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The actuarial science major is housed with the Mathematics Department of the College of Natural Sciences and prepares students to enter the actuarial profession. Actuaries use mathematical skills to define, analyze, and solve business problems involving the cost of possible future events (i.e. projecting how a new auto-safety law will change insurance claims, estimating the benefit costs of a labor contract, analyzing investment risks, or projecting financial costs of an epidemic.) Actuaries are employed by organizations such as insurance companies, financial institutions, consulting firms, industrial corporations, government agencies, universities, accounting firms, and labor unions.

As a B.S. in Mathematics: Option 1: Actuarial Science major, students take a variety of courses in accounting, micro and macroeconomics, business finance, calculus, matrix algebra, probability, statistics, up to seven Mathematics Department actuarial courses, and one actuarial foundations courses taught by the Mathematics Department. Students who complete these courses and pass at least two exams administered by Societies of Actuaries can compete well for actuarial jobs. For additional information on the career field and becoming an actuary, visit the Be an Actuary and Risk is Opportunity sites.

Declare This Major

Current students interested in changing their major to mathematics or adding a simultaneous major in mathematics should meet with an Academic Advisor. There is no formal application process. Students who have not yet completed two semesters of calculus should see an advisor in WCH 1.106. If one of these courses has been completed, the student may see an advisor in RLM 4.101. Students who wish to request a transfer to the College of Natural Sciences need an overall UT GPA of at least 2.0.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

There are prerequisites to consider when making a long-term plan. In addition, some classes are offered only in fall or only in spring. It is important to consult an advisor to discuss these issues. View the degree requirements for the actuarial science major.


Actuarial science is one of the degree options available to students who wish to complete a bachelor of science in mathematics. However, students in any major can choose to pursue an informal concentration in actuarial studies.


Students in this major are bright, organized, disciplined, self-motivated, and hardworking. They enjoy solving challenging problems in a mathematical context. Students typically have a strong interest in pursuing a career in business because they gain skills which are transferable to any industry or employer that requires financial or risk modeling and management. Current students have an opportunity to explore their interests through the Actuarial Science Club, which organizes talks and panels, study groups for professional exams, and intensive exam-prep review seminars.


  • Strong mathematical problem-solving skills
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Fundamental programming skills and knowledge of tools such as Excel and Access
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Critical thinking skills used to evaluate and solve problems
  • Tireless work ethic, allowing students to prepare for professional examinations by studying for hundreds of hours outside of class


Dr. Mark Maxwell, PhD, ASA
Actuarial Program Director
RLM 11.168
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