Actuarial Science Major

​​​​​​Why study actuarial science at CMU?

These programs offer students a comprehensive training in thinking, reasoning, and problem solving, all of which will strengthen skills for many careers in business, industry, government, and more. Consider some key features of these programs:

  • Flexible course work in mathematics, education, statistics, actuarial science, and computer science/mathematics
  • Commitment to the latest technology
  • Professional development, resources, and contacts through student organizations such as the Kappa Mu Epsilon mathematics honors society
  • Free tutoring in mathematics and statistics at the Mathematics Assistance Center

Career outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, for all occupations through the year 2014:

  • Employment of actuaries is expected to grow 18 to 26 percent.
  • Computer scientists and database administrators are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations.
  • Employment among scientists and database administrators is expected to grow 27 percent or more.
  • The most common fields mathematicians find work in are computer science and software development, physics, engineering, and operations research.

Career options

Graduates of the mathematics and statistics programs will find a variety of career opportunities. Some of these may require additional education.

  • Actuary
  • Applied Mathematician
  • Business Administrator
  • Computer Scientist
  • Database Manager
  • Elementary, Middle, or High School Teacher
  • Information Specialist
  • Mathematician
  • Statistician
  • University or College Professor


Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Actuarial Science Major

Why Study Actuarial Science? Actuaries study risk. The work is quite quantititative. About 70% of actuaries work for insurance companies; about 25% for consulting firms, and about 5% for government agencies. The publication Jobs Rated Almanac has always rated actuary as one of the top five jobs in the United States. In the 2002 edition (sixth edition), it is rated number 2. Actuarial Science at CMU The Actuarial Science major is an interdisciplinary major with an advisor from the Department of Mathematics. It offers courses to prepare students for the first (Exam P) and second (Exam FM) actuarial exams jointly administered by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. Students should try to pass both exams by the time they graduate from CMU. The major also provides coursework to prepare a graduate for a career in the business world in which the insurance industry is focused. More direct contact with actuaries comes through the student organization Gamma Iota Sigma. This major consists of 62-63 hours of course work in mathematics, statistics, accounting, economics, finance, business law, and computer science. The major is designed to give the student the type of background necessary to pursue a career in actuarial science and, in particular, to prepare the student to pass two actuarial exams. There is no required minor. Advisors are from the Department of Mathematics.
Total: 62-63 semester hours For additional information, see the list of advisors in the Class Schedule Booklet.
Required Courses II
(2-3 hours)
Choose CPS 150 or any programming language course (2 or 3 credits).
CPS 150
FORTRAN Programming
Required Courses III
(3 hours)
Select one of the following:
ECO 385
Introduction to Econometrics
STA 580
Applied Statistical Methods I
Required Courses I
(51 hours)
ACC 201
Concepts of Financial Accounting
ACC 202
Concepts of Managerial Accounting
BLR 202
Legal Environment of Business
ECO 201
Principles of Macroeconomics
ECO 202
Principles of Microeconomics
FIN 317
Insurance Planning
FIN 332
Managerial Finance
MTH 132
Calculus I
MTH 133
Calculus II
MTH 223
Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory
MTH 233
Calculus III
MTH 540
Mathematical Theory of Interest
STA 539
Probability Foundations of Actuarial Science
STA 575
Statistical Programming for Data Management and Analysis
STA 584
Mathematical Statistics I
STA 585
Mathematical Statistics II
Required Courses IV
(3 hours)
Select one of the following:
ECO 532
Economic Forecasting
STA 589
Time Series Forecasting
(3 hours)
Select one of the following in consultation with the advisor:
BIS 360
Applied Business Communication
ECO 365
Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
ECO 370
Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
FIN 442
Intermediate Financial Management
MTH 332
Introduction to Mathematical Proof
STA 591
Data Mining Techniques I

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