27 Best Actuarial Science Programs in the United States [2024 Guide]

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Calculating risk factors, evaluating costs, and interpreting data are just some of the job roles of actuaries. This job has a diverse set of responsibilities and inadequate training may lead to a roadblock in your career path. To make sure you get the right education, we put together this list of the best actuarial science universities and colleges. 

Top Actuarial Science Universities and Colleges

NYU offers a top-ranked bachelor’s degree in actuarial science, equipping students with advanced data analysis skills and a deep understanding of risk management. Brigham Young University and Ohio State University are also widely recognized as two of the best schools, with their actuarial science programs emphasizing a well-rounded curriculum and exposure to the latest industry practices.

Featured Programs

Actuaries determine what constitutes a “good risk” and what makes for a smart investment – scientifically. That’s exactly what this ranking aims to do – provide you with options for the best colleges and universities for an actuarial science degree.

SchoolsAcceptance RateMinimum In-State Tuition FeeMinimum Out-of-State Tuition Fee
New York University16%$50,684$60,438
Brigham Young University59%$12,992$16,192
Ohio State University57%$36,698$38,000
Baruch College12%$6,930$14,880
University of California – Los Angeles11%$16,847$31,949
Valparaiso University93%$42,310$46,900
University of Wisconsin49%$10,503$22,163
Queens College61%$6,930$14,880
Binghamton University73%$7,070$26,160
Brooklyn College63%$3,660$7,440
Western New England University89%$44,680$62,230
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign59%$22,904$36,018
University of Minnesota75%$27,320$46,993
Purdue University69%$28,794$31,000
University at Albany73%$25,000$46,034
Bradley University76%$37,000$39,248
Ohio Northern University53%$23,720 $52,000
Florida State University25%$11,560$19,084
Worcester Polytechnic Institute35%$59,700$75,840
University of Northern Iowa86%$19,265$21,700
Appalachian State University85%$22,439$25,077
Auburn University71%$12,760$32,810
Bentley University63%$50,31058,150
University of Iowa86%$10,964$32,927
University of Missouri79%$29,551$30,517
University of Nebraska81%$10,108$27,700
Drake University67%$25,722$50,114

In this ranking, Value Colleges points you to the very best higher education investments – the best colleges and universities with the highest returns.

1. New York University

NYU remains among the best colleges for actuarial science programs. With a highly selective admissions rate of just 16%, NYU attracts top students from around the globe seeking a premier education for a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science.

Despite NYU’s tuition being higher than average at $50,684 per year, it provides financial support to 52% of its student body, making this top-ranked program accessible to a diverse pool of talented individuals who can take advantage of these benefits:

  • Low student-faculty ratio: It has a 16% acceptance rate, narrowing the student-to-faculty ratio to an impressive 9-to-1. This makes sure you will receive personalized guidance and mentorship from renowned professors. This close interaction with the instructors is invaluable for actuarial science majors, as they navigate the complexities of risk analysis, big data, and cutting-edge statistical methodologies.
  • Nationally recognized programs: Maintaining its position at the forefront of actuarial schools, NYU’s degree program is consistently recognized in national rankings for its academic rigor, industry connections, and successful alumni outcomes. 
  • Strategic location: The university’s location in the heart of NYC, a global financial hub, provides unparalleled opportunities for hands-on training, networking, and real-life experiences that prepare graduates for rewarding careers in various sectors.
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2. Brigham Young University

BYU’s Department of Statistics offers a BS in Actuarial Science. Founded by LDS leader Brigham Young in 1875, BYU is well known for its generous financial aid and research and academic rigor.

One of the largest private religious schools in the US, Brigham Young is the alma mater of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and one of the most respected Christian institutions in higher education. Students, particularly Mormons who are supported by the church, can study actuarial science at BYU while receiving these perks:

  • Comprehensive curriculum: While the actuarial science degree is largely focused on math, the program is also steeped in information science. This mixture of major classes prepares you for the professional responsibilities of being an actuary while adjusting to different fields and the demands of modern business, particularly technology and big data.
  • Student resources: It provides assistance for apprenticeships and employment. It’s one of the schools where you’ll get access to the broad alumni network and list of companies.
  • Financial assistance: BYU’s relatively affordable tuition and financial support make the BYU actuarial science degree a smart choice for those who want a quality education without piling on debt.

