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Undergraduate Program

Actuarial Science Major

Apply Now 4-Year Plans Future Undergraduates

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Studying Actuarial Science at Nebraska

Meet the program’s director, Sue Vagts, and learn why she’s excited to help you become an actuarial science professional.

Prepare to solve complex, challenging problems that impact the financial security of people and businesses. You'll use mathematical and analytical skills to manage and identify real-world risks. Crucial to insurance companies, hospitals, banks and more, actuaries consistently enjoy a top-ranked job in salary, security and satisfaction. This close-knit program combines the knowledge of economics, finance, mathematics and statistics with purposeful experiences to best transition from the classroom to the workplace.
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What You'll Learn

  • The work of an actuary typically involves analyzing the various contingencies (birth, death, marriage, retirement, sickness and losses due to accidents or negligence), that face society, and their impact on the many types of financial security arrangements. A creative aspect of actuarial work lies in the forecasting of events — actuaries are frequently called upon to make decisions that affect the fiscal soundness of financial security programs well into the future. Quality actuaries are in high demand resulting in a high job placement rate and high starting salaries.
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Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the concepts of actuarial science in solving problems related to financial security. Demonstrate the ability to communicate the results of quantitative analysis effectively, both in writing and orally.
  • Understand the additional considerations in practical applications of actuarial theory, such as assumption setting, Actuarial Standards of Practice, the professional code of conduct, and effective communication. Understand that being a professional requires that actuarial tasks be completed with the highest regard for personal and professional ethics.
  • Demonstrate the ability to transition from actuarial theory to actuarial practice, and the ability to apply tools that actuaries use in practice to complete actuarial tasks, such as a modern procedural computer programming language, Excel or similar programs, and commercially available actuarial software.
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Career Connections

  • Understand what is involved in being a member of the actuarial profession, including the types of employment available and the requirements to become and remain a member of the actuarial profession.
  • Learn industry best practices and lingo by doing the work of an actuary.
  • Manage large sets of data and use software modeling and programming languages such as R.
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1 of 37 universities in the world designated as a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries

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Prepare for two professional actuarial designations’ requirements set by the Society of Actuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society

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Strong community-based program with high student engagement and free tutoring

How You’ll Learn

Hands-On Learning Experiences

  • Do the work of an actuary through the use of real-world examples and data in your courses.
  • Analyze disability rates to reduce risk during an internship with a company like Allstate.
  • Develop a solution to a problem with teammates during case competitions.

Transferable Career Skills

  • Meet employers seeking interns at the Actuarial Science Career Fair.
  • Take actuarial science courses that have been approved for the actuarial profession’s Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) program for the topics of economics, corporate finance and applied statistics.
  • Attend seminars like managing multiple job offers, salary negotiations and alumni career paths.

Social Connections

  • Meet with your upper-class student mentor during your first year as an actuarial science major.
  • Join clubs like Actuarial Science Club or Gamma Iota Sigma for volunteering, career events and trivia nights.
  • Use free tutoring to succeed in classes.

Making a Difference

  • Establish prices of life insurance so families can grieve without financial interruption.
  • Analyze funding for government programs and predicting cost for local emergency response.
  • Volunteer as a math tutor in local low-income schools.

Core Academics

  • Tackle a project for an employer in your capstone course where you’ll examine pricing for insurance, annuities and pension plans.
  • Learn skills like the programming language R.
  • Prepare for the first six professional actuarial exams.

Research / Grad School Prep

  • Solve research problems alongside faculty as an Ameritas Student Researcher.
  • Work with data that determines a world ranking of actuarial science research.
  • Partner with a faculty member to dive deep into examining big ideas through the university’s undergraduate research program (UCARE).

Program Features

Research and Academic Opportunities

Study Abroad Opportunities

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Study at the Oldest University in the English-Speaking World

Spend four weeks studying economics and/or Shakespearean literature at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. The most popular study abroad program at Nebraska, as it provides opportunities to discover history, enjoy theater, have high tea, play rounders and experience the horse races at Sandown Park.

Grappa Itally

Learn Business in Northern Italy

Spend a summer or semester at CIMBA International University in Paderno del Grappa, Italy. Choose from a number of business classes while learning more about Italian language and culture.

See All Business Abroad Opportunities

Student Organizations

Two of the 25+ business related student organization focus on actuarial science. These clubs provide a great opportunity to grow as a leader, gain experience and make meaningful connections.

Actuarial Science Club

Provides students with better understanding of the actuarial profession and careers. Assists students in preparing for the professional actuarial examinations and fosters close relationships among students in the common pursuit of an actuarial career.

Gamma Iota Sigma

Promotes, encourages and sustains student interest in insurance, risk management and actuarial science as professions.

