Graduates at ceremony

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.

Program Type

Major

Program Format

On Campus

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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.

Actuarial Science Major Requirements

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.

Preparatory Curriculum

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 231MATH 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.

Capstone Experience

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.

Requirements 

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 290Introduction to Actuarial Science3
MATH 234Linear Algebra and Differential Equations3-4
or MATH 240 Matrices and Applications
COMPSCI 250Introductory Computer Programming3
COMPSCI 251Intermediate Computer Programming3
BUS ADM 201Introduction to Financial Accounting4
ECON 103Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON 104Principles of Macroeconomics3
Core Curriculum
ACTSCI 391Investment Mathematics I4
MTHSTAT 361Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I3
MTHSTAT 362Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II3
BUS ADM 350Principles of Finance3
or BUS ADM 450 Intermediate Finance
ACTSCI 490Introduction to Actuarial Practice1
ACTSCI 491Actuarial Workshop FM1
ACTSCI 492Actuarial Workshop P1
ACTSCI 599Capstone Experience1
ACTSCI 593Actuarial Models I3
ACTSCI 596Actuarial Statistics I3
ACTSCI 594Actuarial Models II3
or ACTSCI 597 Actuarial Statistics II
MTHSTAT 563Regression Analysis3
MTHSTAT 564Time Series Analysis3
MTHSTAT 568Multivariate Statistical Analysis3
Select one of the following three courses:3
Investment Mathematics II
Introduction to Probability Models
Computational Statistics
Total Credits60-61

Recommended Electives

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 105ENGLISH 205), computer science (COMPSCI 351COMPSCI 557), and expand their knowledge in economics (ECON 325, ECON 450). 

Professional Development

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 362Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II (VEE-Mathematical Statistics)3
ECON 103Principles of Microeconomics (VEE-Economics)3
ECON 104Principles of Macroeconomics (VEE-Economics)3
BUS ADM 201Introduction to Financial Accounting (VEE-Accounting and Finance)4
BUS ADM 450Intermediate 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. L&S College Advisors advise across your entire degree program while departmental Faculty Advisors focus on the major.

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 let-sci@uwm.edu.

Get Advising
  • Currently enrolled majors with questions about general degree requirements? Make an appointment with your assigned Letters & Science College Advisor through Navigate or email your advisor.
  • Currently enrolled majors with questions about the major specifically? Email your faculty advisor or the department directly.
  • Currently enrolled UWM students not yet in the College of Letters & Science? Email ls-advising@uwm.edu.
  • Haven’t started classes yet at UWM? Email our admissions counselor at let-sci@uwm.edu.
Letters & Science Degree Requirements

In addition to the requirements for the major (in the Requirements tab of this page), students must fulfill a number of other requirements. Students must take a minimum of 120 credits to graduate. These can be thought of as falling into one of three "buckets:" major, general requirements, and electives, which is where a minor could fall. Many classes fall into more than one bucket at the same time. This is why it is important to talk to your advisor, so you can take advantage of those double-counting opportunities.

Honors in the Major

Students in Actuarial Science who meet all of the following criteria can be awarded honors in the major upon graduation:

  1. A 3.000 cumulative GPA in all UWM graded credits;
  2. A 3.500 GPA over all UWM courses counting toward the Actuarial Science major;
  3. A 3.500 GPA over all upper-division UWM courses counting toward the Actuarial Science major; and
  4. 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.

Commencement Honors

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).

Final Honors

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.

Accreditation

The Society of Actuaries recognizes UWM as a Center of Actuarial Excellence, one of only 20 U.S. universities with this distinction.

Contact

Prospective Students (not yet enrolled at UWM)

Prospective students, contact our admissions counselor at let-sci@uwm.edu or 414-229-7711.

Current Students

General questions such as how to declare, how to change a major, general education requirements, etc. should be directed to the College advising office at ls-advising@uwm.edu or 414-229-4654.

Specific questions about Actuarial Science, such as research opportunities, internship opportunities, major requirements, etc., should be directed to Undergraduate Coordinator, Jessica Gartner.