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.

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 ( 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 Academic Advising page for information on how to run a DARS report.

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

The curriculum requirements for the Actuarial Science major can be found on Guide.

Dan Anderson
Emeritus - Non-teaching

Edward Frees
Emeritus - Non-teaching

Tyler Leverty
Associate Professor

Anita Mukherjee
Assistant Professor

Kirk Peter
Faculty Associate

Joan Schmit
Department Chair for Risk and Insurance

Peng Shi
Associate Professor

Justin Sydnor
Associate Professor

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

Jamie Mickelson
Career Coach
Lauren Wypiszynski
Academic Advisor

Please visit the Contact Advisors and Staff page for information on advising and appointments.