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Students interested in a master’s degree with a focus on actuarial science should pursue the master’s degree in mathematics with a specialization in actuarial science as described below. In addition, we have included descriptions of the other specializations within the master’s degree in mathematics.

Objective of Mathematics MS: Actuarial Science (Option C)

The program provides a mathematically rigorous education in actuarial science, prepares students for actuarial professional exams, and develops their economics and business reasoning skills. Students obtain thorough knowledge in the fundamentals of actuarial science such as applied probability models, applied statistics, credibility, financial economics, life contingencies, loss models, and risk theory. Emphasis is placed on developing skills that are highly valued by employers and thus are essential for a successful career as actuary. This program is intended for students who will seek employment as an actuary upon completion of the degree. Those interested in entering the department’s Ph.D. program should consider a different Master’s option.

Overview of Mathematical Sciences Department MS programs

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers graduate programs of study in mathematics with specializations in the fields of algebra, analysis, topology, applied mathematics, probability and statistics, and actuarial science.

The programs of study at the master’s level are designed to suit both the student intending to continue toward a PhD as well as the student who wishes to begin a professional career upon completion of the master’s program.

The student may prepare for a career in teaching at the secondary or college level and for a career in research in the academic, industrial, government, or business communities.

Three options for the master’s degree are offered: the standard mathematics option (A), the statistics option (B), and the actuarial science option (C). Students who plan to continue for a PhD degree with a focus on mathematics/statistics should elect an option from options A, B, C, or the dual master’s degree option. 

Dual Master’s Degree Option

In addition to multiple options available for MS in mathematics, the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UWM and the Department of Technomathematics of Fachhochschule Aachen (FHA), Germany have recently created a Dual Master’s Degree Program in Mathematics. The students enrolled in this program will be able to earn Master’s degrees from both institutions upon completion of the common course requirements.

The program is designed in such a way that students typically will be able to complete all the course requirements within a two-year time period (one year at each institution). Within this program students can choose courses that will allow them to concentrate in the areas of Statistics, Numerical Analysis or General Mathematics. Complete information on the admission policy and graduation requirements, including sample schedules, is available at the Department of Mathematical Sciences web page http://uwm.edu/math/graduate/.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences does not admit MS students for the actuarial science focus for a spring start; all new master’s students in the actuarial science track need to plan to start classes in fall.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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Credits and Courses

The minimum degree requirement is 33 credits. In order to graduate, the following requirements must be completed:

The following 24 credits:
ACTSCI 791Investment Mathematics II3
ACTSCI 793Actuarial Models I3
ACTSCI 794Actuarial Models II3
ACTSCI 796Actuarial Statistics I3
ACTSCI 797Actuarial Statistics II3
MTHSTAT 763Regression Analysis3
MTHSTAT 764Time Series Analysis3
MTHSTAT 768Multivariate Statistical Analysis3
One of the following two courses:3
Actuarial Risk Theory
Topics in Actuarial Science:
One of the following pairs:6-8
Mathematical Statistics I
and Mathematical Statistics II
ECON 701
ECON 702
Economic Theory: Microeconomics
and Economic Theory: Macroeconomics
Financial Accounting
and Corporate Finance
Introduction to Database Systems
and Actuarial Internship
MATH 783
Introduction to Probability Models
and Computational Statistics
Total Credits33-35

Students who have completed program courses for undergraduate credit should discuss alternative graduate-level courses to substitute for those courses in their programs of study.


A thesis is not required for the actuarial science option. Rather, students must pass three departmental written proficiency exams, which are based on the learning objectives of the actuarial professional exams P, FM and one of FAM, ALTAM, ASTAM. Waivers for departmental exams are granted for students who have passed the corresponding professional exams.

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 871Mathematical Statistics I3
MTHSTAT 872Mathematical Statistics II (VEE-Mathematical Statistics)3
ECON 701Economic Theory: Microeconomics (VEE-Economics)4
ECON 702Economic Theory: Macroeconomics (VEE-Economics)4
BUS ADM 703Financial Accounting (VEE-Accounting and Finance)3
BUSMGMT 705Corporate Finance (VEE-Accounting and Finance)3

Courses taken at other universities may be used to meet the VEE requirement of the SOA/CAS.

Students with undergraduate degrees in mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, economics or a related area are eligible for admission. Applicants should have a strong mathematical background that includes three semesters of calculus, linear algebra, probability, and mathematical statistics. Students lacking this background may be admitted provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses. Although not required, having one actuarial professional exam passed would be an asset.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences encourages, but does not currently require submission of general GRE scores. GRE Mathematics subject test scores are appreciated, but also not required.

Applications for the MS Mathematics: Actuarial Science program are accepted for a fall start only.

Prospective students interested in visiting the Department of Mathematical Sciences are encouraged to contact the Associate Chair for the Graduate Program to arrange a visit.

Teaching and Research Assistantships are the primary form of financial support for mathematics graduate students. These positions provide a salary and tuition remission. Some small scholarships are also available. Click below for more details.


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


Prospective Graduates

Questions regarding the application or the application process should be directed to the UWM Graduate School at gradschool@uwm.edu or 414-229-6569.

Current Graduates

Questions about research opportunities, department funding opportunities, or issues specific to the discipline should be directed to Vytaras Brazauskas.