The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science is an interdisciplinary degree program offered through the Department of Mathematics. (See also the Department of Mathematics in this catalog.)
Actuarial science education equips students with strong mathematical problem-solving skills that can be applied to business careers. The major requirements consist of courses in mathematics, actuarial science, computer science, business, economics and a course in communication. Coupled with a firm foundation in the liberal arts, this major provides a sound grounding in analytical problem-solving and communication skills.
This program prepares students for a variety of careers with insurance companies, consulting firms, financial institutions, industrial corporations, or government agencies. It also provides a good preparation for non-actuarial careers in banking, finance, or insurance. In addition, the statistical background developed by an actuarial student is valuable in a variety of other fields.
Students graduating with a major in Actuarial Science will become proficient in basic mathematics through multivariate calculus and probability together with basic notions of insurance and risk management. They will demonstrate the ability to think clearly and critically in solving problems related to the analysis and management of risk. They will be able to effectively communicate technical and non-technical information to their peers and to non-specialists in their work environment.
To be certified as a Fellow or an Associate by either the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society, one must pass a series of rigorous examinations. The earlier examinations are focused on mathematics and statistics and can be taken while a student. The later examinations cover aspects of business, economics, and the regulatory climate.
A careful selection of courses from a variety of departments helps a student to prepare for many excellent professional opportunities in this field. Students should see the director of the Actuarial Program for advice in selecting courses for a particular purpose.
Within the Department of Mathematics, the Center for Applied Mathematics provides opportunities for actuarial science students to work on significant mathematical problems of current interest to business, industry, and government.
Admission Guideline: Due to the demanding nature of the Actuarial Science Program and the difficulty of the examinations required for professional designation, it is strongly suggested that prospective majors have a minimum Math GPA of 3.0. Most students who have been successful in this program and actuarial examinations have had GPA’s considerably higher than 3.0.