BS Mathematics: Actuarial Science Concentration

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The purpose of the undergraduate option in Actuarial Science is to introduce a career-focused area of curriculum concentration for mathematics majors. The Actuarial Science option provides students with the strong background in mathematics, statistics, and economics necessary to analyze financial risks. This concentration aims to prepare students for the first three actuarial examinations administered by the professional actuarial organizations. It also includes coursework satisfying two of the three VEE (Validation by Educational Experience) subjects required by the professional organizations' preliminary education structure.

What is an actuary?

“An actuary is a business professional who analyzes the financial consequences of risk. Actuaries use mathematics, statistics and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programs. They evaluate the likelihood of those events, design creative ways to reduce the likelihood and decrease the impact of adverse events that actually do occur.” —Society of Actuaries (

Actuaries are generally separated into two broad categories:

Property/Casualty Actuaries

Development depends on exams sponsored by the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS)

Evaluate risks as common as automobile insurance and as esoteric as the liability risk for the roller coaster at a theme park.

Life/Health/Pension Actuaries

Development depends on exams sponsored by the Societyof Actuaries (SOA).

Evaluate mortality risks, and also the expected costs of increasing longevity in nursing home patients with long-termcare insurance and the investment risks involved with defined benefit retirement programs.

Job Outlook for Actuaries

Employment of actuaries is expected to grow by 27 percent between 2010 and 2020. Students with internship experience who have passed at least one actuarial exam while in school should have the best prospects for entry-level positions. The 2010 median pay for actuaries was $87,650 per year.

Requirements & Course of Study

The Department of Mathematical Sciences at IUPUI offers the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Mathematics from Purdue University with a concentration in Actuarial Science. A total of 120 credit hours is required to complete the degree. This concentration aims to prepare students for the first three actuarial examinations administered by the professional actuarial organizations. General requirements include courses in Core Communication, Analytical Reasoning, Cultural Understanding, Life and Physical Sciences, Arts and Humanities, and Social Sciences.  The department also requires students to choose a secondary area of concentration outside of the department; for students in this option this is fulfilled by required courses in business and economics. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 is required in all mathematics courses that count toward the major.

Requirements vary depending on a student's date of enrollment.  Details of all undergraduate degree requirements can be found in the IUPUI Bulletin.

Students enrolling in the School of Science in or after August 2012:
BulletinDownload Checksheet or Plan of Study

Capstone Experience

Students will apply what they have learned in a capstone experience through an internship or a specialized seminar course.


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