May 2016
By OAD Staff

If engineering is applied physics, then actuarial science is applied math. At least, that’s one way of looking at the discipline, which – broadly speaking – uses mathematical and statistical methods to inform decisions and make projections in industries like business and finance. For example, a subset of actuarial science uses math to assess different levels of risk, helping health insurance companies determine appropriate payment rates for their customers. As a branch of mathematics that is purely practical, some have also joked that actuarial science is like “actual math.”

Given the discipline’s preference for applied rather than theoretical concepts, there is no end to the career opportunities for students who choose it as a major. However, just how far you can go in the field – and what types of job offers you’ll get – depend a great deal on where you choose to go to school. Because of the versatility of the program, you could find actuarial degrees within a college’s business, mathematics, finance, or even statistics departments. As a result, some programs are better suited for students with aspirations on Wall Street, while others offer better preparation for future insurance analysts.

The choice is yours to make, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help narrow the field for you a little bit.

Methodology

In this ranking of the top 40 values in bachelor of actuarial science degree programs, we focused on factors that matter to nearly everyone, like tuition and accreditation status. More specifically, we acquired a list of all the undergraduate actuarial science programs in the United States and compared them on five key metrics.

These included:

  • Graduation rate
  • Quality of curriculum/inclusion on the Society of Actuaries’ UCAP list
  • Student appeal, i.e. quantity of students majoring in Actuarial Science relative to all other possible business and finance degrees
  • Net price, i.e. average cost of attendance after factoring in both expenses (tuition, room and board, fees) and financial aid (grants and scholarships)
  • Bonus points to schools that the Society of Actuaries have named a “Center of Actuarial Excellence”

After collecting all the data, we used a point system to assign each school a final score, basing the distribution on a scale in which the top-scoring school earned 150 points. Which programs made the final cut? No need for suspense – just scroll down to read all about the best actuarial science degrees that won’t break the bank.


Saint Joseph's University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Students in the top actuarial science degree program at SJU enjoy the best of both math and business.

40. Saint Joseph's University

Philadelphia, PA

Actuarial Science Major

Website
The affordable actuarial science program at Saint Joseph’s University includes multidisciplinary courses in actuarial science, math, economics, finance, and accounting. The school sees its Jesuit tradition as vital to the success of its actuarial graduates and points out that the Jesuit “love of learning” produces strong actuaries. And whether students love learning about math or business more, SJU’s program provides them with the opportunity to take both standard actuarial courses and business classes from the Haub School of Business. And as a bonus, students who complete SJU’s Actuarial Science Major can apply for a minor in Mathematics.
Net Price: $34,346/yr
Score: 74.16

Ashland University Best Acturial Science Degrees

Despite its small stature, Ashland University has one of the best actuarial science degrees in the region.

39. Ashland University

Ashland, OH

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Ashland is one of the smaller schools in this actuarial science degree ranking to offer an Actuarial Science Major, and the school believes its size contributes to the personalized and collaborative education it provides to actuarial students. AU promises its students will get to know their actuarial professors on a personal basis, and AU’s close-knit program promotes plenty of collaboration and socialization within the actuarial science major and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. Indeed, many actuarial students take part in the school’s math competitions, conferences, and math student organizations.
Net Price: $20,905/yr
Score: 77.36

Olivet Nazarene University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

For a high quality education that is also faith-based, Olivet Nazarene has the best actuarial science degree that you can get.

38. Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais, IL

B.S. in Actuarial Science

Website
Olivet Nazarene University is one of the largest members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and one of the few members of that institution to offer a B.S. in Actuarial Science. This faith-based, top actuarial science degree is also career-focused, with coursework designed to produce students who are fully prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. To that end, actuarial majors at Olivet usually complete internships in the summer between their junior and senior years, and the school recommends they take a course in Management Information Systems to learn how to apply their skills in real-world business situations.
Net Price: $19,112/yr
Score: 80.67

Sienna College Best Actuarial Science Degrees

If you want to learn about math and finance without sacrificing your liberal arts studies, try the top actuarial science degree at Siena College.

