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Actuarial Science Major

Founded in 1979, the program has produced hundreds of actuaries for insurance and actuarial consulting business. It has grown from a small program into a nationally recognized program with more than 360 students, making it one of the largest and the best actuarial programs in the country.

The goals of the actuarial curriculum are twofold: (1) to supply a strong general background in mathematics, statistics, and relevant concepts from actuarial science and business, and (2) to prepare students for the national actuarial examinations administered by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society.

The Actuarial Science Major

The Department of Mathematics offers a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Actuarial Science. Students have the opportunity to graduate with an honors degree in Actuarial Science through the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program.

The program covers core actuarial disciplines through courses in probability and statistics, interest theory, financial economics, life contingencies, and loss models. The program also exposes students to real business through a course in actuarial practicum, as well as many professional information sessions and seminars.

The major curriculum is specifically geared towards preparing students to take up to five exams, creating a competitive advantage in a job search. This curriculum has prepared students well, and the actuarial exam passing rate among students continues to improve. In recent years, an average of more than 80 percent of graduating seniors pass at least one exam, and about 75 percent pass two or more exams.

With the creation of a master’s degree in actuarial and quantitative risk management (MAQRM) in 2016, the program has been developing new courses, with some of the beginning graduate courses made available to upper-level undergraduate students. Among these are courses that cover topics in predictive modeling and quantitative risk management. The predictive modeling course covers basic methods from machine learning and the mathematical ideas behind these methods. The risk management course exposes students to real practice in handling risks in the financial market. Both courses help students to see the changing landscape of traditional actuarial practice.

The Actuarial Science Pre-Major

To ensure excellence of actuarial science majors, students are admitted into the Department of Mathematics as Actuarial Science pre-majors. Students are admitted into the Actuarial Science major, when they have earned a grade of B or higher in the probability course and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students can be admitted into the major early (before completing probability) if they have passed of an Actuarial Exam.

Students will complete the probability course during their second year, so students will typically be in the pre-major during their first two years. After students are admitted into the major, they will be permitted to enroll in courses in life contingencies, loss models, and the practicum course.

Review the Actuarial Science major and curriculum.

Actuarial Practicum

Each spring, actuaries and business leaders from about 10 companies come to visit the practicum class. They give lectures or conduct class projects on topics from real practice. The practicum class and information sessions have greatly helped students in understanding the actuarial profession and in obtaining practical knowledge. 


Advising is critical to academic success at Ohio State. Advisors at OSU assist in student growth and development by building meaningful educational plans which are compatible with their goals. Advising is a continuous and constant process built upon the basis of regular, accumulating contacts between advisor and advisee. Students in the Department of Mathematics are dual advised by an Academic Advisor and a Faculty Advisor.

Academic Advisor - Academic advisors assist students at orientation, teach their introductory course first semester, work to develop academic and career goals, and support them through graduation. Students work with an advisor specializing in Actuarial Science who provides information about the major and new developments in the Actuarial Science field.

Faculty Advisor - Students are paired with a faculty member in the department to provide additional support. Faculty advisors can provide further information about coursework, support in career exploration and planning, and discuss graduate school options.

Actuarial Club

The Actuarial Club at Ohio State is a student-led club to inform students about the actuarial profession and to facilitate networking between students and company representatives. The Actuarial Club hosts representatives from 15 to 20 companies each autumn to meet students and hold information sessions and professional seminars. This club also facilitates actuarial exam study groups, an exam material exchange program, and job alerts.

Activities for Undergraduates

The Department of Mathematics at the Ohio State University offers a wide variety of extracurricular and major-oriented activities designed for undergraduate students. Students significantly enrich their academic experience at Ohio State by being an active member of the OSU community. These activities allow students to connect with their peers in the department and in other majors.

Visit Activities for Undergraduates to explore the different clubs, events, seminars, jobs, research opportunities, and more available to students in the Department of Mathematics.