What Are the Best Colleges with Actuarial Science Programs?

Find out what to look for in an actuarial science school. Learn about degree offerings and school rankings at the top three colleges with programs in the field. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of the Best Colleges with Actuarial Science Programs?

You might want to enroll in a school that prepares you to complete the preliminary professional credentialing exams of the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society prior to graduation. Based on curriculum, faculty, graduate quality and research, each of the following schools is designated a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries, a distinction awarded to only 20 universities worldwide (www.soa.org). University strength in math, applied statistics, accounting and finance could further support your program. Special seminars, classes or internship options could also be beneficial to you.

What Are Three of the Best Colleges with Actuarial Science Programs?

Pennsylvania State University in University Park

PSU was ranked 38th for mathematics in the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2010 (www.arwu.org). It tied for 47th among U.S. News & World Report's 2011 listing of national universities (www.usnews.com). In the Eberly College of Science, you could take a degree in mathematics with an actuarial mathematics emphasis. In addition, the Smeal College of Business offers a major in actuarial science. Through Smeal, you might take several of the examinations required for membership in the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society prior to graduation. Smeal has offered summer business programs in Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Available degrees include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Mathematics

University of Iowa in Ames

UI was in the 77-100 range for mathematics in the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities. Its faculty was identified to be fifth in scholarly productivity for applied mathematics by The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2007. The Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science offers bachelor's and master's degrees in actuarial science. You could take related courses within the Vaughn Institute of Risk Management or the Tippie College of Business's finance department. You could also attend the annual Craig Lecture or join the Actuarial Science Club. A Ph.D. program in statistics specializing in actuarial science and financial mathematics may be pursued. These degrees are offered:

  • Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science
  • Master of Science in Actuarial Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics

University of Wisconsin in Madison

UW was 13th in mathematics in the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2010. Its faculty was fourth for scholarly productivity in statistics, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2010. As an undergraduate, you can attend networking events and presentations by experts. You could find a summer internship through the annual Actuarial Science, Risk Management and Insurance career fair. In lieu of a previous master's program in actuarial science, the university now offers a Capstone Certificate, preparing you to pass professional credentialing exams. Degrees include the following:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Actuarial Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Actuarial Science, Risk Management and Insurance

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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