Master of Science in Actuarial Science


Actuaries are professionals who help businesses to assess the risk of certain events occurring. They assemble and analyze data to estimate the probability and likely cost of the occurrence of an event such as death, sickness, injury, disability or loss of property. The Master of Science in Actuarial Science degree program is administered through the Department of Mathematical Sciences. The objective of the program is to educate future leaders of the actuarial industry with training in actuarial theory and methods in a wide spectrum of actuarial applications involving probabilistic and statistical models. All students are prepared to take five actuarial preliminary exams. Students who have not taken classes required for Validation of Educational Experience (VEE) credits in statistics, finance and economics will have such an opportunity. Upon acquiring relevant proficiency in mathematics — particularly of probability, statistics, decision theory and financial mathematics— together with knowledge of insurance, passing five actuarial exams and obtaining three VEE credits, the graduates of the program can be expected to be able to work as senior actuaries in insurance, consulting, finance, government and emerging markets.

Program Information

School: School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Program: Actuarial Science

Catalog page: MS

MS in Actuarial Science Fact Sheet

Application Requirements

Test score required: Yes

GRE scores of at least 143 verbal, 155 quantitative and 310 combined are preferred. Higher standards prevail for applicants seeking teaching assistantships.

Letters of recommendation: Required

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can judge the candidate’s probability of success in graduate school. Use the electronic request form in the graduate application to submit the letters. Contact the graduate academic program department if you have any questions.

Resume required: Yes

Admissions essay required: Yes

This narrative should indicate which degree and major is being applied for and should provide a personal discussion of the applicant's background, interests, and goals in relation to the desired degree and major.

Deadlines: University deadlines apply.


Wenyi Lu
Clinical Professor
Office: FO 2.106

Possible Careers

Graduates of the program seek positions such as: professionals in insurance industry, government, consulting, financial or accounting firms. The job of an actuary consistently appear among the top jobs in the rankings of 200 jobs by CareerCast’s Jobs Rated Almanac based upon factors such as work environment, income, hiring outlook and stress. It was ranked the best job in 2015.

Salary Information

See Bureau of Labor Statistics for detailed salary information on these careers. Another great resource is the Occupational Outlook Handbook.