Actuarial Science

Actuarial Science

While there is not yet an actuarial science program at UNH, there are resources on campus that can be helpful for those wanting to pursue a career as an actuary.

The first question you may be asking is, what is an actuary? Actuaries can have a variety of roles, but they usually work in insurance and their primary job is to analyze the financial costs of risk using mathematics, statistics, and financial theory. Check out these links if you want to learn more!

What Do We Do – Be An Actuary
Actuaries: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is an Actuary? | SOA

Am I a good fit?

Are you interested in:

  • Math and Statistics
  • Economics and Business Theory
  • Coding
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication

If so, you could be a great fit for a career as an actuary! Find more detailed information about an actuarial career at these links.
Should I be an actuary? (The why YES and the why NO) - Etched Actuarial

Is this the career for you? – Be An Actuary

Exam Process and UNH Resources
A big component of going into a career in actuarial science is the exam process. There is a series of 10 exams that you must pass in order to become an actuary. You do not need to pass all of these exams while still in college; passing 2-3 is usually good enough to get an entry level position.

UNH offers two classes that are similar to the content of the first two preliminary exams, P and FM, but they are not prep courses and must be complemented with independent study. They are not offered every semester, so make sure you plan accordingly if you wish to take these courses:

  • MATH 755: This course is similar to the content of the P exam and is offered every fall

Introduces the theory, methods, and applications of randomness and random processes. Probability concepts, random variable, expectation, discrete and continuous probability distributions, joint distributions, conditional distributions; moment-generating functions, convergence of random variables. Prereq: MATH 528 and MATH 539 (or MATH 644).

  • MATH 632: This course is similar to the content of the FM exam and is offered every other spring

A mathematical introduction to interest theory and an overview of mathematical models used to analyze and price standard financial instruments including: interest bearing accounts, stocks and bonds. Introduction to basic concepts used in mathematical finance including: random variables, mathematics of arbitrage, risk and diversification. Includes a substantive introduction to all aspects of the financial mathematics actuarial exam.

Preliminary Exams – Be An Actuary
Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) | SOA

There are also Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credits, which are education credits required to become a certified actuary. Some can be fulfilled by courses at UNH. You do not have to take the courses, as these credits can be fulfilled after college, but they can help give an introduction to work you may do as an actuary.

  • ECON 401: Principles of Economics (Macro)
  • ECON 402: Principles of Economics (Micro)
  • MATH 756: Principles of Statistical Inference

A great resource to help you pass exams is Coaching Actuaries, an online software that allows you to learn the course materials and take practice exams. There is a student discount that makes it more affordable.

What to do while at UNH

  • Pass 2-3 exams: This is a key component of getting hired out of college.
  • Go to UNH Actuaries Club events: The new UNH Actuaries Club hosts speaker events and socials that allow students to interact with industry professionals and learn more about the career.
  • Get an internship: This is becoming very important to getting an entry level position, so look for internships early in the year as many are filled by mid-to-late fall.
  • Do research about the career: There is a lot of information online that can help you decide whether actuarial science is a right step for you and what next steps to take.