3. Ohio State University

As one of the major public schools based in Columbus, Ohio State offers a comprehensive range of actuarial science degrees, including both a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Actuarial Science Major

Ohio State is where Kelsey Ludeman, an education expert with 15 years of experience in the education sector, recommends going for this major:

“Ohio State University’s Actuarial Science program is a top-ranking option for those looking to pursue a degree in the field. The university’s program stands out with its comprehensive course of study, academic authority, practical learning experiences, and networking opportunities.

The coursework aims to build a strong foundation in mathematics, statistics, and finance, all key in the actuarial profession. The program encourages a supportive educational environment, facilitates hands-on learning experiences, and provides students with the tools to prepare for actuarial exams and pursue fulfilling careers within the industry.”

Prospective candidates must submit their high school transcripts. They can provide additional insight into an applicant’s academic preparedness. OSU State is known for:

  • High-caliber student body: With an acceptance rate of 57%, it maintains a selective admissions process for its actuarial science degrees.
  • Rigorous coursework: The degree program focuses on vital topics such as linear algebra, actuarial mathematics, and the application of big data analysis – equipping graduates with the skills to navigate complex financial risk factors.
  • Student services: You’ll have the opportunity to complete apprenticeships, gaining invaluable hands-on training in the insurance industry. The school will also train you for interviews and resume writing.

4. Baruch College

Baruch’s actuarial science major is rooted in mathematics and economics, with classes rounding out your knowledge of applied actuarial skills.

Baruch is one of the senior colleges of the City University of New York system, the first metropolitan university system on the planet. Long considered one of the leading business educators, Baruch traces its history back to the Free Academy. Baruch is widely known to be a great option if you are looking for:

  • Leading business school: When the Free Academy became the City College of New York, Baruch was established as a business school. Located in Manhattan, just blocks from Wall Street, Baruch is a leader in business, including actuarial science degrees.
  • Industry connections: With Baruch’s deep connections to the business sector of New York City, you can get the chance to take part in some of the most influential apprenticeships with a strong job market presence. 
  • Affordable tuition rates: Graduates can expect Baruch’s affordable tuition, coupled with New York’s many actuarial analyst positions, to pay off many times over with an actuarial science degree.

5. University of California – Los Angeles

UCLA stands out as one of the best schools in the country for pursuing a BS in Financial Actuarial Mathematics. Being one of the most prestigious public schools, UCLA offers a dynamic and enriching academic environment that fosters intellectual growth and prepares you for successful careers in this highly competitive field.

With an acceptance rate of just 11%, UCLA maintains a highly selective admissions process, attracting promising individuals from across the country and the globe. This competitive environment encourages academic excellence through its classes.

  • Comprehensive statistical curriculum: UCLA’s actuarial science program is renowned for its rigorous classes, which provide a comprehensive understanding of mathematical and statistical concepts, financial modeling, and the application of big data analysis in risk assessment. 
  • Range of classes: You will gain a solid foundation in subjects such as calculus, linear algebra, and actuarial mathematics, equipping them with the skills necessary to tackle complex factors and make informed financial and business decisions.
  • Strategic networking location: Additionally, the university’s location in the heart of Los Angeles offers unparalleled opportunities for networking and exposure to the dynamic industries that rely on actuarial expertise.
A woman explaining in front the data on the screen

6. Valparaiso University

Valparaiso offers an actuarial science major, with the program concentrating on math. With programs for studying abroad, Valparaiso is a good option if you’re looking for additional opportunities to take classes in countries like Hungary and Russia.

