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Actuarial Science


The purpose of this guide is to define the subject of Actuarial Science and inform students, faculty, and our community of the many types of resources and search methods available to facilitate study, be it scholarly research or personal interest.

What Is Actuarial Science?

Actuarial science is a discipline used to determine risk in finance and insurance through statistics and mathematical models, to improve financial decision-making by evaluating the financial implications of uncertain future events. Individuals who become actuaries must prove their abilities through testing to obtain certification. The discipline encompasses probability and statistics, computer programming, finance and economics. In 2017, actuarial science was rated the eleventh best job in the United States according to a study by CareerCast.

What is an Actuary?

An actuary is a professional concerned with the financial evaluation of risk. They design and administer insurance programs, pensions, government welfare plans, and similar financial plans. The main responsibility of actuaries is to ensure that these plans operate on a sound financial basis. To do this they use many areas of mathematics (for example: probability theory, statistics, the theory of interest) as well as general principles of economics and finance.

Actuaries are experts in risk management. In particular, actuaries are involved in the design, pricing, financing, and operation of benefit plans which protect people from risks of injury, illness, death, property damage, and the loss of income due to unemployment or retirement. Actuaries use mathematical skills to create and manage programs that reduce the adverse financial impact of life's expected and unexpected events, including financial risks from investment. (University of Missouri-Columbia)

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Sarah Dornback

Natural Sciences and Mathematics Subject Librarian

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