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Graduate Studies in Actuarial Science

Students interested in studying actuarial science at the graduate level at the Illinois State University should pursue graduate studies in Mathematics: Sequence in Actuarial Science. There are two options for obtaining a Master degree: with Master Thesis (requiring 30 credit hours of graduate classes, and 15 of those at the 400 level), or without a thesis (requiring 32 credit hours of graduate classes with 16 of those at the 400 level, and a culminating experience, in the form of a professional internship, a project, or a comprehensive examination).

Our program reserves the right to enforce professional standards of practice as specified by the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. These standards may be taken into consideration in program retention decisions. Practically, this means that graduate actuarial students are expected to pass several professional actuarial examinations and obtain professional actuarial internship(s) before they graduate.

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Prospective graduate students can obtain information about graduate admission from Graduate School.

Graduate Adviser in Mathematics is Professor Maochao Xu.
Questions can also be sent to:

Financial support for graduate students is provided in the form of competitive Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA). Available positions are announced online: go to, click on “jobs”, follow that to Graduate Assistantships and search for mathematics. Actuarial students may also compete for Graduate Assistantships in the Department of Finance, Insurance and Law. For mathematics applications, two letters of reference should be sent directly to Masters Program Director, and those letters should address academic and job skills, as well as for an international student, spoken English ability. An optional optional statement of purpose from the student candidate may also be submitted.

The following actuarial classes in the Department of Mathematics are offered only at the graduate level:

  • Mathematics 480: Applications of Actuarial Principles (covers reserving and pricing for various forms of insurance, pension funding, and some issues of insurance and pensions regulation), and
  • Mathematics 483: Mathematical Models in Finance and Investments (covers the mathematical portion of topics from advanced actuarial examinations on finance and investments).

The following actuarial classes in the Department of Mathematics are available for graduate credit:

  • Mathematics 351: Statistics and Data Analysis (meets all VEE Statistics requirements),
  • Mathematics 353: Regression and Time Series Analysis (covers material on the SOA Course SRM and the CAS Course MAS I),
  • Mathematics 355: Introduction to Statistical Learning (covers material on the SOA Course SRM and the CAS Course MAS II),
  • Mathematics 380: Actuarial Models (covers SOA Course FAM examination, and a part CAS Course MAS I, and is an approved FAM-L University Earned Credit class),
  • Mathematics 381: Actuarial Models II (covers the rest of SOA Course ALTAM and some material on the CAS Course MAS I), note that at this time, MAT 381 is only offered in the Fall semester, also note that effective with the Fall 2023 semester, MAT 381 is approved for University Earned Credit for Society of Actuaries Course ALTAM examination,
  • Mathematics 383: Actuarial Models III, and
  • Mathematics 384, Actuarial Models IV (covers the material on the SOA Courses FAM-S and ASTAM, and is an approved FAM-S University Earned Credit class.

Professional internship in actuarial science is available as Mathematics 498. Internship information is available here. Students should also consider taking graduate classes in mathematics, statistics, finance, and economics.

Statistics classes:

  • Mathematics 351: Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Mathematics 354: Nonparametric Statistics
  • Mathematics 355: Introduction to Statistical Learning
  • Mathematics 356: Statistical Computing
  • Mathematics 443: Statistical Learning and Data Mining (this class is strongly recommended)
  • Mathematics 450: Finite Sampling
  • Mathematics 453: Regression Analysis
  • Mathematics 455: Applied Stochastic Processes
  • Mathematics 456: Multivariate Statistics
  • Mathematics 458: The Design of Experiments

Economics classes:

  • Economics 437: Fundamentals of Econometrics
  • Economics 438: Microeconometrics
  • Economics 440, Advanced Microeconomic Theory
  • Economics 441, Advanced Macroeconomic Theory

Finance classes:

MBA 440: Financial Management. This class, along with ACC 131, FIL 242 or MAT 483 satisfies VEE Accounting and Finance requirements. Graduate actuarial students interested in taking MBA 440 must contact the College of Business MBA Program advising office and request a special permission for non-majors to take it. Such students must prove knowledge of material in MAT 350 (or having passed Course P/1 actuarial examination), and MAT 280 (or having passed Course FM/2 actuarial examination). If you have questions about enrollment in those classes, you can also send them to:

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