Valparaiso, a highly-respected private Lutheran institution in Valparaiso, is a pioneering coeducational school. Today, Valparaiso is part of the Lutheran University Association and is known throughout the Midwest for its educational excellence by providing the following: 

  • Technology-based courses: The full expertise of the mathematics and technology disciplines prepares you for the challenges of modern careers or further schooling. 
  • Preparation for graduate school: Compared to other schools, Valparaiso has a strong track record for placing graduates in MBA degrees for additional credentialing past the bachelor of science degree. 
  • Industry reputation: Valparaiso’s reputation for value and the demand for actuarial analysts offer graduates a strong return on their investment (including an actuarial analyst’s salary).

7. University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin’s School of Business offers 10 majors, including the BBA in Actuarial Science. Recognized as a National Center of Actuarial Excellence by the SOA since 2009, the UW-Madison Actuarial Science program is built around the application of practical use.

The UW School of Business, founded in 1900, is one of the nation’s oldest and remains central to business in Wisconsin. Located in the large city of Madison, UW has established the following to provide a holistic learning experience for actuarial science majors:

  • Affordable education for locals: Named a land-grant institution in 1866, UW-Madison is dedicated to providing the best education for the people of Wisconsin at affordable prices, with ample student support and a job-market reputation.
  • STEM-focused projects: You can also take part in the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Project, using technology to develop educational tools. This project uses an evidence-based instructional design and pedagogical practices for teaching students.
  • Local connections: UW and the School of Business have developed deep ties to the business community of Madison and throughout Wisconsin. UW’s reputation throughout the Midwest makes the actuarial science degree as close as it gets to a sure thing for future actuaries on the job market.

8. Queens College (CUNY)

Queens College is widely known for its pre-professional programs, including the Queens BBA in Actuarial Studies. Unlike many actuarial science degrees, the Queens Actuarial Studies program is tied to the bachelor of business administration, making it among the top business actuarial-focused schools.

Part of the CUNY system, Queens was founded in 1937 in Flushing, Queens, on the site of the former Jamaica Academy, a school where Walt Whitman briefly taught in 1840. QC is one of the nation’s most diverse colleges, attracting actuarial studies students from across the globe because of aspects:

  • Inclusive student body: Queens became a symbol of diversity in the 1970s, during the era of open admissions, attracting black and Latino students who had previously been underrepresented. Today, it’s one of the schools with a large Asian population.
  • Entrepreneurial and mathematical-based classes: Aside from expertise in mathematics, technology, big data, and the computing of actuarial science, you will also gain a strong grounding in business, management, and entrepreneurship to apply those skills through this degree. 
  • Industry credibility: Queens has a long-standing reputation in the best value rankings of Forbes and Washington Monthly, so graduates can expect a solid return on the actuarial science job market for their time and money.

9. Binghamton University

Binghamton University’s Actuarial Science Program offers two different degree pathways to actuarial careers. The BA in actuarial science requires six fewer credit hours than the BS program, though the latter is more in-depth and rigorous in mathematics with more economics requirements.

Located in the large suburb of Vestal, Binghamton was founded in 1946 as part of the higher education effort to meet the needs of veterans returning from WWII using their GI Bill to study and reintegrate into civilian life. Since then, Binghamton has evolved into a nationally recognized university for actuarial science students due to these factors:

  • Reputable public institution: Part of the State University of New York system, Binghamton is widely recognized as one of the best colleges in the north. With increasing demand for higher education, it quickly grew into a full university, earning a reputation among the top public institutions in the state.
  • SOA examination preparation: Both actuarial science degrees can lead to a successful job as an actuary, and both prepare students well for the SOA exams. The only difference is the level of commitment. 
  • Strategic business location: Binghamton’s reputation throughout New York, the northeast, and New England – the heart of finance – makes both degrees a safe investment for future actuaries.

10. Brooklyn College (CUNY)

Brooklyn College is well known for preparing students for professional careers. That includes Brooklyn College’s BS in Actuarial Mathematics, a specialized degree program designed to provide you with the skills necessary for an actuarial position.

