I am the major advisor for students seeking a degree in Mathematics—Actuarial Track. Here, you can find useful information about the profession and our program at USI. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
What is an actuary?
An actuary is a business professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk and finds ways to manage them. Actuaries must have a combination of strong analytical skills, business knowledge, and understanding of human behavior. Widely regarded as being intellectually challenging and well-paid, an actuarial career offers constant opportunities for professional growth.
"Actuary" was recently included as one of the Best Careers of 2007 in U.S. News and World Report. It also has been rated the second-best job in the United States by the Jobs Rated Almanac (Sixth Edition, 2002). The U.S. Department of Labor expects the employment of actuaries to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. See these statistics and more at http://www.beanactuary.org/.
Where do actuaries work?
While actuaries work in all sectors of the economy, they are more heavily represented in the financial services sector, including insurance companies, commercial banks, investment banks, and retirement funds. They are employed by corporations as well as by state and federal governments.
Students with a strong foundation in mathematics, problem-solving skills and an interest in a business career should consider the actuarial profession.
How can I be an actuary?
Actuaries achieve professional status by passing a set of examinations prescribed by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). The road to admission as an Associate, then Fellow, of SOA or CAS begins with the preliminary exams offered by these societies:
- Exam P/1 - Probability
- Exam FM/2 - Financial Mathematics
- Exam MFE/3F - Actuarial Models: Financial Economics
- Exam MLC/3L - Actuarial Models: Life Contingencies
- Exam C/4 - Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models.
In addition to the preliminary exams, Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) must be satisfied for three subjects: economics, corporate finance, and applied statistical methods. This requirement is typically satisfied through completion of the VEE approved courses offered by a college.
Many students receive on-the-job training while enrolled in the examination process. Employers are generally supportive and may give students study time during working hours, pay exam fees, and award raises for each exam passed. Most employers, however, prefer to hire people who have started the series of examinations while in college.
Actuarial track at USI
The Department of Mathematics at the University of Southern Indiana offers the actuarial track coupled with a bachelorís degree in mathematics. Along with the courses required for a degree in mathematics, students complete courses in economics, finance, and computer science to satisfy VEE requirements, to prepare for the first two preliminary exams administered by SOA and CAS, and to attain the mathematical foundation for further studies in actuarial or related fields. Students who complete the actuarial track develop a combination of skills and knowledge in business and mathematics that is highly marketable.
The following courses are required for the actuarial track. In addition to these courses, University Core Curriculum (UCC) requirements and other university requirements for a baccalaureate degree must also be met (see the University Bulletin).
Core Mathematics Courses
- MATH 230 Calculus I
- MATH 253 Principles of Mathematical Logic
- MATH 330 Calculus II
- MATH 335 Calculus III
- MATH 412 Modern Abstract Algebra I
- MATH 413 Linear Algebra
- MATH 438 Theory of Probability (Preparation for SOA Exam P/CAS Exam 1)
- MATH 492 History of Mathematics
Other Courses for the Actuarial Track
- MATH 241 Principles of Statistics
- ACCT 201 Accounting Principles I
- ACCT 202 Accounting Principles II
- ECON 208 Microeconomics (VEE credit in Economics)
- ECON 209 Macroeconomics (VEE credit in Economics)
- FIN 305 Business Finance (VEE credit in Corporate Finance)
- FIN 461 Financial Management (VEE credit in Corporate Finance)
- CS 201 Object-Oriented Prog. or CS 288 Intro. to Microcomputer-Based Prog.
- MATH 375 Interest Theory and Mathematical Finance (Preparation for SOA Exam FM/CAS Exam 2)
- MATH 441 Mathematical Statistics
- MATH 475 Regression and Time Series (VEE credit in Applied Statistical Methods)
- Select at least three courses from upper-level electives upon consultation with your advisor.
See these printer friendly files (in PDF format) for detailed credit hours.