Students in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Actuarial Science Program now 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.
“This new program benefits our students by accelerating their progress toward a professional SOA designation. Beginning this fall, they have the opportunity to earn credit through coursework for two professional exams in Financial Mathematics and Statistics for Risk Modeling,” said Sue Vagts, director of the Actuarial Science Program, Ameritas Actuarial Faculty Fellow, David P. Hayes Chair of Actuarial Science and associate professor of practice in actuarial science. “We’re honored to be one of the first group of schools to offer UEC and it demonstrates how our curriculum prepares students for both the technical and professional aspects of becoming an actuary.”
Having previously been named SOA Centers of Actuarial Excellence, the 13 universities selected successfully completed an intensive UEC evaluation process. Nebraska faculty demonstrated how the courses eligible for UEC met standards established and monitored by the SOA.
“During the application process, the UEC oversight committee reviewed almost everything related to the course seeking UEC,” said Graham Liu, associate professor of actuarial science, who coordinated Nebraska’s application. “They also conducted an onsite visit to our school to ensure our program not only has the ability to offer high-quality UEC courses but also high-quality training in communicating technical information, how to manage uncertainty and ambiguity, and influencing decision-makers through analytics and business considerations.”
Liu serves as the university's accreditation actuary for the UEC program. He will work with an experienced external examiner from the local insurance industry to review and monitor Nebraska's UEC courses' curriculum and examinations. The external examiner is a trained, credentialed SOA volunteer.
“Feedback and input we receive from the local industry allow us to better understand emerging needs, strategize excellent educational training for the next generation of actuaries and serve the Nebraska Business community,” he said. “This also creates an even stronger bond between our program and the local industry.”
Actuarial science students at Nebraska already benefit from coursework that prepares them for six professional actuarial exams. Also, through support from Mutual of Omaha, students receive reimbursement for every exam they pass before they graduate.
“The UEC program streamlines my exam process and shows how excellent an Actuarial Science Program we have here at Nebraska. I can now potentially graduate college with four exams done, which is a possibility I never thought to be true,” said Jackson Krop, senior actuarial science major from Liberty, Missouri.
The UEC program accelerates students’ path toward a SOA designation while still in college. This program empowers students to achieve significant career growth as an undergraduate student.
“This opportunity allows us to complete SOA curriculum faster and gives me leverage in the job market following graduation,” said Bailey Birkholtz, senior actuarial science major from Forsyth, Illinois.
To learn more about the actuarial science major at Nebraska, visit: https://business.unl.edu/actscimajor. Read more about how the Nebraska Actuarial Science Program prepares students to meet the professional education requirements for both the SOA and the Casualty Actuarial Society.