What is an Actuary?
Actuaries are business professionals who analyze and assess the financial impact of risk for insurance companies, consulting and investment firms, government agencies, employee benefit departments of large corporations, hospitals, or banks. They perform quantitative analysis using skills in mathematics, statistics, economics, and finance to decrease the impact of an uncertain event.
Being an actuary requires passing a series of examinations to earn an actuarial designation through the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).
The actuarial mathematics program at the University of Missouri, Columbia is SOA accredited and is part of UCAP (Universities and Colleges with Actuarial Programs). The program is housed in the College of Arts and Science (Department of Mathematics) and is designed to prepare students for five SOA actuarial exams. Students are strongly encouraged to pass at least two of these exams during their undergraduate career. It is also strongly recommended that students complete a summer internship before their senior year. In addition, students are required to complete a wide variety of courses in mathematics, statistics, economics, and finance.
Many students who successfully complete the program find full-time employment with large insurance/consulting companies. Mizzou’s actuarial mathematics program allows for students to get to know each other in small class sizes and form lasting friendships. Students are encouraged to join Mizzou Actuarial Club and/or Gamma Iota Sigma to network with other actuarial science students and recruiters.
Professional Examinations and Corresponding Mizzou Courses
To become an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA), candidates must successfully complete a series of requirements that include examinations, an e-Learning course, a proctored project assessment, Validation of Educational Experience (VEE), and a professionalism seminar.
Effective July 1, 2018, the actuarial exams are Probability (P), Financial Mathematics (FM), Investment and Financial Markets (IFM), Long-Term Actuarial Mathematics (LTAM), Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics (STAM), Statistics for Risk Modeling (SRM), and Predictive Analytics (PA).
|SOA Exam||CAS Exam||Hours||Questions||Format||Mizzou Course|
|P||Exam 1||3||30 multiple-choice||computer-based test||STAT 4750|
|FM||Exam 2||3||35 multiple-choice||computer-based test||MATH 4370|
|IFM||Exam 3F||3||30 multiple-choice||computer-based test||
20 multiple-choice and
|paper and pencil test||
Students earn VEE credits in the areas of Mathematical Statistics, Economics, and Accounting and Finance through approved college classes, online courses, or standardized examinations. Students may complete the following courses at Mizzou for VEE credit. After passing two actuarial exams, one may apply for VEE credit.
|VEE Topic||Mizzou Course||Acceptable Grade|
|Mathematical Statistics||STAT 4760||> B-|
ECON 1014 and ECON 1015
|Accounting and Finance||ACCTCY 2036 (or 2026) and FINANC 3000||> B-|
More information about the actuarial exams can be found on the Education and Examination page on the SOA website:
Actuarial and Financial Mathematics Degree Requirements
Required Mathematics Courses
- Mathematics 1500 (Calculus I)
- Mathematics 1700 (Calculus II)
- Mathematics 2300 (Calculus III)
- Mathematics 3000 (Introduction to Advanced Mathematics)
- Mathematics 4100 (Differential Equations)
- Mathematics 4700 (Advanced Calculus of One Real Variable I)
- Mathematics 4140 (Matrix Theory)
- Mathematics 4315/Statistics 4710 (Introduction to Mathematical Statistics)
- Mathematics 4320/Statistics 4750 (Introduction to Probability Theory)
- Mathematics 4520/Statistics 4760 (Statistical Inference I)
- Mathematics 4355 (Mathematics of Financial Derivatives I)
- Mathematics 4370 (Interest Theory)
- Mathematics 4371 (Models for Life Contingencies I)
- Mathematics 4372 (Models for Life Contingencies II)
Required Courses outside of Mathematics
- Statistics 4870 (Time Series Analysis)
- Statistics 4510 (Applied Statistical Models I)
- Economics 1014 (Principles of Microeconomics)
- Economics 1015 (Principles of Macroeconomics)
A minimum of 4 credits from the following courses:
- Physics 2750 (University Physics I)
- Physics 2760 (University Physics II)
- Chemistry 1320 (College Chemistry I)
- Chemistry 1330 (College Chemistry II)
- Biological Sciences 1500 (Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory)
Actuarial Exam Requirement
Students are required to attempt the following actuarial exams as administered by SOA or CAS: P (Probability) and FM (Financial Mathematics).
It is also recommended that the following courses are chosen as electives since they are associated with VEE requirements or actuarial exams:
- Accountancy 2036 (Accounting I)
- Finance 3000 (Corporate Finance)
- Mathematics 4590 (Mathematics of Financial Derivatives II)
Basic Programming Requirement
One of the following two courses:
- Infotech 1040 (Introduction to Problem Solving and Programming)
- Computer Science 1050 (Algorithm Design and Programming I)
Foundation and graduation requirements of the College of Arts and Science
Basic skills and general education requirements must be met in accordance with University and College of Arts and Science rules governing degree programs.
Arts and Science General Education