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.
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). Some of the advantages of the program noted are its flexibility, individual attention students are not likely to find in bigger programs, and a heavy emphasis on exam preparation (an 80% pass rate in 2018 based on P and FM exams). In addition, Arcadia's professional staff (FSA with over 25 years of experience as an actuary, Ph.D. in Statistics, Ph.D. in Actuarial Science), an advisory board of local practicing actuaries, and high demand for our graduates by local firms were also cited as distinguishing characteristics of the program.
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:
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
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
Our 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
Both Ralph Donato and Andrew Martin are graduates of Arcadia University.
Our program has many graduates in local and regional insurance companies, consulting firms, and government agencies including: Transamerica, Lincoln Financial Group, CareFirst, Penn Mutual Insurance Co, Chubb, LTCG (Long Term Care Group), Prudential Financial, Willis Towers Watson, Social Security Administration, Workers Compensation Bureau, USLI.
'Shadow an Actuary' Program
We have teamed up with several local area actuarial employers to provide shadowing opportunities for our Actuarial Science majors. Students visit employers to learn what actuaries actually do. They will shadow recently hired employees and speak with seasoned actuaries about the actuarial career. This is a unique opportunity for students to experience the work environment and enable them to further explore their choice of career. It is also an excellent opportunity for students to network and create possible future job opportunities. One of the students who recently shadowed received a summer internship offer from the employer where she shadowed.
Actuarial Career Day
For the last three years, we sponsor an Actuarial Career Day for Actuarial Science majors. This is a specialized career fair that allows our students to interview with local area employers on campus. Employers come to our campus specifically to interview candidates for actuarial summer internships and full-time jobs. Nearly 100% of students who have passed at least one exam receive job offers from employers attending the fair. We are proud to offer such wonderful opportunities for our students.
A highlight of the curriculum is the Capstone course sequence. In it, students design and implement a real project for an actual client. The project culminates in a formal presentation. Recent projects include:
Long-term care pricing
A look at public pension plan mortality trends
US National Healthcare expenditure analysis
A design of retirement plan
Severe road accident risk factors
An analysis of Women with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) on Diabetes Self-Care, Diabetes
Time Management, and Diabetes Distress
We regularly take students to local conferences and actuaries club meetings, including those organised by Mathematical Association of America, SIGMA XI, Actuaries Club of Philadelphia. The department is proud to provide full financial support for students to participate in these events and activities.
Student Abroad Opportunities for Actuarial Sciences Majors
Majors in the Computer Science and Mathematics Department are strongly encouraged to take full advantage of the study abroad opportunities that Arcadia University offers. In recent years, students have studied at universities in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Spain and Italy. All benefited greatly from their experiences.
Students who plan to study abroad should meet with their advisers as soon as possible to discuss their options. Several courses are part of sequences, and students are advised to take those entire sequences at Arcadia.
Many majors elect not to take any math or computing courses during the semester abroad, instead choosing humanities and social science courses that fulfill Undergraduate Curriculum requirements. These latter courses are more apt to help students gain a rich knowledge and appreciation of the culture of the country in which they are studying.
Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult with their advisers as soon as possible and make their intentions known to the department chair and the Office of Study Away.
Carlie Banchi studied abroad in Spain, Fall 2018
Our primary goal as a department and as a teaching institution is to ensure student success. To this end, it is important to us that a student who decides not to pursue actuarial science as a major or does not want to pursue the exam path, has opportunities to pursue and succeed in other related fields. Academically speaking, we have the full flexibility to provide a variety of possible combinations of double major or minors: