Actuarial Science

What is an actuary?

Actuaries are professionals who find ways to manage risk. Actuaries use analytical/math skills, business knowledge, and understanding of human behavior to evaluate the likelihood of future events and design creative ways to reduce the probability of bad outcomes. It is one of the top-ranked jobs and a well compensated business profession not only nationally but also internationally. Actuaries work in the insurance industry as well as for consulting companies, financial institutions, government, labor unions, etc.

Read more details about actuarial careers

Information on salaries of an actuary

Arcadia’s Actuarial Science Program is Top Choice in Pennsylvania

Arcadia has a long history of programs in actuarial science: originally, we offered a concentration in actuarial science as part of our mathematics major and since 2013 we have had a major.

  • In recent years, our program has been cited in several college rankings as one of the top choices for Actuarial Science degrees in Pennsylvania.
  • We are listed among the 35 recommended schools for Actuarial Science degrees in the country (CollegeChoice).

Advantages of Arcadia’s Bachelor of Actuary Science Program

  • Society of Actuaries UCAP Advanced Status: This designation not only means that we are able to provide an enhanced exam preparation curriculum to prepare you for a successful career as an actuary, but it also means we get extra financial support from the Society that can be used for reimbursement of student exam fees and for purchasing student study materials to help
  • Flexibility: Students who decide not to pursue the actuarial exam track can pursue related fields such as statistical programming, teaching, and accounting. We offer a variety of courses as well as majors and minors that complement the actuarial major and allow students flexibility in finding non-exam track positions in actuarial and insurance firms as well as other related industries.
  • Individual Attention: With an 18:1 Student to Faculty ratio students will work closely with the faculty
  • Exam Preparation: Our courses prepare students for the first four of the SOA exams. Students accomplished an 80% pass rate in 2018 for the P (Probability) and FM (Financial Mathematics) exams.
  • Professional Faculty: Diversity in professional and academic backgrounds with an FSA Certified actuary with over 25 years in the industry, a Ph.D. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in Actuarial Science teaching courses. An advisory board of local practicing actuaries connects Arcadia to the professional world.
  • Career Opportunities: There is a high demand for Arcadia graduates by local firms.

Career opportunities with a Bachelor’s in Actuarial Science

Actuaries are in high demand. Employment of actuaries is projected to grow 20 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Actuaries can work in many different industries. Some of the most popular industries include:

  • Insurance companies
  • Benefit consulting firms
  • Financial and Accounting firms
  • Government, managing social insurance programs like Social Security or Medicare

Actuarial Science Student Q&A

Carlie Banchi is sharing her actuarial science experience at Arcadia with AdvisorSmith that is dedicated to providing advice on business insurance

Society of Actuaries UCAP-Advanced Status

In 2018, SOA (Society of Actuaries) has designated Arcadia as a UCAP-AC program. In order to attain this status, Arcadia showed that we provide course coverage for four SOA preliminary exams and approved courses for all Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) topic areas. The four exams for which we prepare students are:

P: Probability
FM: Financial Mathematics
SRM: Statistics for Risk Modeling
STAM: Short Term Actuarial Mathematics

This designation not only means that we are able to provide an enhanced exam preparation curriculum to prepare you for a successful career as an actuary, but it also means we get extra financial support from the Society that can be used for reimbursement of student exam fees and for purchasing student study materials to help offset some of your costs.


Student Passed 3 Exams Including STAM

Mao Li is sharing his experience and tips on actuarial science exam preparation

What to Expect as an Actuary Major

  • A flexible program which prepares students for the four exams of the Society of Actuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society, with high exam pass rates (80% in 2018)
  • Nurturing and small classroom environment
  • Assistance finding internships and preparing for actuarial careers through
    • Personalized coaching on resume writing and interview preparation
    • ‘Shadow an Actuary’ program 
    • Actuarial Career Day
  • Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit for all three courses
  • Experienced faculty with both academic and professional credentials
  • Continuing support from an external professional Advisory Board of local actuaries
  • A diverse range of applied and research capstone projects
  • Various undergraduate conference and actuarial club meetings, all 100% funded and sponsored by the department
  • Opportunities to study abroad at some of the top universities around the world
  • Help with applications for graduate programs
  • Opportunity to attend Arcadia sponsored events such as our STEM Professional panel with professionals from actuarial science, data analytics, software development, engineering, statistics, and teaching

Local Actuary Advisory Board

  • Stuart Alden, FSA, Senior VP and Actuary, Aon Risk Solutions
  • Ralph Donato, Principal Consulting Actuary, Long Term Care Group
  • Andrew Martin, FSA, VP Product Management, Penn Mutual Insurance Co.
  • Maureen Whitman, FSA, Director and Actuary, Independence Blue Cross

Actuarial Science Scores an Actuarial Internship

Kelsey Mashinski shares her experience with Arcadia's actuarial science program, including her interaction with faculty, opportunities to learn about the actuarial profession from local actuarial community, and how she was able to get a summer internship at one of the premier actuarial consulting firms in Philadelphia.