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Actuarial Careers

Information for math majors.

One of the careers open to a math major is being an actuary, a job that evaluates risks.

Links to National Organizations

As with any career, if you are interested in being an actuary, it is worthwhile to find out more from people who are already in the profession. The best information on becoming an actuary and preparing for that career while in college is found by going directly to a national organization:

Preparing to be an actuary while in college at SLU

The recommendations of the professional organizations on academic preparation for this career include taking:

  • finance
  • microeconomics
  • macroeconomics
  • 3 semesters of calculus
  • 1 semester of linear algebra
  • 2 semesters of calculus-based probability and statistics
  • business courses, such as marketing
This selection is automatically covered by someone majoring in math and taking a business certificate. It can also be covered by majoring in business and doing a little more than a minor in mathematics. As mentioned above, the path to becoming an actuary involves a number of professional exams. A reasonable path of preparation at SLU would be to start with calculus and introductory business courses as a freshman. The student can then take MATH 401 (offered every fall) and MATH 402 (offered every spring) during their junior year.  The student should also take Financial Mathematics (offered in even numbered falls).  With this preparation the student would be on the path to completing the FM and the P actuarial exams by the end of junior year and be very well qualified for an internship as an actuary the summer after junior year.


It should be noted that the SOA also has a program where courses are validated as filling part of the training for professional certification.  Currently accepted courses include:

  • Applied Statistical Methods - DSCI 207
  • Corporate Finance - FIN 301
  • Economics - ECON 312 and ECON 314

For more information

It is recommended that any students considering this profession contact either Mike May ( or Julianne Rainbolt ( in the department of mathematics. The earlier this contact is made the better so that the math department can assist the student in choosing courses, both within the math department and outside the department, that will best prepare a student for this profession.

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