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If you have a knack for math, how about career as an actuary? Explore Actuarial Science

What exactly is actuarial science?

Actuarial science is a field that applies mathematical skills to areas of business. It concerns the science of managing personal or business related financial risks by utilizing insurance and other financial products. Personal risks include loss of income due to death, illness, injury or unemployment, and expenses arising from an accident or a property damage caused by a fire. Business related risks include product liability of a manufacturer, oil spills from a tanker and currency devaluation.

Many students choose careers in actuaries because it allows them to utilize their mathematical abilities and communication skills in a challenging and demanding career that works to solve important and interesting problems.

What are recent graduates doing now?

The Actuarial Science Department has many graduates of whom we are very proud. They have achieved professional status as actuaries in short time periods by successfully passing a series of certifying exams while being exemplary employees of their respective companies such as Travelers, Allianz, Securian, Deloitte, UnitedHealth Group, Milliman, Mercer, Federated and Towers Perrin.

Justin Falzone, class of 2011, had interned with Travelers during the summer of 2010 and is currently with Travelers, receiving a fulltime job offer at the end of his internship.

Jared Brown, class of 2011, had interned with Aon Benfield during the summer of 2010 and is currently with Aon Benfield, receiving a fulltime job offer at the end of his internship.

Brian Devinny, a senior who interned with OptumInsight during the summer of 2011, will be with OptumInsight upon his graduation in May 2012. He also received a fulltime job offer at the end of his internship.

The majority of St. Thomas actuarial majors graduate with at least two professional actuarial exams passed and perform well in their professional career.

Joey Li, Dec. 2011 graduate, passed 4 actuarial exams before her graduation and is currently with Guy Carpenter.

Amanda Christensen, who graduated in May of 2010 and is currently at Ameriprise, is already an Associate of the Society of Actuaries.

Jeff Bellmont is the Vice President of Corporate Actuarial at OneBeacon Insurance Group. Jeff graduated from St. Thomas in 2003 with a BS in actuarial science and BA in economics after passing the first three actuarial exams and completing summer actuarial internships with The St. Paul Companies and Mercer consulting. His first job was with The St. Paul Companies. He attained his Fellowship in the Casualty Actuarial Society in 2006.

Learning opportunities outside of the classroom

Internships. A significant majority of our majors have been able to obtain summer internships with insurance or consulting companies in the Twin Cities and many have permanent positions lined up well before they graduate.

Study abroad. Many actuarial science students who study abroad travel to the United Kingdom and/or Australia and take courses in business. Actuaries often communicate across countries and continents, so broadening one’s horizon is of great educational value to those pursuing a career in actuarial science. Major insurance companies run international operations. Some of our graduates have taken positions abroad.

Faculty research, presentations, publications

We have had summer student research projects such as “Optimal Timing of Social Security Benefits”, “Pricing Models for Long-term Care Insurance” and “Loss Reserve Triangle.” We also had a consulting opportunity on “Actuarial Assessment of Early Retirement Benefits” which was performed by students under faculty supervision.

What jobs are possible with an Actuarial Science major?

  • Actuary
  • Consultant
  • Mergers and acquisitions specialist
  • Chief financial officer
  • Financial/retirement planner
  • Risk analyst or manager
  • Actuarial statistician


  • Health insurance statistician
  • Forecasting statistician
  • Insurance agent or regulator
  • Loan officer
  • Underwriter
  • Researcher
  • Professor
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