37. Siena College

Albany, NY

Actuarial Science Major

Website
Siena College offers one of the best actuarial science degrees to include a broad liberal arts focus. The school has plenty of experience blending liberal arts with more technical fields, as it is home to several well-respected dual-degree programs that straddle the arts and sciences. To that end, Siena’s top actuarial science program includes a core curriculum of 14 liberal arts courses covering topics in English, history, science, philosophy, religion, and more. Actuarial students learn how to apply these humanities skills through technical communications courses that ensure they can work effectively with a range of professionals in the corporate world.
Net Price: $25,140/yr
Score: 82.24

University of Pennsylvania Best Actuarial Science Degrees

UPenn maintains one of the more affordable actuarial science degree programs by reimbursing students for exam fees and study materials.

36. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Statistics: Actuarial Science

Website
One perk of the top actuarial science degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School of Business is its reimbursement policy, which covers the cost of actuarial exams and study manuals for students who score above a certain threshold. Although UPenn’s Statistics Department manages its Actuarial Science major, students following the standard coursework can cross over into the business program and graduate with an MBA. In addition, Actuarial Science majors can choose from a set of Business Economics and Public Policy electives that include Risk and Crisis Management, Business Insurance and Estate Planning, and Employee Benefit Plan Design and Financing.
Net Price: $22,694/yr
Score: 82.60

North Central College Best Actuarial Science Degrees

As one of the smaller schools on this top actuarial science degree ranking, NCC distinguishes itself with small class sizes and individual attention from professors.

35. North Central College

Naperville, IL

Actuarial Science Major

Website
Future actuaries with a strong interest in finance should look closely at North Central College’s affordable actuarial science program, which is part of both the Mathematics and Finance departments. NCC sees this “both sides of the house” education as vital to ensuring its graduates have strong job prospects, a goal which the school further supports by encouraging all students to complete at least one internship. And because of NCC’s small size, the school is able to offer individualized guidance and career counseling -- both essential in a field as academically rigorous and professionally competitive as actuarial science.
Net Price: $23,416/yr
Score: 83.48

University of St. Thomas Best Acturial Science Degrees

With a “Center of Actuarial Excellence” distinction from the Society of Actuaries, the University of St. Thomas offers one of the best actuarial science programs, regardless of price.

34. University of St. Thomas

St. Paul, MN

Actuarial Science Program

Website
The University of St. Thomas’ Actual Science Program is one of a handful on this actuarial science degree ranking to be recognized by the Society of Actuaries as a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE). This designation indicates that St. Thomas offers a program that produces exceptional graduates prepared for success in the actuarial field. The school’s ranking is well-deserved; UST is home to a comprehensive and multidisciplinary program that incorporates coursework in computer science, economics, and communication, in addition to actuarial science and mathematics. Actuarial majors at St. Thomas also have access to a number of resources outside of the classroom, including a colloquia series hosted by working professionals.
Net Price: $30,606/yr
Score: 85.03

Bentley University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

To ensure their students get the best actuarial science degree experience they possibly can, Bentley University requires them to earn a minor in Business Studies, too.

33. Bentley University

Waltham, MA

Major in Actuarial Science

Website
Students pursuing this top actuarial science degree at Bentley University must choose either a major or a minor in Business Studies to ensure they receive a solid foundation in real-world business topics. The Business major is an eight-course program open only to students also pursuing a degree in an arts and sciences discipline, so it’s perfect for an interdisciplinary field like actuarial science. Bentley’s dual-major approach enables actuarial students to dive deeper into the business topics that interest them, with courses in marketing, non-profit management, and international business, among others.
Net Price: $31,653/yr
Score: 85.10

Arcadia University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Arcadia has created a top actuarial science program by enlisting the help of professional actuaries to regularly review the curriculum.

