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 all six preliminary exams offered by the Society of Actuaries. Our program also covers most of the syllabus of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
Financial Mathematics (FM) Exam
In your freshmen year, you'll be taking MA255 Financial Mathematics which covers the fundamental concepts of financial mathematics, and how those concepts are applied in calculating present and accumulated values for various streams of cash flows as a basis for future use in: reserving, valuation, pricing, asset/liability management, investment income, capital budgeting and valuing contingent cash flows.
Probability (P) Exam
The syllabus for Exam P develops the candidate's knowledge of the fundamental probability tools for quantitatively assessing risk. The application of these tools to problems encountered in actuarial science is emphasized. MA 351 Theory of probability will prepare you for Exam P which will be taken during your sophomore year.
Investment and Financial Markets (IFM)
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 corporate finance and financial models and the application of those models to insurance and other financial risks.
Long-Term Actuarial Mathematics (LTAM)
In your junior or senior year, you may take MA 458 to prepare for the LTAM exam through a comprehensive development of the theoretical basis of contingent payment models and the application of those models to insurance and other financial risks.
Statistics for Risk Modeling (SRM)
Our courses MA 252, DAT 300 and DAT 315 provide an introduction to methods and models for analyzing data, regression models (including the generalized linear model), time series models, principal components analysis, decision trees, and cluster analysis.
Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics (STAM)
MA458 covers an introduction to modeling and covers important actuarial methods that are useful in modeling. This course may be taken during senior year.
In addition, students earn Validation by Education Experience credit for Principles of Macroeconomics (EC 101), Principles of Microeconomics (EC 102), Corporate Finance (FIN 325), and Mathematical Statistics (MA 352).
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.
Actuarial Science at Elizabethtown College
Studying for a Career as an Actuarial Analyst, at Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown College – Actuarial Science Student Q & A: Yawen Zhang
Yawen Zhang is a senior Actuarial Science major at Elizabethtown College. She hopes to use her degree to become an actuarial analyst.
"I’ve really liked my experience at Elizabethtown College. I’m able to pass actuarial science exams and also enjoy after-class activities. The class sizes are fairly small. The benefit of this is that whenever I need help, my professors are always available to help me."
Read more about Zhang’s experience in a Q & A session with AdvisorSmith.com.