Multidisciplinary Studies

Certificate Programs

Actuarial Studies

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  • S.R.S. Rao Poduri, Ph.D. (Harvard), Professor and Director of Statistics and Chair of the Committee
  • Carl Mueller, Ph.D. (Berkeley), Professor of Mathematics

What is an Actuary?

Actuaries manage risk through the use of mathematics, statistics, and financial theory. While the majority of actuaries work for insurance companies, opportunities also exist within consulting firms, employee benefits departments, banks and investment firms, hospitals, government, etc. There are two professional organizations, the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society.  The Society of Actuaries (SOA) deals with life, health, and pensions.  The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) deals with property, casualty liability, and data breachs. To learn more about what an actuary is and how to get started, click here.

Certificate Requirements

The College offers a Certificate in Actuarial Studies. The program is supervised by a faculty committee of representatives from the Deparment of Mathematics and the Program in Statistics, and administered through the Multidisciplinary Studies Center in Dewey 4209-B. Ordinarily, interested students should apply by spring semester of their junior year.

5 Core courses:

  • STT 212 Applied Statistics for the Biological and Physical Sciences I
    ECO 231 Econometrics (Prerequisite: ECO 230, MTH 203, or STT 213)
  • MTH/STT 201 Introduction to Probability (Prerequisites: MTH 162 or equivalent; MTH 164 recommended)
  • MTH/STT 203 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (Prerequisite: MTH/STT 201 or equivalent)
  • MTH 165 Linear Algebra with Differential Equations (Prerequisite: MTH 162 or equivalent)
  • FIN 205 Financial Management (Prerequisites: ACC 201; ECO 207 or equivalent)
    MTH 210 Introduction to Financial Mathematics (Prerequisite: MTH/STT 201, ECO 230, or STT 213)

Additional Courses—2 from the following list:

  • MTH 202 Introduction to Stochastic Processes (Prerequisite: MTH/STT 201)
  • MTH 208 Operations Research I (Prerequisites: MTH 162 and MTH 165, or MTH 173Q)
  • MTH/STT 280 Introduction to Numerical Analysis (Prerequisites: MTH 162 or equivalent; MTH 235 or MTH 173 recommended)
  • STT 216 Applied Statistics II (Prerequisite: STT 211, 212, 213 or equivalent)
  • STT 221 Sampling Techniques (Prerequisites: STT 211, 212, or 213 and STT 203 or equivalent)

1 or more from either the list above, the following list, or an approved substitute:

  • ECO 236 Health Economics (Prerequisite: ECO 207)
  • Independent Study (Approved by the Certificate Program Adviser)

For certification, students must complete course requirements with a GPA of at least 2.5. None of the certificate courses may be taken satisfactory/fail.

In addition, some proficiency in a high-level computer language is required. Examples of courses that may be used to satisfy the computing requirement: CSC 171 or STT 277.

Please note: Course substitutions may be possible with the Program Adviser’s approval.

At graduation, students successfully completing the Actuarial Studies Program will receive a certificate at their departmental diploma ceremony.

Actuarial Exams

To become an Associate Member of the Society of Actuaries (SOA), one must pass a series of examinations. Some or all of these may be taken while employed, or after college graduation; some may be taken while still a student.

The first examination is in Probability. View more information about the SOA exams »».

The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) has a different set of exams from the SOA, although the first few exams are similar to those taken for the SOA. View more information about CAS exams »».

We encourage certificate students to take the first two examinations before graduation. The exams are given three times a year: February, May and November.


Insurance companies, including Travelers, Liberty Mutual Group, MetLife, Unum, Cigna, Excellus BCBS and some consulting firms, such as Towers Watson, Mercer, Harbridge Consulting Group offer summer internship programs. These opportunities are competitive, typically require a minimum 3.2 GPA, completion of at least one exam, and begin recruiting as early as mid-fall. Make an appointment with a Career and Internship Center counselor to discuss resources and strategies for finding actuarial internships. A counselor can help you learn about the profession, identify firms of interest, navigate CareerLink and NIC internship posting databases, and contact/network with individuals (including UR alumni) working in the field. Learn more at

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