Actuarial Science

Actuarial Science

Actuarial Science Department Website

“Being one of the Centers for Actuarial Excellence, Drake has given me the resources to really explore the actuarial industry and gain an understanding of what exactly I want to be when I graduate.”
—Lily Hull, Junior, College of Business and Public Administration


As a Drake graduate with a degree in actuarial science, you’ll enter a specialized career field ranked among the highest in the United States for job satisfaction, opportunities for advancement, and starting salary.

How much should a company charge an individual for car insurance? How much should a business set aside to cover potential liabilities resulting from risks they cover? You’ll learn to use probability, statistics, and data analysis to answer these questions and make important strategic decisions for your organization.


This major is open to any student meeting the prerequisites for the courses.

The requirements for the major are:

  • Math 050 (Calculus I)
  • Math 070 (Calculus II)
  • Econ 010 (Principles of Macroeconomics)
  • Insurance 51 (Personal Risk Management
  • Statistics 040 (Introduction to R and SAS)
  • Statistics 170 (Statistics for Risk Modeling II)
  • Actuarial Science 050 (Introduction to Actuarial Science)
  • Actuarial Science 120 (Theory of Interest) and corresponding lab 120L
  • Actuarial Science 131 (Introduction to Probability I) and corresponding lab 131L
  • Actuarial Science 135 (Mathematical Statistics)
  • Actuarial Science 140 (Statistics for Risk Modeling I)
  • Actuarial Science 150 (Life Insurance Mathematics I)
  • Actuarial Science 161 (Introduction to Probability II)
  • Actuarial Science 190 (Capstone: Case Studies in Insurance and Actuarial Science)
  • Choose two more (electives) from among Math 100 (Calculus III), Finance 102 (Advanced Corporate Finance), Finance 121 (Financial Derivatives), Statistics 172 (Generalize Linear Models and Data Mining), Actuarial Science 155 (Life Insurance Mathematics II), and Actuarial Science 165 (Short-Term Actuarial Mathematics)


For a limited number of classes listed above (specifically, Actuarial Science 120 and 140), students can now earn professional (UEC) exam credit by doing well enough in the classes at Drake (to be exempt then from having to take the corresponding professional actuarial exam). Drake is one of only 9 schools in the U.S. to participate in this UEC program.


Drake has one of the best actuarial science programs in the nation and is one of the few private programs in the Midwest with a full set of courses taught by actuaries. You will learn from some of the highest caliber faculty, receive an outstanding education, pass some professional actuarial exams along the way, receive multiple actuarial internships both during summer and throughout the school year, and graduate prepared to start your career.

Drake is one of only 20 universities in the country, and 37 in the world, to be recognized as a Center for Actuarial Excellence (CAE) by the Society of Actuaries.


Corporations from across the nation regularly recruit Drake students and recent graduates for internships and full-time jobs. Actuarial students have held prestigious internships at places such as Allstate, American Republic, Athene, CIGNA, Farm Bureau, GuideOne, Lincoln Financial Group, Nationwide, Northwestern Mutual, Mutual of Omaha, The Principal Financial Group, Travelers, Wellmark, and many other locations.


Of course, you’ll benefit from the experiences that all Drake Bulldogs enjoy – advising and mentorship from professors at the top of their field, résumé-worthy internships and other professional preparation (resume writing, interview and communication skills, etc.); research experiences both in and out of the classroom, opportunities to learn while serving the community, and January Term experiences that immerse you into various specialized topics and locations of your choosing.


We love talking about the great things happening at Drake, but nothing beats a visit to campus. Let us know you're coming, and we'll arrange for you to meet professors, sit in on a class, or just hang out with current students.


Toby White, Ph.D., CFA, FSA
Associate Professor of Finance and Actuarial Science

Actuarial Science Department Website