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’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: 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:
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.
Local Actuary Advisory Board
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
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:
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.
We routinely invite actuaries to give talks, through which our students are exposed to the actuarial profession and get firsthand information in the industry.
Student Research Conferences
Our students often present at student research conferences organized by the Mathematical Association of America and SIGMA XI. The department is proud to provide full financial support for students to participate in these events and activities.
There are a variety of student clubs at Arcadia. Check out the student clubs led by actuarial students on campus.
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:
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
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.
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.
Actuarial Career Day
With a few years' experience, 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.
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.
To provide our students with much exposure to the practice and networking opportunities, we invite a STEM professional panel to conduct a seminar session every semester.
We have had lots of success with students pursuing other statistics and finance related careers as actuarial science majors as well as math majors.
Non-actuarial positions in actuarial firms
Master’s and PhD programs
Our students successfully received internships or full-time job offers to work as underwriters, benefits administration specialists and savings plan recordkeepers.
We offer courses in SAS to prepare students for very popular internships in the field with a local company.
A minor in accounting is a very easy add on to the AS major and the student can easily pursue a career in finance accounting.
Subjects include Statistics, Financial Engineering, Data Science, and Bioinformatics, etc.