Actuarial Science


Graham Lemke and Mark Mills (co-directors), 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. With a grade of at least a “B-” in the appropriate course(s), students will have completed the Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) requirements for their chosen branch of insurance.  (See “Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) Information” below.)

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/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)

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 who want to get additional background in investments and financial markets are encouraged to take BMGT 363 Advanced Financial Management.

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   211 Business Writing and Speaking
BMGT   231 Business Law I
BMGT   311  Principles of Management
COMM  272 Oral Communication in Professional Contexts
COSC   109 Introduction 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.

  • Economics VEE: ECON 112 and ECON 113
  • Accounting and Finance VEE: ACCT 241, ACCT 242, BMGT 261, and BMGT 362
  • Mathematical Statistics VEE: MATH 342


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.

  • Economics VEE: ECON 112 and ECON 113
  • Accounting and Finance VEE: ACCT 241, ACCT 242, BMGT 261, and BMGT 362