32. Arcadia University

Glenside, PA

Bachelor of Science Degree in Actuarial Science

Website
The highlight of Arcadia University’s affordable actuarial science program is its Capstone Project, in which students design, implement, and present a real actuarial project for actual clients. This experience provides an invaluable level of professional experience in a highly competitive field. Arcadia’s program also receives supervision and guidance from an external advisory board of professional actuaries, helping to ensure that the Capstone Project isn’t the only real-world experience students acquire in this top actuarial science program. The 72-credit curriculum leading up to the Capstone is highly focused on mathematics, although it also includes five courses in business and a unique class called Truth and Beauty: Mathematics in Literature.
Net Price: $26,337/yr
Score: 85.37

Appalachian State University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

At Appalachian State University, students can earn an affordable actuarial science degree with the resources of a bigger, more expensive school.

31. Appalachian State University

Boone, NC

B.S. in Actuarial Science

Website
Seniors pursuing Appalachian State University’s Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science undertake a seminar in which they build and use actuarial models in real-world applications. During this senior seminar, which is supervised by professional actuaries, students have the opportunity to practice communicating with stakeholders -- a crucial skill that is not easy to teach. Although Appalachian State is a fairly large school with over 17,000 undergraduates, its extremely affordable actuarial science program is quite small, providing its students with the personal advantages of a close-knit major and the resources of a big school.
Net Price: $11,508/yr
Score: 87.32

CUNY Bernard Baruch College Best Actuarial Science Degrees

For a net price of just over $8k a year, you can access one of the most affordable actuarial science degrees in the country at Baruch College.

30. City University of New York-Bernard M Baruch College

New York, NY

Actuarial Science Major

Website
The actuarial program at Baruch College (part of the City University of New York system) is one of the most affordable on this actuarial science degree ranking. This cost-effective degree includes a set of courses that correspond to each of the five preliminary Society of Actuaries examinations as well as a set of VEE credit courses. The need to keep everyone on track means this degree is highly structured, with a strong focus on math along with a handful of Finance classes. And actuarial majors at Baruch receive a lot of guidance and coaching from advisors to help ensure they graduate on-time and on-budget.
Net Price: $8,151/yr
Score: 87.76

Michigan State University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

In just a few short years, MSU has created one of the top actuarial science degrees in the region, if not the country.

29. Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Michigan State’s relatively young Actuarial Science Program is part of both the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Statistics and Probability. Although it’s only been around since 2012, over 200 students are now either pursuing a specialty in Actuarial Science or are enrolled as Actuarial Science majors. That growth has enabled the school to form a robust Actuarial Student Club that provides plenty of resources for students, including tutoring and networking events. The school’s size also enables it to attract high-profile actuarial professionals to its lecture series.
Net Price: $14,791/yr
Score: 88.87

Indiana University Northwest Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Indiana University Northwest boasts one of the best actuarial science degrees around, thanks to its extremely comprehensive curriculum.

28. Indiana University-Northwest

Gary, IN

Major in Actuarial Science B.S.

Website
Indiana University Northwest is home to one of the least expensive programs on this actuarial science degree ranking. Despite its affordability, the program includes a full 105 credits of coursework in math, economics, business, and computer science. In fact, IU is one of the only schools in the region with an actuarial program that covers all of the preliminary exams and provides VEE credits, so Hoosiers hoping to stay local should look closely at IU Northwest. There’s even an optional seminar course designed to teach students the problem-solving skills they’ll need to do well on actuarial exams.
Net Price: $7,563/yr
Score: 89.09

University of Central Missouri Best Actuarial Science Degrees

The University of Central Missouri offers one of the best deals on this actuarial science degree ranking; in addition to an already low net price, the on-campus Actuarial Organization often reimburses exam fees!

27. University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, MO

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Over the past 10 years, the University of Central Missouri has built one of the best actuarial science degrees in the Midwest. The program is small – only around 50 students per graduating class – which turns out to be one of UCM’s greatest assets. The intimate size of the department allows students to interact with professors one-on-one and benefit from their professional experience – and indeed, many of the faculty are also certified actuaries. The other major draw for this actuarial science program? Cost! Between the already low net price, a generous scholarship program, and an Actuarial Organization that hosts fundraisers to help reimburse students’ exam fees, one would be hard-pressed to find a more affordable actuarial science degree than this one.
Net Price: $13,606/yr
Score: 89.35

Bradley University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Students who love variety will also love the two top actuarial science programs available at Bradley University.

