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Excel beyond quantitative skills and become an actuary suited for today’s business culture.
Columbia University’s Master’s Programs in Actuarial Science ground students in the theory and methods used in the field, giving them the preparation to pass actuarial examinations, while building business sense and skills used to thrive in the workplace.
Taught by some of the most respected analytical minds in the country, the curricula span probability and statistics, business and economics, and actuarial models and methods. Allowing for curricular customization and, for a specialized course of study for advanced students, more than 30 comprehensive electives focus on topics including property/casualty, pensions, life insurance, and health insurance.
The program, which may be taken on a part-time or a full-time basis, is offered on Columbia's campus in New York City.
Who Should Apply
Most of our students are from four groups:
Undergraduate seniors or recent graduates, often with backgrounds in math (including teachers and tutors), statistics, physics, economics, computer science, accounting, or banking/finance. A few students have a nonscientific background, such as history, literature, or philosophy.
Entry-level actuaries who want to prepare for their examinations within the context of a structured academic program, as well as those interested in analytical industries in fields such as general financial markets or insurance.
Existing actuaries who wish to advance or accelerate their actuarial career.
Career-changers looking to gain an edge as they transition into the actuarial field.
All must possess strong quantitative skills with knowledge of elementary economics, linear algebra, and multivariate calculus.
Upon successful completion, graduates will be prepared to pass the industry examinations required in the field (Society of Actuaries Exams P, FM, MLC, MFE, and C, and Casualty Actuary Society Exams 1–4) and earn Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credit in economics, corporate finance, and applied statistical methods. The program also prepares students taking the UK exams through the mutual recognition between the U.S. and the UK actuarial organizations.
Professional and Career Development
Going beyond industry exam preparation, Columbia’s Actuarial Science programs have evolved in response to what employers are seeking:
real-world application of actuarial science in health insurance, pension, property/casualty insurance, life insurance, investments, and enterprise risk management
instruction in industry-standard software and tools
elective courses emphasizing communications and presentation skills
Professional development services available to students include:
Twice weekly during both semesters, you can hear industry representatives address a range of topics in actuarial science, including effective networking and job searches. Attend the sessions in-person or via webcast.
Past Presenters Have Included
Casualty Actuarial Society
Ernst & Young
New York Life
Plymouth Rock Assurance
Society of Actuaries
Past Topics Have Included
Getting an Actuarial Job
Navigating an Actuarial Career
Being a Health Actuary
Being a Pension Actuary
Being a Life Actuary
Being a P&C Actuary
If you are in an actuarial internship while you’re a student, you can receive program credit by enrolling in ACTU K4995. Internship in Actuarial Science.
Résumé Review and Critique
We’ll review your résumé and cover letter as soon as you’re accepted in the program, and recommend changes and updates to align with industry practices. In addition, we’ll add your résumé to the Columbia résumé book, which is circulated to all major employers.
Executive Career Coaching
You’ll work one-on-one with a professional coach who will provide guidance in planning a path to best fit your career and life goals, and gain strategic, tactical support for your job search.