Actuarial Science Major in Pennsylvania
We are proud to have one of the few actuarial science bachelor degree programs in Pennsylvania. Our graduates take jobs in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, New York, Chicago, and elsewhere.
Actuarial Science is a discipline that uses mathematical and statistical methods to quantify and manage risk in insurance, finance, and other industries. It can be a good career choice for students with strong mathematical ability who are also interested in insurance, risk management, or corporate finance.
The profession is well-known for its combination of high salaries and low stress. Actuaries are highly valued professionals who work primarily for insurance companies, state and federal agencies, health organizations, and consulting firms. The actuarial field has its own well-defined credentialing structure, around which the Elizabethtown College actuarial science program is designed.
The Elizabethtown Actuarial Science major program prepares students for the following actuarial exams:
Financial Mathematics (FM) Exam
In your sophomore year, you'll learn the mathematical foundations of interest theory and financial derivatives, then prove mastery through an intensive course based on theoretical knowledge, numerous practical examples, and problems.
Probability (P) Exam
In your junior year, you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of the theory of probability, and develop fundamental mathematical tools for quantitatively assessing and managing risk.
Models for Financial Economics (MFE) exam
In your junior or senior year, you may take MA 457 to prepare for the MFE exam through a comprehensive development of the theoretical basis of certain financial models used by actuaries.
Models in Life Contingencies (MLC) exam
In your junior or senior year, you may take MA 458 to prepare for the MLC exam through a comprehensive development of the theoretical basis of certain actuarial models and the application of those models to insurance and other financial risks.
In addition, students earn Validation by Education Experience credit for corporate finance (BA 325), micro and macroeconomics (ECON 101 and 102), and applied statistical methods (MA 252).
Over the last five years, 60.5 percent sophomore Actuarial Science majors have passed the Financial Mathematics (FM) exam within a year of first taking it, and 70.0 percent of junior Actuarial Science majors have passed the Probability (P) exam within a year of first taking it. These pass rates comparable favorably with recent pass rates published by the Society of Actuaries. In the fall of 2018, for example, the SOA reports that 56.1 percent of candidates nationwide passed the Financial Mathematics exam, and 49.7 percent of candidates passed the Probability exam.
A unique aspect of our program is the addition of two courses that feature Microsoft Excel, which is a tool heavily used by practicing actuaries. The first course (MA 262) is taken in the spring of the first year to familiarize students with Excel and with the financial instruments that are studied in greater depth during the sophomore year in MA 255. The second Excel course (MA 463) is designed for seniors about to enter full time employment, and it covers more advanced financial material, as well as programming in Visual Basic and making database queries. If you want to know more about the courses you’ll take as an actuarial science major, take a look at our Actuarial Science major requirements.