26. Bradley University

Peoria, IL

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Bradley University offers two top actuarial science degrees to appeal to both business and math geeks. The Foster College of Business supervises one, which is focused on real-world finance and investing, while the Department of Mathematics directs another that emphasizes the more theoretical side of actuarial science. But that doesn’t mean students have to “pick a side” and stick to it; for instance, actuarial science majors in the Mathematics Department can still take classes from the College of Business and can even earn a minor in the subject to augment their corporate skills. And both programs receive support from Gamma Iota Sigma, the national fraternity for Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science, which sponsors an annual international conference and career fair that offers invaluable networking opportunities.
Net Price: $27,451/yr
Score: 89.66

Carroll University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Carroll University offers an affordable actuarial science degree in a small school setting.

25. Carroll University

Waukesha, WI

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Carroll is a small liberal arts school and carries this attitude into its actuarial science program, which features small class sizes and no teaching assistants. That liberal-arts style also means students take a general education curriculum that includes courses in world cultures, philosophy, ethics, and religion. Carroll’s actuarial science coursework touches on a similarly broad selection of fields and includes courses in accounting, economics, finance, and programming. But the school’s humanities-focused teaching style doesn’t come at the price of employment prospects. Carroll is proud of its educational partnerships with several major insurance companies, which draw interns from its top actuarial sciences program every year.
Net Price: $23,438/yr
Score: 89.85

Butler University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Butler’s comprehensive academic options and attentive advisors make this a worthwhile program, even despite its high price on this affordable actuarial science degrees ranking.

24. Butler University

Indianapolis, IN

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Many Butler actuarial science majors hoping to work in the corporate world choose to double-major in Business or pursue a minor in Risk Management. But students who want to focus all their energy on a single actuarial science major still have plenty of opportunities to expand their horizons; recommended electives in accounting, investing, and computer science ensure that all majors receive a truly interdisciplinary actuarial education. Efficiency is at the heart of Butler’s actuarial science program – the school provides pre-made schedules for its actuarial science students and even recommends an ideal period to study abroad (during two required Actuarial Mathematics courses) that can be organized “with careful advanced planning.”
Net Price: $32,742/yr
Score: 90.88

Otterbein University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

It might have one of the best actuarial science programs, but Otterbein still requires students to take humanities classes to boost their writing and communication skills.

23. Otterbein University

Westerville, OH

Actuarial Science Major

Website
Otterbein University’s math-heavy actuarial science degree features coursework in calculus, linear algebra, and probability, so students with a passion for numbers should look closely at this program. The school balances these technical courses with a writing-intensive Applied Science class, which helps students brush up on their communications skills and prepare for the corporate world. Business and finance are a smaller part of this top actuarial science program, although students take courses in accounting and economics as well as electives in Business Finance and Intermediate Corporate Finance.
Net Price: $26,200/yr
Score: 90.91

Ball State University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

This top actuarial science program offers two different options depending on students schedule restraints and career goals.

22. Ball State University

Muncie, IN

Major in Actuarial Science

Website
Ball State offers a well-respected and affordable actuarial science degree through its Mathematical Sciences department, which also provides an optional add-on minor that enables students to complete their VEE requirements. This flexible program comes in two flavors -- a “Fast Track” that includes prep-work for all five actuarial exams and validation for all five VEE requirements, and a regular track that covers only three exams and four of five VEE requirements. No matter what course students prefer, they’ll be in good hands with the Actuarial Science program’s faculty members – all of whom are fellows in the Society of Actuaries.
Net Price: $12,804/yr
Score: 90.99

Florida State University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

FSU has one of the best actuarial science programs when it comes to networking and career opportunities.

21. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Florida State University is home to one of the best actuarial science programs in the country, with comprehensive interdisciplinary coursework and a wealth of resources that help its students pass their exams and find jobs after graduation at impressively high rates. The school’s mandatory Business minor ensures its graduates are well-prepared for the corporate world, and with three concentrations to choose from -- Risk Management and Insurance, Economics, and Finance – its alumni have the kind of specialized knowledge that makes them more appealing to potential employers. And for networking, FSU’s Future Seminole Actuaries club is the place to be. The student organization hosts weekly seminars, during which professional actuaries give presentations, conduct interviews for internships, and offer insights into the current state of the field.
Net Price: $16,737/yr
Score: 94.25

Brigham Young University Provo Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Not only does BYU offer one of the best actuarial science degrees in the region, but it also offers an optional SAS Programming certificate.

20. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT

B.S. in Actuarial Science

Website
Actuarial Science majors at Brigham Young University must pass an actuarial science exam before even declaring their major, an admissions requirement that helps ensure BYU students enter the program with a high chance of success. This demanding and affordable actuarial science degree moves at a rapid pace and includes a wide variety of electives in economics and statistics. The curriculum also includes a set of computer science and statistics courses that is particularly challenging, but those who pass with a B or higher can apply for an Applied Statistics and Advanced SAS Programming certificate – a great addition to a prospective actuary’s resume.
Net Price: $12,335/yr
Score: 94.79

Valparaiso University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

As if one top actuarial science degree weren’t enough, Valparaiso also lets students earn a second degree in business administration at the same time.

19. Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, IN

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Valparaiso University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics provides one of the most flexible programs in this actuarial science degree ranking. The school encourages its students to choose additional minors or majors, and many actuarial science majors take advantage of the opportunity to obtain a minor in Business Administration. On the other hand, students already pursuing a degree in Business Administration can apply 20 credits toward a B.S. in Actuarial Sciences, potentially earning a dual major in the time it usually takes to earn one! To support their students’ varied interests, Valparaiso encourages a high level of planning and communication among actuarial program staff, which ensures that students use their semesters as efficiently as possible.
Net Price: $22,058/yr
Score: 95.65

Northwestern College Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Another top actuarial science degree for religious students is available through Northwestern College.

18. Northwestern College

Orange City, IA

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Students who are searching for a faith-based actuarial education should take a good look at Northwestern College, which is home to one of the best actuarial science programs within the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. All Northwestern students take eight credits of courses focusing on the Christian story and tradition and are expected to attend the school’s chapel services regularly throughout their college careers. The school’s Actuarial Science program is basic but comprehensive, with structured coursework in calculus, statistics, and algebra on the math side, plus accounting, finance and economics for business.
Net Price: $21,390/yr
Score: 97.61

Lebanon Valley College Best Actuarial Science Degrees

In terms of job offer rates, Lebanon Valley College is one of the best schools on this actuarial science program ranking.

17. Lebanon Valley College

Annville, PA

Actuarial Science Program

Website
The top actuarial science degree at Lebanon Valley College sports a rigorous curriculum that covers nearly 100 percent of the material on preliminary actuarial exams, and the department encourages students to pass at least two before graduation (although only one is officially required). Even beyond the standard curriculum, the department also incorporates less common actuarial topics – such as application development and programming, into students’ coursework. This commitment to excellence, along with close industry ties that bring top companies to campus to recruit students for internships, have helped LVC maintain an impressive job offer rate among actuarial science majors. In fact, nearly 100 percent of graduates have job offers by graduation, and the department even maintains a list of alumni – and their current employers – directly on their own website.
Net Price: $27,349/yr
Score: 99.54

St. John's University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Although the net price doesn’t scream “affordable actuarial science degree here,” SJU’s proximity to Manhattan makes the slightly higher cost well worth it.

