Actuarial Science

Actuarial science will develop and refine a student's analytical skills while also preparing for a career in the field of risk assessment and management. To be eligible for a job in this industry, candidates must pass a series of actuarial exams. The major curriculum is specifically geared towards preparing students to take up to five exams before receiving their undergraduate degree, creating a competitive advantage in a job search.

Pre-Major and Application


All students interested in the actuarial science program within the Department of Mathematics will start as a pre-major.  Once students have completed the requirements to be enrolled in the major, they can file the application for admission into the actuarial science program with an academic advisor.  Students must meet the two following minimum requirements to be enrolled in the program:

  1. Have a cumulative GPA (for courses taken at OSU) of at least a 3.0
  2. Earn a B- or better in Math 4530, Stat 4201, or Math 5530H (must be taken at OSU, not transferred in) OR pass one of the preliminary actuarial exams administered by SOA/CAS*.

This is to ensure that students majoring in actuarial science will be successful in their career field and competitive candidates when applying for jobs.

*An official letter about passing an exam from SOA/CAS must be provided when applying to the major.

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Actuarial Science Requirements


The goals of the actuarial science major curriculum are, to supply a strong general background in mathematics, statistics, and relevant concepts within actuarial science and business, and to prepare students to take some of the national actuarial examinations administered by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society.

Students may review the requirements and sample schedule for the Actuarial Science on the Actuarial Science Requirements and Sample Schedule [pdf] handout.

Prerequisite Courses

  • Math 1151 Calculus I (5 cr.)
  • Math 1152 Calculus II (5 cr.)
  • Acct 2000 Foundations of Accounting (3 cr.)
  • Econ 2001.01 Principles of Microeconomics (3 cr.)
  • Econ 2002.01 Principles of Macroeconomics (3 cr.)
  • Choose one of the following:
    • CSE 1222 Introduction to Computer Programming in C++ (3 cr.)
    • CSE 1223 Introduction to Computer Programming in Java (3 cr.)
    • CSE 2111 Modeling and Problem Solving with Spreadsheets and Databases (3 cr.)

Actuarial Science Major Course Requirements

  • Math 2153 Calculus III (4 cr.)
  • Math 2568 Linear Algebra (3 cr.)
  • Math 4530Probability (3 cr.)  or Stat 4201Introduction to Math Statistics I (4 cr.)
  • Stat 4202 Introduction to Math Statistics II (4 cr.)
  • Math 3588 Practicum in Actuarial Science (3 cr.)
  • Math 3618Theory of Interest (3 cr.)
  • Math 5632Financial Economics for Actuaries (3 cr.)
  • BusFin 3120 Foundations of Finance (3 cr.)
  • Choose one of the following sequences:

Exams1SOA P/ CAS 1   2SOA FM/CAS 2   3SOA MLC/CAS LC   4SOA MFE/CAS 3F   5SOA C/CAS 4

Math 3532 Mathematical Foundations of Actuarial Science is a recommended course for majors.

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Sample 4 Year Schedule


Additional hours may be necessary depending on course selection. Students should complete the corresponding actuarial exam the semester after completing the correlate course.

Year 1


Autumn SemesterSpring Semester
Math 1151
CSE 12221223 or 2111
Econ 2001 or 2002
ARTSSCI 1100.01
GE
5
3
3
1
3
Math 1152
Acct 2000
Econ 2001 or 2002
English 1110
GE
5
3
3
3
3
Total Hours15Total Hours17

Year 2


Autumn SemesterSpring Semester
Math 2153
Math 36182
GE
GE
GE
4
3
3
3
3
Math 2568
Math 45301 or Stat 42011
GE
GE
GE
3
3-4
3
3
3
Total Hours16Total Hours16

Year 3


Autumn SemesterSpring Semester
Stat 4202
BusFin 3120
GE
GE
4
3
3
3
Math 3588
Math 56324
GE
 
3
3
3
 
Total Hours13Total Hours9

Year 4


Autumn SemesterSpring Semester
Math 56303 or Math 56335
GE
3
3
Math 56313 or Math 56345
GE
3
3
Total Hours6Total Hours6

Exams1SOA P/ CAS 1   2SOA FM/CAS 2   3SOA MLC/CAS LC   4SOA MFE/CAS 3F   5SOA C/CAS 4

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Actuarial Exams


In order for students to be competitive applicants when applying for positions and successful actuaries once hired, they should take and pass at least 1 of the 5 preliminary exams. However, taking more is highly recommended. Exam topics range from probability and financial math to life contingencies. These exams do not need to be taken in any particular order, but most of the latter exams rely heavily on material covered in both Exams P/1 and FM/2. For more information on becoming an actuary, registering for preliminary exams, exam study materials, and more, please visit any of the following websites:

