Education

Best Actuarial Science Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Actuarial Science programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Actuarial science is the study of the financial impact of risk. Actuaries use their knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk of future events, and to develop policies and procedures to minimize the financial impact of those events. Actuarial science degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the insurance and finance industries, including actuarial analyst, risk manager, and insurance underwriter.

Actuarial science degrees offer a broad overview of the insurance and finance industries, covering topics such as risk management, insurance, and investment. Students in actuarial science degree programs learn about the different types of risk, and how to assess and manage those risks. They also learn about the financial impact of risk, and how to minimize that impact.

How to Choose the Right Actuarial Science Program

When choosing an actuarial science program, there are many factors to consider. The most important factor is whether the program is accredited by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). Without CAS accreditation, students will not be able to sit for the CAS exams, which are required to become a certified actuary.

In addition to accreditation, students should consider the program’s curriculum. Actuarial science is a math-heavy field, so students should make sure the program offers coursework in calculus, statistics, and other math-related subjects. The program should also offer courses in finance and economics, as these subjects are important for actuaries.

Another factor to consider is the program’s job placement rate. Actuarial science is a competitive field, so students should choose a program that has a good track record of placing graduates in jobs. Finally, students should consider the cost of the program and whether the school offers scholarships or other financial aid opportunities.

Best Bachelor’s in Actuarial Science Programs

The best programs for Actuarial Science ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Dordt University
Sioux Center, IA

Dordt University’s Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science is a Christ-centered program that is academically strong. The program is taught from a Christian perspective and prepares students to be thoughtful Christian leaders in the field. The program is designed to prepare students to take at least two actuarial certification exams, if not more, before graduation. The courses required for the major will put students on track to pass the exams and enter the workforce immediately upon graduation.

Rank 2
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from Appalachian State University provides students with a foundation in mathematics and business, preparing them for a career in actuarial science or a related field. The program covers material for four actuarial exams, and also provides courses that give students the opportunity to earn Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit in Applied Mathematics, Economics, and Finance. Students in the program will also take a senior seminar from an actuary with industry experience.

Rank 3
New York University
New York, NY

The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from New York University is designed for students interested in a career in actuarial science. The curriculum offers a mix of mathematical and business courses, preparing students to take the first four exams offered by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. The courses required also satisfy the three Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) areas of Economics, Finance, and Applied Statistical Methods.

Rank 4
Ohio State University
Columbus, OH

The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from Ohio State University is a math-based program that covers core actuarial disciplines such as probability and statistics, interest theory, financial economics, life contingencies, and loss models. The program also includes a course in actuarial practicum, as well as many professional information sessions and seminars. Students in the program have the opportunity to take up to five Actuarial exams. The Ohio State University has an Actuarial Club that meets to hold group study sessions, hear local employers speak about opportunities in their company, and more.

Rank 5
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from Purdue University is a highly respected and well-regarded program that prepares students for a career in actuarial science. The program is interdisciplinary, jointly administered by the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Statistics. The faculty in the program are highly experienced and credentialed, and the program has a strong focus on preparing students for the actuarial exams. The program also provides students with the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research.

Rank 6
St. Mary’s University
San Antonio, TX

The Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from St. Mary’s University is a 120-hour program that provides students with a solid foundation in the principles of mathematics. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in mathematical sciences, financial planning, and other related fields. The core curriculum includes courses in mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Elective courses allow students to pursue interests in other areas, such as physics, engineering, and economics.

Rank 7
Seton Hill University
Greensburg, PA

The Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics – Actuary Science degree from Seton Hill University is a four-year program that prepares students for a career in actuarial science. Students in the program take courses in mathematics, statistics, and finance, and also complete an internship. The program also offers the opportunity to get certified to teach math. The program benefits from the involvement of experienced faculty who are dedicated to helping students succeed. The program also has an extensive internship program and academic partnerships with local and regional corporations and organizations.