Since its founding in 1930, Brooklyn has been one of the city’s most accessible, welcoming schools. It dates back to 1910, to an extension campus of the City College for Teachers. Brooklyn continues to attract bachelor’s degree applicants because of its:

  • Inclusive student body: It continues its tradition of providing an opportunity for the city’s underrepresented, minority, working-class, and first-generation undergraduate students, while also attracting an international student body.
  • Comprehensive curriculum: With degree classes in science, big data, mathematics, business, and economics, the BS Actuarial Mathematics program shows the varying sides of actuarial science, along with expertise in the computing and technology of actuarial mathematics. 
  • Job market headstart: With Brooklyn’s reputation throughout New York City and the north, you can expect job market advantages and employment success, including a lucrative actuarial science salary.
A graph printed on a paper

11. Western New England University

Based on the recommendations of the SOA and CAS, the Western New England University’s Actuarial Sciences Program program prepares you for the main actuary exams and careers as actuaries. 

It began humbly as an extension campus of Northeastern College to educate older students in Springfield. Growth over the years led to Western New England’s establishment as its own independent college in 1951. Since then, WNEU has cemented itself as one of the leading schools for actuarial science due to these aspects:

  • Research-focused regional institution: Ranked among the most trusted regional universities, WNEU has established itself as an institution dedicated to research and professional education.
  • Diverse business curriculum: With classes in accounting and economics, graduates are entirely ready to take advantage of WNEU’s strong job market reputation for entry into the job market.
  • Certification exam preparation: Students are encouraged to take their exams before graduation and are prepared to pass, as well as qualify for certification. 

12. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The university’s Department of Mathematics has been hailed as a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the SOA. It has also awarded Illinois’ BSLAS Actuarial Science degree program, recognizing its excellence with the University Award. 

It was founded in 1867 as Illinois’ land-grant research institution under the Morrill Land Grant Act. Over the years, it has attracted students to the region due to its reputation for research, certification exam preparations, and financial support. 

  • Research institution: As Illinois’ leading public institution and a Carnegie Classification top-tier research institution, it is central to professional education and leadership development for the state.
  • Actuarial exam preparation: U of I’s bachelor’s degree combines math and business, to fully prepare you for actuarial exams, and an actuarial analyst job in a variety of fields. 
  • Financial support: It has a reputation for providing financial assistance that helps future actuaries prepare for their dream jobs without worrying about tuition costs.

13. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota’s Actuarial Science Specialization can come from either the College of Science and Engineering or the College of Liberal Arts, depending on whether the student wants a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts. 

It has been central to life in Minneapolis-St. Paul for more than a century and a half. Founded in 1851, UMN contributes enormously to the economy of Minnesota and the Twin Cities while providing quality degrees to students from across the country through these aspects:

  • Leadership-ready education: UMN is the source of Minnesota’s professionals, with nearly two-thirds of graduates staying in Minnesota as managers, health professionals, teachers, and researchers.
  • Student services: The actuarial science degree will prepare you for success in actuarial exams and satisfying careers in actuarial science jobs. 
  • Strong mentoring: Real actuarial analysts teach classes, making it one of the best actuarial science degree colleges.

14. Purdue University

Purdue’s College of Science is one of the most renowned in the nation. Purdue University’s Actuarial Science Program is the work of two departments at the forefront of science and technology research. 

Located in the small city of West Lafayette, Purdue was built on land donated by John Purdue, a local businessman. Its initial emphasis on agriculture and mechanics gave it a strong grounding for developing STEM disciplines, resulting in a strong research foundation and interdisciplinary program. It remains a student-favorite for:

  • Research-based institution: Purdue in West Lafayette is among the top institutions thanks to its groundbreaking research and top-quality science and professional degrees.
  • Dual degrees: You can earn two degrees and a minor: An actuarial science degree, a statistics degree, and a minor in management. 
  • Interdisciplinary program: This three-part program gives you an excellent preparation for actuarial exams from the SOA and the CAS, as well as an adaptable foundation for work in numerous industries.

15. University at Albany

SUNY Albany is one of the top schools in the region to offer a BS in Actuarial and Mathematical Sciences degree. This is because the actuarial science degree is designed around SOA and CAS specifications. 

