Actuaries play an important role in today’s world. They are business executives, professionally trained in the mathematical sciences, who specialize in evaluating financial risk. Determining the level of risk allows actuaries to design, analyze, price, and refine insurance programs that meet society’s needs.

To learn what actuaries do, visit the Be An Actuary website.

Why Iowa?

Iowa has one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious actuarial science programs. Its internationally known faculty, its students’ high success rate on professional exams, and its graduates’ high job placement rate have earned the program a reputation as perhaps the best in the country.

Admission Requirements

Students interested in this major need to meet the requirements for admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students typically are not admitted to the program until they have completed 40 semester hours of course work, including multiple prerequisite courses.  

Admission to the actuarial science program is selective due to the demanding nature of the professional exams required to become an actuary. Admission is based on grades in specific prerequisite courses, the student's cumulative grade-point average, and other criteria. 

To learn more about the specific requirements for admission to the program, review Statistics and Actuarial Science in the UI General Catalog

 Information

Major(s)
Actuarial Science
BS
  Honors Courses
  Four-Year Graduation Plan
  Selective Admission
Admission Process

Careers and Outcomes

Iowa graduates have a 95 percent job/grad school placement rate within six months of graduation. Our Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.

Most actuaries are employed by insurance companies or employee benefits consulting firms. They have responsibilities related to all phases of product development and maintenance for their companies.

Individual employers who need guidance in establishing employee insurance and retirement programs also hire actuarial science graduates. A growing number of actuaries work in asset/liability management, some in investment firms, and others in insurance companies.

Actuaries are in high demand and earn good salaries in locations all across the country, often in large metropolitan areas. Most Iowa graduates find work as actuaries, but some become financial managers and teachers. 

Student Opportunities

In addition to more than 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from more than 100 Study Abroad Programs and multiple Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Actuarial science students are encouraged to explore areas related to the major. For example, you'll be able to take courses offered by the Vaughan Institute of Risk Management and Insurance and the Department of Finance in the Tippie College of Business.

Many actuarial science students earn a second major in mathematics or statistics, a minor in business administration, or a certificate in risk management and insurance.

  Scholarships

The University of Iowa provides a variety of scholarships to eligible undergraduate students through the Iowa Scholarship Portal. Scholarships are available to first-year, transfer, and currently enrolled students. For additional details on scholarships for your program of study, check directly with the department or college. 

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships. 

Course Work

Iowa’s program is rigorous and its students are academically strong. They receive thorough training in mathematics, probability, and statistics—one reason they enjoy such great success on professional exams. Most have a grade-point average (GPA) well above 3.00, especially in calculus and statistics.

Admission to the actuarial science program requires completing prerequisite courses in calculus, computer science, linear algebra, probability, statistics, economics, and financial mathematics. Courses relating to communication skills, such as writing and speaking, are also important. See Actuarial Science in the UI General Catalog to learn more about course work for the major and graduating with honors.

All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who wish to earn a bachelor's degree must complete the requirements of the GE CLAS Core.