Tuesday, February 8, 2011 myBiz Blog
Wisconsin BBA Major Spotlight: Actuarial Science by Kelly Cuene

The Actuarial Science major produces students who work as actuaries. Actuaries are specialists who use historical information to predict the likelihood of an event occurring in the future. Actuaries are business professionals with strong quantitative and analytical skills, and they solve business problems by understanding and managing financial risks.

There are three general areas of expertise that an actuary can go into: life & health, pension, and property & casualty.

Required courses for major: http://ww.bus.wisc.edu/undergrad/majors/actuarialscience.asp

Possible Career Paths:


  • Design and price life, health, pension, and/or property & casualty insurance programs
  • Determine clients’ insurance needs and provide advice to companies on a case-by-case basis
  • Provide advice on pension policy and regulation, social security, insurance, healthcare financing, etc.
Actuarial Science Student Organizations Actuarial Club Co-Curricular Learning Board Risk Management and Insurance Society

Actuarial Science Events Actuarial Career Awareness Night, Tuesday, March 1, 2011 Actuarial Science/Risk Management & Insurance Career Fair, Friday, October 7, 2011

Business Student Testimonials 

“I chose Actuarial Science as my major because I love logical problem-solving and have always been inclined at Mathematics. Nevertheless, I would like to be involved in business as well, and Actuarial Science is a unique combination of quantitative analysis with business which makes a perfect match for me. I would recommend attending presentations organized by the Actuarial Club and talking to actuaries at the presentations to have a better insight of the field.” 

Kok “Bernard” Seah Actuarial Science, May 2012

 “I chose Actuarial Science because it pushes me to be sharp quantitatively. Quantitative analysis is one of the key drivers of decision-making in the corporate world. Business core classes provide non-quantitative exposure to business administration, and hence actuarial science serves as a great complement, in the endeavor to obtain a well-rounded education.  

The close relationship between the actuarial club and the actuarial major is one of the best benefits of the actuarial program in the UW-Madison business school. The actuarial club serves as a great opportunity for out-of-the-classroom learning experiences in the actuarial field – Professionals (often alumni) who work in the actuarial field regularly come to UW-Madison to present to students in the Actuarial Club about real-world applications in actuarial science, and industry developments. For example, in this past year, among other topics, we have had presenters come to talk about healthcare reform and its implications to the health insurance industry. Apart from presentations, the Actuarial Club also has numerous socials and networking events during the year.   

The lecturers in the actuarial program are friendly and approachable. Prior to working in academia, some of the lecturers also have working experience in the field.

Just a couple tips for anyone considering the actuarial program:  Join the actuarial club right away, as it provides a window into the career and the program at UW-Madison. There are no prerequisites – just a desire to learn is enough.” 

Vignesh Valliappan Actuarial Science, December 2011

“The actuarial science program at the Wisconsin School of Business has exceeded all of my expectations. The professors and faculty are brilliant, innovative, and accessible and truly care about students learning. Studying in the UW Actuarial program has catalyzed tremendous professional growth and afforded me opportunities to work in exciting roles in interesting places. Additionally, my fellow students are some of the most intelligent and motivated individuals that I know.”

Vincent Haupt Actuarial Science, May 2012

Want to learn more?

View the Actuarial Science Academic and Career Essentials PowerPoint (pdf)

Actuarial Science Majors: Share with us!

  • Why did you choose your major?
  • What interests you most about Act Sci?
  • What questions do you have about Act Sci?
This post is part of a series of myBiz posts highlighting the different business majors to help pre-business and business students learn about their academic and career options. Later this week we will spotlight the International Business major. Stay tuned!