Welcome to the Department of Mathematics

Department of Mathematics at Illinois State University

Actuarial Science

Overview

The Actuarial Program at Illinois State University is a Center for Actuarial Excellence, one of the first nine academic programs in the United States to receive that recognition in 2009, and the first one in the State of Illinois. It is one of the leading actuarial programs in the United States, offering an undergraduate Bachelor degree, and a graduate Master degree. The program combines high quality education in all areas of actuarial theory with serious commitment to actuarial practice and professionalism.

Why Study Actuarial Science?

Actuaries put a price tag on future risks. Those risks are usually associated with possible financial losses. An actuary uses mathematical skills to define, analyze, and solve business and social problems. Actuaries calculate costs of insurance, pensions, and social programs (e.g., Social Security, Medicare), represented in the premium or taxes paid, and they also estimate the amounts that insurance companies, or pension plans, or social insurance systems, must set aside in reserves to be able to meet their obligations.

Related Majors

Careers

Related Skills

  • Logical Thinker
  • Strong numerical computational ability
  • Ability to analyze, interpret data
  • Problem solver
  • Critical thinker
  • Attention to detail and commitment to accuracy
  • Works well in teams
  • Interested in business

Being Successful in the Field

  • A bachelor's degree is typically sufficient for entry-level positions. While a graduate degree may be useful, it is not necessary. Pair a strong background in mathematics with serious interest in the business world.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in areas of interest to enhance knowledge and make contacts.
  • Stay informed of new developments and current trends in the field.
  • Gain experience through professional internships and part-time or summer jobs.
  • Develop competencies in a specific area of interest.
  • Curriculum combines mathematics courses with business, economics,computers, and statistics for increased job opportunities.
  • Maintain a high grade point average.
  • Build relationships with faculty for career information, contacts,and letters of recommendation.
  • Join related student professional associations and seek leadership positions.

Related Fields

  • Insurance
  • Finance
  • Statistics
  • Data Processing
  • Testing
  • Quality Control
  • Consulting

Employers

  • Consulting firms
  • Government

Strategies

  • Maintain high G.P.A.
  • Pass at least two professional actuarial examinations by the end of junior year.
  • Gain relevant experience through professional internships, summer, or part-time jobs.
  • Learn about the business of insurance.
  • In particular, learn to communicate mathematical ideas effectively to non-mathematical audiences.

Government

  • Social insurance systems
  • State insurance commissioners

Employers

  • Federal agencies including teams Social Security Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and possibly others.
  • State agencies: Insurance commissioners

Strategies

  • Become familiar with government hiring procedures.
  • Obtain professional actuarial internship or part time work
  • Join related professional organizations.
  • Maintain a high grade point average.
  • Pass at least two professional actuarial examinations.

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Maureen Roach  110 Student Services Building  maroach@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5823 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Krzysztof Ostaszewski  Stevenson 313G  krzysio@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-7226 

New Freshmen

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing periodfor freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

New Transfer

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA

2.50

Middle 50% GPA

3.41 - 3.85

Required Courses

Calculus I and II (MAT 145 and 146) with grades of B or better.

Strong students with less than 30 hours and calculus I completed will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Recommended Courses

  • ECO 105 - Macro- and micro-economics
  • MAT 147 - Calculus III
  • MAT 175 - Elementary Linear Algebra
  • ACC 131 - Financial Accounting
  • ACC 132 - Managerial Accounting

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Department of Mathematics  Stevenson Hall 313  actuary@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8781 

Illinois State Students

Middle 50% GPA

3.41 - 3.85

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

Applications are always accepted

Major Requirements

Grades of "B" or better in MAT 145 and 146

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Department of Mathematics  Stevenson Hall 313  actuary@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-8781