Actuarial Science Advising Guide

An actuary manages risk, primarily in insurance, retirement planning, and economic forecasting. Actuaries must have strong analytical skills, particularly in probability and statistics, business knowledge, and understanding of human behavior.

A student interested in a career in actuarial science should have a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and economics. A statistics major paired with a financial economics major or minor will equip students with the tools they need for a career in actuarial science. 

Tips and Advice

Here are a few things to keep in mind when mapping out your path to graduation:

  • Talk to a Statistics advisor about becoming an actuary. An advisor will help you map out your path to graduation, put you in contact with alumni, and help you navigate the certification process. 
  • Read through the material under the Future Actuaries tab on the Society of Actuaries web site. 
  • Students should plan on taking and passing at least one actuarial exam between their junior and senior years. 
    • MCS-341 (Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics I) contains much of the material from Exam P. 
    • E/M-270 (Business Finance) contains material from Exam FM and Exam IFM
  • Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credits are required for actuarial certification. There are certain courses at Gustavus that fulfill some of those credits. The course directory and more information can be found at
  • Arrange to jog shadow an actuary early in your college career (first year or sophomore year). This will allow you to get first-hand insight on what an actuary does and is a great way to network. The career centerr can help you make contact with alumns. 
  • Try to get an internship. Internships are a great way to gain work experience and to network.