Located in New York’s capital city, the University at Albany is part of the SUNY system, a top-ranked regional institution dedicated to preparing New York’s professionals. SUNY Albany eventually became the state’s first public bachelor’s college in 1905 that offered the following:

  • Urban-focused degrees: Since those early days, SUNY Albany has grown into a comprehensive institution, focusing primarily on the fields that are most significant to urban and professional life, such as teaching, social work, criminal justice, and business.
  • Business-centered courses: You can have confidence in approaching the demanding actuarial exams with training and knowledge from courses such as financial accounting, microeconomics, and data processing principles.
  • Access to industry work: SUNY Albany, with access to the state government and the business center of the capital city, gives degree graduates a strong job market position for actuarial science jobs, making it a sound investment.

16. Bradley University

Bradley University’s Actuarial Science programs come from two of the school’s strongest divisions. The AACSB-accredited Foster College of Business is one of the region’s best-ranked business schools

One of the Midwest’s foremost professional-centered schools, Bradley began in 1897 as Bradley Polytechnic Institute. Founder Lydia Moss Bradley expanded into more technical degrees quickly to prepare Illinois’ working-class young people for the modern economy. Among those programs is the actual science degree that attracts students from across the nation because of these aspects:

  • Low student-faculty ratio: With a 12-to-1 student-faculty ratio, instructors can focus on every student’s development as they progress in their studies.
  • Professional-based degrees: Today, Bradley continues that tradition, offering more than 180 degrees, primarily in professional areas, especially technology and data science.
  • Foundational knowledge: The subjects provide a foundation for successful work as an actuarial analyst or entry into an actuarial science graduate program. Either of the actuarial science degrees can prepare you for the actuarial exams offered by the SOA.

17. Ohio Northern University

The ONU Actuarial Science Degree Program focuses on a broad, fully-rounded exploration of the different aspects of the actuarial profession, from mathematics to computing and management.

ONU, a private institution in Ada, OH, was founded in 1871 as a school by Henry Solomon Lehr, a Civil War veteran who recognized the need for higher education in the nation as the Industrial Revolution began stirring. Since then, OH has developed a multi-faceted institution using these elements:

  • Research-based curriculum: You can actively engage in research related to actuarial science jobs, such as stock portfolio analysis, annuity valuation, and big data forecasting. 
  • Hands-on training: From competitions to apprenticeships, ONU actuarial science students are prepared for actuarial exams. Consequently, students develop the professional responsibilities of an actuarial analyst, including teamwork, research, and leadership.
  • Industry-ready education: About 94% of ONU bachelor’s degree students get employed within six months after graduating.
A graph and charts on a paper with a notebook and laptop beside it

18. Florida State University

Florida State’s Actuarial Science degree program is the first and most prestigious program in a Florida public school. You can earn either a BA or a BS in actuarial science, depending on the kind of program you prefer.

Founded in 1851 on the oldest campus in Florida, FSU is the state’s premier public research institution, especially in STEM and professional fields. It combines research, a diverse curriculum, and affordable tuition rates to make the four-year journey a fulfilling experience.

  • City-recognized research institution: Florida State is one of the nation’s premier research institutions in this large city, with the highest Carnegie Foundation research classification and globally renowned degrees in STEM disciplines.
  • Diverse program concentration: The BA requires foreign language classes, while the BS is heavier on mathematics. In either case, future actuarial analysts receive a strong grounding in math and business, in preparation for the actuarial exams necessary to earn credentials. 
  • Affordable tuition fees: Due to its reasonable tuition rate, FSU has long been seen as a best value educational institution, giving graduates a strong return on their investment.

19. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester Polytechnic’s BS in Actuarial Mathematics builds on WPI’s long history of excellence in mathematics and business. You’ll get trained in the mathematical, statistical, business, and technology concepts of actuarial science.

