Actuarial Science Degree and Training Programs

Learn about actuarial science and the tasks performed by actuaries. Get information about degree programs available along with professional certifications and the exams required for them. Schools offering Risk Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degree Programs Are Offered?

Generally, a bachelor's degree is required to enter into the actuarial science field. Additionally, there are master's degree programs for those with other undergraduate degrees wishing to switch careers or specialize. Some schools offer actuarial science degrees, whereas others may offer concentrations in actuarial science within other degrees, such as business administration. There may also be additional concentrations within the actuarial science degree, such as insurance and mathematical finance.

Program Levels Bachelor's degree, master's degree
Common Courses Calculus, economics, actuarial science, linear algebra, finance
Job Duties Estimating costs of events, determining insurance premiums, designing pension plans
Certification Options SOA and CAS certification is often required by employers; both organizations also sponsor exams and credit programs

What Classes Will I Take?

Actuarial science programs are a mix of mathematics, business and finance courses. You will probably take several mathematics courses, such as linear algebra and calculus, as well as courses such as finance, statistics, economics, accounting and actuarial science. You may also have to take some general education courses. In general, actuarial science courses are not offered online.

What Is Actuarial Science?

Actuarial science is a branch of business that uses mathematical data to predict risk. As an actuary, you will estimate the likelihood and probable cost of an event and use that data to create policies and financial strategies. Many actuaries work for the insurance industry, in which they are invaluable in determining premiums, but others may work for other financial institutions or help design pension plans. If you do work in the insurance industry, you could specialize in either property and casualty insurance or life and health insurance.

How Do I Become an Actuary?

While it may be sufficient to find an actuary position with just your degree, employers may require you to pass some actuarial exams. The exams and certifications are offered through two societies: the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). There are four initial exams that both societies sponsor. The exams may be taken while you are still in school, and many degree programs will include courses to prepare you for the exams. Both societies also require you to earn credits, through validation of educational experience (VEE), in corporate finance, economics and applied statistical methods.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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