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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers students a complete program in actuarial science while earning a valued degree from a Big Ten institution. The graduate program in actuarial science at Nebraska is open to students with undergraduate degrees in a variety of disciplines. No previous course work in actuarial science is required.

Key Attributes for Success in the Master's Degree Program in Actuarial Science

Regardless of your standing (provisional or full graduate) when admitted to the graduate program, the following are five attributes that can lead to academic, professional, and personal success:

  • Personal integrity
  • Intelligence
  • Aptitude for mathematics
  • Ability and willingness to work hard
  • Aptitude for business

Actuarial Science Masters

Graduate Program Requirements

The Masters Degree program must be completed without a thesis (Option II) and all requirements under this option must be met. Option I (with a thesis) is not generally open for this degree. The non-thesis route (Option II) is required because students will find the additional course work more valuable to them than the thesis, especially with regards to the Society of Actuaries exams. A total of 36 hours is required. The MS degree program is expected to take two years (24 months) for students admitted with deficiencies. For those admitted without deficiencies it normally takes 21 months, including the summer.

Major Requirements

In place of the usual major and minor requirements, the master program must include Actuarial Science 840, 870, 871 and 873 and Finance 812 or 813, and at least 6 additional hours from Actuarial Science. The program must include at least 12 hours earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level courses or 800 level courses without 400 or lower level counterparts).

Minor Requirements

Minors are available in Computer Science, Economics (non-Insurance), Finance, Insurance or Statistics. However, the recommended minor is Finance. These minors are subject to the approval of the Actuarial Science Graduate Committee. Minors require at least 9 hours in the minor area in addition to the major requirements cited above.

Actuarial Science as a Minor

Students enrolled in other departments may choose to use Actuarial Science as their minor area under Option II. A minor in Actuarial Science must include Actuarial Science 840, 870, 871 and 873. Students wishing to do this should contact the Chairperson or Advisor of their major area, and the graduate advisor of the Actuarial Science Program.


It should be noted that within the Actuarial Science program the normal graduate school scholarship requirement, "B" or better applies to all 800 level major & minor courses. The normal graduate school scholarship requirement, "C" or better, for 900 level courses remains the same for the Actuarial degree program. However, a student who receives a "C" grade or lower in his/her minor area may be required to take a Comprehensive Exam in the minor area.

Memorandum of Courses

The Memorandum of Courses, which contains the proposed list of courses for the student's graduate program, must be filed with the Graduate Studies Office (1100 Seaton Hall) before the end of their second semester has been completed. Students should check with the Graduate Office for further clarification.

The following courses cannot be included as a part of your memorandum of courses: Economics 815, 816, 819, 837 and 854; Math 800, 813, 814, 820, 821 and 822; Statistics 880, 881; Computer Science 840

Comprehensive Examinations

Masters degree students will be expected to pass a written comprehensive examination on Actuarial Science. The Actuarial Science Comprehensive Exam for students graduating in May or August is held on the first Tuesday of April and for students graduating in December on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Students may be expected to pass another written comprehensive examination on their minor area. Check with your Minor Department. In addition, an oral examination may be required.

Scheduling of Classes

The scheduling of the courses for an actuarial science graduate student depends on the student's background. Appropriate adjustments are needed for students who do not have the prerequisites for the various classes. The core courses and other necessary courses should be worked into the schedule according to the individual student's preferences and area of concentration.


Admission Requirements

Provisional or Conditional Standing

A good academic background or preparation for entry into the Master's Degree program in actuarial science includes at least three semesters of calculus (i.e., calculus 1, 2, and 3), at least one semester of linear algebra, at least one semester of computer programming using a high level language, at least 6 hours in principles of economics (i.e., macro and micro), at least one semester of introductory mathematical probability and at least one semester of introductory mathematical statistics. An applicant who does not possess this preparation may still be admitted with provisional or conditional standing. This means that the applicant must take additional courses to cover any academic deficiencies identified by the Committee. To be admitted with provisional or conditional standing, a prospective student's overall application must demonstrate a reasonable preparation that, in the judgment of the Committee, would give the prospective student a very good chance of successfully completing the Master's Degree within a reasonable time period.

Full Standing

To be admitted with full graduate standing for the Master's Degree program in Actuarial Science, an applicant must satisfy the requirements for provisional standing. In addition, the applicant must pass Exams P and FM of the Society of Actuaries.

Application Deadlines

To be considered for any financial assistance in the fall semester, you must meet the March 1 deadline.

For priority consideration, your application must be completed by these dates, including submission of all required supporting documents. Applications may be accepted after these dates.

Program Deadlines: For priority consideration, your application must be complete by these dates, including submission of all required supporting documents.

Semester US or PR International
Fall July 1 March 1
Spring November 1 September 1

Application Procedures

Complete the online application form and submit the $50 application fee. After you submit your application, the next day you will receive instructions for the GAMES application system.

Note: All application materials listed below (except transcripts and financial resource certification) must be submitted electronically. Do not send paper recommendation forms or resume. Applicants are expected to have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on the 4-point scale.

Tuition, Fees and Funding

Recommendation Letters

Three letters of reference and the Recommendation for Graduate Admissions to the Actuarial Science Program form are required and should be submitted through GAMES.

Society of Actuaries Examinations

If you have passed any of the Society of Actuaries examinations, submit proof by uploading your SOA transcript through GAMES.


A professional resume should be submitted through GAMES.

Statement of Purpose

A brief statement of purpose discussing your interest in actuarial science should be submitted through GAMES.

Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT)

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is preferred but the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is also acceptable. You should register to take the GMAT or the GRE and have the results forwarded to Nebraska. You should also submit your scores through GAMES. The minimum GMAT score of 600 or GRE equivalent is recommended.

International Students

International students should also include a TOEFL score (minimum score of 550 paper, 80 iBT or 6.5 IELTS)

Guidelines for international students


Electronic copies of transcripts should be uploaded into MyRed as part of the application. See Nebraska's Graduate Studies Application Requirements page for additional details.

About Lincoln

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Student Life

Ph.D. students are expected to be active partners in the academic community. The Nebraska community fosters high academic achievement as well as diverse social organizations and events. Students will have opportunities to work with different faculty, develop independent research projects, collaborate on joint projects, and participate in various brownbag sessions, current topics seminars, and doctoral development sessions. Doctoral students will also have opportunities to develop their teaching skills.

The city of Lincoln is friendly and easy to navigate with a nationally noted low crime rate, a wide range of housing choices, a reliable public transit system and numerous options for recreational and personal interest activities.


Ramsay, Colin
E.J. Faulkner Professor
HLH 423 H
P.O. Box 880490
Lincoln, NE 68588-0490