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30 Best Value Actuarial Science Programs 2021

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If you are looking for the best actuarial science programs, then consider your search over. We have researched and collected the names of some of the top actuarial science programs in the country. While most of them are on-campus programs, some schools offer an online format as well. These schools rank high not just for the quality of their actuarial science programs but also for graduate placements. 

The study of actuarial science applies risk management and probability theory to various areas of property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, pension plans, and varied employee benefit plans. Actuary degree students learn to use statistics and data to calculate the risk of future events and occurrences. Their goal is to evaluate the financial repercussions of such events and reduce the risk for individuals or businesses.

A bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science can be offered as a BS or a BA, though the BS is more common. Most schools consider it a STEM degree and deliver it via their mathematics or statistics departments. Along with the basics of math, statistics, and actuarial science, actuarial science major students also learn to apply critical thinking skills in their work. The program prepares them to apply numerical concepts to real-world situations and translate those concepts into more straightforward language for all stakeholders to understand.

This article has researched and reviewed the schools that offer accredited and recognized actuarial science programs. We zeroed down to the top undergraduate actuarial science programs that provide comprehensive training in the field. Click here to learn more about our methodology. 

#30 New York University (NYU Stern)

New York, NY 

NYU Stern

BS in Business-Actuarial Science

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Points: 5

NYU Stern offers a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Actuarial Science. The curriculum combines mathematical and functional business components, which are important for actuary studies. Students learn how to identify and evaluate risk, specifically for insurance companies and pension plans. Coursework includes elective options like:

  • Applied Stochastic Processes for Financial Models 
  • Statistical Inference and Regression Analysis 
  • Forecasting of Time Series Data 
  • Introduction to Stochastic Processes 
  • Life Contingencies  

The program prepares students to take the first four examinations offered by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. It also satisfies the three Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) areas of Economics, Finance, and Applied Statistical Methods.

Fast facts:

  • 128 Units
  • Offered through:  Leonard N. Stern School of Business
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per year: $58,144

#29 University of Pennsylvania 

Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania

BS-Actuarial Science 

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Points: 5

The University of Pennsylvania offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. Students are trained to evaluate and price risks based on their knowledge of probability, statistics, and specific mathematical models. The program also prepares them to take a rigorous series of professional exams administered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). Coursework includes:

  • Fundamentals of Actuarial Science
  • Statistical Computing with R 
  • Predictive Analytics; Stochastic Processes
  • Forecasting Methods for Management
  • Actuarial Statistics; Modern Data Mining
  • Data Analytics and Statistical Computing

Graduates use their mathematical skills to define, analyze, and solve business and social problems. They work in insurance companies, consulting firms, and the government.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: The Wharton School
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per year: $54,652

#28 Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Actuarial Mathematics (BS)

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Points: 5

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Mathematics. Students learn to use their business intelligence, mathematical expertise, and computer skills to help businesses assess risk and solve financial problems. The curriculum helps them master mathematical theory and apply their knowledge to solve real problems in the actuarial industry. Coursework includes:

  • Applied Statistics, Probability Theory
  • Introduction to the Design and Analysis of Experiments
  • Mathematical Statistics 
  • Probabilistic Methods in Operations Research 
  • Data Analytics and Statistical Learning

Students can research professional actuaries and gain complementary business, economics, and computer science skills. It helps them become well-rounded and successful actuaries. 

Fast facts:

  • 120  credits
  • Offered through:  School of Arts & Sciences 
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition per year: $54,640

#27 Butler University 

Indianapolis, IN 

Butler University

BS in Actuarial Science

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Points: 5

Butler University offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. Students taking this major prepare for all necessary professional aptitude examinations administered by the Casualty Actuary Society and the Society of Actuaries. Coursework includes:

  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability Theory
  • Loss Models
  • Principles of Micro/Macroeconomics
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Actuarial Mathematics 

Students learn to estimate risks, primarily in the insurance and financial security industries. Small class sizes and high employment placement rates make Butler’s Actuarial Science program one of the most popular in the country. Students receive personal, comprehensive education and internship opportunities with top companies to begin a successful career as a professional actuary.

