For a brief description of the program, application requirements and contact information, view the graduate program summary.
Program Director: Warren Luckner, Society of Actuaries, M.A.
Graduate Chair: Colin M. Ramsay, Ph.D.
Departments Cooperating: Economics, Finance, Mathematics and Statistics
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a complete program in actuarial science. The graduate program in actuarial science at UNL is open to students with undergraduate degrees in a variety of disciplines. No previous course work in actuarial science is required.
Students seeking admission to the actuarial science program:
1. Submit official GMAT score. Applicants must have a minimum of 575.
2. Submit proof of any Society of Actuaries exams passed.
3. Must submit an official University transcript. Applicants are expected to have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on the 4-point scale (with A=4 points).
4. Must submit three letters of reference from persons who are familiar with their academic ability. The person who writes the letter must use the Actuarial Science Graduate Reference Report form. Each applicant must also complete and return the Actuarial Science Graduate Admissions Checklist.
5. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants should attain a minimum score of 80 IBT.
To be admitted with full graduate standing for work in actuarial science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a student must satisfy the following: (i) the student must pass Exams P and FM of the society of Actuaries; and (ii) the student's undergraduate preparation must have included at least three semesters of calculus, one semester of principles of macro-economics, one semester of principles of linear algebra, one semester of introductory computer programming, one semester of introductory mathematical probability, and one semester of introductory mathematical statistics.
To be admitted with provisional standing, a student’s undergraduate preparation must, in the judgment of the Committee, constitute reasonable preparation for actuarial study at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is based on how much of the requirements for full graduate standing the student has completed.
Masters Degree Program.
The masters degree program must be completed without a thesis (Option II) and all requirements under this option must be met. Option I (with a thesis) usually is not open for this degree. The non-thesis route (Option II) is required because students will find the additional course work more valuable to them than the thesis, especially with regards to the Society of Actuaries exams. A total of 36 hours is required. The MS degree program is expected to take two years (24 months) for students admitted with deficiencies. For those admitted without deficiencies it normally takes 21 months.
In place of the usual major and minor requirements, the masters program must include ACTS 840, 870, 871, 873 and Finance 812 or 813, and at least 6 additional hours from actuarial science. The program must include at least 12 hours earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900-level courses or 800-level courses without 400 or lower level counterparts).
Minors are available in insurance, economics (non-insurance), statistics, or finance. However, the recommended minor is finance. These minors are subject to the approval of the Actuarial Science Graduate Committee. Minors require at least 9 hours in the minor area in addition to the major requirements cited above.
It should be noted that within the actuarial science program the normal graduate school scholarship requirement, “B” or better applies to all 800-level major and minor courses. The normal graduate school scholarship requirement, “C” or better, for 900-level courses remains the same for the actuarial degree program. However, a student who receives a “C” grade or lower in his/her minor area may be required to take a Comprehensive Exam in the minor area.
Memorandum of Courses.
The Memorandum of Courses, which contains the proposed list of courses for the student’s graduate program, must be filed with the Graduate Studies Office, 1100 Seaton Hall, before completion of the end of their second semester. Students should check with the Graduate Studies Office for further clarification.
The following courses cannot be included as a part of your memorandum of courses: Economics (ECON) 815, 816, 819, 837 and 854; Mathematics (MATH) 800, 813, 814, 820, 821 and 822; Statistics (STAT) 880 and 881; Computer Science & Engineering (CSCE) 840.
Masters degree students will be expected to pass a written comprehensive examination on actuarial science. The Actuarial Science Comprehensive Exam for students graduating in May or August is held on the first Tuesday of April and for students graduating in December, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (in November). Students may be expected to pass another written comprehensive examination on their minor area. Check with your minor department. In addition, an oral examination may be required.
Actuarial Science as a Minor.
Students enrolled in other departments may choose to use actuarial science as their minor area under Option II. A minor in actuarial science must include ACTS 840, 870, 871, and 873. Students wishing to take this minor should contact the chair or adviser of their major area, and the Graduate Adviser of the Actuarial Science Program.