16. St John's University-New York

Jamaica, NY

Actuarial Science, Bachelor of Science

Website
St. John’s University is one of the few schools on this actuarial science degree ranking to offer a combined four-year Actuarial Science degree and undergraduate business degree. This corporate-focused Actuarial Science major is supervised by the well-regarded Peter J. Tobin School of Business and benefits from St. John’s location in Manhattan -- just a stone’s throw from Wall Street. As a Center of Actuarial Excellence, SJU pulls out all the stops for its students. Actuarial science majors might even consider earning an MBA or attending the “Executive-in-Residence” program, which brings leading executives into the classroom to lecture on topical issues in the field.
Net Price: $27,923/yr
Score: 101.1

Ohio State University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Ohio State University is one of just a few schools on this best actuarial science degree ranking to also have a recognized Center of Actuarial Excellence.

15. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

Actuarial Science Major

Website
The CAE-recognized Actuarial Science Major at Ohio State University is designed to do two things: provide an interdisciplinary actuarial education in math, statistics, and the humanities; and prepare students to take all five of the national actuarial exams. To that end, the school requires relatively few major credit hours, leaving room for students to take several dozen general education courses in writing, diversity, global studies, and other liberal arts subjects. OSU’s focus on providing a high-quality, career-focused actuarial education alongside traditional coursework in the humanities makes it one of the best actuarial science programs in the Midwest.
Net Price: $18,215/yr
Score: 101.5

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Best Actuarial Science Degrees

UW Milwaukee qualifies as a top actuarial science program due to its close connections to potential employers in the region.

14. University of Wisconsin

Milwaukee, WI

Actuarial Science Degree

Website
One advantage of the CAE–approved actuarial science degree at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee is the school’s relationship with local employers; UW Milwaukee has a half-dozen designated liaisons at major local insurance providers like Allstate, Humana, and Northwestern Mutual. This networking advantage is likely a big part of the reason so many UW grads become SOA (Society of Actuaries) and CAS (Casualty Actuarial Society) members – even despite the program’s relatively small size. That record of success makes it hard to believe that this affordable actuarial science program is as reasonably priced as it is.
Net Price: $13,940/yr
Score: 102.0

Pennsylvania State University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

If you dream of attending a big school, Penn State might just have the best actuarial science degree for you.

13. Pennsylvania State University

State College, PA

Actuarial Program (Business, Mathematics, Statistics)

Website
Pennsylvania State University is home to the largest program on this actuarial science degree ranking; every year, the school can boast that more than 100 of its students pass at least one actuarial exam. PSU’s size also means students have multiple options in pursuing a concentration in Actuarial Science. Students can add the concentration as part of a Risk Management degree in the Smeal College of Business, or they can pursue it as a Mathematics or Statistics major. This Center of Actuarial Excellence is large enough to provide all the resources that a future actuary could need, including a mentor program, exam review, social events, and even organized carpools to exams.
Net Price: $24,220/yr
Score: 103.2

Georgia State University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Like all the best actuarial science programs, Georgia State offers a curriculum that combines aspects of both business and finance.

12. Georgia State University

Atlanta, GA

B.B.A. in Actuarial Science

Website
Georgia State University’s actuarial science program aims to produce alumni who will become leaders in the actuarial field. To that end, students obtain their actuarial degree as a part of a Bachelor’s in Business from GSU’s J. Mack Robinson School of Business. This top actuarial science program provides students with plenty of opportunities to develop skills in business and finance, and as one of the oldest programs in this list, GSU has extensive experience graduating well-qualified students. GSU’s four-year program is aggressive but flexible, and many students take a summer semester to reduce their per-semester course load.
Net Price: $15,609/yr
Score: 104.9

University of Iowa Best Actuarial Science Degrees

If age is any indication of quality, the University of Iowa’s 100-year old program is one of the best actuarial science degrees in the U.S.

11. University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

B.S. in Actuarial Science

Website
The University of Iowa’s actuarial science degree is over 100 years old and was one of the first to be recognized as a Center of Actuarial Excellence. This uniquely structured program requires students to declare an Actuarial Science “Interest” major before they can officially pursue major in Actuarial Science. That means students don’t normally apply for admission into UI’s top actuarial science program until their sophomore year -- and some wait until they are juniors. Fortunately, students receive advising and can participate in departmental events before they’re officially admitted to the program, which helps smooth the transition once they are ready to transfer.
Net Price: $14,315/yr
Score: 106.0

University of Michigan Flint Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Students at U of M – Flint enjoy an extremely affordable actuarial science degree that is also affiliated with a Center of Actuarial Excellence.