Fast facts:

  • 126  credits
  • Offered through:  College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: Tuition: $42,410

#26 Northwestern College

Orange City, IA  

Northwestern College

BS in Math-Actuarial Science

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Points: 5

Northwestern College offers a Bachelor of Science in mathematics with a concentration option in Actuarial Science. It is 1 of the 49 programs in the country to be classified as UCAP-AP or Universities and Colleges with Actuarial Programs—Advanced Curriculum) by the Society of Actuaries. The curriculum covers courses for the first four professional actuarial exams and some topics on the 5th of seven exams. Courses include:

  • Probability and Statistics 
  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability and Statistics 
  • Actuarial Modeling: Life Contingent Risk Models
  • Actuarial Modeling: Loss Models
  • Mathematical Minds

Students train to become a certified actuary and excel in their careers. 

Fast facts:

  • 124 credits
  • Offered through:  College of Natural and Applied Sciences 
  • Format: On-campus/Online
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission 
  • Tuition per year: $33,350

#25 Penn State University

State College, PA

Pennsylvania State University

Actuarial Science BS

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Points: 6

The Pennsylvania State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. It prepares students for careers that demand quantitative and qualitative skills like insurance, finance, consulting, and government agencies. Actuaries are vital to the insurance industry. The major provides background in the wide range of knowledge needed to be an actuary, including:

  • Pensions and insurance
  • Probability and statistics
  • Calculus and finance
  • Financial and actuarial mathematics
  • Economics and risk management

The Society of Actuaries has designated Penn State as a “Center of Actuarial Excellence.” Smeal Actuarial Science students are sought after by industry and government agencies.  

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: Smeal College of Business 
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per year: $18,454

#24 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL  

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

BS in Actuarial Science

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Points: 6

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. Students take a variety of courses in mathematics, economics, finance, statistics, and computer science. The curriculum reflects the interdisciplinary nature of actuarial science, allowing students to receive essential actuarial training. The program provides:

  • Data analytics-focused curriculum
  • Experiential learning experiences integrated in classroom teaching and case studies
  • Programming training tailor-made for future actuaries 
  • Comprehensive coverage of Society of Actuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society actuarial professional exams 

Graduates become experts in assessing and managing risk by using tools from statistics, economics, and finance.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $16,866

#23 Ohio Northern University

Ada, OH 

Ohio Northern University

B.A. Statistics-Actuarial Science

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Points: 7

Ohio Northern University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Statistics with a concentration in Actuarial Science. Students are trained to become risk analysts and problem solvers. They work as risk managers in various industries but especially in insurance agencies and government organizations. Courses include:

  • Mathematical Statistics; Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics; Probability Theory
  • Calculus; Theory of Interest  
  • Applied Regression & Correlation Analysis
  • Linear Algebra w/Statistical Applications

As an actuary, graduates try to evaluate and predict risk and analyze the financial repercussions. They learn to define, analyze and solve financial and economic problems and calculate the costs of pensions, insurance, and social programs. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through:  College of Arts & Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per semester: $8,237

#22 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA 

University of Massachusetts Amherst

BS in Math-Actuarial Science

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Points: 7

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a concentration option in Actuarial Science. The Actuarial Concentration prepares the student for a career in the actuarial sciences. Students can take several courses to prepare for an actuarial career, including courses to prepare for the first two actuarial exams and all of the VEE requirements. Coursework includes:

  • ECON and Finance
  • Accounting 
  • Probability and statistics
  • Linear Regression
  • Exam preparation
  • Mathematics of finance

The school also boasts of an Actuarial club. It is a Gamma Iota Sigma chapter, a national organization for risk and insurance (including actuarial science) for interested students.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through:  College of Natural Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  New England Commission of Higher Education 
  • Tuition per semester: $7,895.50 

#21 Michigan State University 

East Lansing, MI 

Michigan State University

BS in Actuarial Science

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Points: 8

Michigan State University offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science. The interdisciplinary program is a popular choice for students for delivering quality education and academic research. Coursework includes:

