Actuarial science is the quantitative analysis of risk. In addition to mathematics and statistics courses, students in actuarial science take classes in finance, economics and computer programming.
At many universities, actuarial sciences is housed in the business department. We believe that the most successful actuaries have an extensive foundation in mathematics and in the broader liberal arts, and therefore our program is housed in our Department of Mathematical Sciences.
While you will take several business classes, you will also be heavily exposed to the broader context in which risk exists in our lives. Through economics courses and other courses in the social sciences and humanities, you will see how actuarial science is not practiced in a vacuum but has real-life implications and impact on businesses, individuals, and communities as a whole.
Students interested in actuarial science should make every effort to prepare themselves in high school by taking four years of challenging math classes. Ideally, students will enter college ready to start in the first semester of calculus.
As students progress in our program, they begin to take the professional exams required of actuaries, making themselves more attractive job candidates. Our location in Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin and home to many large and small companies, also gives our students easier access to internships and part-time jobs compared to smaller cities. If you are looking for more advanced training beyond the bachelor's level, explore our Master's of Science in Mathematical Sciences. In this program, you can obtain graduate-level training in actuarial science.
Complete 120 credits including 90 credits in the College of Letters & Science and with 36 of the 90 credits in L&S upper-level (numbered above 300) courses. The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major. Students are also required to complete University-wide General Education Requirements and the specific L&S requirements listed below.
To complete a major, students must satisfy all the requirements of the major as stated in this catalog. Students who declare their majors within five years of entering the UW System as a degree candidate may satisfy the requirements outlined in any catalog issued since the time they entered. Credits used to satisfy the major also may be used to satisfy other degree requirements.
University General Education Requirements (GER)
|Oral and Written Communication|
|ENGLISH 102||College Writing and Research (or equivalent)|
|Course designated as OWC-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement|
|Select one of the following:|
|Contemporary Applications of Mathematics|
|Introduction to College Algebra|
|Algebraic Literacy II|
Or equivalent course
|Course designated as QL-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement|
|Select 3 credits||3|
|Select 6 credits||6|
|Select 6 credits||6|
|Select 6 credits (at least two courses including one lab)||6|
|UWM Foreign Language Requirement|
|Complete Foreign Language Requirement through:|
Two years (high school) of a single foreign language
Two semesters (college) of a single foreign language
|UWM Cultural Diversity Requirement|
|One course from the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences must also satisfy UWM's Cultural Diversity requirement|
College of Letters & Science Requirements
I. English Writing Requirement
Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part A. The College of Letters & Science does not have a specific requirement for a writing course beyond English 102, but students must complete the university-wide requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part B listed above.
II. Mathematics and Formal Reasoning
To satisfy the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement, students must satisfy the following two requirements:
1. Achieve a Math Placement score of at least 30 or earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course:
|MATH 102||Mathematical Literacy for College Students II||3|
|MATH 103||Contemporary Applications of Mathematics||3|
|MATH 105||Introduction to College Algebra||3|
|MATH 108||Algebraic Literacy II||3|
|MATH 175||Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I||3|
Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part A, listed above.
2. Complete one course (at least 3 credits) at the 200 level or above chosen from courses in Mathematics, PHILOS 211, or Letters and Science statistics courses:
|Complete one of the following:|
3 or more credits in any 200-level or above Math course
|Introduction to Statistics in African and African Diaspora Studies|
|Introduction to Anthropological Statistics|
|Statistical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences|
|Quantitative Analysis in Geography|
|The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data|
|Elementary Statistical Analysis|
|Political Data Analysis|
|Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology|
Note: This requirement is NOT the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part B. To complete the BA, students must take one of the L&S approved courses. The courses listed here will satisfy the QL-B requirement.
III. Foreign Language Requirement
Placement testing may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. Language courses (including American Sign Language) other than English taken in high school may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. One year of high school language equates to one semester of college work.
Completion of the L&S Language Requirement also satisfies the university-wide Foreign Language GER, but not vice versa.
|Completed in one of the following ways: 1||0-18|
Successful completion of the 4th semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language)
Successful completion of the 3rd semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language) PLUS the 2nd semester of college work or equivalent in another language other than English (including American Sign Language)
IV. International Requirement
See Approved Courses for the L&S International Requirement for course options.
|Completed in one of the following ways: 1||9|
Complete 3 courses (min. 9 cr) in a single foreign language (not including literature-in-translation or American Sign Language) at the 3rd semester level and above
Complete 3 non-language courses (min. 9 credits) with an international content chosen from at least 2 curricular areas.
Complete 9 credits in combination of the two options above.
V. Breadth Requirement
Along with completing the University General Education Requirements of 3 credits in the Arts (A); 6 credits in the Humanities (HU), Social Sciences (SS), and Natural Sciences (NS/NS+); and a course with the Cultural Diversity (CD/+) designation, L&S students must complete the Breadth requirement.
|Select 3 credits||3|
|Complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Humanities Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single subject area. *||12|
|Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Social Science Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *||12|
|Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Natural Sciences Breadth designation, including at least one laboratory or field course; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *||12|
|Complete 3 credits in a course with Cultural Diversity (CD) designation. **||3|
Students should check their course selections carefully with the list of approved L&S Breadth Courses. Students are advised to select at least 6 credits worth of courses in each of the Humanities, Social Science, and Natural Sciences areas that can satisfy both the campus-wide General Education Requirements and the L&S Breadth requirement.
Students are advised to select a course that satisfies the Cultural Diversity requirement as well as a Humanities or Social Science breadth/GER requirement.
VI. The Major
The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.5 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.5 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work. Individual departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation. Some departmental majors require courses from other departments. Contact your major department for information on whether those credits will count as part of the major GPA. The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major.
