Actuarial Science


Graham Lemke and Mark Mills (co-directors) Crystal Bruntz, Russ Goodman, Tom Linton, Tuan Nguyen, George Nwaogu, Maggie Schlerman, Wendy Weber


Statement of philosophy

The actuarial science major is specifically designed to prepare students for a career as an actuary.  However, combined with the Central liberal arts education, students completing this major have a broad foundation that will prepare them for many different business-oriented careers.

Because an actuary must have both mathematical/technical skills and more general business skills, the major combines components from mathematics and business. Students completing the actuarial science major will have a strong foundation in the material for the actuarial industry’s first two preliminary professional exams which cover calculus- based probability and financial mathematics. Ideally, students will have passed at least these two exams prior to graduation. In addition, students will also have completed all three of the actuarial industry’s Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) requirements: Economics, Accounting and Finance, and Mathematical Statistics.

Internships are strongly recommended.  They may be obtained through local or regional businesses and organizations, or potentially through study abroad or the Chicago Metropolitan Center.  This experience provides the student with rich learning opportunities and puts course work into practice.

Actuarial Science majors are encouraged to consider the study abroad experience during the spring of their second year or the fall semester of their third or fourth year, depending upon their progression in the major.  Some schedule adjustments will need to be made in order to accommodate a semester abroad, so it is important to plan ahead and speak with one of the major’s co-directors early. 

Major Communication Skills

Students will complete COMM-160 or COMM-270 with a minimum grade of “C”.

Major/minor restrictions

Actuarial Science majors cannot also declare a major or a minor in either business management or mathematics.


Actuarial Science Major Requirements (59 credits) 

  1. Complete all of the following:
    ACCT    241  Introduction to Financial Accounting (3)
    ACCT    242  Introduction to Management Accounting (3)
    BMGT   261  Principles of Finance (3)
    BMGT   362  Principles of Investment (3)
    BMGT   462  Derivative Markets (3)
    COSC   110  Introduction to Computer Science (3)
    ECON   112  Principles of Microeconomics (3)
    ECON   113  Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
    ECON   381  Research Methods in Economics (4)
    MATH   131  Calculus I (4)
    MATH   132  Calculus II (4)
    MATH   215  Applied Statistics (4)
    MATH   231  Multivariable Calculus (3)
    MATH   240  Linear Algebra (4)
    MATH   330  Mathematical Modeling (3)
    MATH   341  Probability (3)
    MATH   342  Statistics (3)
  2. Complete one of the following courses with a grade of at least a "C":
    COMM 160 Communication in Everyday Life (3)
    COMM 270 Public Speaking (4)
    Note: COMM 270 Public Speaking is the preferred course.

Additional recommended courses

Students who want to get additional quantitative experience are encouraged to complete these three additional economics courses.

ECON 312   Microeconomic Theory
ECON 313   Macroeconomic Theory
ECON 485   Economics Research Seminar

Students are encouraged to take additional courses as their schedules allow.  While the courses below are not required for the major, having them will better prepare students for future job experiences.

BMGT 231   Business Law I
BMGT 311   Principles of Management
COSC  109   Intro to Information Management
COSC 130    Data Structures 
ECON 324   Monetary Theory and the Financial System
ENGL  244   Professional Writing

Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) Information

Actuarial students who will be working with insurance for life events (e.g., life insurance, pension, health insurance) will fulfill the three VEE areas required by the Society of Actuaries with a grade of at least a “B-” in each of the major courses that are listed below.


Actuarial students who will be working with insurance for casualty events (e.g., auto insurance, home insurance, crop insurance) will fulfill the two VEE areas required by the Casualty Actuary Society with a grade of at least a “B-” in each of the major courses that are listed below.