  • Linear Algebra; Theory of Mathematical Interest
  • Financial Mathematics for Actuaries
  • Probability and Statistics I: Probability
  • Actuarial Models; Probability and Statistics 
  • Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models 
  • Introduction to Financial Mathematics 
  • Actuarial Internship; Capstone in Mathematics

Graduates learn to combine finance, accounting, economics, statistics, computer science, and probability in their work as actuaries. They also prepare for graduate and post-graduate studies. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through:  College of Natural Science
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $14,524

#20 University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

University of Connecticut

B.S. in Mathematics–Actuarial Science

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Points: 8

The University of Connecticut offers a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a concentration option in Actuarial Science. The unique program is open to all students from New England who can enjoy in-state tuition. They are trained in mathematics and business to solve problems involving risk. Coursework includes:

  • Introduction to Actuarial Science; Probability
  • Financial Mathematics; Elementary Stochastic Processes    
  • Programming for Actuaries;  Applied Actuarial Statistics
  • Actuarial Mathematics; Loss Models; Actuarial Models
  • Technical Writing for Actuaries

The program has a close working relationship with insurance companies and consulting firms in the Northeast. Students can intern there and also get into campus recruitment programs. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through:  College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  New England Commission of Higher Education 
  • Tuition per year: $14,406

#19 University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI  

University of Michigan

BS in Actuarial Mathematics

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Points: 9

The University of Michigan offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Mathematics. It provides students with broad training in basic mathematics that underlies private and social insurance and employee benefit plans. Students also prepare for the various examinations of the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Society of Actuaries. Courses include:

  • Differential Equations; Probability
  • Statistics; Analysis
  • Risk Management & Insurance 
  • Financial Decisions; Retirement Plan & Employee Benefits
  • Corp Financing Decisions; Mathematical Models
  • Computational Finance; Capital Markets AND Fixed Income Securities

Students can consult with their actuarial advisors to take non-credit review classes for professional actuarial examinations. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $13,318

#18 University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN  

30 Best Bachelor's in Actuarial Science Programs 2021 + University of Minnesota

BS in Mathematics-Actuarial Science

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Points: 9

The University of Minnesota offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science. Students learn to use mathematics, computer programming, statistics, and finance to analyze the financial effects of insurance risk and loss protection. They develop a strong foundation in mathematics and participate in applied courses. Actuary students are well-prepared to: 

  • Pass the first few actuarial exams while in the program
  • Get into internships, preferably an actuarial internships, but also financial risk, data analytics, and financial analyst internships
  • Take courses approved for Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit 
  • Attend preparatory exam workshops led by practicing actuaries from local firms

Actuarial students benefit from interactions with the local actuarial and data science communities.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: Minnesota Center for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics (MCFAM)
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $13,318

#17 University of Missouri 

Columbia, MO

University of Missouri

B.S. in Mathematics-Actuarial & Financial Mathematics

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Points: 9

The University of Missouri offers a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Emphasis in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics. Students learn to perform quantitative analysis using mathematics, economics, statistics, and finance skills to decrease the impact of risks and uncertain events. Graduates work for:

  • Insurance companies; Large corporations
  • Consulting and investment firms
  • Government agencies; Employee benefit departments 
  • Hospitals; Banks

Students are well-prepared to pass a series of examinations to earn an actuarial designation through the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). Graduates become successful actuaries and analyze and assess the financial impact of risk for various businesses. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Arts & Science
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  SOA; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $13,264

#16 Ohio University

Athens, OH   

Ohio University

Mathematics—Actuarial Science Major (B.S.)

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Points: 10

Ohio University offers a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics-Actuarial Science. The interdisciplinary program has a strong business component and prepares students for entering the actuarial profession. They also get ample preparation to pass the first actuarial examination before graduation. Coursework includes:

  • Linear Algebra; Calculus
  • Probability; Theory of Statistics 
  • Applied Statistics; Stochastic Processes 
  • Basic Principles of Actuarial Science 
  • Introduction to Discrete Structures; Discrete Mathematics 
  • Principles of Microeconomics; Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Risk and Insurance; Life Insurance

Graduates go into careers in the insurance industry, health administration, financial services ( investment management, banking), energy corporations, transportation, and environmental organizations. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Arts and Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $12,612

