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Academic Majors


Pre-Actuarial Science

Actuarial science is the study of the evaluation and measurement of risk. The pre-actuarial science option is a pre-professional program designed to provide the background needed to enter the field.

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Career Opportunities

Actuaries, originally only found in insurance companies, have found expanded employment opportunities in investment planning, pension fund management, government and health care planning. A recent assessment by Jobs Rated Almanac found that actuaries have the best job in America.

Actuarial Examinations

Entrance into the profession is regulated by a system of examinations run by actuarial professional societies. In the United States, these are the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). Satisfactory performance on these examinations leads to the qualifications of associate and eventually fellow of these societies, as well as the possibility of additional professional qualifications. The pre-actuarial science option is a pre-professional program in actuarial science designed to prepare students to pass several of these examinations. For details of the examinations, students are strongly encouraged to examine the SOA Associateship and Fellowship Catalog and the CAS Syllabus of Examinations for current information. The most up-to-date information may be found on the websites of the SOA
( and the CAS (

Actuarial Information

The Department of Mathematics maintains a resource center with information on the actuarial profession. Copies of the current course and examination syllabi of the societies, sample examinations and the mathematical foundations of actuarial science are available. Also available are copies of The Actuary, the SOA newsletter, Risks and Rewards, the newsletter of the investment section of the SOA, as well as other official publications of professional actuarial societies.

The Program

The nature of the actuarial profession requires its practitioners to have a broad knowledge of finance, law, mathematics, management and statistics. The curriculum provides for the completion of a double major in mathematics and statistics with the potential for a minor in economics. The course work is closely tied to the examination structure of the societies. Nevertheless, students should regularly consult the syllabi of the societies to ascertain exactly the material covered on the examinations.

Students are encouraged to visit with both the actuarial advisor of the Department of Mathematics and the actuarial advisor of the Department of Statistics early and often to confirm their progress and to stay informed of changes in the examination curriculum.

Examination Preparation Courses

The course Actuarial Exam Study (MATH 376) is intended to provide both guidance and study opportunity to the student preparing to take actuarial examinations. This course is only offered on the pass/fail grading scheme and may be repeated for credit. Interested students should contact the actuarial advisor in the Department of Mathematics.

The Department of Statistics also offers the course Actuary Exam Study II (STAT 476). Passing the first exam before graduation will be helpful in finding an entry-level position as an actuary.

Option Requirements

Students are advised to verify that the University general education requirements and the College of Science and Mathematics requirements are met in addition to the major requirements. Refer to The Bulletin and consult with the actuarial advisor in the Department of Mathematics for further information.

Sample Curriculum

General Education RequirementsCredits
First Year Experience
  UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
  COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
  English Upper Level Writing Course3
Quantitative Reasoning
  MATH 165 - Calculus I4
Science & Technology10
Humanities & Fine Arts6
Social and Behavioral Sciences
  ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics3
  ECON 202 - Principles of Macroeconomics3
Cultural Diversity-
Global Perspective-
College and Department Requirements Credits
Hum/Soc. Science Electives (B.S. Degree) 6
Hum/Soc. Science Electives (B.A. Degree) 12
Second Year Language Proficiency (B.A. Degree) -
Total 6-12
Major Requirements Credits
CSCI 160 - Computer Science I 3
CSCI 161 - Computer Science II 3
MATH 166 - Calculus II 4
MATH 265 - Calculus III 4
MATH 266 - Introduction to Differential Equations 3
MATH 270 - Introduction to Abstract Math 3
MATH 376 - Actuarial Exam Study 1
MATH 429 - Linear Algebra 3
MATH 450 - Real Analysis I 3
STAT 330 - Introduction to Statistics 3
STAT 461 - Applied Regression Models 3
STAT 462 - Introduction to Experimental Design 3
STAT 467 -Probability and Mathematical Statistics I 3
STAT 468 -Probability and Mathematical Statistics II 3
Lab Science Sequence and Science Electives 10
Total 51
Pre-Actuarial Science Option Credits
ACCT 200 - Elements of Accounting I 3
ACCT201 - Elements of Accounting II 3
ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics 3
ECON 202 - Principles of Macroeconomics 3
MATH 376 - Actuarial Exam Study 1
MATH 451 - Real Analysis II or
       MATH 489 - Numerical Analysis II
MATH 488 - Numerical Analysis I 3
STAT 476 - Actuary Exam Study II 1
400 Level Statistics Electives 9
Electives 9

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Minard Hall
Room 408

Minard Hall is located on the south end of campus on Albrecht Boulevard (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Mathematics
North Dakota State University
Minard Hall 408
Dept 2750, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8171 / Fax: (701) 231-7598

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802

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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU WebMaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 3:37:55 PM