-site and online courses. The degree can be completed in one year, which includes summer courses that can be taken online. We are also very proud to present opportunities for students to complete the program with a Co-Op work component. Students can spend the course of study in two cities, with two semesters in Urbana-Champaign and a work term in another US city such as Chicago. This optional Co-op arrangement offers students a unique experience of an engaging learning environment and a taste of both academic and professional learning. We are excited about bringing this program to Illinois and welcome all of you to explore the amazing offering of high-tech professional development and the endless career options that the degree can bring.


Runhuan Feng
Professor and Director
MS, Predictive Analytics & Risk Management
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign