Actuarial Science: Robert Morris University Actuarial Science | Robert Morris University


actuarial_science_logo The actuarial science program at Robert Morris University prepares students for a rewarding career as an actuary. 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.

CareerCast named actuary in the top 10 of the highest ranked careers in 2016 based on criteria such as job security, stress, compensation, and future prospects. 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.

RMU's actuarial science program is highly interdisciplinary in content. The curriculum includes courses in general mathematics, statistics, actuarial mathematics, business, economics, and finance. 

Career Options for Actuarial Science Majors

The first edition of the Jobs Rated Almanac (1988) had actuary as #1, and it has never been rated lower than fourth. The 2015 version, now published online at Careercast once again has actuary at the top. The editors compile statistics on 200 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. A wealth of information on actuarial careers may be found at the Be An Actuary website.

Compensation depends on experience, employment location and the number of exams passed. The average starting salary in 2015 was over $60,000. 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 DW Simpson, a leading actuarial recruitment firm.


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. Students entering with college credit for one or more semesters of calculus may begin immediately preparing for the first actuarial exam (P/1) by taking Probability/Math Statistics I and II during the freshman year. 

FRESHMAN/Fall Semester                            FRESHMAN/Spring Semester
Calculus w/Analytic Geometry I Calculus w/Analytic Geometry II
Communications Communications
Intro Decision Support Systems Fundamentals of Actuarial Science
Principles of Macroeconomics Intro Financial Accounting
RMU Core Linear Algebra with Applications
SOPHOMORE/Fall Semester SOPHOMORE/Spring Semester
Calculus w/Analytic Geometry III RMU Core
Communications Communications
Probability/Math Statistics I Probability/Math Statistics II
Theory of Interest Financial Mathematics
Elective Principles of Microeconomics
JUNIOR/Fall Semester JUNIOR/Spring Semester
Advanced Financial Math Principles of Finance
Statistical Modeling I Statistical Modeling II
Actuarial Data Analysis RMU Core
Elective/Practice Area RMU Core
Regression Analysis Time Series Analysis
SENIOR/Fall Semester SENIOR/Spring Semester
Statistical Modeling II Elective/Practice Area
Corporate Finance Predictive Analytics
Life Contingencies I Life Contingencies II
Elective/Practice Area RMU Core
RMU Core

RMU's actuarial science curriculum is specifically designed to prepare students for the first five professional actuarial exams administered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA). There are fewer than 60 such programs in the United States and only 17 with the designation Center of Actuarial Excellence. Several leading national actuarial employers have offices in Pittsburgh. They include WillisTowers Watson, 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, Cheiron Consulting, Cigna, Erie Insurance, Highmark Inc., Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual, Penn Mutual, Progressive 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 opportunities 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.

More details and short bios for the actuarial faculty may be found at Actuarial Science Now.

There are several special scholarship opportunities available for actuarial science majors. These include an annual full-tuition scholarship for an academically eligible minority student. For details please view the Actuarial Science Scholarships at Actuarial Science Now.

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. 

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