A pioneering STEM institution, Worcester Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1865 as one of the first schools in the US modeled on the polytechnic concept. Most students learned science, technology, and engineering to prepare for the growing Industrial Revolution. Its competitive edge comes from:

  • STEM-focused classes: This degree model set the stage for experiential learning and blazed a trail for future education in the sciences. Worcester further revolutionized STEM education with the project-based WPI Plan, which emphasizes undergraduate research, making WPI one of the top-ranked undergraduate educators in the nation.
  • Hands-on research projects: Complete your research projects with expert guidance from actuarial professionals.
  • Combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees: You can also complete an MS in Financial Mathematics or Applied Statistics along with a BS in Actuarial Mathematics in just five years for added value.

20. University of Northern Iowa

UNI’s Statistics and Actuarial Science Major can prepare you for actuarial science employment opportunities with in-depth, rigorous mathematics classes. Originally a home for Civil War orphans, it was founded in 1876 as the Iowa State Normal School when the children of the orphanage aged out. 

UNI’s original mission was preparing teachers for Iowa’s school system, growing from a two-year, hands-on program to a full four-year baccalaureate institution. Eventually, UNI grew into one of the most significant regional schools focused on bringing employment and professional education to the people of Iowa with the help of foundational knowledge and skills-based training.

  • Core classes: In addition to required classes in mathematics and statistics, you will also learn financial mathematics and the computing skills necessary to use the most current technology in actuarial analysis.
  • Industry preparation: This deep knowledge of mathematics and statistics prepares you for your profession in the actuarial field with adaptable skills that can be used in a variety of settings, from business and insurance to teaching. 
  • Affordable tuition rates: You get to maximize the classes and hands-on training at low in-state and out-of-state fees. Besides the quality of education, its reasonable tuition rate helps make it one of the top-tier schools.

21. Appalachian State University

Appalachian State’s BS in Actuarial Science degree program is designed as a cross-disciplinary field incorporating mathematics, statistics, and business. It is recognized by the SOA as an Advanced Curriculum institution.

Appalachian State was founded in 1899 as Watauga Academy, a normal school intended to help improve teacher education in the Appalachian mountain region.

  • Research institution: Since its founding, Appalachian State has been at the heart of research and learning in the Appalachians and is a central source of professional education in key fields for the public good.
  • Employment assessment training: In addition to giving a full grounding in the skills and theory of actuarial science, ASU’s program can prepare you for the four actuarial exams. 
  • Workshops and seminars: You can take a senior seminar with an actuarial professional, giving you a realistic picture of actuarial science jobs and the demands of real corporate careers. Long named a best value school, Appalachian State’s reasonable tuition makes it a top choice among actuarial science schools.

22. Auburn University

Auburn University’s BS in Applied Mathematics – Actuarial Science Option is steeped in mathematical and statistical skills and knowledge, preparing you for a job as an actuarial analyst, or further education in the mathematics of actuarial science. 

One of the south’s premier research institutions, Auburn is a comprehensive land, sea, and space-grant university dedicated to the most current STEM and professional education. Since becoming Alabama’s land-grant institution, Auburn has focused on developing its degrees for the good of the community. You can consider AU as an option if you are looking for:

  • Diverse degree offerings: While it initially focused on agriculture and mechanical engineering, Auburn is now one of the leading institutions for engineering, health sciences, and business. Aside from mathematics and statistics, the program highlights foundational knowledge in computer science.
  • In-person training: You get to complete internships, apprenticeships, and work projects to balance your academics.
  • Community credibility: Auburn’s influence throughout Alabama and the south and deep connections to the state’s business and government sectors, make it one of the most beneficial schools for future actuaries.

23. Bentley University

With its background as an accounting and finance school, Bentley University’s Actuarial Science degree program is easily one of the best in the north. The degree prepares you for the four main actuarial exams, as well as full educational experience credit.

Bentley was founded in 1917 by Harry C. Bentley as a small, private accounting school designed around his educational theories. Bentley grew steadily over the next decades, providing these benefits to its diverse student body. 

  • Business-centered programs: In time, Bentley also earned a reputation for experiment and exploration, with programs like the Center for Business Ethics and the Trading Room, where students manage a portion of the university’s endowment on the stock market.
  • Industry-recognized degrees: The CAS-recognized program is a sign of the school’s commitment to quality education for students to succeed in their careers.
  • Employment opportunities: With a 100% job placement rate, Bentley has a solid reputation in the job market.

