What is Actuarial Science?

Actuarial science is an applied science based on concepts and observations distilled from the experience of actuaries and from other sciences, including mathematics, statistics, economics and finance. Actuarial science is primarily concerned with the study of the economic consequences of events that involve risk and uncertainty.

Actuarial Science In the Wake of AI: 

  • AI could add efficiency and scale to actuarial work, but actuaries themselves would continuously train AI to be able to scale to greater heights. 
  • Asking good questions about complex risk dynamics will likely require some of the skills of an actuary. Actuaries can help expedite AI’s learning process (Resource: Actuarial Review. Vol 50, July-August 2023).

Our Programs


You can commence taking your first actuarial foundational exam courses as early as in your first year in our program: You'll start reaping the benefits of an early career development path right after completing the introductory calculus course effectively, which is equivalent to AP Calculus AB, Calculus 1 or Math 200 (or BUSN 212) at VCU.

Our program has been adjusted to offer students the flexibility to select courses according to their preferences, whether they necessitate advanced calculus or not. This approach better aligns with their envisioned paths in the field of actuarial science, allowing them to gain expertise in predictive analytics.

Reiterating key aspects and details:

  • Our program provides flexible coursework options to further support students’ career development goals. Students will collaborate closely with actuarial science faculty and their academic advisor to develop and maintain their personalized roadmap for their actuarial career.
  • We continually assess and update our curriculum to align with evolving real-world trends, through collaboration with various fields such as computer science, data science, health science, and statistics.
  • In order to better prepare students for the actuarial exams, our actuarial foundational courses have been adjusted by removing the topics of continuous multivariable random variables.

Actuarial foundational exam courses:

Available to students who have achieved a score of 4 or higher in the AP Calculus AB exam, or earned a minimum C in Math 200, or BUSN 212 at VCU. Although not required, a firm basis in algebra would be very helpful.

  • FIRE 319 Financial Mathematics: This class covers parts of the SOA FM Exam, and the CAS Exam 2.
  • FIRE 320 Actuarial Probability Concepts: This class covers parts of the SOA P Exam, and CAS Exam 1. 


You'll be well-prepared for careers in:

  • Insurance companies
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Consulting firms: actuarial and pension consulting
  • Reinsurance companies
  • Government agencies
  • Investment banks
  • Insurance broker companies
  • Firms who need to analyze their economic consequences of their retained risks, such as Johns Hopkins hospital, Tesla, Uber, and so on

Annual Salary Survey 2022

Get Involved

Student organization: Actuarial Science Club
The mission of this club is to promote and provide fellowship among students and faculty interested in actuarial science at Virginia Commonwealth University. This entails introducing the club members to the discipline of actuarial science and offering them the resources needed to thrive both during their time at VCU and beyond.


I chose to become an actuary because it is consistently rated as one of the best careers.  I was also interested in the profession since it is heavily math-based. The VCU curriculum allowed me to complete my VEE requirements prior to graduating and introduced me to concepts that would be tested in the actuarial exams.

Elevance Health, Actuarial Analyst III

I chose the Actuarial profession because I was fascinated by the notion of risk quantification. Specifically, I was curious about how Actuaries used historical data to help model the likelihood of future events. 

The VCU curriculum incorporated a strong interdisciplinary approach. I took classes in math, statistics, programming, finance and some accounting. Each of those classes has proven to be useful in preparing me for my day-to-day work. Concepts from accounting and finance classes helped a lot when dealing with financial reporting and regulatory requirements. The programming classes also provided a valuable foundation that I was able to leverage when learning Actuarial specific software.

Genworth, Actuarial Development Program Analyst

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