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La Salle News

August 5, 2022

La Salle to launch undergraduate program in actuarial science

Students in computer lab

The new program prepares graduates to enter a growing industry.

Beginning in Fall 2022, La Salle University will launch a Bachelor of Science program in Actuarial Science—its 44th undergraduate major.

The new major, approved by vote of the University’s Board of Trustees, is a 60-credit major within the School of Arts and Sciences.

The Actuarial Science program prepares students to become actuaries—professionals who utilize training in the areas of math, statistics, and finance to analyze economic risk, perform mathematical modeling and forecasting, and calculate uncertainty within various job sectors. These industries include insurance, banking, investments, energy, and e-commerce, among others.

“The Actuarial Science program provides students who have both an aptitude for and an interest in mathematics a career-focused path to follow in college. In addition, Finance or Economics students will have the opportunity to add a second major in Actuarial Science given the complementary nature of these majors.”
—Jonathan C. Knappenberger, Ph.D.
Mathematics and Computer Science Department Chair

Tremendous job growth is forecast within this decade for the actuarial field. “Employment of actuaries is projected to grow 24 percent from 2020 to 2030,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three times as fast as the anticipated average rate for all occupations. Wages for actuaries are also on the higher end of the pay scale with the median annual wage landing at $105,900 as of May 2021, according to the Bureau.

U.S. News also ranks actuaries seventh in Best Business Jobs for 2022 and eleventh in Best STEM Jobs for 2022.

For the past several decades, mathematics majors at La Salle who wished to become actuaries would pursue a major in mathematics and a minor in Risk Management and Insurance. Many of these students have gone on to successful and rewarding careers in the actuarial profession. The new major in Actuarial Science builds on these experiences and offers students interested in the profession a dedicated path to pursue.

“In addition to small class sizes, students in the program will also benefit from co-curricular supports such as mentoring, guest lectures, and internship assistance,” said Janet Fierson, Ph.D., associate professor of Mathematics.

Mathematics courses in La Salle’s Actuarial Science program will prepare students to sit for two national certification exams conducted by actuarial science societies Casualty Actuarial Society and Society of Actuaries. The curriculum also includes other courses in mathematics, economics, business, and finance that will enable students to gain Validation by Educational Experience credit toward becoming an associate level actuary in either society.

“The Actuarial Science program provides students who have both an aptitude for and an interest in mathematics a career-focused path to follow in college. In addition, Finance or Economics students will have the opportunity to add a second major in Actuarial Science given the complementary nature of these majors,” said Jonathan C. Knappenberger, Ph.D., Mathematics and Computer Science Department Chair.

—Meg Ryan