24. University of Iowa

University of Iowa’s BS in Actuarial Science degree program is among the nation’s best actuarial science programs. It’s one of those schools that also teaches software techniques that can prepare you for advanced professional examinations.

As Iowa’s flagship public research institution, it was founded in the same year Iowa became a state – 1847. It quickly became the cultural and educational hub of Iowa and began a long series of innovations by pioneering industry-recognized degrees.

A group of professionals discussing something on the table
  • Leading actuarial science programs: Iowa was a pioneer in actuarial science, beginning with its first actuarial science course in 1902. Today, UI is recognized as a SOA Center of Actuarial Excellence.
  • Industry-recognized degree: This SOA Center of Actuarial Excellence program prepares you for the mathematical and statistical demands of actuarial science, as well as for the business and legal aspects of the actuarial science profession. 
  • Business-ready education: Students graduate ready to work in various industries, especially insurance and business operations. With Iowa’s history of excellence in the field, graduates can feel confident that their UI degrees will have an impact on the actuarial science job market.

25. University of Missouri

The University of Missouri offers a BS in Mathematics with Emphasis in Actuarial Science and Mathematical Finance. The program empowers you to develop the skills of actuarial science analysis with an emphasis on practical use in the finance sector.

With more than 33,000 students, Mizzou continues its land-grant mission to provide the best, most valuable higher education to the people of Missouri and beyond. From technical skills to real-life values, Mizzou has developed a comprehensive program for its actuarial science students.

  • Research-focused programs: The first public university west of the mighty Mississippi, Mizzou is one of the most prominent top-tier research institutions in the midwest and the US. 
  • Certification-ready classes: The program courses focus on financial mathematics you will face in your certification exams.
  • Development of soft skills: Mizzou’s bachelor’s degree puts a premium on cooperation, teamwork, and collaboration, and prepares students for actuarial exams and an actuarial science job.

26. University of Nebraska

The University of Nebraska College of Business is the state’s premier business school. Its Actuarial Science Program gives you an actuarial science education defined for work in insurance, and banking.

Founded in 1869 as a land-grant research university, it was originally focused on agriculture and mechanical science, like other land-grant institutions. NU has been a force for learning and culture in the midwest that offers students a quality education due to its:

  • Research-based education: As Nebraska’s flagship, top-tier research institution, NU developed into a multi-faceted institution, as acclaimed in the humanities and arts as in the sciences and professional studies. 
  • Nationally-recognized program: It’s also an acknowledged best value, recognized by the Princeton Review, Kiplinger’s, and the Fiske Guide for its combination of quality and ROI.
  • Exam and employment assistance: Students are prepared for the SOA exams and are offered opportunities for internship, professional development, and job placement.

27. Drake University

Drake University’s Actuarial Science degree program has been recognized by the SOA as a Center of Actuarial Excellence, providing you with the highest quality of actuarial science education. 

One of the most prominent private schools in the midwest, Drake was founded in 1881 by Francis Marion Drake (its namesake). Drake is home to top-tier professional and pre-professional programs because of these aspects:

  • Leader-centric programs: Drake puts leadership, interdisciplinary study, and service learning at the center of its curriculum, focusing on turning students into leaders.
  • Hands-on training: With hands-on projects and apprenticeships, students are prepared for success in the actuarial exams through practical training.
  • Industry connections: Drake’s connections to the business sector give you access to training and employment, and Iowa’s status as a center of the insurance sector makes Drake a particularly promising choice.

What is the Actuary Profession?

The actuary profession has long been recognized by publications like the Wall Street Journal as one of the best careers in the US. Sounds like an obvious career choice, right? There’s just one thing that holds people back: Actuarial science is math

Originally, the job was very clear and narrow – run statistics for insurance companies and analyze the data to determine probabilities. That would mean things like the likelihood of having to pay out life insurance or of a natural disaster inciting a large number of claims from homeowners. 

