Actuarial science is the quantitative analysis of risk. In addition to mathematics and statistics courses, students in actuarial science take classes in finance, economics and computer programming.
At many universities, actuarial sciences is housed in the business department. We believe that the most successful actuaries have an extensive foundation in mathematics and in the broader liberal arts, and therefore our program is housed in our Department of Mathematical Sciences.
While you will take several business classes, you will also be heavily exposed to the broader context in which risk exists in our lives. Through economics courses and other courses in the social sciences and humanities, you will see how actuarial science is not practiced in a vacuum but has real-life implications and impact on businesses, individuals, and communities as a whole.
Students interested in actuarial science should make every effort to prepare themselves in high school by taking four years of challenging math classes. Ideally, students will enter college ready to start in the first semester of calculus.
As students progress in our program, they begin to take the professional exams required of actuaries, making themselves more attractive job candidates. Our location in Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin and home to many large and small companies, also gives our students easier access to internships and part-time jobs compared to smaller cities. If you are looking for more advanced training beyond the bachelor's level, explore our Master's of Science in Mathematical Sciences. In this program, you can obtain graduate-level training in actuarial science.
Why study Actuarial Science at UWM?
- You love solving complex problems and explaining the solution to others.
- You want a career that consistently ranks in the top 10 for salary, job satisfaction, stress level, and job security.
- Our program is endorsed by the Society of Actuaries – one of only 20 programs in the U.S.
- You want to join a program with a strong network of professional actuaries who engage with and mentor students – and often hire them when they graduate!
- Milwaukee and the surrounding area are home to many companies that hire actuaries – Northwestern Mutual, American Family, Milliman, Willis Towers Watson, and more.
Course of Study—Bachelor of Arts Degree
To clarify any degree requirements, please contact the undergraduate coordinator for Actuarial Science.
Students who intend to complete the BA in Actuarial Science program in four years will need to begin taking mathematics in their first semester. Such students should have a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee mathematics placement level of 30 (ready for precalculus) or better.
To be eligible for admission, a student should have completed their Calculus sequence with a GPA of 2.50 or better and MATH 234 or MATH 240. In addition, students should have earned a grade of B- or better in either ACTSCI 391 or MTHSTAT 361, or should have earned a score of 4 or higher on the Society of Actuaries Exam FM or P.
Students must complete one of Calculus Sequences: MATH 211 and MATH 212, or MATH 231 (or MATH 213), MATH 232, and MATH 233 (or equivalent). MATH 221 and MATH 222 are equivalent to MATH 231, MATH 232, and MATH 233. Students majoring in actuarial science must have an average GPA of at least 2.500 in these courses. Additional preparatory curricula are required, as listed below.
Students must complete a Capstone Experience. The aim of the capstone experience is to encourage independent learning. Students complete a research paper in the context of this course, which satisfies the L&S research requirement. For Actuarial Science majors, the capstone is ACTSCI 599. Students must obtain consent of the instructor to enroll in ACTSCI 599.
Students must complete the courses listed below, including at least 15 upper-division (numbered 300 and above) credits in the major in residence at UWM. The College of Letters & Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA on all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.
|Additional Preparatory Curriculum|
|ACTSCI 290||Introduction to Actuarial Science||3|
|MATH 234||Linear Algebra and Differential Equations||3-4|
|or MATH 240||Matrices and Applications|
|COMPSCI 250||Introductory Computer Programming||3|
|COMPSCI 251||Intermediate Computer Programming||3|
|BUS ADM 201||Introduction to Financial Accounting||4|
|ECON 103||Principles of Microeconomics||3|
|ECON 104||Principles of Macroeconomics||3|
|ACTSCI 391||Investment Mathematics I||4|
|MTHSTAT 361||Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I||3|
|MTHSTAT 362||Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II||3|
|BUS ADM 350||Principles of Finance||3|
|or BUS ADM 450||Intermediate Finance|
|ACTSCI 490||Introduction to Actuarial Practice||1|
|ACTSCI 491||Actuarial Workshop FM||1|
|ACTSCI 492||Actuarial Workshop P||1|
|ACTSCI 599||Capstone Experience||1|
|ACTSCI 593||Actuarial Models I||3|
|ACTSCI 596||Actuarial Statistics I||3|
|ACTSCI 594||Actuarial Models II||3|
|or ACTSCI 597||Actuarial Statistics II|
|MTHSTAT 563||Regression Analysis||3|
|MTHSTAT 564||Time Series Analysis||3|
|MTHSTAT 568||Multivariate Statistical Analysis||3|
|Select one of the following three courses:||3|
|Investment Mathematics II|
|Introduction to Probability Models|
To achieve the best preparation for an actuarial career, students actively should pursue internship opportunities with insurance companies, consulting firms, and other organizations that require actuarial science knowledge. Once such an opportunity is secured, the student should enroll in ACTSCI 590. Students also should take courses in business communication (COMMUN 105, ENGLISH 205), computer science (COMPSCI 351, COMPSCI 557), and expand their knowledge in economics (ECON 325, ECON 450).
For future advancement in the field of actuarial science, “Validation by Educational Experience” (VEE) credits are required. VEE credits may be earned from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) with a grade of B- or better in the following courses:
|MTHSTAT 362||Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II (VEE-Mathematical Statistics)||3|
|ECON 103||Principles of Microeconomics (VEE-Economics)||3|
|ECON 104||Principles of Macroeconomics (VEE-Economics)||3|
|BUS ADM 201||Introduction to Financial Accounting (VEE-Accounting and Finance)||4|
|BUS ADM 450||Intermediate Finance (VEE-Accounting and Finance)||3|
Courses taken at other universities may be used to meet the VEE requirement of the SOA/CAS.
Students considering a major in Actuarial Science need to come to the department to declare their major and be assigned a faculty advisor. All courses selected for the major must be approved by the advisor, and since required courses are not offered every semester or year, students should check regularly with their advisors to plan their courses of study in order to finish in a coherent and timely fashion.
Letters & Science Advising
During your time at UWM, you may have multiple members of your success team, including advisors, peer mentors, and success coaches. Letters and Science students typically work with at least two different types of advisors as they pursue their degrees: professional College Advisors and Faculty Advisors. Departmental Faculty Advisors focus on the major while L&S College Advisors advise across your entire degree program.
College Advisors are located in Holton Hall and serve as your primary advisor. They are your point person for your questions about navigating college and completing your degree. College Advisors will:
- assist you in defining your academic and life goals;
- help you create an educational plan that is consistent with those goals;
- assist you in understanding curriculum, major and degree requirements for graduation, as well as university policies and procedures;
- provide you with information about campus and community resources and refer you to those resources as appropriate; and
- monitor your progress toward graduation and completion of requirements.
Faculty Advisors mentor students in the major and assist them in maximizing their development in the program. You will begin working with a Faculty Advisor when you declare your major. Faculty Advisors are an important partner and will:
- help you understand major requirements and course offerings in the department;
- explain opportunities for internships and undergraduate research and guide you in obtaining those experiences; and
- serve as an excellent resource as you consider potential graduate programs and career paths in your field.
Students are encouraged to meet with both their College Advisor and Faculty Advisor at least once each semester. Appointments are available in-person, by phone or by video.
Currently enrolled students should use the Navigate website to make an appointment with your assigned advisor or call (414) 229-4654 if you do not currently have an assigned Letters & Science advisor. Prospective students who haven't enrolled in classes yet should call (414) 229-7711 or email email@example.com.
Honors in the Major
Students in Actuarial Science who meet all of the following criteria can be awarded honors in the major upon graduation:
- A 3.000 cumulative GPA in all UWM graded credits;
- A 3.500 GPA over all UWM courses counting toward the Actuarial Science major;
- A 3.500 GPA over all upper-division UWM courses counting toward the Actuarial Science major; and
- The passing of at least three professional actuarial exams.
Students who believe they may qualify for honors in Actuarial Science should apply to the Mathematical Sciences Department during their last semester of study.
College of Letters and Science Dean's Honor List
GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.
Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction
Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.
Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).
Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.