Program Overview

Actuarial Science, BS

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
of Iowa. Ordinarily, students apply for admission to the actuarial
science major in the fall semester of their sophomore year, after
they have taken MATH:3770 Fundamental Properties of Spaces and
Functions I or MATH:2850 Calculus III, and STAT:3100 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
completed at least 40 s.h. at the university or at another postsecondary
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 a student's performance
in these courses and other courses relevant to success in the major.
ACT or SAT scores are considered in evaluating transfer students.
Factors such as work ethic, enthusiasm, and commitment also may
be considered. Students who do well in the prerequisite math courses
tend to be the most successful in actuarial science.

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

Learning Outcomes

Students will:
• be able to bring to bear actuarial, financial, mathematical, andstatistical techniques to model and analyze risks, particularly inthe context of insurance and pension;
• have the knowledge and analytical ability to pass the initialprofessional actuarial examinations given by the Society ofActuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society, and develop the skillsneeded for successful self-study of the advanced professionalexaminations;
• be skillful in using and developing computer software to solveactuarial problems;
• be able to clearly communicate results from an actuarial analysisto all stakeholders, and write effective reports that describe theanalysis and summarize important findings; and
• possess a basic understanding of insurance and businessoperations.


The Bachelor of Science with a major in actuarial science requires aminimum of 120 s.h., including 51 s.h. of work for the major. Studentsmust maintain a grade-point average of at least 2.00 in all courses forthe major and in all UI courses for the major. They also must completethe College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.

The program prepares students for careers as actuaries. It also helpsthem learn material that is included in professional examinationsadministered by professional organizations such as the Society ofActuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society.

Students take a variety of actuarial science courses. They prepare forbusiness aspects of the actuarial profession by studying accounting,law, finance, insurance, and economics. They also complete coursesthat enhance important communication skills, such as writing andspeaking, as part of their GE CLAS Core requirements.

 Courses Required for the Major

Computer Science

CS:1210 Computer Science I:Fundamentals 4


All of these:  
MATH:1850 Calculus I 4
MATH:1860 Calculus II 4
MATH:2700 Introduction to Linear Algebra 4
MATH:2850 Calculus III 4
MATH:3770 Fundamental Properties ofSpaces and Functions I 4

Statistics and Actuarial Science

ACTS:3080 Mathematics of Finance I 3
ACTS:4130 Quantitative Methods forActuaries 3
ACTS:4150 Fundamentals of Short-TermActuarial Mathematics 3
ACTS:4180 Life Contingencies I 3
ACTS:4280 Life Contingencies II 3
STAT:3100 (IGPI:3100) Introduction to MathematicalStatistics I 3
STAT:3101 (IGPI:3101) Introduction to MathematicalStatistics II 3
STAT:4100/IGPI:4100 Mathematical Statistics I 3
STAT:4101/IGPI:4101 Mathematical Statistics II 3