What Is Actuarial Science?
Actuarial science is quantification of risk – actuaries use tools from statistics, economics and finance to measure and quantify risk. Actuaries are in demand because they are experts in assessing and managing risk. The actuarial curriculum at Illinois will prepare you for a rewarding career in the financial services industry or a related field.
The Actuarial Science Program at Illinois, housed in the Department of Mathematics, curriculum reflects the interdisciplinary nature of actuarial science, allowing students to receive not only essential actuarial training, but also to take a variety of courses in mathematics, statistics, economics, finance and computer science. Read our Actuarial Science Program brochure.
We have been named a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), one of a few such programs in the U.S. to be so recognized. The designation is earned by meeting stringent requirements and qualifications regarding quality of degree program and curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels, faculty composition, connections to industry, and research/scholarship.
The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) has also selected the University of Illinois twice as a winner of the prestigious University Award, recognizing its exemplary work in preparing students for a career in the property and casualty insurance industry. The university received an inaugural award from CAS in 2016 and again in 2020.
Tradition and Strengths
The Department of Mathematics at Illinois has a rich history of being home to many world-renowned founding fathers of modern probability theory. The probability theory has given rise to revolutionizing development in finance and actuarial science. Built on such a strong tradition, the Illinois Actuarial Science Program is uniquely positioned to offer rigorous training on probability modeling.
Our program also works closely with the Department of Statistics to offer training on statistics and data analytics. It is one of very few actuarial programs in the world that provides comprehensive training on both casualty actuarial science, which has been traditionally statistics focused, and life insurance mathematics, which concentrates on probabilistic applications.
We are a founding member of the Annual Midwest Actuarial Student Conference (MASC), which provides opportunities to actuarial students for networking with peers and employers. The program also has close ties with both the SOA and the Casualty Actuarial Society, many insurance companies and consulting firms. Many students find internships at the University of Illinois Research Park. Our faculty members have been awarded many research and educational grants from international actuarial organizations such the SOA and the Actuarial Foundation.
Click to read a brief history of the Actuarial Science Program at Illinois.
Milliman Mentorship Program | Students of Color
Made possible through a generous partnership with Milliman, recipients are paired with a practicing actuary at Milliman that will serve as a mentor as the students prepare for a career in the actuarial science field. Recipients are also offered financial aid in order to help cover the costs of studying for and taking their first actuarial exam. This program is currently targeted towards students of color, early in their college career, who may be interested in a STEM-oriented career. Learn more about the Milliman Mentorship Program.
"My experience at Illinois really expanded my horizons beyond just actuarial science coursework. I think what makes me value my time here the most is the fact that everyone was so welcoming and that I was able to forge friendships with a lot of people from different backgrounds and cultures." Titan Wibowo, current master's degree student. Read the full interview with Titan in AdvisorSmith.
Meet Our Graduates
"The Actuarial Science Program at Illinois helped guide my development as a problem-solver and communicator," Jake Akstins (BS 2018). Read all student profiles.
Actuarial Science Office
227B Illini Hall