Objective of Mathematics MS: Actuarial Science (Option D)
The program provides a mathematically rigorous education in actuarial science, prepares students for actuarial professional exams, and develops their economics and business reasoning skills. Students obtain thorough knowledge in the fundamentals of actuarial science such as applied probability models, applied statistics, credibility, financial economics, life contingencies, loss models, and risk theory. Emphasis is placed on developing skills that are highly valued by employers and thus are essential for a successful career as actuary. This program is intended for students who will seek employment as an actuary upon completion of the degree. Those interested in entering the department’s Ph.D. program should consider a different Master’s option.
Overview of Mathematical Sciences Department MS programs
The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers graduate programs of study in mathematics with specializations in the fields of algebra, analysis, topology, applied mathematics, probability and statistics, actuarial science, industrial mathematics, and atmospheric science.
The programs of study at the master’s level are designed to suit both the student intending to continue toward a Ph.D. as well as the student who wishes to begin a professional career upon completion of the master’s program.
The student may prepare for a career in teaching at the secondary or college level and for a career in research in the academic, industrial, government, or business communities.
Five options for the master’s degree are offered: the standard mathematics option (A), the industrial mathematics option (B), the statistics option (C), the actuarial science option (D), and the foundations of advanced studies option (E). Students who plan to continue for a Ph.D. degree with a focus on mathematics/statistics should elect an option from options A, B, C, and E, or the dual master’s degree option. The department also offers a master's degree in atmospheric science.
Dual Master’s Degree Option
In addition to multiple options available for MS in mathematics, the Department of Mathematical Sciences at UWM and the Department of Technomathematics of Fachhochschule Aachen (FHA), Germany have recently created a Dual Master’s Degree Program in Mathematics. The students enrolled in this program will be able to earn Master’s degrees from both institutions upon completion of the common course requirements.
The program is designed in such a way that students typically will be able to complete all the course requirements within a two-year time period (one year at each institution). Within this program students can choose courses that will allow them to concentrate in the areas of Statistics, Numerical Analysis or General Mathematics. Complete information on the admission policy and graduation requirements, including sample schedules, is available at the Department of Mathematical Sciences web page http://uwm.edu/math/graduate/.
Students with undergraduate degrees in mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, economics or a related area are eligible for admission. Applicants should have a strong mathematical background that includes three semesters of calculus, linear algebra, probability, and mathematical statistics. Students lacking this background may be admitted provided that the deficiencies amount to no more than two courses. Although not required, having one actuarial professional exam passed would be an asset.
Credits and Courses
The minimum degree requirement is 30 credits. In order to graduate, the following requirements must be completed:
|Select 18 credits from the following: 1||18|
|Actuarial Statistics I: Fitting of Loss Models|
|Actuarial Statistics II: Credibility, Risk Measures and Related Topics|
|Actuarial Models I: Life Contingencies|
|Actuarial Models II: Financial Economics|
|Actuarial Risk Theory|
|Introduction to Probability Models|
or MATH 768
|Applied Stochastic Processes|
|Select at least 12 credits from the following: 2||12|
|Theory of Interest|
|Master's Thesis 3|
|Industrial Internship 3|
|Seminar in Mathematics: 3|
|Time Series Analysis|
|Economic Theory: Microeconomics|
|Economic Theory: Macroeconomics|
Students already proficient in some of these areas may substitute up to six credits of other courses in actuarial science, probability or statistics at the 700 level or above. (All substitutions have to be approved by the Actuarial Science Committee and the Graduate Program Coordinator.)
Students already proficient in these areas but having less than two actuarial exams passed must substitute at least six credits of other courses in probability or statistics at the 700 level or above.
Credits for MATH 790, MATH 792 and MATH 799 can be counted toward the degree requirement only for students who have passed two actuarial professional exams and only when these courses cover topics in actuarial science, probability, or statistics.
Students who have completed program courses for undergraduate credit should discuss alternative graduate-level courses to substitute for those courses in their programs of study.
A thesis is not required for the actuarial science option. Rather, students must pass three departmental written proficiency exams, which are based on the learning objectives of the actuarial professional exams P/1, FM/2, and one of MFE/3F, MLC, C/4. Waivers for departmental exams are granted for students who have passed the corresponding professional exams.
For future advancement in the field of actuarial science, “Validation by Educational Experience” (VEE) credits are required. VEE credits may be earned from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) with a grade of B- or better in the following courses:
|MTHSTAT 563||Regression Analysis (VEE-Applied Statistics)||3|
|MTHSTAT 564||Time Series Analysis (VEE-Applied Statistics)||3|
|ECON 701||Economic Theory: Microeconomics (VEE-Economics)||4|
|ECON 702||Economic Theory: Macroeconomics (VEE-Economics)||4|
|BUSMGMT 705||Corporate Finance (VEE-Corporate Finance)||3|
Courses taken at other universities may be used to meet the VEE requirement of the SOA/CAS.
Major Professor as Advisor
The student must have a major professor, selected from the members of the Actuarial Science Committee, to advise and supervise the student's studies. The entering student is assigned an advisor by the chair of the committee. Before the start of studies, each student in the program must develop a plan of study in consultation with the Committee.
Actuarial Science Concentration
Full-time students are expected to complete the program in two years. Students must complete all degree requirements within five years of initial enrollment.