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All About Actuarial Science: Eligibility, Scope and Jobs

Updated on 17 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team


For students interested in statistics and mathematics, Actuarial Science can be a viable career option. If you want to know ‘what is Actuarial Science’ and its top universities and job prospects, keep reading this article! 

Subject Brief

An ‘actuary’ is a professional who can use statistical and mathematical techniques to predict future events in a financial organization and take appropriate preventive measures. Actuarial Science involves the usage of probability methodologies and business-related approaches to guide individuals or organizations towards financial safety

In short, Actuarial Science courses help you learn risk quantification by studying various subjects like finance, economics, statistics, mathematics, computer science, etc. 

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Different Levels of Studying Actuarial Science

A degree in Actuarial Science can be pursued at various levels including bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D or certification courses. 

To enroll in Actuarial Science courses at bachelor’s level abroad, you need to meet the below-mentioned requirements. 

  • High school certificate majoring in math stream or commerce.
  • Minimum aggregate of 60% in high school, with 70% in math. 
  • IELTS score of 6 or TOEFL score of 80.
  • All high school transcripts or financial certifications must be submitted. 
  • Candidates must have a letter of recommendation from their respective authorities.

To study this subject at the master’s level, it is not compulsory to have completed an undergraduate program by majoring in Actuarial science. However, per Actuarial Science eligibility criteria, you must have a bachelor’s degree in the related field (math or statistics) with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Additionally, you must submit an IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 85. 

If you are interested in pursuing a research career in Actuarial Science, you can also go for a Ph.D. degree. Here, you can expect to study multiple concepts like Actuarial Risk Management, Applied Stochastic Processes, Life Insurance Mathematics, Data Science, and Mathematical Statistics. 

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Top Universities for Studying Actuarial Science

Some of the top Actuarial Science universities you can enroll in are mentioned below. Additionally, you will find their rankings, list of courses, approximate fees, etc.

Name of UniversityCountryQS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Mathematics 2022Average Tuition Fee (per year)
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA1$77,020
Stanford UniversityUSA2$57,693
Harvard UniversityUSA4$52,456
New York UniversityUSA8$58,168
Columbia UniversityUSA15$72,840
University of ChicagoUSA16$80,163
University of Michigan – Ann ArborUSA20$48,542
Yale UniversityUSA28$45,700
University of PennsylvaniaUSA30$61,710
Cornell UniversityUSA34$62,456

Academic Cycle

Generally, universities offering Actuarial Science courses accept admissions twice a year, i.e., during spring and fall semesters. The admission requirements and application deadlines will vary based on the institution you have picked to study. 

In most cases, you will be required to submit the applications by 30th June or October. You can visit the respective university website to confirm the dates. 

Academic Curriculum Across Levels

Each university will provide you with a different list of Actuarial science concepts to study as per their curriculum. Some of the common subjects are mentioned below. 

For Undergraduate Courses:

  • Mathematics for Actuaries
  • Life Insurance
  • Business Economics
  • Survival Analysis
  • Risk Model
  • Corporate Finance
  • Business Economics

For Postgraduate Courses:

  • Probability and Mathematical Statistics
  • Health Insurance and Enterprise Risk Management
  • Statistical Methods and Models
  • Corporate Finance and Financial Reporting
  • Life Insurance and Pensions
  • Financial Markets and Services
  • Holistic Education

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Job Prospects With Salaries

With the rise of corporate culture, the demand for actuaries is increasing day by day. Some of the standard fields you can work in after studying Actuarial science are:

  • Risk Management
  • Investment Consultancies
  • Financial Services
  • Pension Funds
  • Stock Exchanges
  • Banking Sector

Some of the common Actuarial science jobs in the US market and their salaries are mentioned in the table below:

Work PositionAnnual Salary (approx)
Actuarial Analyst $111,909
Actuarial Associate$78,005
Assistant Actuarial Analyst$113,921
Underwriter Actuary$113,677
Actuarial Consultant Analyst$93,900
Senior Actuarial Analyst$116,724

Source: Job portals

Future Applications of Actuarial Science

Technical advancements in several fields like machine learning, artificial intelligence, automation, etc., are bound to increase the Actuarial Science scope for jobs in the upcoming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US, Actuarial Science is going to have 20% more jobs by 2028 in the country.

Type of projects handled by actuaries are mentioned below:

  • Price calculation for insurance of a satellite launch.
  • Risk calculation due to severe inflation or deflation on financial organizations.
  • Calculating price in a crop insurance industry.
  • Design new insurance schemes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the skills required to enroll in Actuarial Science?

Some of the skills needed are:
1. Strong communication skills.
2. Effective computer skills.
3. Detailed math and statistics knowledge.
4. Problem-solving skills.
5. Project management.




What are some of the Actuarial Science jobs students can apply for after graduation?

Some Actuarial science work positions are:
1. Risk Managers
2. Financial Analysts
3. Auditors
4. Budget Analysts
5. Economists
6. Cost Estimators

What is the scope for advancement in the field of Actuarial Science?

In the Actuarial Science field, the individual’s career advancements depend on the number of examinations passed. Candidates who have achieved the fellowship status often supervise the work of junior actuaries and work as a consultant for senior management.




Is it advisable to study Actuarial Science for an undergraduate program?

It is a niche subject with great career scope. Having a strong foundation with a bachelor’s degree in the specialization can accelerate your career.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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