Rank 8
University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT

The University of Connecticut’s actuarial program is designed to prepare students for careers in the financial services industry. The program offers a solid foundation in actuarial science and prepares students for the examinations administered by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. The program has a strong focus on mathematics and also provides students with the opportunity to gain real-world experience through internships and other hands-on learning opportunities.

Rank 9
Indiana University-Bloomington
Bloomington, IN

The Bachelor of Arts in Actuarial Studies from Indiana University-Bloomington is a degree that prepares students for a career in the actuarial profession. To be successful in this program, students must be comfortable with the language and substance of a wide range of mathematics, economics, statistics, and finance/accounting. Internships are strongly encouraged for students in this program.

Rank 10
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Actuarial Science from Temple University is a 124-credit program that prepares students for a career as an actuary. The program provides students with a strong foundation in mathematics and statistics, and exposes them to a wide range of business disciplines. The courses in the program are approved by the Society of Actuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society as satisfying VEE (Validation by Educational Experience) requirements.

Rank 11
Drake University
Des Moines, IA

The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from Drake University is a math and data-focused degree that prepares students for a career in actuarial science. Students in the program learn to use math and data analysis to answer important questions and make strategic decisions for organizations. The program features courses taught by actuaries, giving students an excellent education and preparing them for successful careers.

Rank 12
The University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, TX

The University of Texas at Dallas offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science that is recognized by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE). The program is designed to prepare students for a career in actuarial science through a well-rounded education that includes courses in actuarial and data science, mathematics, statistics, accounting, finance, economics, and computer science. All students are prepared to take seven actuarial preliminary exams administered by the SOA and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).

Rank 13
St. John’s University-New York
Queens, NY

The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from St. John’s University-New York is a rigorous and demanding program that prepares students for a career as an actuary. The program provides students with the quantitative analysis skills necessary to pass professional examinations, as well as an education in business disciplines such as accounting, finance, management, marketing, risk management and computer information systems.

Rank 14
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science degree from University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a four-year program that prepares students for a career in actuarial science. The program is designed to give students a strong foundation in mathematics and statistics, as well as exposure to finance, accounting, economics, and insurance.

Rank 15
University of St Thomas
Saint Paul, MN

The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from the University of St Thomas will prepare students for careers in insurance, finance and other related fields. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes classes in statistics, mathematics, computer science, finance, economics and communication. Students in the program have the opportunity to take multiple professional actuarial exams by graduation.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Actuarial Science Program

Actuarial science is the study of risk and uncertainty, and actuarial science degree programs prepare students for careers as actuaries. These professionals use mathematical and statistical techniques to assess and manage risk in a variety of industries, including insurance, finance, and healthcare.

Most actuarial science programs include a core set of required courses, such as calculus, statistics, and actuarial science. Many programs also offer concentrations that allow students to focus their studies in a particular area, such as risk management or pension and benefits.

Actuarial science programs typically culminate in a capstone experience, such as an internship or research project. These experiences give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world situations.

Overall, actuarial science degree programs require a strong background in mathematics and statistics. Students should also be able to effectively communicate their findings to non-technical audiences.

Common Actuarial Science Courses

Actuarial science is the study of risk in the insurance and finance industries. Students in these programs take a variety of classes in mathematics, statistics, and finance. The courses below are some of the most common for actuarial science majors.

Probability

This course covers the mathematical theory of probability with applications to the insurance and actuarial sciences. Topics include set theory, probability spaces, random variables and their distributions, expectation, moments, generating functions, limit theorems, and an introduction to statistical inference. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of probability to actuarial problems and use them to make sound decisions.

Finance

This course covers the time value of money, financial statement analysis, bonds, stocks, short-term investments, and risk management. Emphasis is placed on the application of financial concepts to personal financial planning and the valuation of financial assets. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the time value of money to personal financial planning, calculate and interpret various measures of financial statement analysis, and explain the role of risk in the valuation of financial assets.

