Actuarial Science Designations

Actuarial Science is the most common Major pursued by DD students. Students majoring in Actuarial Science and who intend to work in the industry frequently pursue exams offered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). While taking the SOA path is far more common for DD students, both institutions jointly-sponsor the first few exams that students typically write. This page represents the SOA progression.

Note that students pursuing Actuarial Science may also be interested in some Finance designations.

For more information about Actsci, visit the UW Actsci Club.

Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA)

Students can acquire their Associateship status (ASA) by graduation if they work diligently. This requires completing:

Preliminary Exams

An ASA requires students to complete 5 Preliminary Examinations, which several courses at UW help prepare student for. Note that UW courses are not intended for the sole purpose of preparing students for the exams, so additional studying is always required. Many students use Actsci-exam preparation to help them prepare for UW Math courses, instead of the other way around, because UW courses are frequently more difficult than the exams. Note that the "essential" courses below are only recommendations, and some students write exams by studying wholly for them outside of class.

  • Exam P (Probability): STAT 230 is essential, MATH 237 and STAT 330 are helpful
  • Exam FM (Financial Mathematics): ACTSC 231 is essential, ACTSC 446 is helpful
  • Exam MFE (Financial Economics): ACTSC 446 is helpful
  • Exam MLC (Life Contingencies): ACTSC 232 is essential, ACTSC 331 is helpful
  • Exam C (Construction of Models): ACTSC 431 and 432 are essential, STAT 340 is helpful

VEE Credits

Before students can attain their ASA, they must also satisfy a VEE (Validation of Educational Experience) requirement by taking certain courses at university. DD students have VEE requirements that are different from Honours Mathematics students, since they can satisfy VEE requirements by taking a few WLU courses instead:

  • Economics: EC 120 and 140 (at WLU)
  • Corporate Finance: BU 383 and 393 (at WLU)
  • Applied Statistical Models: STAT 371 and STAT 443 (at UW)

Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA)

The CERA designation is relatively new, and is an attractive option for students pursuing actuarial science. CERA can be obtained on the way to Felloship, and students who work very diligently can attain this designation before graduation.

Felloship of the Society of Actuaries (FSA)

The final stage of one's Actuarial progression, Fellowship (FSA, Fellowship of the Society of Actuaries), can be realized a few years after graduation. This requies completing several Advanced exams and modules, which require substantially more work than the Preliminary Examinations.