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
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.
Graduates of the mathematics and statistics programs will find a variety of career opportunities. Some of these may require additional education.
- Applied Mathematician
- Business Administrator
- Computer Scientist
- Database Manager
- Elementary, Middle, or High School Teacher
- Information Specialist
- University or College Professor
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
Choose CPS 150 or any programming language course (2 or 3 credits).
Algorithms, programs, and computers. Computer solution of several numerical and nonnumerical problems. Does not count toward a major or minor in CPS. Prerequisites: One of: MTH 106, 107, 130, 132.
Required Courses III
Select one of the following:
Introduction to Econometrics
Introduction to the theory and practice of linear regression analysis in economics focusing on single equation methods. Extensive computer applications. Prerequisites: ECO 202 or 203; ECO 285 or STA 282 or STA 382.
Applied Statistical Methods I
Applications of statistical methods including the usage of computer packages. Topics include forecasting, simple and multiple regression, and analysis of variance. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format. Prerequisites: STA 282 or STA 382; or graduate standing.
Required Courses I
Concepts of Financial Accounting
Students gain an understanding of the accounting system used to develop financial statements. The emphasis is on interpreting financial data used in business decision making. Recommended: completion of MTH 105. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Concepts of Managerial Accounting
Students gain an understanding of how the information provided by an accounting information system is used for managerial decision making. Prerequisite: minimum grade of C- in ACC 201. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Legal Environment of Business
Introduction to the concept and use of law as a social institution. Open to both nonbusiness and business students. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format. (University Program Group III-B)
Principles of Macroeconomics
Provides understanding of basic principles of economics, methods of National Income accounting, inflation, unemployment, role of government, money and banking, monetary policy, and international economics. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Principles of Microeconomics
Introduction to scarcity, choice, and opportunity cost; supply and demand; welfare economics; household and firm behavior; competition and monopoly; resource markets. Credit may not be earned in more than one of ECO 202 and ECO 203. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
This course introduces students to risk management and insurance decisions in personal financial planning, including health, disability, property, liability, and long-term care risks and insurance. Prerequisites: ACC 201 or 250; BLR 202 or 235; STA 282 or 382; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on a signed major or minor.
Basic principles and techniques of the acquisition, management, and distribution of financial resources. Credit may not be earned in both FIN 302 and FIN 332. Prerequisites: ACC 201 or ACC 250, ACC 202 or ACC 255; 56 semester hours completed. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format.
Limits, continuity, interpretations of the derivative, differentiation of elementary functions, applications of derivatives, antiderivatives, Riemann sums, definite integrals, fundamental theorem of calculus. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Recommended: MTH 106, 107; or MTH 130. (University Program Group II-B)
Techniques of integration, applications of definite integrals, improper integrals, elementary differential equations, infinite series, Taylor series, and polar coordinates. Prerequisite: MTH 132.
Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory
Systems of linear equations, matrices, determinants, vectors, vector spaces, eigenvalues, linear transformations, applications and numerical methods. Prerequisite: MTH 132.
Vectors and surfaces in R3, vector-valued functions, functions of several variables, partial differentiation and some applications, multiple integrals, vector calculus. Prerequisites: MTH 133. Pre/Co-Requisites: MTH 223 or 232.
Mathematical Theory of Interest
Fundamental concepts of mathematical theory of interest and applications in calculating present and accumulated values for various streams of cash flows. Introduction to financial instruments. Prerequisite: MTH 133.
Probability Foundations of Actuarial Science
Fundamental probability tools for quantitatively assessing risk, with emphasis on application of these tools to problems encountered in actuarial science. Prerequisites: FIN 317; STA 584.
Statistical Programming for Data Management and Analysis
Introduction to statistical programming for managing and analyzing data, including programming logic, data manipulation, missing data handling, basic techniques for analyzing data and creating reports. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format. Prerequisites: STA 282 or STA 382; or graduate standing.
Mathematical Statistics I
Probability defined on finite and infinite samples spaces, conditional probability and independence, random variables, expectations, moment-generating functions, probability models, limit theorems. Prerequisite: MTH 233.
Mathematical Statistics II
Introductory topics from mathematical theory of statistics: population distributions, sampling distributions, point and interval estimation, tests of hypotheses. Prerequisite: STA 584.
Required Courses IV
Select one of the following:
Nature and causes of economic fluctuations. Methods of predicting price levels and economic activity. Prerequisites: ECO 201 or ECO 204; ECO 202 or ECO 203.
Time Series Forecasting
Introduction to basis timer series forecasting techniques. Topics include forecasting, Box-Jenkins models, time series regression, exponential smoothing, and transfer function models Prerequisites: STA 580.
Select one of the following in consultation with the advisor:
Applied Business Communication
Expands understanding of the communication process as students apply business communication principles related to oral, written, and employment communication in a real-world setting. Prerequisite: 56 semester hours completed. Recommended: ENG 201.
Intermediate Microeconomic Theory
An intensive treatment of the theories of supply and demand, consumer and producer behavior, market structure, and other micro theories and issues. Prerequisite: ECO 202 or 203.
Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory
National income accounting; income, employment, interest rate and inflation theory and policy; theory and problems of economic growth. Prerequisites: ECO 201 or 204; ECO 202 or 203.
Intermediate Financial Management
In-depth examination of financial management. Current theory and practices are discussed with applications including computer simulations, comprehensive cases, and a term project. Prerequisites: FIN 302 or FIN 332; 56 semester hours completed; admission to Professional Business Studies or listed on a signed major or minor.
Introduction to Mathematical Proof
Study of several basic concepts in mathematics including logic, set theory, relations and functions, cardinality, number systems, sequences. Pre/Co-requisites: MTH 175, 351; or one of: MTH 223, 232.
Data Mining Techniques I
Supervised data mining techniques for analyzing large and high dimensional data. Topics include data mining strategy, data processing, predictive modeling techniques, model assessment and comparison. This course has been approved for offering in a distance learning format. Prerequisites: STA 580 or graduate standing.