Within their majors, students must complete a research experience approved by the L&S faculty. A list of courses satisfying the research requirement in each major can be found here.
Students in all majors in the Department of Mathematical Sciences must complete MATH 231 (or MATH 213), MATH 232, and MATH 233 (or equivalent). MATH 221 and MATH 222 are equivalent to MATH 231, MATH 232, and MATH 233. Students majoring in actuarial science must have a GPA of at least 2.500 in these courses. All majors must take either MATH 234 or MATH 240, as well as a course in computer programming in a modern, high-level language (e.g., COMPSCI 151, COMPSCI 250, or COMPSCI 251). Actuarial science majors must complete additional preparatory curricula, as indicated below.
Students in all majors and major options in the Department of Mathematical Sciences must complete a Capstone Experience. The aim of the department's capstone experience is to encourage independent learning. Students complete a research paper in the context of this course, which satisfies the L&S research requirement. For Actuarial Science majors, the capstone is MATH 599. Students must obtain consent of a professor to enroll in ATM SCI 599 or MATH 599.
Students must complete the courses listed below, including at least 15 upper-division (numbered 300 and above) credits in the major in residence at UWM. The College of Letters & Science requires that students attain at least a 2.500 GPA on all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.500 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.
|Additional Preparatory Curriculum|
|BUS ADM 201||Introduction to Financial Accounting||4|
|ECON 103||Principles of Microeconomics||3|
|ECON 104||Principles of Macroeconomics||3|
|MATH 234||Linear Algebra and Differential Equations||4|
|Select at least 6 credits of the following:||6|
|Introduction to Information Technology Management|
|Introduction to Scientific Programming in Fortran|
|Introductory Computer Programming|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Elementary Statistical Analysis|
|Introduction to Management Statistics|
|MATH 311||Theory of Interest||4|
|MATH 599||Capstone Experience||1|
|MTHSTAT 361||Introduction to Mathematical Statistics I||3|
|MTHSTAT 362||Introduction to Mathematical Statistics II||3|
|MTHSTAT 563||Regression Analysis||3|
|MTHSTAT 564||Time Series Analysis||3|
|MTHSTAT 591||Foundations of Professional Practice in Actuarial Science||1|
|MTHSTAT 592||Actuarial Science Laboratory I: Probability, Finance, and Economics||1|
|MTHSTAT 593||Actuarial Science Laboratory II: Interest Theory, Finance, and Economics||1|
|BUS ADM 350||Principles of Finance||3|
|or BUS ADM 450||Intermediate Finance|
|ECON 301||Intermediate Microeconomics||3|
|or ECON 302||Intermediate Macroeconomics|
|Select one of the following:||6|
|Introduction to Probability Models|
and Actuarial Models I: Life Contingencies
|Introduction to Probability Models|
and Actuarial Models II: Financial Economics
|Actuarial Statistics I: Fitting of Loss Models|
and Actuarial Statistics II: Credibility, Risk Measures and Related Topics
To achieve the best preparation for an actuarial career, students actively should pursue internship opportunities with insurance companies, consulting firms, and other organizations that require actuarial science knowledge. Once such an opportunity is secured, the student should enroll in MTHSTAT 489. Students also should take courses in communication (COMMUN 103, COMMUN 264) and expand their knowledge in economics (ECON 248, ECON 450). Note that ECON 248 satisfies the cultural diversity requirement.
Students considering a major in Actuarial Science need to come to the department to declare their major and be assigned a faculty advisor. All courses selected for the major must be approved by the advisor, and since required courses are not offered every semester or year, students should check regularly with their advisors to plan their courses of study in order to finish in a coherent and timely fashion.
Letters & Science Advising
The College of Letters and Science provides general academic advising for all students with a major in the College, particularly as it relates to campus' general education requirements and the College's degree requirements. We also provide specialized advising for pre-professional students (pre-med, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy, etc.) regardless if their major is in Letters and Science or not. Prospective students, including high school students and students seeking to transfer to a program in Letters and Science may also receive advising from our admissions counselors.
Upon admission, students are assigned an advisor in the College advising office. Academic advising is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by appointment. Appointments outside of these times may be available and phone appointments are available for online students. The advising office is located on the first floor of Holton Hall. Current students should call (414) 229-4654 to schedule an appointment or use the Student Success Collaborative website to make an appointment with your assigned advisor; online scheduling is only available if you already have a Letters & Science advisor assigned to you. Prospective students should call (414) 229-7711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When students declare a major, they will receive an additional faculty advisor located within the major department who will assist with requirements for that major. Students should read the "Declaration of Major" information on the website of the major that they are interested in. In some cases, the student will need to choose a faculty advisor as part of the declaration process.
All students are cautioned to consult their Letters & Science academic advisor AND their major advisor prior to each registration period to ensure they understand all requirements. Do not rely on pre-printed sample plans, as they are intended to be samples only and may not be right for your particular situation.
Honors in the Major
Students in Actuarial Science who meet all of the following criteria can be awarded honors in the major upon graduation:
- A 3.000 cumulative GPA in all UWM graded credits;
- A 3.500 GPA over all UWM courses counting toward the Actuarial Science major;
- A 3.500 GPA over all upper-division UWM courses counting toward the Actuarial Science major; and
- The passing of at least three professional actuarial exams.
Students who believe they may qualify for honors in Actuarial Science should apply to the Mathematical Sciences Department during their last semester of study.
Honors in the College of Letters and Science
Dean's Honor List
GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.
Honors Degree and Honors Degree with Thesis
Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.
Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. In schools and colleges in which fewer than 15% of the traditional students have a 3.500 GPA, all-university honors will be awarded to approximately the top 15% of graduating students. A criterion GPA (not lower than 3.200) for this 15% will be calculated based on statistics from the previous comparable semester. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).
Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.