Actuarial Preparation at Shippensburg

θ  What is an actuary?

Actuaries are professionals working in the business world.  They use various problem solving skills to assess risk, including mathematical and statistical techniques, thereby helping their company to make informed and profitable decisions.

Actuary is consistently ranked among the top 5 careers in the United States, based on environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands, security and stress.  Actuaries are well-paid and they control their own advancement by reaching various industry standard benchmarks; most notably, passing examinations to improve professional standing.

Actuaries provide the backbone of the insurance industry, allowing the economy to function smoothly in face of all the unexpected events which the world presents.

θ  Preparing for your career while at Shippensburg

Actuaries are business people as well as mathematicians and statisticians.  As such, you will require a broad liberal arts education, with an emphasis on business and mathematics.  Shippensburg University is an excellent environment in which to obtain these skills.

To prepare for your career, we suggest you pursue a B.S. in mathematics with a statistics concentration and a business minor.  With a thorough grounding in calculus, statistics, finance, general business and liberal arts, you will possess a skill set uniquely suited to actuarial work.  A suggested course schedule appears later in this package.

θ  Professional Requirements – VEE and Actuarial Exams

Various benchmarks must be passed to become a certified actuary.  These include VEE (Validation by Educational Experience) and actuarial examinations, as well as other forms of professional development.

VEE requirements can be satisfied by achieving a B- or better in approved college course sequences.  All three VEE certifications are available at Shippensburg:  VEE – Economics (ECO101 - Principles of Macroeconomics and ECO102 - Principles of Microeconomics or ECO113 – Principles of Economics), VEE – Corporate Finance (FIN311 - Financial Management and FIN313 – Advanced Financial Management) and VEE–Applied Statistical Methods (MAT413 – Statistics II).  VEE requirements can also be satisfied by passing standardized tests.

Along with the VEE requirements, there are the actuarial exams and other requirements such as online coursework.  These achievements determine advancement in the profession.  The more you complete, the higher your standing.

The first two exams, Probability and Financial Mathematics, are accessible to upper-class undergraduates.  The Shippensburg probability course MAT476 and mathematical statistics course MAT486 will prepare you for the Probability exam. The exam should be attempted during or immediately following MAT486.  The Financial Mathematics exam should be attempted following FIN311 but requires significant additional studying.


Probability Exam Schedule: The probability exam is currently offered 5 times per year, in September, November, January, March and May.  Deadlines for registration are approximately 6 weeks in advance of the exams dates.  The exam fee is currently $200.

Financial Math Exam Schedule:  The financial math exam is currently offered 5 times per year, in October, December, February, April and June.  Deadlines for registration are approximately 6 weeks in advance of the exams dates.  The exam fee is currently $200.

 

Further Information

For more information about being an actuary and the professional requirements, please visit the following websites:

-          http://webspace.ship.edu/pttaylor/ActuaryHandbook.pdf - Shippensburg actuary preparation handbook

-          http://www.beanactuary.org/ - An excellent, broad resource.  Includes exam schedules, sample exams, VEE information and more.

-          http://www.soa.org/ - Society of Actuaries professional organization

-          http://www.casact.org/ - Casualty Actuarial Society professional organization

-          http://www.prometric.com/SOA/default.htm - List of test centers (click “Locate a test center”).

-          http://www.casact.org/admissions/syllabus/exam1.pdf - Probability exam syllabus

-          http://www.casact.org/admissions/syllabus/exam2.pdf - Financial mathematics exam syllabus

 

-          For information regarding the Shippensburg program, please contact Dr. Taylor (pttaylor@ship.edu), Dr. McNichols (dtmcni@ship.edu) or Dr. McGivney (kgmcgi@ship.edu).


Suggested Course Schedule

 

 

Fall

Spring

First Year

HCS100 - Human Comm

HIS105 – World History I

MAT211 – Calculus I

2 Gen Ed Electives

ENG106 – Writing Seminar

HIS106 – World History II

MAT212 – Calculus II

MAT225 – Discrete Mathematics

ECO113 – Principles of Economics1

Second Year

MAT213 – Calculus III

MAT318 – Elem. Linear Algebra

CSC110 – Computer Science I

ACC200 – Fund. of Financial Accounting

Gen Ed Elective

MAT320 – Intro to Abstract Algebra

MAT313 –Statistics I

FIN311 – Financial Management

2 Gen Ed Electives

Third Year

One of MAT413 – Statistics II3

       Or  MAT476 – Probability2

FIN312 – Investments

MKT305 – Principals of Marketing

2 Gen Ed Electives

MAT441 – Real Analysis

One of MAT486 – Math. Statistics3

       Or  FIN313 – Adv. Fin. Management

MGT305 – Organizational Behavior

2 Gen Ed Electives

Fourth Year

One of MAT413 – Statistics II3

       Or  MAT476 – Probability2

FIN314 – Fin. Institutions

One of MATxxx – Elective4

       Or  Gen Ed Elective

2 Gen Ed Electives

One of MAT486 – Math. Statistics3

       Or  FIN313 – Adv. Fin. Management

MAT326 – Mathematical Modeling

One of MATxxx – Elective4

       Or  Gen Ed Elective

Gen Ed Elective

Free Elective

1 ECO101 - Principles of Macroeconomics and ECO102 - Principles of Microeconomics can be taken instead of ECO113 – Principles of Economics

2 offered only odd years (2007, 2009, …)                3 offered only even years (2008, 2010, …)

4 recommended electives are  MAT410 – Numerical Analysis and MAT322 – Differential Equations