Actuarial Science Program

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) has recognized Purdue University as a SOA Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE), the highest level of SOA recognition for universities.  To qualify for the CAE designation, university and college programs must meet eight criteria and specific requirements. These criteria include appropriate degree and curriculum offerings, graduate count, faculty composition, quality of graduates, appropriate integration with other areas of study, connection to industry, and research and professional involvement. Schools retain the CAE designation for a five-year period, renewable subject to compliance with the CAE criteria.

If you are interested in the Purdue Actuarial Science program and would like more information, Sally Ray, one of our outstanding faculty members, would be happy to arrange a virtual meeting with you. She can also meet with you on campus. Please email Sally Ray at sallyray@purdue.edu to set up a virtual or in person meeting. 

The Purdue Actuarial Science Program is one of the most preeminent Actuarial Science programs in the United States. Purdue’s Actuarial Science has been highly ranked by a number of external organizations.  To name but only a few, our program was ranked

An Actuary is a business person who use mathematical and statistical tools to evaluate future risk and contingent events. To become an Actuary you must pass a series of professional exams. You can take exams while in college. For more information about the actuarial profession, see the Be An Actuary website.

Purdue’s Actuarial Science Program is an interdisciplinary program jointly administered by the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Statistics. Upon graduation, students receive an Actuarial Science degree as well as a Statistics degree. In addition, most of the graduates also receive a Business Management minor. Students can graduate with "Honors in Actuarial Science" by fulfilling additional requirements. The program prepares students for an actuarial career as well as providing complete preparation for the first six exams set by the Society of Actuaries and the first four exams set by the Casualty Actuarial Society.  The Actuarial Program Plans of Study are available from the College of Science majors website. Actuarial Science has a normal Plan of Study (PDF) and an Honors Plan of Study (PDF) listed. These plans of study all permit the student to receive credit for all the Validation By Educational Experience (VEE) from the actuarial societies.

The Actuarial Science Program through the support of the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Statistics pays Exam Awards to each actuarial science major who passes an actuarial exam while a student provided that they have completed the Exam Award Application (PDF) prior to taking the exam.  The Exam Awards are a reimbursement of 100% of the registration cost of the actuarial exam passed.

The Actuarial Science Faculty have won numerous teaching awards and research grants.  The faculty is highly involved with the development of an innovative curriculum that includes the opportunity for an in depth exposure to Data Science. The faculty includes six credentialed actuaries who are all a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA).  The Director of the Actuarial Science Program is Jeff Beckley, FSA. 

The Actuarial Science Program is a participant in The Data Mine. The actuarial science students participating in The Data Mine are exposed to problems at the intersection of Actuarial Science and Data Science and techniques for dealing with those problems, including ethics. Students will learn to deal with large amounts of unstructured data. Students will work in groups to complete various projects such as a mortality and lapse study using data from a life insurance company and using publicly available data to model and price financial derivatives. Students will apply techniques from courses to real-world data using data analytic methods and tools to complete research.

Approximately 30 employers recruit at Purdue each year for full time employment for seniors and summer internships for undergraduate students.  The Purdue Actuarial Club coordinates all recruiting for the Actuarial Science Program.  Students need to have passed one or two or more exams and have a strong grade point average in order to find fulltime employment or a summer internship.  For students with two exams, full time employment rates are close to 100% except for international students where the need for sponsorship can be a considerable hindrance.  Most juniors with one exam have an internship following their junior year.  Additionally, many sophomores with one exam have an internship following their sophomore year.

The Purdue Actuarial Club is very active. Besides coordinating all recruiting, the Club provides support for students in their job search including resume workshops, interview workshops, and mock interviews which are invaluable to the members of the Club. Additionally, the Club sponsors social and professional events throughout the year.

Students will have opportunities to participate in undergraduate actuarial research.  Each summer, the Actuarial program provides summer research internships for undergraduate students. For more research information, please contact Jianxi Su at jianxi@purdue.edu. Other opportunities for undergraduate research are provided by the actuarial faculty and through The Data Mine.

To apply to Purdue University and the Purdue Actuarial Science program, go to the Admissions website.