The actuarial science degree program at Robert Morris University prepares students for careers as actuaries, which was named a top-ranked job in the latest edition Jobs Rated Almanac based on criteria such as security, stress, compensation, and future prospects. The Wall Street Journal named actuary the best job in the nation in its 2010 list of best and worst jobs. An actuary is an expert in risk. Most actuaries are employed by either insurance companies or human resource consulting firms, where they design health and retirement benefit plans. The major is highly interdisciplinary in content, requiring courses in general mathematics, statistics, actuarial mathematics, business, economics, and finance. RMU was one of the first 10 universities in the United States to be designated a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries.
In the past six editions of the Jobs Rated Almanac, actuary has never been rated lower than fourth. The editors compile statistics on 250 occupations and rank them based on six key criteria: environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands, security, and stress. The data comes from government sources, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as studies from trade associations and industry groups.
Actuaries are responsible for determining rates and premiums on insurance policies (e.g. life, health, home, and auto) and forecasting future events affecting the soundness of insurance programs. Some actuaries work with consulting firms as advisors to corporations regarding human resource and pension benefits. Government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration or insurance regulatory boards, also employ actuaries. Actuaries can specialize in life and health insurance, in property and casualty insurance, or in pension benefit programs. Half of all certified actuaries work for insurance companies, one third for independent consulting companies, and the remainder in education and government.
Compensation depends on experience, employment location and the number of exams passed. The average starting salary is approximately $58,000. The salary growth potential for the actuarial profession is one of the highest available. For example, Fellows of the Society of Actuaries with 15 years of experience often earn in excess of $250,000 annually. For more detailed salary and compensation information, visit www.dwsimpson.com/salary.html.
Below is a typical four-year course of study for actuarial science students, including major requirements and some electives. Your own schedule will vary based on your own interests.
|FRESHMAN/Fall Semester||FRESHMAN/Spring Semester|
|Intercultural Communications||Fundamentals of Actuarial Science|
|Calculus w/Analytic Geometry I||Calculus w/Analytic Geometry II|
|Intro Financial Accounting||Principles of Macroeconomics|
|Intro Decision Support Systems||Argument & Research|
|Humanities: Art & Music||U.S. History I|
|SOPHOMORE/Fall Semester||SOPHOMORE/Spring Semester|
|Probability/Math Statistics I||Linear Algebra w/Applications|
|Principles of Microeconomics||Probability/Math Statistics II|
|Calculus w/Analytic Geometry III||Professional Communications|
|Biology||RMU Core Course|
|Public Speaking and Persuasion||RMU Core Course|
|JUNIOR/Fall Semester||JUNIOR/Spring Semester|
|Theory of Interest||Financial Mathematics|
|Principles of Finance||Corporate Finance|
|Visual Basic Programming||Statistical Modeling I|
|RMU Core||Contemporary American Social Problems|
|SENIOR/Fall Semester||SENIOR/Spring Semester|
|Life Contigencies I||Life Contigencies II|
|Advanced Financial Mathematics||Statistical Modeling III|
|Statistical Modeling II||Elective|
|World Literature||General Psychology|
|Principles of Sociology||American National Government|
RMU's actuarial science curriculum is specifically designed to prepare students for the first five professional actuarial exams, jointly administered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). There are fewer than 60 such programs in the United States. Several leading national actuarial employers have offices in Pittsburgh. They include Towers Perrin, Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Buck Consultants and Highmark Insurance. Many RMU students attain highly paid summer or school-year internships with these companies.
Each year, RMU holds an Actuarial Science Career Day, when students have the opportunity to network with dozens of local and national employers specifically interested in hiring actuaries. Recent participants include Aetna, Erie Insurance, Highmark Inc., Humana Inc., Mercer Human Resource Consulting, and UPMC.
RMU’s campus sits upon 230 scenic, rolling acres in Moon Township, Pa. Our spacious grounds give you all the benefits of a traditional university campus, while being just a short drive from the airport and downtown Pittsburgh. We have recently renovated our classroom facilities, including technology upgrades, as well as our residence halls. This fall we are opening a new School of Business building and a new apartment-style residence hall, Peter Salem Hall.
The School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science unites faculty members from diverse disciplines and provides opportunies for collaboration in teaching and research between faculty and students. We provide students with real-world experiences that give them the skills they need to compete in the job market. The results show: a 96% job placement rate for our graduates. We emphasize a global curriculum and have a diverse student and faculty body. We make sure our students are engaged citizens of the globe and experienced professionals in sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
There are several special scholarship opportunities available for actuarial science majors. These include an annual full-tuition scholarship for an academically eligible minority student.
Scholarships are available based upon academic achievement.
For freshmen, high school grade point average and ACT/SAT scores are used. For transfer students, the cumulative grade point average of all college courses is used. Scholarships range from $1000 per year up to full tuition. (To calculate your scholarship eligibility, click here.)
Higher education is an investment in your future.
At Robert Morris University, we will work closely with you to show you how to finance your education through a combination of need-based financial aid, scholarships, and financing strategies to make your education attainable. RMU has one of the lowest tuition rates of all private institutions in the state, but we know that financing your education can be complicated, and your family might need help in understanding your options.
Talk to us—we can help!
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