Pre-Actuarial Course of Study

Purpose and General Information

The purposes of the Pre-Actuarial Course of Study are:

  • To prepare students for the first and, at least partially, the second of the series of Exams administered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS):
    • Exam P (also known as Exam 1), which deals with probability and statistics;
    • Exam FM (also known as Exam 2), which deals with financial mathematics.
  • To offer additional training useful to anyone interested in the actuarial profession.

Baldwin Wallace University is listed by the SOA as an "Undergraduate - Introductory Program". Typically, entry-level actuarial positions require the passing of at least one Exam, and compensation and promotion within the profession are heavily dependent upon passing further Exams.

Because of the central role that the SOA and CAS play in the actuarial profession, it is essential that students make frequent and detailed use of the SOA and CAS websites. Students are also urged to see:

  • The extensive resources at dealing with all aspects of the actuarial profession;
  • The website of the actuarial recruiting firm D.W.Simpson containing a wealth of information about actuarial employment, including current statistics on salaries.

The Pre-Actuarial Course of Study has no "official" status at the University, and in particular is not a major or minor; students are thus free to pursue the majors and minors of their choice. Some of the more popular major fields for future actuaries include:

Recommended Courses

In general, students wishing to become actuaries are recommended to take the following courses as a minimum. The five MTH courses listed cover the material for Exam P, whereas BUS 342 and BUS 416 are useful in preparing for Exam FM. (The courses followed by an asterisk carry the SOA's Validation by Educational Experience designation.)

  • MTH 141 Calculus I
  • MTH 142 Calculus II
  • MTH 243 Calculus III
  • MTH 405 Mathematical Statistics I
  • MTH 406 Mathematical Statistics II
  • CSC 141 Advanced Applications for Information Analysis
  • CSC 210 Computer Science I: Programs and Applications
  • ECN 101 Principles of Economics I*
  • ECN 102 Principles of Economics II*
  • ECN 379 Advanced Statistical Methods*
  • ECN 399 Money and Banking
  • BUS 211 Principles of Accounting I
  • BUS 212 Principles of Accounting II
  • BUS 342 Corporate & Organizational Finance
  • BUS 416 Financial Management

In addition, MTH 211 Linear Algebra, while not specifically tested on the actuarial exams, is a central topic in mathematics and is strongly recommended. 

Preparation for Exams

Actuarial Exams are rigorous and require considerable self-study, both to achieve a solid understanding of the material, and to learn any isolated topics not covered in course work. Once again, students are urged to make full use of the extensive Exam information available on the websites above.

Once You Pass:

Here are some factors that are important to employers as they evaluate candidates for actuarial positions:

  • Have passed at least one Exam (for entry-level positions)
  • GPA
  • Computer skills
  • Communication skills
  • Applicant's degree suitable to needs of the position
  • Internship experience
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