United States Masters in Actuarial Science & Financial Engineering Master Degree Programs
Masters in actuarial science and financial engineering are generally considered to be part of the field of business, these fields of study apply the use of mathematical and statistic methods to assess and manage risk in the insurance, financial and business worlds.
Earning a master’s degree in actuarial science or a masters in financial engineering might lead to new employment and advancement opportunities in the field, or help prepare students to take rigorous certification exams. With a graduate masters degree in actuarial science or financial engineering, graduates are prepared to assess risk and create solutions to help businesses and clients minimize the impact of that risk in a variety of trades including insurance companies, consulting firms, bank and investment firms, large corporations, accounting firms and various governmental agencies.
It is highly recommended to have a mathematics-based undergrad degree when applying for a graduate degree in actuarial science or financial engineering. Such degrees include commerce, mathematics, physics, and engineering.
Actuarial Science and Financial Engineering Master's Program Curriculum
Anyone considering earning a masters degree in actuarial science or a masters in financial engineering should have strong mathematical skills and an analytical thinking process. Students should also possess good business sense, creative thinking, strong computer skills, and be well informed with current financial, economic, and business related trends and legislation.
Actuaries must also pass a series of exams to become certified in the field. These exams are rigorous and it often takes four to eight years to reach full professional status.
The first of these exams can be taken in college and allows the actuary to gain employment. Once employed, companies often pay exam fees for actuaries in their
employment and generally increase pay as actuaries complete their exams.
The curricula for financial engineering and actuarial science masters programs vary among schools and a students area of concentration, however; there are several courses that seem to be typical across all programs and concentrations. These courses include:
- Finance mathematics
- Life insurance models
- Risk models and theory
- Statistical techniques
- Financial Modeling
Most programs recommend the completion of an internship to prepare students for employment.
As previously mentioned, to become a fully certified professional actuary, one must have a degree from an accredited university and pass a series of exams. Courses and study aids are available for exams after the initial exam. The exams can be started while still in college and many companies are now requiring that actuaries pass the initial exam as a condition of employment. Many actuaries graduate with a job or job prospects and employers often pay exam fees for future exams.
Both the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) certify actuaries. The initial exams for both societies are the same, but differ in later stages. As such, actuaries are asked to choose an area of specialization. The SOA certifies actuaries in the areas of life insurance, health benefits systems, retirement systems, and finance and investment. The CAS certifies those working in the area of property and casualty, including automobile, homeowners, medical malpractice, worker’s compensation, and personal injury liability.
Actuarial Science and Financial Engineering Career Paths and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, actuaries held about 24,300 jobs in 2012. They were employed in a variety of industries such as the consulting sector or insurance companies. Other areas of employment included company and enterprise management, brokers and government agencies. Jobs for actuaries were projected to grow by 26% between 2012 and 2022.
Actuarial Science and Financial Engineering Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that actuaries earned a median annual salary of $93,680 in 2012. Specific BLS data was not available for financial engineers, but information was available for the similar occupation of financial analyst. According to the BLS in 2012 finanical analysts earned a medina annual salary of $76,950.
The graph below compares the 2012 median annual salaries of financial analysts and actuaries.
- Buffalo, NYBuffalo, NY
University at Buffalo
Students learn to become better financial strategists and policy-makers by enhancing their theoretical knowledge and analytical skills in the area of...
- Storrs Mansfield, CTStorrs Mansfield, CT
University of Connecticut
For qualified students who wish to pursue an education in Actuarial Science beyond the undergraduatelevel, the Department of Mathematics offers a course of study leading to a master's or doctoraldegree.The Master's degree requires 24 credits of course w...
- Storrs Mansfield, CT
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
Abraham Lincoln University
The University has developed a contemporary and relevant-to-industry graduate curriculum.
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
The MFE Program has been designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge of modern financial economics and financial practice.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Illinois Institute of Technology
The MMF is for those interested in financial risk management with education in theoretical, computational and business aspects.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
Baruch College, City University Of New York
The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences of Baruch College offers a Master of Science Program in Financial Engineering...
- Normal, ILNormal, IL
Illinois State University
To provide advanced training in pure and applied mathematics for students preparing for professional careers in technical fields or for doctoral study...
- Lincoln, NELincoln, NE
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
The actuarial science program provides opportunities for students seeking employment in the areas of life insurance, pensions, and property/casualty i...
- Muncie, INMuncie, IN
Ball State University
If you could choose the ideal college -- one that provided you powerful resources (world class faculty, facilities, technology, and academics) for per...
- Iowa City, IAIowa City, IA
University of Iowa
Quality teaching has been a hallmark of our department since its inception. Our degree programs are designed to be career oriented and to provide a go...
- Ann Arbor, MIAnn Arbor, MI
University of Michigan
- Athens, GAAthens, GA
University of Georgia
The full-time Terry MBA Program allows students to build a concentration from elective courses that constitute an area of interest and career direction. MBA-level courses in Risk Management and Insurance provide students with a framework for understa...
- Troy, NYTroy, NY
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers the MS in Quantitative Finance and Risk Analytics.
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Sophisticated modeling and information technology now dominate the financial world. This modeling creates exciting openings for innovative, custom-designed instruments in the marketplace that allow you to turn financial theory into applied practice.
- Schaumburg, ILSchaumburg, IL
- Austin, TXAustin, TX
University of Texas at Austin
The most complete program for a student that already has an undergraduate degree and wishes to prepare for a career as an actuary with the special foc...
- Washington, DCWashington, DC
The Law Center offers a unique advanced degree in Securities and Financial Regulation.
Florida State University
FSU's curriculum recognizes that industry professionals are not involved solely with insurance issues they must face difficult financial, ethical, legal, and global concerns as well. Our program structure, therefore, hones a student's ability to analyze...
- Tallahassee, FL
- Richardson, TXRichardson, TX
University of Texas At Dallas
Students are prepared for five preliminary actuarial exams and are offered classes required for VEE credits.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
The department offers programs of study leading to the master of science degrees in two areas of concentration: Statistics and Actuarial Science.