#15 Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA 

Louisiana State University - Top 30 Accelerated and Affordable MBA Online Programs 2018

BS in Mathematics—Actuarial Science

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Points: 10

Louisiana State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics-Actuarial Science. The Actuarial Science Concentration prepares a student to become an actuary who studies future finance, economics, business, mathematics, and insurance risks. They learn to apply rigorous mathematics to model matters of risk and use probability and statistics to analyze, define, and solve the financial effects of those risks. Coursework includes: 

  • Principles of Business Finance; Statistics Requisite
  • Economics & accounting; Actuarial Seminar 
  • Linear Algebra; Probability and Statistics
  • Advanced Business Finance; Actuarial Mathematics
  • Foundational and advanced actuarial coursework
  • Math Modeling Continuous

Actuaries are in demand, and jobs in the field rank as one of the best in the US. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Science
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per year: $11,962

#14 University of Wisconsin–Madison

Madison, WI

University of Wisconsin–Madison

BBA in Actuarial Science

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Points: 15

University of Wisconsin–Madison offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Actuarial Science. It teaches students to use mathematics and statistics to assess liabilities and risks. They are trained for careers in the insurance and pension industries, healthcare organizations, consulting firms, and government organizations. Coursework includes:

  • Introduction to the Theory of Probability 
  • Introduction to Probability and Mathematical Statistics
  • Actuarial Science Methods; Theory of Interest
  • Actuarial Mathematics; Loss Models
  • Regression and Time Series for Actuaries; Health Analytics
  • Machine Learning for Business Analytics

Students in this major are also trained in leadership, community connections, networking, and innovation. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through:  Wisconsin School of Business
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  AACSB; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $10,746

#13 Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University

Actuarial Science BS

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Points: 10

Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. The program teaches students to use tools from statistics, mathematics, and finance. They learn to measure the impact of risk to improve forecasting and decision-making in insurance, business, and government sectors. 

  • Ratemaking and Reserving
  • Long-Term Actuarial Mathematics
  • Actuarial Models and Modeling 
  • Actuarial Exam Preparation Seminar

The degree program prepares students for the various actuaries professional exams to become credentialed. It provides students with preparation for professional actuarial credentialing exams offered by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $10,710

#12 The University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa

Actuarial Science BS

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Points: 11 

The University of Iowa offers a Bachelor of Science with a major in actuarial science. It helps them prepare for professional examinations administered by the Society of Actuaries. Actuarial students need to pass these exams to achieve professional status and work as actuaries. The program prepares students to: 

  • Use actuarial, mathematical, financial, and statistical techniques to model and analyze risks, particularly for insurance and pension projects
  • Develop the skills needed for advanced professional actuarial examinations 
  • Skillfully use and develop computer software to solve actuarial problems
  • Write effective reports and communicate results from an actuarial analysis to all stakeholders

Students gain a basic understanding of insurance and business operations to excel in their careers. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $9,830

#11 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Eau Claire, WI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Actuarial Science BS

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Points: 11

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. Students gain a deep understanding of mathematics, statistics, and business. They learn to provide value to customers, help businesses grow, and play a critical role in strategic decision-making. They also learn to measure, calculate and manage financial risk. Graduates work in:

  • Health care and Insurance
  • Banking and finance
  • Government and employee benefits
  • e-Commerce and large corporations

A strong focus of the program’s curriculum is the preparation for the professional actuarial examinations recognized by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Arts & Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $8,875

#10 Ohio State University

Columbus, OH  

Ohio State University

BS in Actuarial Science

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Points: 11

Ohio State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. The program teaches students real business through a course in actuarial practice, professional information sessions, and seminars. The core actuarial courses include:

  • Probability and statistics
  • Financial economics
  • Life contingencies
  • Interest theory and loss models
  • Predictive modeling and quantitative risk management

The major curriculum prepares students to take up to five exams, and the actuarial exam passing rate among students continues to improve. Students learn about handling risks in the financial market through real-life scenarios and experiential learning, thus preparing them for actuarial practice.  

