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Prospective Students

What is an Actuary?

An actuary analyzes the financial consequences of risk. Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, copter programming and finance to study uncertain future events. By studying events and determining likely outcomes, actuaries help organizations plan for the future and protect themselves from loss.

Actuaries work in many industries, especially in insurance companies, consulting firms, and governmental agencies. Actuarial science requires strong analytical skill, knowledge of the business environment and its practices and an understanding of human behavior. More details about actuarial careers are contained at beanactuary.org.

What Does It Takes to Become An Actuary?

A strong background in mathematics, statistics, economics, business finance, computer programming and business communication are all key for being successful as an actuary. The Actuarial Program curriculum helps students build a solid foundation in these areas. The coursework in the Actuarial Program also provides students the necessary information for the first four exams, and exam preparation workshops taught by MCFAM faculty and local practicing actuaries are also offered. While in the program, you should focus on passing the first few actuarial exams (about two). 

You must also take the courses approved for Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit and pass them with a grade of "B-" or better. The coursework in the MCFAM Actuarial Program fulfills these requirements.

In addition, you should get at least one internship – an actuarial internship is a plus, but data analytics, financial risk and financial analyst internships are also very valid. The annual Fall Actuarial Career Fair hosts many local actuarial employers who recruit for summer interns. Throughout the year Actuary Club activities and informational meetings with University of Minnesota alumni of the program are also key in helping students secure internships. 

More information about the actuarial exam process and VEE requirements are contained at beanactuary.org/exams.