Actuarial science involves the application of probability theory and risk management to the areas of life and health insurance, property and casualty insurance, pension plans, and other employee benefit plans. Risk analysts and actuaries, who evaluate the long-term financial impact of these plans on both the issuing company and the purchaser or beneficiary of the plan, are employed by insurance companies, consulting firms, large corporations and governmental agencies. The major in actuarial science emphasizes the mathematical theory that underlies risk evaluation.
Risk analysts and actuaries are expected to earn professional designation from either the Society of Actuaries (life and health insurance) or the Casualty Actuarial Society (property and casualty insurance). These societies administer a series of examinations that lead to the risk analyst designation, or for actuaries, first to the designation of associate and then to fellow. The initial exams are the same for both societies. The courses required for the major and the minor will aid the student in preparing for the first two of the professional societies' examinations and will also satisfy their Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) requirements in economics, corporate finance, and applied statistics.