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 housed in the College of Arts and Science (Department of Mathematics) and is designed to prepare students for four 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 complete five preliminary exams, earn Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit, complete Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice (FAP), and attend an Actuarial Professionalism Course (APC).
The five preliminary actuarial exams are Probability (P), Financial Mathematics (FM), Models for Financial Economics (MFE), Models for Life Contingencies (MLC) and Construction and Evaluation of Actuarial Models (C).
|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|
|MFE||Exam 3F||3||30 multiple-choice||computer-based test||
6 written answer
|paper and pencil test||Math 4371|
Students earn VEE credits in the areas of economics, corporate finance, and applied statistics 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|
|Applied Statistical Methods||STAT 4510 and STAT 4870||> B-|
ECON 1014 and ECON 1015
(or ECON 1051H)
|Corporate Finance||FINANC 3000 and FINANC 4020||> B-|
More information about the professional exams can be found on the Education and Examination page on the SOA website:
Emphasis in Actuarial and Financial Mathematics Degree Requirements
- Mathematics 1500 (Analytic Geometry & 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 4355 (Introduction to Financial Derivatives and Options)
- Mathematics 4370 (Actuarial Modeling I)
- Mathematics 4371 (Actuarial Modeling II)
- Mathematics 4520/Statistics 4760 (Statistical Inference I)
One of the following two courses:
- Infotech 1040 (Introduction to Problem Solving and Programming)
- Computer Science 1050 (Algorithm Design and Programming I)
- Statistics 4870 (Time Series Analysis)
- Statistics 4510 (Applied Statistical Models I)
- Economics 1014 (Principles of Microeconomics)
- Economics 1015 (Principles of Macroeconomics)
A minimum of 5 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)
Basic skills requirement
Basic skills and general education requirements must be met in accordance with University and College of Arts and Science rules governing degree programs.
- English 1000 (Exposition & Argumentation)
- Foreign language or foreign language alternative [12 hours of 2000 level courses from one area outside of mathematics]
Foundation and graduation requirements of the College of Arts and Science
Arts and Science General Education
It is also recommended that the following courses are chosen as electives
- Finance 3000 (Corporate Finance)
- Finance 4020 (Investments)
- Mathematics 4590 (Mathematics of Financial Derivatives)