Earn your BS in Actuarial Science

The Bachelor of Science (BS) program in actuarial science prepares students for careers as actuaries. It also helps them learn material that is included in professional examinations administered by professional organizations such as the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).


The required coursework helps students to learn material that is included in the first five professional SOA actuarial exams. They are P (Probability), FM (Financial Mathematics). FAM (Fundamentals of Actuarial Mathematics), SRM (Statistics for Risk Modeling), and ALTAM (Advanced Long-Term Actuarial Mathematics). Each semester we offer review classes to help students prepare for professional exams. In addition, the coursework will help students pass the preliminary exams offered by the CAS. Our program emphasizes mathematics more than programs at other U.S. universities. We believe this is the reason why our students enjoy such great success on the professional exams.

Requirements and program planning

Students will:

  • Be able to bring to bear actuarial, financial, mathematical, and statistical techniques to model and analyze risks, particularly in the context of insurance and pension;
  • Have the knowledge and analytical ability to pass the initial professional actuarial examinations given by the Society of Actuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society, and develop the skills needed for successful self-study of the advanced professional examinations;
  • Be skillful in using and developing computer software to solve actuarial problems;
  • Be able to clearly communicate results from an actuarial analysis to all stakeholders, and write effective reports that describe the analysis and summarize important findings; and
  • Possess a basic understanding of insurance and business operations.

The Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science requires a minimum of 120 semester hours, including 51 semester hours of work for the major. Students must maintain a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major. They also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core.

The program prepares students for careers as actuaries. It also helps them learn material that is included in professional examinations administered by professional organizations such as the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society.

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

Courses required for the major

Computer science course
Course numberCourse nameSemester hours
CS:1210Computer Science I: Fundamentals4
Mathematics courses
Course numberCourse nameSemester hours
MATH:1850Calculus I4
MATH:1860Calculus II4
MATH:2700Introduction to Linear Algebra4
MATH:2850Calculus III4
MATH:3770Fundamental Properties of Spaces and Functions I4
Statistics and actuarial science courses
Course numberCourse nameSemester hours
ACTS:3080Mathematics of Finance I3
ACTS:4130Quantitative Methods for Actuaries3
ACTS:4150Fundamentals of Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics3
ACTS:4180Life Contingencies I3
ACTS:4280Life Contingencies II3
STAT:3100 (IGPI:3100)Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I3
STAT:3101 (IGPI:3101)Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II3
STAT:4100/IGPI:4100Mathematical Statistics I3
STAT:4101:IGPI:4101Mathematical Statistics II3

Create your academic path

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Current course list

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Center of Actuarial Excellence

The SOA is pleased to award the University of Iowa the CAE designation for another period of five years expiring Dec. 31, 2024.

Logo designation of a Center of Actuarial Excellence from the Society of Actuaries

The Society of Actuaries’ (SOA) Centers of Actuarial Excellence Evaluation Committee (CEC) congratulates the University of Iowa for having maintained the criteria of the Centers of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) designation. The department’s actuarial science program is one of only two in the U.S. that are over 100 years old. In 2010, it was one of the first to be certified as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), after a detailed review process involving curriculum, faculty composition, graduate quality, connection to industry, and research/scholarship. The SOA review committee stated that “Iowa’s job placement record, exam pass rates and credentialed graduate rates are exceptional.”

The actuarial science program prepares students for careers as actuaries. It helps them learn material that is included in professional examinations administered by the Society of Actuaries, which actuarial students must pass in order to achieve professional status. In addition to actuarial science courses, students can take courses in preparation for business aspects of the actuarial profession such as accounting, law, finance, insurance, and economics. The Society of Actuaries (SOA) 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.

Questions?

Elias Shiu

Elias S.W. Shiu

Title/Position
Professor
Collegiate Fellow
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Actuarial Science