Through their knowledge of statistics, finance and business, actuaries assess the risk of events occurring and help create policies for businesses and clients that minimize the cost of that risk. For this reason, actuaries are essential to the insurance industry.

To become an actuary, you need a strong background in mathematics, statistics and general business. Actuaries generally have a bachelor's degree and are required to pass a series of exams in order to become certified professionals.

The actuarial science major is an interdisciplinary major consisting of 62-63 hours of coursework in mathematics, statistics, accounting, economics, finance, business law and computer science. Classes are designed to prepare you for the first three actuarial exams (P, FM, Life Contingencies) jointly administered by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. You should try to pass at least the first exam by the time you graduate from CMU.

The major also provides coursework to prepare a graduate for the business world in which the insurance industry is located. More direct contact with actuaries comes through Gamma Iota Sigma, the student organization. There is no required minor.

Financial Assistance

Ninety percent of CMU students receive financial assistance through scholarships, grants and loans. CMU distributed more than $227 million in financial awards based on achievement, work study opportunities and student need in 2008.

So what does this mean for you?

It means that you can have access to a great education through local, state and national merit-based and need-based programs and scholarships. CMU's Admissions Office and the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is here to guide you through the process of discovering the right financial aid package for you and your family.


Many scholarships are available to CMU students in recognition of their outstanding academic and/or leadership involvement.

The CMU Department of Mathematics offers a number of scholarships for incoming freshman, transfer students and continuing students.

In addition, click here to learn more about scholarships available for all CMU students.

Job Placement

What can you do with a major in actuarial science?

CMU Career Services provides guidance on the journey toward your career as an actuary. When it comes to landing an internship or job, Career Services is your first stop for resume writing tips, mock interviews, consultations and advice.

At career fairs on campus you'll meet employers ready to hire CMU interns and graduates. Come prepared with your resume and meet dozens of employers in one afternoon.

Also be sure to explore the following actuarial science internet resources:


Society of Actuaries

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the largest professional organization dedicated to serving 21,000 actuarial members and the public in the United States, Canada and worldwide. The SOA's vision is for actuaries to be the leading professionals in the measurement and management of risk.

Gamma Iota Sigma

CMU's student organization Gamma Iota Sigma is for undergraduates who are interested in having a career in the insurance industry as an underwriter, broker, consultant, agent or actuary. Members are introduced to many people in the insurance and consulting industries. Meetings are normally held bi-monthly at 6:30 p.m. in Pearce Hall.

For more information about Gamma Iota Sigma, please contact:
John Daniels
Pearce Hall 206E