Statistics

This course covers the study of statistics, probability, data analysis, and their applications to insurance, finance, and other areas. Topics include data collection, organization, and summarization; probability theory; random variables and probability distributions; estimation and testing of hypotheses; regression analysis; and analysis of variance. Upon completion, students should be able to use statistical methods to solve problems in actuarial science and other fields.

Actuarial Models

This course covers the construction of mathematical models to be used in the solution of actuarial problems. Topics include the nature of risk, probability concepts, survival models, models for life contingencies, annuities, pension plans, and insurance premiums. Upon completion, students should be able to construct, interpret, and use mathematical models to solve actuarial problems.

Calculus

This course covers limits, continuity, derivatives, integrals, and the applications of these concepts. Vectors in two and three dimensions are also covered. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the concepts learned in the course to solve problems in calculus and vector calculus.

Career Options for Actuarial Science Graduates

Graduates of actuarial science programs work in a variety of industries, including insurance, finance, and consulting. They may also work in fields such as risk management and investment banking.

Actuary

Actuaries use math, statistics, and financial theory to assess risk and uncertainty. They work in the insurance industry, but they can also be found in the public sector, in consulting, and in other businesses. Actuaries are often divided into two main categories: life actuaries, who work with products like life insurance and annuities; and property and casualty actuaries, who work with things like homeowners’ insurance and automobile insurance. In either case, actuaries use their skills to calculate the probability of an event and its potential cost, and then help companies develop policies to minimize the cost of that event.

Insurance Underwriter

Insurance underwriters work for insurance companies and are responsible for approving or denying insurance applications. They review applications to determine whether or not the applicant is a good risk, and if they are, they set the premium—the amount the applicant will pay for the policy. To make these decisions, underwriters look at a variety of factors, including the applicant’s credit score, employment history, and driving record.

Statistician

Statisticians use mathematical and statistical techniques to collect, analyze, and interpret data. They may work in a variety of fields, such as healthcare, marketing, sociology, sports, or government. Statisticians typically have a strong background in mathematics and computer science, and they use their skills to solve real-world problems. For example, a statistician working in the healthcare field might use data to study the effectiveness of a new treatment or to track the spread of a disease.

Risk Analyst

Risk analysts work in a variety of industries to identify and assess potential risks to an organization. They develop plans to mitigate or avoid those risks and track the organization’s progress in reducing exposure. Risk analysts typically have a background in finance or accounting and use their skills to evaluate financial data when making decisions about risk. They may work in a variety of settings, including banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and consulting firms.

Investment Analyst

Investment analysts conduct research and provide recommendations to portfolio managers about which stocks, bonds, and other securities to buy or sell. They also develop and maintain relationships with the investment community, which can include attending industry conferences and hosting investor meetings. Investment analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, or a related field, and many have a master’s degree or are pursuing one. CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) certification is also becoming increasingly common.

Insights From an Actuarial Science Graduate

Beatrice Harris is an Actuarial Analyst at Aon. She has a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science from the University of Pennsylvania. Beatrice has over 3 years of experience in the actuarial field.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Actuarial Science degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Beatrice Harris: I made the most of my actuarial science degree program by taking advantage of the resources my school had to offer. I met with my professors often to discuss course material and to get advice on which classes to take. I also took advantage of the career services office at my school. They helped me polish my resume and taught me how to network effectively.

I would advise students to take advantage of all the resources their school has to offer. Meet with your professors often, and take advantage of career services.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in an Actuarial Science career?

Beatrice Harris: A person who is successful in an actuarial science career is someone who is able to handle large amounts of data and is able to see relationships between data sets. They must also be able to communicate their findings to others in a clear and concise manner.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Actuarial Science program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Beatrice Harris: I expected my program to be very math-heavy, and it was. I didn’t anticipate, however, how important communication skills would be. In my role, I work with clients to help them understand their risks and how to mitigate them. If I can’t explain things clearly, it’s going to be very difficult to do my job well.

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