Fast facts:

  • 121 credits
  • Offered through: College of Arts and Science 
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $8,237

#9 Appalachian State University

Boone, NC 

30 Best Bachelor's in Actuarial Science Programs 2021 + Appalachian State University

BS in Actuarial Science

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Points: 12

Appalachian State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. It is the only major in the University of North Carolina system specifically designed to prepare students to be actuaries. Students build a firm foundation in managing risk by combining their statistics, mathematics, economics, and finance knowledge. The program prepares them for the first three actuarial exams:

  • Exam FM – Financial Mathematics
  • Exam P – Probability
  • Exam MLC – Models for Life Contingencies

The actuarial science major prepares graduates for successful careers. It serves as an entry point to jobs that use numbers to evaluate the probability of future risks, designs creative ways to reduce risk and decrease the impact of such occurrences. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per year: $7,950

#8 University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Lincoln, NE

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Actuarial Science BS

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Points: 12

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln offers a Bachelor of Science in actuarial science. The analytical program combines the knowledge of economics, finance, mathematics, and statistics. The coursework is approved for the actuarial profession’s Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) program and prepares students to pass professional actuarial examinations. Graduates can:

  • Apply the concept of actuarial science in solving problems related to financial security
  • Understand practical applications of actuarial theory like assumption setting, the professional code of conduct, Actuarial Standards of Practice, and effective communication
  • Transition from actuarial theory to actuarial practice
  • Communicate the results of quantitative analysis effectively

Students also learn to apply tools to complete actuarial tasks, like spreadsheets and actuarial software.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Arts & Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per year: $7,770

#7 Binghamton University

Binghamton, NY 

Binghamton University

Actuarial Science BS

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Points: 12

Binghamton University offers a Bachelor of Science in actuarial science. Students learn to combine the knowledge of economics, finance, mathematics, and statistics for actuarial work. Coursework includes:

  • Calculus and Linear Algebra
  • Computing; Economics 
  • Actuarial foundation courses
  • Actuarial electives
  • Advanced math; Advanced Economics 

Graduates learn to apply the concept of actuarial science and theory in solving problems related to financial risks and effects. They also learn to verbally and theoretically communicate the results of their analysis to stakeholders. They learn and apply actuarial theory like assumption setting, the professional code of conduct, and Actuarial Standards of Practice.

Fast facts:

  • 126 credits
  • Offered through: Department of Mathematical Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per year: $7,070

#6 Baruch College 

New York, NY

Baruch College

BA in Actuarial Science

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Points: 13

Baruch College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Actuarial Science. Students are prepared to take and pass the first five examinations given by the Society of Actuaries (SOA). They learn to apply mathematical principles and techniques to solve problems in the insurance industry. The highly structured program offers elective options like:

  • Numerical Methods for Differential Equations in Finance   
  • Computational Methods in Probability         
  • Actuarial Mathematics          
  • Mathematics of Inferential Statistics
  • Short-Term Insurance Mathematics
  • Data Analysis and Simulation for Financial Engineers

Graduates learn to predict the likelihood of certain events, such as death, accident, or disability. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: Weissman School of Arts and Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition per semester: $3,465

#5 Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

BS in Actuarial Science

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Points: 13

Florida State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. It is an interdisciplinary undergraduate major that prepares students for SOA Exam P, Exam IFM, Exam LTAM, Exam FM, and Exam STAM. It is classified as Advanced Curriculum by the Society of Actuaries Listing of Academic Actuarial Science Programs. Coursework includes:

  • Introduction to Actuarial Mathematics
  • Actuarial Models
  • Actuarial Applications
  • Introduction to Math Statistics 

Students receive broad instructions in various mathematical, statistical, economic, and business concepts. It prepares them for careers in property, casualty, and life insurance agencies, governmental agencies, and consulting firms. 

