Actuaries deal with risk management in businesses and companies by analyzing the likelihood of success and failure in risks, how to reduce the potential for failure, and find ways to decrease the undesirable effects of events which have already occurred. According to the Society of Actuaries, becoming an actuary does not require a degree, but obtaining one may be useful in providing the knowledge needed to pass the required actuarial exams and earn an actuarial credential. Good online programs provide a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and finance, offer study resources for the required exams, and are recognized by the Society of Actuaries as either a Center of Actuarial Excellence or verified as providing the relevant knowledge to pass the minimum actuary exams.
Illinois State University
Illinois State University offers the only online program in actuarial science accredited as a Center of Actuarial Excellence in the United States. The program highlights a strong foundation in mathematics, insurance, finance, and investment. Students may complete the undergraduate degree completely online, are offered multiple scholarship and internship opportunities, and are provided exam preparation by way of review seminars. The coursework satisfies the required knowledge needed to pass the first five actuarial exams. Students may also participate in the university’s actuarial club.
Central Michigan University
Central Michigan University offers a bachelor's degree program in actuarial science with an option of several minors to choose from. While this program cannot be completed solely online, the majority of the programs requirements, including actuarial core requirements, may be completed online while the remainder of the program may be completed at one of the 30+ alternative campuses located across the U.S. This program prepares students to take the first two actuarial exams given by the Society of Actuaries. Students may gain further experience through Gamma Iota Sigma, a student organization.
Located in New York City, Columbia University offers the only online graduate program in actuarial studies in the U.S. The M.S. program offers several specializations to choose from to create a more individualized program. Choices include insurance, enterprise risk management, and finance for advanced students. Students may choose to complete a cooperative project with an assigned mentor for elective credit. Upon completion, students will be prepared to take four exams presented by the Society of Actuaries, and Casualty Actuary Society exams one through four. Students may also earn educational experience credit with this program.
University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, offers a B.S. program in actuarial science which may be completed through a hybrid structure of online and onsite courses. The Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science is known as one of the top actuarial science facilities in the world with program options including mathematical finance, finance, and a joint actuarial science major. The school offers several scholarship and financial aid options, including work-study. These programs prepare students to take exams presented by the Society of Actuaries, and Casualty Actuary.
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