  • Be An Actuary -- find details about what an actuary is, what they do on the job, how to get started down this career path, requirements/listings for actuary positions and internships, etc.
  • Society of Actuaries -- find details about exam testing dates and study materials, the levels of progression through the actuarial career ladder, continuing professional development requirements/offerings, VEE credit requirements, etc.
  • Casualty Actuarial Society -- find details about exam testing dates and study materials, seminars and online education opportunities, view publications and research in the actuary field, etc. Also, see the Student CAS Central for the student portal.
  • Canadian Institute of Actuaries -- find information about the actuarial profession, review publications and research, take part in seminars/education opportunities, etc.

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Actuarial Internships


Fall Term Interviews for Summer

Companies such as Nationwide and State Auto will visit the OSU campus each fall term to recruit and interview students for actuarial internships for the following summer. Make sure to plan ahead in completing an actuarial exam and revising your cover letter and resume.

Complete at least one Actuarial Exam

Most recruiters seeking actuarial science interns require that at least one Actuarial exam be completed by the time of the internship. 

Review and Revise Your Cover Memo and Resume

If you are signed up and scheduled to sit for an Actuarial exam, you should add it to your resume. The OSU Career Services actuarial science resume sample [pdf] will show you how to include information on your resume. ASC Career Services also offers a tip sheet on writing cover letters.

Contact OSU ASC Career Services for Assistance

OSU College of Arts and Sciences Career Services staff Scott Kustis and Stephanie Ford work directly with many of the companies recruiting actuarial science interns and are available to help students in the career planning process. Located in 100 Denney Hall.

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VEE (Validation by Educational Experience)


In addition to passing the preliminary actuarial exams, students and actuaries can complete VEE requirements in order to progress in their career field and be eligible for a membership in any of the actuary societies. There are a total of three VEE topics jointly sponsored by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA):

  1. Economics
    Students completing the Economics Finance VEE with courses at OSU, must complete one microeconomics course and one macroeconomics course:
    • Microeconomics Options
      • Econ 2001 Principles of Microeconomics
      • Econ 2001H Principles of Microeconomics
      • Econ 4001 Intermediate Microeconomics
    • Macroeconomics Options
      • Econ 2002 Principles of Macroeconomics
      • Econ 2002H Principles of Macroeconomics
      • Econ 4002 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  2. Corporate Finance
    Students completing the Corporate Finance VEE with courses at OSU, must complete both courses in one of the following sequences to fulfill the VEE:
    • Sequence 1
      • BUSFIN 3120 Foundations of Finance
      • BUSFIN 3222 Foundations of Investments
    • Sequence 2
      • BUSFIN 3220 Business Finance
      • BUSFIN 4221 Investments
  3. Applied Statistical Methods
    Students completing the Applied Statistical Methods VEE with courses at OSU, must complete one regression component and one time series component to fulfill the VEE:
    • Regression Courses
      • ​Econ 5410 Econometrics I
      • STAT 5302 Intermediate Data Analysis II
      • STAT 6450 Applied Regression Analysis (graduate students only)
    • Times Series Courses
      • Econ 5420 Econometrics II
      • STAT 5550 Introductory Time Series Analysis
      • STAT 6550 The Statistical Analysis of Time Series (graduate students only)

 

Actuarial Exam and VEE Changes for 2017

The SOA has revised the ASA and CERA curriculum as part of its ongoing efforts to support and enhance the actuarial profession. The curriculum reflects employer-valued components and the quality, rigor and depth of expertise expected of SOA members. These curriculum changes address evolving industry challenges and needs, use new educational technologies, and incorporate subject matter on new topics such as predictive analytics. These changes may affect some ASAs who are pursing the FSA designation. Review the curriculum changes and requirements for the associate designation and Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst credential from the SOA. Students may also review CAS curriculum changes.

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Clubs


The Ohio State University has an Actuarial Club at Ohio State that meets each semester to hold group study sessions, hear local employers speak about opportunities in their company, and more. Information is emailed out to all students enrolled in the actuarial science major and pre-major. Students seeking more information about the actuarial science major and career are encouraged to contact Professor Ban or Professor Evans.

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