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Through mathematics and statistics, an actuary assesses liabilities and risks a company faces when it offers an insurance product or pension plan. Graduates find careers with insurance companies, actuarial consulting firms or government agencies. You can read more about program highlights here.


The actuarial science program distinguishes itself through leadership, innovation, community, connections, networks, and recognition.

Related Organizations

Actuarial Club
Co-Curricular Learning Board

Explore Study Abroad

Studying abroad is an excellent way to gain international experience that enhances your business education. With careful planning, it is possible to study abroad for a semester and complete the actuarial science curriculum. Many students also consider a summer program or a short program embedded in a course. Actuarial science courses are not typically offered abroad, but common course options include core and breadth courses. Students are encouraged to visit the Study Abroad section to learn more about study abroad opportunities and to meet with their academic advisor to discuss course planning.

Actuarial Science High School Scholarship

If you are good at math and are interested in pursuing a career as an actuary, apply for our High School Actuarial Scholarship. The first place award of $2,000 per year for four years will be given to a high school senior on the basis of mathematical aptitude and expressed interest in an actuarial career. The deadline for application is March 1, 2017. You can download the scholarship application here.

Q: How do I declare a major in actuarial science?

A: Students must be admitted to the Wisconsin School of Business in order to declare a major in actuarial science. Please visit our Admissions page for more information. Students indicate their intended major when they apply to the business school. If they are admitted, the major(s) indicated will be declared for them. Students may change their major by completing a Business Major Declaration Form. Turn completed forms in to the front desk in 3150 Grainger Hall.

Q: How do I cancel the actuarial science major?

A: Admitted business students may cancel their declared actuarial science major by completing a Business Major Declaration Form. Turn completed forms in to the front desk in 3150 Grainger Hall.

Q: What are common parallel plans related to actuarial science?

A: Common parallel plans include mathematics or statistics. Non-business students may take actuarial science courses in order to help them prepare for the professional exams. Students are encouraged to contact the Cross College Advising Service (http://www.ccas.wisc.edu/) or the appropriate school/college for advising related to these or other majors.

Q: How do I run a DARS report for the actuarial science major?

A: Please see the following link for information on how to run a DARS report.

The following courses are required for actuarial science majors. The Risk and Insurance Department also has course sequence information. For detailed course descriptions, please consult the Course Guide.

Please be aware of stated prerequisites for major courses (including business core courses) that need to be completed before taking the course. Specific prerequisites can be found using the Course Guide.

Students must be admitted to the Wisconsin School of Business to complete a major in Actuarial Science.

The Actuarial Club offers advising nights fall every semester to help students plan their course sequencing and professional exams. Additionally, students should use the following document to help them prepare their course and exam schedule.

One of the following:
Stat 311 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics 4 credit or
Stat 309 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics, 4 credit or
Math 431 Introduction to the Theory of Probability, 3 credit or
Math 531 Probability Theory, 3 credit

One of the following:
Stat 310 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics, 4 credit or
Stat 312 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics, 4 credit

All of the following:
Act Sci 303 Theory of Interest and Life Insurance, 3 credit
Act Sci 650 Actuarial Mathematics 1, 3 credit
Act Sci 652 Loss Models I, 3 credit
Act Sci 300 (review course), 1 credit
Act Sci 301 (review course), 1 credit

One of the following:
Act Sci 651 Actuarial Mathematics II, 3 credit or
Act Sci 653 Loss Models II, 3 credit 

One of the following:
Act Sci 654 Regression and Time Series for Actuaries, 3 credit or
Act Sci 655 Healthcare Analytics, 3 credit

Recommended Electives

Math 234 Calculus—Functions and Variables, 3 credit
Math 340 Elementary Matrix and Linear Algebra, 3 credit
Act Sci 365 Mathematics of Financial Economics (MFE) Review, 1 credit

Students are encouraged to take Math 234 as a prerequisite to Math 431, Stat 309 and 311, as well as courses in Risk Management and Insurance, Finance, and Computer Science.

Dan Anderson
Emeritus - Non-teaching
BA, MBA, Ph.D.

Edward Frees
BS, MS, Ph.D., FSA

Tyler Leverty
Associate Professor
BA, Ph.D.

Anita Mukherjee
Assistant Professor
BS, BA, MS, Ph.D.

Margie Rosenberg
BS, MS, Ph.D., FSA

Joan Schmit

Peng Shi
Associate Professor
BS, MS, Ph.D., ASA

Justin Sydnor
Associate Professor
BA, Ph.D.

Yang Wang
Assistant Professor

Actuaries are problem solvers with expertise in understanding and managing financial risk.  They use historical information and models to help predict the future.  Actuarial scientists may specialize in life and health (risk of illness, disability or death), pensions (develop and analyze retirement programs) or property and casualty (personal property risks and risks associated with businesses).


  • Insurance Companies
  • Consulting Firms
  • Government
  • Other areas where quantifying risk is needed (e.g. management consultants, investment firms )

Sample Actuarial Projects

  • Pricing hurricane insurance
  • Designing and pricing health insurance programs
  • Evaluating price and risks of potential business acquisitions
  • Designing and pricing life insurance

Early Career Path of an Actuary

  • Obtain one or more paid summer internships while in college
  • Begin credentialing process while in college
  • Find full-time job after four year actuarial degree
  • Finish credentialing process while being paid to work

Essential Skills

  • Analytical
  • Problem-solver
  • Ability to analyze data
  • Strong computer skills
  • Good business acumen
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Ability to work in teams

Meet the academic and career advisors for Actuarial Science

Whitney Baker
Career Advisor
Maggie Nowicki
Academic Advisor

Please visit the advising page for information on advising and appointments.

Contact wibbaadvising@bus.wisc.edu for questions regarding academic advising.

The Actuarial Club offers mandatory advising nights every semester to help students plan their course sequencing and professional exams. Additionally, students should use the following documents to help them prepare their course and exam schedule.