Actuarial Science Transfer Information for Undergraduates

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The Society of Actuaries has recognized University of Iowa’s actuarial science program as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE).  There are eight criteria for the designation, including curriculum, faculty composition, graduate quality, connection to industry, and research/scholarship. Due to the demanding nature of the Actuarial Science major and the difficulty of the professional examinations, the department maintains a selective admission program for Actuarial Science. Students must apply and be admitted to the major.

Students interested in becoming actuaries should declare an Interest in Actuarial Science as their major when they enter the university. Ordinarily, students apply for admission to the Actuarial Science major in the fall semester of their sophomore year, after they have taken MATH:2850 (22M:028) Calculus III OR MATH:3770 (22M:055) Fundamental Properties of Spaces and Functions I and STAT:3100 (22S:130) Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I.  Students should apply no later than the end of the spring semester of their junior year.

Students admitted to the Actuarial Science major usually have already completed at least 40 semester hours at the University of Iowa or at another post-secondary institution, including a three- or four-course calculus sequence, a course in linear algebra, and a calculus-based course in probability and statistics. The admission decision is based on the student's performance in these courses and other courses relevant to success in the major. The student's grades from semester to semester also are considered.  ACT or SAT scores are considered in evaluating transfer students. Factors such as work ethic, enthusiasm, and commitment may be considered. Students who do well in prerequisite math courses tend to be most successful in Actuarial Science. Permission to substitute course work taken at another institution for required courses at Iowa is decided case by case.

The department reviews applications to the major in August and in January.  Students will be contacted with the admission recommendation shortly after the review. Actuarial Science undergraduate students who also want to double major in Mathematics (Program C) must DECLARE the Mathematics major in room 120 Schaeffer Hall. Both majors must be declared in order to graduate with a double major. The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science requires a minimum of 120 s.h., including 59 s.h. of work for the major. The program prepares students for careers as actuaries. It also helps them learn material that is included in professional examinations administered by the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Society of Actuaries, which actuaries must pass in order to achieve professional status.

Students take a variety of actuarial science courses. In addition, preparation for business aspects of the actuarial profession requires the study of accounting, law, finance,insurance, and economics. Courses relating to communication skills, such as writing and speaking, are also important.

Students should also:

Use the Online Equivalency Guide to determine appropriate transfer course equivalencies. 

For application forms and more information about selective admission, contact the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at

  • Students who declare an interest in actuarial science are included in all departmental activities.

  • Students who declare Actuarial Science Interest are advised by the Academic Advising Center. Schedule an appointment.

  • If you are interested in learning more about our program and would like to schedule a visit to meet with us please feel free to contact us directly or contact Admissions Department Visits.