Columbia University’s Master of Science in Actuarial Science grounds you in the latest theory and methods, prepares you for all actuarial exams, and equips you with new skills to excel in the workplace.

We are accepting Actuarial Science Online applications for fall 2015. Admitted students may be able to transition to the on-campus program after their first semester.

The program’s core faculty are credentialed actuaries and some of the most respected analytical minds in the country. The core curriculum spans probability and statistics, actuarial models and methods, and stochastic processes, with more than 40 comprehensive electives in property/casualty, pensions, life insurance, health insurance, statistics, economics, business, mathematics, and finance. Coursework includes real-world challenges that you solve, document, and present in class to sharpen your professional communication skills. The program has an extensive focus on professional and career development and includes a Proseminar, mentoring, career fairs and professional networking events, résumé and cover letter review and critique, and Optional Practical Training (OPT).

New for Fall 2015:
Additional Elective Courses in Enterprise Risk Management

Beginning with the 2015–2016 academic year, new elective courses in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) are available for Actuarial Science students. These courses focus on a range of topics essential to ERM, a discipline that is in high demand by employers from a broad range of industries. Many of the courses also have wider applications in actuarial science, such as managing insurance and financial risks, building effective risk models, understanding common risk management practices in the insurance and banking sectors, knowledge of risk management requirements by rating agencies, and awareness of the risk drivers that cause company failures.

Choose Options Online and On Campus

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 or online, and is designed to provide flexible choices between those two formats. Whether enrolled on campus or online, all students have the same access to rigorous coursework, instruction by Columbia faculty, intensive career and professional development, and thorough exam preparation.

Online, students connect with their instructors and fellow students through a highly collaborative and interactive social learning platform that incorporates weekly live discussion groups, prerecorded lectures, collaborative and independent coursework, and forums.

Switching between on-campus and online is possible. If you enroll in the online format, you can switch to the on-campus format after your first semester. International students who are planning to do so should consult the ISSO website for detailed information related to CPT (Curriculum Practical Training) eligibility.

If you are completing the program on campus, you may also take courses online, depending on your interest and schedule. International students who are planning to do so may only enroll in one online class each semester.

Who Should Apply

Most of our students are:

  1. Recent undergraduates with a strong background in a quantitative field, such as mathematics (including teachers and tutors), statistics, actuarial science, physics, economics, computer science, accounting, or finance;

  2. Entry-level actuaries interested in advancing their careers and preparing for their exams within the context of a structured master’s degree program; and

  3. Career-changers with strong quantitative skills looking to transition into the actuarial field.

All applicants must have 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 for UK actuarial exams through the mutual recognition between the U.S. and the UK actuarial organizations.

Additional program option in Actuarial Science

Online Certification of Professional Achievement in Actuarial Science

In as few as two semesters, build and expand your knowledge of actuarial science and provide a foundation to successfully enter the field.

Learn More >


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