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actuary:major_requirements

Declare Actuarial Majors

Binghamton University offers two degrees in this field: BA in Actuarial Science and BS in Actuarial Science. To become an actuarial major is probably the best way to get into the track. However, before you declare a major in actuarial science, you may want to take a second and think about the following questions very carefully:

  • Have you shown strong aptitude in mathematics or quantitative skills in general? An example would be grades of your calculus courses. Usually, if you did not get a grade greater than B in calculus, it is early indicator that you may have some problems in the actuarial program. In extreme cases, you may suffer from studying something that you are not very good at, fail several attempts to an exam and may not even find a job related to actuarial career after graduation.
  • Are you a self-motivated person? Can you work on yourself to study the materials without an instructor standing behind you who forces you to study the stuff? Do you study because you want to become an actuary or your parents want you to become an actuary? Remember there are still many exams to take even after you graduate from college.

If your answers to both questions are YES, then congratulations. You may be on the right track to become an actuary. Now, you could declare a major in actuarial science, start to take courses, and prepare for exams.

To declare an actuarial major, click here.

On the other hand, be aware that you can become an actuary without being an actuarial major. Our actuarial program help people to prepare for the career, but a really self-motivated person can buy a book off the bookstore and study before he/she takes the class. It is never too early to start preparing. So if you have made up your mind, ACT NOW!!!

Major Requirements

The major requirements for each student may differ and they depend on the time that the student first entered the university. See the university bulletin for the requirements for a particular year. In case of ambiguity, the student should consult the DARS report, the Degree Work, the designated advisor in the math department, the director of undergraduate student in the math department or the Harpur advising office.

Effective for students entering the university in or after Fall 2014

The following courses are required for the BA and BS degrees.

  • Common requirements for both BA and BS
    • Basic math courses (6): 221 (i.e. 224 and 225), 222 (i.e. 226 and 227), 323, 304, 330, and either 371 or 372.
    • Core actuarial courses (4): 346, 447, 448 and any Math course with number greater than 330 except 449.
    • Economics courses (2): ECON 160 and 162.
  • Additional requirements for BS only
    • Advanced math courses (2): 478 and 479.
    • Advanced actuarial courses (2): 450, and either 452 or 454
    • Advanced Economics courses (2): ECON 360 and 362.

For a course to count for degree, a grade 'C' or better must be obtained. See the Grade Requirements and Prerequisites section below.

There are 12 required courses for the BA degree (10 from Department of Mathematical Sciences and 2 from Department of Economics).

There are 18 required courses for the BS degree (14 from Department of Mathematical Sciences and 4 from Department of Economics).

Read a graph suggesting a correct order of taking these courses.

Although not mandated, BA students are advised to take either 450 or 454 for the required “any Math course with number greater than 330 except 449” shown above; BS students are advised to take both 452 and 454, where one of them fulfills the requirement “any Math course with number greater than 330 except 449” shown above.

Math 449 is a preparation course for Exam P/1. It specifies materials in Math 447 to the context of Exam P/1. Although it does not count toward the degree, students are encouraged to take this course after Math 447.

For students who entered the university prior to Fall 2014, Math 449 can still count towards the degree.

In recent years, many of our students have managed to pass Exam P/1 and Exam FM/2 before taking the corresponding courses Math 447 and Math 346. Many have been curious whether they can be waived on taking these courses. Please read the highlighted texts on this page for our policy and suggestions in these situations.

Sample Course Lineup

The table below shows a sample schedule for a typical BS actuarial major. For BA students, fewer courses are required. Many of our majors come in with AP credits for Math 221 and Econ 160/162. In this case, shift the schedule up by one or two semesters.

Semester Math courses Other courses Take/prepare for exam
1 221 Econ 160(v)
2 222, 304 Econ 162(v)
3 323, 346 Fin 311(v) FM/2
4 447, 330 (449 only if needed) Fin 322/324(v) FM/2 & P/1
summer P/1
5 448(v), 450 Econ 360(v) MLC
6 452, 371/372 (449 only if needed) Econ 362(v) MLC
7 478 Econ 466(v)
8 454, 479 MFE

Courses that fulfill a VEE requirement are labelled (v). Not all the courses above are required. Those which are not part of the major requirements are merely recommended.

Grade Requirements and Prerequisites

Effective for students entering the university in or after Fall 2014

  • A course in which a student earns a grade of C- or less is not acceptable as a prerequisite and cannot be used to fulfill the requirements for the major.
  • A Pass grade (P) does not count toward the major (unless the only grade available is Pass/Fail; in this case, consent of the department is required).
  • A grade-point average of 2.0 or higher in major courses is required for satisfactory completion of the major.
  • A student who has received credit for a course may not take one of its prerequisites for credit at a later time.
actuary/major_requirements.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/05 18:20 (external edit)