Fast facts:

  • 68-69 credits
  • Offered through:  College of Arts and Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Tuition per year: $6,516

#4 University of Central Florida

Orlando, FL

University of Central Florida

BS in Actuarial Science

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Points: 13

The University of Central Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. Students who complete this major also meet the requirements for a Statistics minor and many requirements in the Statistics B.S. degree. They are prepared to take the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Exam 1, Exam 2, and Exam 3F. The major meets the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) requirements in the areas of: 

  • Economics
  • Corporate Finance 
  • Mathematical Statistics 

It also prepares students for SOA Exam P, Exam IFM, Exam LTAM, Exam FM, and Exam STAM. They are well-trained for successful careers, especially in the insurance industry. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per year: $6,379

#3 Brigham Young University

Provo, UT

Brigham Young University

BS in Actuarial Science

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Points: 14

Brigham Young University offers a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. Students are trained in statistical sciences to analyze the financial consequences of risk. They learn to evaluate the likelihood of risks and develop creative plans to reduce their likelihood and decrease the impact of adverse effects associated with risks.  Coursework includes:

  • Probability and Inference; Introduction to Bayesian Statistics
  • Actuarial Problems; Statistical Models for Financial Economics
  • Data Science Methods and Applications in Statistics; Theory of Risk
  • Nonparametric Statistical Methods; Statistical Learning and Data Mining
  • Analysis of Correlated Data; Survival Analysis
  • Statistical Distributions for Actuarial Modeling and Data Analytics

Graduates combine statistics, analytical skills, mathematics, business knowledge, and financial theory for their work.  They also use an understanding of human behavior to study and manage risks. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation:  Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition per semester: $2,985

#2 Auburn University

Auburn, AL

Auburn University

Actuarial Science BS

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Points: 14

Auburn University offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics – Actuarial Science Option. Students learn to apply mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in finance, insurance, and other industries. Coursework includes: 

  • Principles of Business Finance; Statistics Requisite
  • Probability and Statistics; Actuarial Seminar in Probability
  • Actuarial Seminar in the Mathematics of Finance
  • Advanced Business Finance; Actuarial Mathematics
  • Math Modeling Continuous

Graduates learn to apply rigorous mathematics to model matters of uncertainty. They use probability and statistics to analyze, define, and solve the financial effects of uncertain future risks. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Sciences and Mathematics
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per year: $5,898

#1 University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX 

30 Best Bachelor's in Actuarial Science Programs 2021 + University of Texas at Austin

Mathematics—Actuarial Science Major (B.S.)

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Points: 16

The University of Texas at Austin offers a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics-Actuarial Science. The interdisciplinary program prepares students for the various exams they have to take to become professional actuaries. Coursework includes:

  • Economics & accounting; Finance
  • Linear algebra; Probability and statistics
  • Foundational actuarial coursework
  • Advanced actuarial coursework
  • Inquiry-based learning (IBL)
  • Completed upper-division Math

The program received the 2018 Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) University Award for preparing students for successful careers in the property and casualty (P&C) industry. The Actuarial Science Program has a long and distinguished history of producing students who have become leaders of the actuarial profession. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Natural Sciences
  • Format: On-campus
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per year: $4,305

 More About Bachelor’s in Actuarial Science Programs 

 What is an actuarial science degree?

An actuarial science degree teaches students how to use statistics and mathematics to assess financial risks in various fields like insurance and finance, analyze the risk and compare it to coverage costs. Courses span the areas of math, statistics, calculus, probability, and science.

Most actuarial scientists work for insurance companies or financial institutions. An actuarial scientist’s work is to benefit the client and the insurance company by determining rates for insurance premiums and helps design pension packages. 

An actuarial science in life insurance involves looking at mortality rates, life expectancies, possible recovery times of an ailment to determine a suitable cost of a premium. An actuarial science in health insurance involves looking at the cost of lab work and treating a specific condition to give a person a reasonable cost of coverage. An actuarial science degree also prepares students for government agencies where they use statistics and data to calculate the risk of certain events and events. The main role is to analyze and suggest ways to reduce the risk of these events either for the individual or the business.

What are the best schools for actuarial science? 

  • New York University (NYU Stern)
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Butler University
  • Northwestern College
  • Penn State University
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Ohio Northern University
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Missouri
  • Ohio University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Arizona State University
  • The University of Iowa
  • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
  • Ohio State University
  • Appalachian State University
  • University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Binghamton University
  • Baruch College
  • Florida State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • Brigham Young University
  • Auburn University
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • University of Texas at Austin

What does an actuarial science major cover?