See All Business Related Student Organizations

Recent Actuarial Science Student Placements

Internships

  • Actuarial Intern, Humana
  • Risk Management Intern, Maybank
  • Financial Analyst Intern, Gallup
  • Quantitative Modeling Intern, Pacific Life
  • Property and Casualty Intern, Allstate

Careers

  • Senior Actuarial Assistant, Mutual of Omaha
  • Actuarial Analyst, Milliman
  • Data Governance Analyst, Ameritas
  • Sales and Trading Analyst, Citigroup
  • Operational Risk Associate, Wells Fargo

Graduate Schools

  • Master of Science in Business Analytics, Pepperdine University
  • Master of Business Administration, Columbia University
  • Master of Business Analytics, MIT

Conquer Your
Professional Exams

Our program prepares you for success and rewards you for passing.
Along with VEE approval for economics, corporate finance and applied statistics, coursework covers learning objectives for six exams. You can also earn credit for two Society of Actuaries (SOA) exams through college courses as Nebraska is a SOA University-Earned Credit Program. Thanks to generous donations, we’ll reimburse you for every exam you pass as a student.

4-Year Plans and Notable Courses

You can take this major as a student in the College of Business (CoB) or the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). Learn more how to choose what’s best for you.

Explore the curriculum through each college’s 4-year plan for the actuarial science major. To earn your bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, you’ll take 120 credit hours of classes. That’s four to five classes a semester, on average.

Actuarial Science (CoB) 4-Year Plans Actuarial Science (CAS) 4-Year Plans

Interest Theory (ACTS 440)

Learn about interest rates and the applications of time value of money in business, investments and personal finance. This is the first actuarial science course you’ll take, and it provides the financial background necessary for all future finance and actuarial science courses.

Principles of Individual and Corporate Risk Management (FINA 338)

Identify risk at the individual and corporate level and apply the process and tools for risk management. Examine different personal insurance policies and corporate risk management methods and their applications.

Life Contingencies I (ACTS 470)

Learn how to combine finance and statistics to value future cash flows that are contingent on the occurrence of specific events such as premature death, poor health, retirement or an auto accident.

Actuarial Applications of Applied Statistics (ACTS 430)

Work individually and in a group to apply forecasting methods to actuarial variables. Utilize the programming language R and other statistical tools to apply analytics in actuarial science.

Introduction to Property/Casualty Actuarial Science (ACTS 474)

Explore ratemaking and reserving of property and casualty insurance products. Apply concepts of risk theory, credibility, reinsurance and other special issues and applications.

Actuarial Applications in Practice (ACTS 475)

Connect theory from completed coursework to the real world by working on case studies with local employers from various practice areas while considering professionalism issues. Work hands-on with commercially available actuarial modeling software.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I study actuarial science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

Most schools in the U.S. that are considered to have a complete undergraduate or master’s degree actuarial science program (e.g. Nebraska, Drake, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Illinois State, Georgia State) are very similar in academic content and the quality of the faculty and of the actuarial education. Differences include administrative location (business college, math department, statistics department, etc.), and emphases beyond the academic program.

At Nebraska, our emphasis beyond academics is our connection to the actuarial profession through our programs. Students have the opportunity to engage with our advisory committee of actuaries, the student actuarial science club, summer internships, and problem labs that provide content review and practice to assist in preparing students for professional actuarial examinations.

Should I study as an actuarial science major through the College of Arts and Science or the College of Business?

The Actuarial Science Program is a part of the Department of Finance in the College of Business. However, all undergraduate courses are offered to majors or minors in both the College of Business (CoB) and the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). One can pursue an actuarial career having majored or minored in actuarial science in either the CoB or CAS. Regardless of the college, the core background provided for an actuarial career is essentially the same. When choosing a college, you should think about what other interests you have, the general requirements of the college and the scholarships and financial aid available.

Most students choose to study actuarial science through the College of Business. Through CoB, you’ll complete a calculus sequence (MATH 106-107-208, or 108H-109H or the equivalent) and a statistics and probability sequence (STAT 380-462-463 and CSCE 101 and 101L). In addition to Business Core Foundation courses business students take, 28 credit hours of coursework in actuarial science are required. You can also double count your finance courses toward a finance minor. Unlike the CoB requirements, students who pursue the major through CAS take 22 credit hours of required coursework in actuarial science and do not need to take Fundamentals of Computer Science and its lab (CSCE 101 and 101L). View the four-year plans or meet with an academic advisor to see which option is best for you.

Actuarial Science (College of Business) 4-Year Plan Actuarial Science (College of Arts & Sciences) 4-Year Plan

How do I learn more about actuarial science careers?

We would love to talk to you one-on-one about your future opportunities in actuarial science. You can also explore the following websites for career information.

Be an Actuary Casualty Actuarial Society Society of Actuaries

Are there specific scholarships for actuarial science majors?

There are a number of scholarships available through the Actuarial Science Program and the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Business. Additionally, through the Mutual of Omaha Exam Award Program, you will be reimbursed for every professional exam you pass as a student. Learn more about these opportunities.

What does being a Society of Actuaries University-Earned Credit (UEC) program mean for students?

What does being a Society of Actuaries University-Earned Credit (UEC) program mean for students? Starting in Fall 2022, Nebraska's actuarial science majors can earn credit for select Society of Actuaries (SOA) exams by attaining required scores in their coursework. The opportunity stems from the university being selected as one of 13 universities in the world to participate in the new SOA University-Earned Credit (UEC) program. Specifically, the two professional exams you can earn credit for are Financial Mathematics and Statistics for Risk Modeling. Read the program announcement story

Contact

Ritchie, Kendra
Associate Director of Recruitment
HLH 123 D
P.O. Box 880405
Lincoln, NE 68588-0405
402-472-7784