In the era of big data, actuarial analysts are more important than ever and have moved into different fields, including banking, big data technology, public health, and many other sectors. Actuaries are the experts in mathematics, statistics, probability, and risks. 

How Do You Become an Actuarial Analyst?

To succeed as an actuary, you need top-notch skills in both mathematics and business. You won’t just run the numbers, you’ll also need to analyze them and advise clients or colleagues or employers on how to make use of the data.

Besides just getting the degree, actuaries need to pass five preliminary actuarial exams offered by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). Graduates also need Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) credits to be licensed as actuaries. 

Most quality actuarial science programs will provide the necessary VEE credits, preparing you to pass the actuarial exams before graduation.

Is a Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science Worth it?

It’s worth pursuing an actuarial science degree, especially if it comes from one of the best colleges. Based on the rankings, we’ve seen how it can open up lucrative employment opportunities for most graduates.

  • Become a subject matter expert: These actuarial science programs equip graduates with the skills and knowledge required to excel in various roles within insurance agencies, businesses, and other organizations. 
  • Experience increased earnings: With high salary prospects and ample room for advancement, this degree proves to be a worthwhile investment.
  • Be a certified professional: Most programs adequately prepare graduates to meet the criteria for obtaining sector-standard certifications. Even working professionals can conveniently earn their actuarial science degrees through online programs to maintain a work-study balance.

What Can I Do With an Actuarial Science Degree?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 23% job growth for actuaries between 2022 and 2032. This demand and interest open up opportunities for actuarial science degree graduates.

  • Work in the insurance sector (health, life, property) in your country
  • Find employment in enterprise management or pension and retirement benefits firms
  • Assess financial risks for government agencies in the public sector
  • Specialize as a consultant in specific insurance areas for businesses and individual clients
  • With significant experience, transition into managerial roles like chief risk officer

What Are the Highest-Paying Careers for Graduates of Actuarial Science Degrees?

After graduating from the best colleges for actuarial science, pursuing management roles and other leadership positions often leads to the highest salaries for actuaries. Job opportunities and earning potential exist regardless of location, be it a large or small city.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), actuaries earn a median annual salary of $120,000. Top-paying positions include chief actuary, with a median annual salary of $190,000. Financial analysts can earn $116,000, while those working in governments can expect a median pay of $115,710.

Methodology: Ranking the Top Actuarial Science Degrees

The Value Colleges’ top actuarial science programs rankings feature only educational institutions with a proven track record of getting graduates into the profession. These are the best colleges and universities with the Society of Actuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society curricula. Many are SOA-recognized Centers of Actuarial Excellence. 

Value Colleges methodology rankings use these factors to rank the programs:

  • Reputation (from U.S. News & World Report)
  • ROI (from College Scorecard)
  • Cost (from IPEDS reporting)
A group of people studying the charts and data

Related Questions

What Continuing Education is Available for Actuarial Science Graduates?

Actuaries can continue their education and obtain higher levels of professional certification to advance their careers. SOA and CAS offer associate and fellow certification levels.

Which University is the Best for Actuarial Studies?

NYU and BYU are widely regarded as the top universities for actuarial studies. They offer comprehensive bachelor’s degree programs that provide graduates with a strong foundation in math, statistics, and business principles.

What School is Best for Actuaries?

In this ranking, Ohio State and Baruch are among the best schools for aspiring actuaries. Their rigorous curricula cover different aspects of data actuarial science and provide opportunities for you to complete apprenticeships with leading companies in the industry.

Which Institute is Best for an Actuarial Science Program?

University of California and Valparaiso are consistently ranked among the best colleges for actuarial science. Their statistical and data science institutes offer exceptional programs that combine theoretical knowledge with practical experience, preparing graduates for successful careers as actuaries.


Evaluating the top actuarial science degrees offered by the best schools across the US can guide you in making an informed decision. Prospective students should remember that attending a renowned actuarial science program can teach you the necessary skills, knowledge, and introduce you to the industry connections you need to secure a successful and rewarding job as an actuary.

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Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

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With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

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