An actuarial science major teaches students the ways of identifying and evaluating risks and determining possible outcomes. They learn to use statistics, complex mathematics, probability, and patterns to locate potential risks, find ways to resolve issues, and avoid financial loss. Students who are very detail-oriented, good with research and numbers will excel in actuarial science programs.

The top undergraduate actuarial science programs offer courses on:

  • Principles of micro and macroeconomics
  • Financial accounting
  • Econometrics
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Probability and stochastic processes
  • Calculus
  • Risk models
  • Insurance law and regulation

Students are taught to use their digital skills and knowledge to research past data and look for relevant trends or inconsistencies. Their findings can determine how much premium should be charged for different types of insurance plans. They use their conclusions to make suggestions or improvement plans for the financial health of the organizations. 

Students need to pass the actuarial exams to work as an actuary. These exams require intense preparation, and the best actuarial science colleges prepare them well. The curricula are designed to help students develop the knowledge needed to pass these exams. Most students go on to pursue master’s degrees. They need to develop advanced mathematics skills, analysis and problem-solving abilities, oral and written communication, and digital skills. 

Some schools offer these programs via their business schools. As an actuary, students need to have a solid understanding of how businesses work and the biggest risks to an organization’s financial stability.

Then they go on to work as financial planners, risk analysts, and business analysts.

The work of an actuary is significant for the financial health and stability of insurance firms, government agencies, and other financial institutions. Individuals with an analytical mind who like to work with numbers and are interested in following patterns and trends become actuarial scientists. They work in a highly structured and complex environment as problem solvers and use advanced mathematics to find solutions to prevent risks. 

What can you do with an actuary degree?

Actuaries are highly sought after in the insurance industry because they can predict specific patterns within the industry and take preemptive measures to ensure its stability. They are in demand in other industries as well, like the financial sector and government agencies. A graduate with an actuarial science degree can earn approximately $100,000 a year. 

Those who pursue advanced degrees can work as financial analysts and consultants. They work in investment companies, brokerage firms, and lending institutions. They help companies understand the trends in the economy and financial markets. As analysts and actuaries, they help identify trends that may cause an abnormally high level of risk for individuals who need to borrow funds or clients who invest. 

Some of the actuary degree jobs include:

  • Business analysts
  • Insurance actuarial analyst
  • Financial analysts
  • Financial consultants
  • Actuarial consultant
  • Intelligence agency analysts
  • Risk analyst
  • Budget analysts
  • Investment analyst
  • Research analysts
  • Insurance underwriters or insurance claims adjusters
  • Actuary science teachers

What is the job outlook for an actuarial science major?

The job outlook for individuals holding an actuarial science degree is auspicious. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual pay is $102,880 per year. BLS also projects those jobs for actuarial science majors will grow by 20 percent through 2028, a higher growth figure than the average career. The earning potential is high even with a bachelor’s degree, which is rare for most other fields. While most jobs are in insurance or finances, there are many opportunities in industries that include risk assessments and investments. 

How much do the best actuarial science programs cost?

The cost of actuarial science programs can vary between the various actuarial science colleges. They can range from the high 50ks to very affordable tuition rates of 5ks per year. It is important to note here that the cost of the program does not always determine its quality. The leading national universities offer some of the more expensive programs, while regional ones provide others.

How to choose from the top undergraduate actuarial science programs?

The best schools for actuarial science provide students with the mathematical, statistical, and scientific skills to predict specific patterns and identify the various types of risks. Students need to choose an actuarial science major with a curriculum that offers the right tools for actuary training. Students should also consider the format, accelerated options, cost, coursework, etc., for each degree program.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Online or traditional format: Traditional schools can be more expensive than online schools, depending on the type of school. But most of the top undergraduate actuarial science programs are offered on-campus. It is easier to find a master’s degree in the field online. Students attend a campus that best fits their needs, be it cost-wise or commute-wise. 

