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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of actuaries is projected to grow 20 percent from 2018 to 2028–much faster than the average for all occupations. Whether you want to become an actuary for an insurance company or a financial analyst on Wall Street, a strong understanding of actuarial science will always be an asset.

Program Overview

Learn how to calculate the probability of everything.

Actuarial science is an interdisciplinary field that uses mathematics, statistics, economics and business to analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. As an actuary, you’ll be essential to the insurance industry and have some of the best job outlooks of any profession.

The coursework in the Actuarial Science emphasis prepares you for the first actuarial exam in probability (SOA exam P) and provides much of the background needed for the second exam in financial mathematics (SOA exam FM). Most students in this program are able to pass the first professional certification test before they graduate.

A formula for success

Students in a Math 240 course learn advanced math skills.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

The Actuarial Science Emphasis provides a complete major in mathematics while also preparing students for careers in risk management.  The curriculum fully covers all of the content for the first professional actuarial exam in probability, while also laying the foundation for success on subsequent exams.

A minimum of 59 credits is required, including the 25-credit Mathematics Core:

Mathematics Core
CS 190Computer Science I3
MATH 151Calculus I (GT-MA1)4
MATH 251Calculus II4
MATH 260Applied Linear Algebra3
MATH 451Analysis I3
MATH 471Abstract Algebra I3
MATH 495Senior Seminar2
Choose one of the following:3
MATH 200
Discrete Mathematics
MATH 220
Introduction to Advanced Mathematics
Total Credits25

And the following:

One of the following:3
BUAD 220
Spreadsheets and Analysis
CS 120
Professional Computer Skills
And all of the following:
BUAD 311Business Analytics3
ECON 201Macroeconomics (GT-SS1)3
ECON 202Microeconomics3
ECON 316Econometrics3
ECON 361Money, Banking, and Financial Markets3
MATH 213Probability and Statistics3
MATH 252Calculus III4
MATH 313Statistical Modeling and Simulation3
MATH 314Applied Probability3
MATH 414Actuarial Mathematics3
Total Credits34
Plan of Study Grid
Year One
ECON 201 Macroeconomics (GT-SS1) 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 151 Calculus I (GT-MA1) 4
MATH 260 Applied Linear Algebra 3
CS 190 Computer Science I 3
ECON 202 Microeconomics 3
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
MATH 251 Calculus II 4
MATH 213 Probability and Statistics 3
Year Two
ECON 316 Econometrics 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences w/lab 4
MATH 252 Calculus III 4
MATH 314 Applied Probability 3
MATH 414 Actuarial Mathematics 3
MATH 313 Statistical Modeling and Simulation 3
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
Year Three
BUAD 220
or CS 120
Spreadsheets and Analysis
or Professional Computer Skills
ECON 361 Money, Banking, and Financial Markets 3
Elective Elective 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
MATH 220 Introduction to Advanced Mathematics 3
BUAD 311 Business Analytics 3
Elective Elective 4
Elective Elective (upper division) 6
Gen Ed Natural Sciences 4
Year Four
MATH 451 Analysis I 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
Elective Elective 3
Elective Elective (upper division) 6
MATH 471 Abstract Algebra I 3
MATH 495 Senior Seminar 2
Elective Elective 6
Elective Elective (upper division) 3
 Total Credits120


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The data is automatically collected by Lightcast, a firm that sources job market data. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Make your education a life changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Conferences: Students and faculty travel to two conferences each year.
  • Seminars: Faculty show what they have been working on and students present their research projects.
  • Tutoring Jobs: Available to students interested in teaching others and mastering basic principles.

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Jenifer Blacklock, Ph.D.

Director of the Western-CU Boulder Partnership Program

Department Chair

Jeremy Muskat, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

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