10. University of Michigan-Flint

Flint, MI

Mathematics, Actuarial Program

Website
The University of Michigan Flint’s program is the most affordable program on this actuarial science degree ranking – which is saying a lot, considering that U of M is one of the select few to earn a “Center of Actuarial Excellence” distinction. The school delivers an exceptional value for its relatively low tuition, covering less common fields like business, computer science, and macroeconomics in addition to standard actuarial courses in math, accounting and finance. UM Flint also recommends actuarial majors obtain a minor in either Computer Science or Business (Finance). And because the degree is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, it also includes a series of liberal arts core courses in technology, natural science, fine arts, and global studies.
Net Price: $11,657/yr
Score: 108.3

Purdue University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

With a “three-in-one” program that includes both majors and minors, Purdue offers a value that also makes it one of the very best actuarial science degrees.

9. Purdue University

Lafayette, IN

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Purdue University’s affordable actuarial science program is actually a three-in-one – all actuarial majors graduate with a minor in Management and a Statistics degree in addition to their Actuarial Science degree. That exceptional value is part of what makes Purdue’s one of the best actuarial science programs in the Midwest. The program’s broad coursework also covers unusual topics like technical writing and presenting, two fields that are an asset to any professional actuary. And the cost-effectiveness doesn’t end in the classroom -- the Purdue Actuarial Club provides abundant recruitment resources, including an online Interview Scheduler that makes it easy for students to line up one-on-ones with potential employers.
Net Price: $13,081/yr
Score: 111.0

Robert Morris University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

This small school still makes a big impression on this top actuarial science program ranking.

8. Robert Morris University

Moon, PA

Actuarial Science (B.S.)

Website
With just over 4,000 undergraduates and around 100 students in its actuarial science program, Robert Morris University is one of the smallest schools on this actuarial science degree ranking to receive the Center of Actuarial Excellence designation. RMU is quite proud of its ability to punch above its weight, and the school’s Department of Mathematics works hard to build a small, tight-knit actuarial program staffed by dedicated faculty who are all members of the Society of Actuaries. And the school’s size certainly hasn’t hurt the success of its annual Actuarial Career Day, which helps connect program graduates with both internships and full-time positions.
Net Price: $23,906/yr
Score: 114.9

Temple University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Students in the top actuarial science degree program at Temple University enjoy easy access to both Philadelphia and nearby New York City.

7. Temple University

Philadelphia, PA

B.B.A. in Actuarial Science

Website
The actuarial science degree at Temple is part of the school’s Department of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management and is supervised by Temple’s well-regarded Fox School of Business. Temple offers both undergraduate and graduate actuarial science degrees, so students pursuing a Bachelor’s of Business Administration at this Center of Actuarial Excellence have access to a number of highly accomplished and well-respected faculty. Plus, Temple’s proximity to the Philadelphia and New York metropolitan areas means that its students are in close proximity to some of the largest actuarial employers in the world.
Net Price: $19,435/yr
Score: 122.7

Drake University Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Despite a slightly higher than average cost, students should still take a close look at Drake’s best actuarial science degree.

6. Drake University

Des Moines, IA

Actuarial Science Program

Website
Many actuarial majors at Drake University choose to pursue a second degree in Finance or Accounting, as the school’s actuarial curriculum covers nearly every other field a future actuary could want – math, statistics, and business. Students can also take advantage of the Adams-Bower Actuarial Center, an on-campus resource that provides free study materials and student-run review courses. As a Center of Actuarial Excellence and undoubtedly one of the best actuarial science programs in the country, Drake University is perfect for students looking to obtain a well-rounded actuarial education that covers every angle of this multidisciplinary field.
Net Price: $27,052/yr
Score: 134.0

University of Nebraska Lincoln Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Students in this top actuarial science degree benefit from a close-knit group of classmates and an active Facebook group.

5. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, NE

Actuarial Science Major

Website
Whether students are more interested in obtaining a solid foundation in business or a traditional liberal arts experience, the University of Nebraska Lincoln has what they need. Students in the school’s CAE-certified program can pursue their degree through either the College of Business Administration or the College of Arts and Sciences, meaning they have plenty of flexibility in both choosing their coursework and pursuing financial aid. Both paths cover all of the professional actuarial exams and VEE requirements, and students from both programs participate in the school’s Actuarial Science Club, which maintains an active Facebook page and provides resources like mock interviews and professional workshops.
Net Price: $15,109/yr
Score: 135.0

University of Wisconsin Madison Best Actuarial Science Degrees

In addition to having one of the best actuarial science degrees, UW-Madison also boasts several top business programs that students are free to explore.

4. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI

Actuarial Science Major

Website
The University of Wisconsin Madison is one of the few schools on this actuarial science program ranking that encourages its students to study abroad. Although UW Madison doesn’t offer any international actuarial courses (few schools do), academic advisors are glad to help actuarial majors design a schedule that includes a semester of studying abroad. Students who would rather not branch out geographically will nonetheless find it easy to do so academically. This CAE-ranked program is a part of the Wisconsin School of Business, which means actuarial students can pursue up to two other business majors or even choose an additional major from the College of Letters and Sciences.
Net Price: $16,131/yr
Score: 142.3

University of Connecticut Best Actuarial Science Degrees

The affordable actuarial science degree at UConn offers students plenty of networking opportunities.

3. University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

Actuarial Science Major

Website
The University of Connecticut provides one of the best actuarial science programs in New England. UConn maintains a close relationship with a group of corporate partners that enables the school to offer generous scholarships to actuarial science undergraduates, and these same employers look to UConn first when considering applicants for internships and full-time employment. This top actuarial science program is also one of the largest to be recognized as a Center of Actuarial Excellence, housing over 200 students pursuing undergraduate degrees, 40 pursuing master’s degrees, and five Ph.D. candidates. UConn leverages its stature to invite plenty of professionals to visit campus, give lectures, and conduct interviews – all to the benefit of actuarial science students.
Net Price: $19,049/yr
Score: 142.8

University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign Best Actuarial Science Degrees

The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is one of a small number on this actuarial science degree ranking to place equal emphasis on mathematics and statistics.

2. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL

B.S. in Actuarial Science

Website
As another designated Center of Actuarial Excellence, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign offers a renowned actuarial science program and robust research opportunities. The university has a particularly strong record of achievement in the areas of probability and statistics, which has had a significant effect on the quality of its undergraduate actuarial science program. Although the actuarial science degree is officially part of UI’s Department of Mathematics, it has a close relationship with the Department of Statistics. This arrangement enables students to dive into two distinct actuarial fields that are not usually available at one school: casualty actuarial science, which is based on statistics, and life insurance mathematics, which relies on the study of probability.
Net Price: $16,249/yr
Score: 145.8

University of California Santa Barbara Best Actuarial Science Degrees

Standing at first place on this best actuarial science degrees ranking, UCSB is a popular choice for students of all backgrounds, budgets, and career goals.

1. University of California-Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA

B.S. in Actuarial Science

Website
The University of California Santa Barbara offers the best actuarial science degree because of its exceptional academics, wealth of student resources, and affordable price. The UCSB Actuarial Science Program was the first on the West Coast to be designated as a Center of Actuarial Excellence and has worked hard to maintain – and build upon – this reputation. In addition to a comprehensive Bachelor’s degree, UCSB’s is the only program on this actuarial science degree ranking to offer a unique five-year combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Actuarial Science. In short, students at Santa Barbara receive a world-class actuarial education at an incredibly reasonable price.
Net Price: $14,966/yr
Score: 150.0

Sources:
College Navigator
Society of Actuaries