Regardless of the format, the actuarial science programs equip students with the skills they need to excel as actuaries in any industry. They gain and master the knowledge and skills in research, critical thinking, data collection, and strategic analysis. 

Cost: The cost of the actuarial science degree program is an important consideration for most students. Private universities have higher tuition rates than public universities, and online colleges and universities are typically more cost-effective and affordable. 

On-campus students spend a considerable amount on tuition, fees, living expenses, the cost of books and supplies, and other school-related items. There are personal expenses and transportation to consider. But they can also apply for and get scholarships, aids, and tuition waivers which can bring down the overall cost of attendance. 

It is important to note here that the degree and quality of education are not directly proportional to the cost. The best schools for actuarial science are known for their high academic standards; their students are known to excel in various fields.

Online programs may offer a viable alternative to on-campus programs. They are flexible and designed for working adults who can complete their education and get an advanced degree without leaving their day jobs. Students need to thoroughly research the school they plan to attend, regardless of whether it is an online or a traditional brick-and-mortar school. They should consider the school’s accreditation, the school’s admissions rate, faculty profiles, graduation rate, student support, and the employment rate of its graduates.

Accreditation: The accreditation process is vital as it helps to understand the quality of an academic program. The role of accreditation is to develop a standards-based evaluation process and tell us whether a program offers a high-quality learning experience. An accredited program adds to a program’s credibility and recognition. Accreditation organizations offer insight into the programs that best meet standards for excellence. Colleges and universities can achieve recognition for quality in academics, services, and other benchmarks. 

The main accreditation commissions students and professionals should consider are:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC

Accreditation agencies gather information and resources on academic programs and provide links to the various regional commissions covering states across the U.S. Evaluators or accreditors use this process to assess how an educational institution meets the criteria and other schools. Some employers may offer tuition assistance based on whether an employee attends an accredited institution. The quality and credibility of accreditation mean that accreditation is often a prerequisite for approval of grant, aid, or scholarship funding for students. 

Then there is programmatic accreditation to consider. It is designed to assess curriculum, faculty and staff performances, and program outcomes. They offer an evaluation-based standard for the program per the list of criteria of the nationally recognized accreditation commissions.

Some schools seek out specialized organizations to support their knowledge and industry-based credentials. Specialized accreditation in actuarial science is designed to demonstrate the students’ knowledge and expertise who graduated from a prestigious accredited academic institution. It also reflects the programmatic excellence of top undergraduate actuarial science programs. Recognition from professional organizations is essential because they make it easy for students to pursue higher education or get jobs. 

The best actuarial science programs follow the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) standards and the Society of Actuaries (SOA). These are American actuarial organizations that standardize and regulate actuaries in the United States.

What is the difference between CAS vs. SOA?

The primary difference between the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is that they each support actuaries in different industries. 

The Casualty Actuarial Society provides standards and regulations for actuarial work in property and casualty (P&C) insurance. 

The Society of Actuaries provides standards and regulations for actuarial work in life, health, pensions, and retirement.

Students can consult with their advisors to decide which path they wish to follow and then choose a program that aligns with one of these standards. For working adults already in the actuary field, the choice may depend on the field they are working in. Along with the rules and regulations, there may be differences in the exam process, salary, and type of work of which one must consider. 

Each actuarial society has a different set of exams. Both require one to pass ten exams, along with some other requirements that need to be fulfilled. The SOA exams teach concepts that life, health, pension, and retirement actuaries need to know, while the CAS exams teach concepts that P&C actuaries need, so there is one track of exams (Fellow of the CAS or FCAS) to follow. 

The SOA has six different tracks since it covers more areas. Students taking the SOA exams specialize in different areas depending on their interests or career goals. These different tracks include:

  • Corporate Finance and ERM Track
  • General Insurance Track
  • Individual Life and Annuities Track
  • Quantitative Finance and Investment Track
  • Retirement Benefits Track
  • Group and Health Track

Once they have completed all the preliminary exams and obtained their ASA (Associate of the SOA), they can then decide on a particular track to complete and become a Fellow of the SOA (FSA).

Sources

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) 
Society of Actuaries (SOA)  
U.S. News & World Report 

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