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best online actuary degrees

Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty is the #1 best online actu­ary degree.
  • An actu­ar­i­al sci­ence degree pre­pares stu­dents for roles in insur­ance, finance, and risk man­age­ment.
  • Some pro­grams allow stu­dents to trans­fer cred­its, which can speed up the com­ple­tion time.

An online actu­ar­i­al sci­ence degree is an excel­lent choice for indi­vid­u­als who love to work with sta­tis­tics and large amounts of data. It is for those who like to find pat­terns and fig­ure out why they exist and how that infor­ma­tion can be used to iden­ti­fy spe­cif­ic outcomes.

Orig­i­nal­ly Pub­lished: July 2023
Revised: Jan­u­ary 2024

Stu­dents who enjoy this kind of work can find jobs in finan­cial and insur­ance fields where iden­ti­fy­ing var­i­ous types of risk is vital to oper­at­ing a suc­cess­ful busi­ness. With this type of degree, you can work with both under­writ­ers as well as insur­ance agents.

Enrolling in an online actu­ar­i­al sci­ence degree pro­gram allows you to work in what­ev­er capac­i­ty is need­ed to sup­port your fam­i­ly. If you are already work­ing in a finan­cial or insur­ance-relat­ed career, you will be able to con­tin­ue work­ing and gain­ing expe­ri­ence that will allow you to accept new oppor­tu­ni­ties for advance­ment as they come along. 

Online degree pro­grams offer the same qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion, you would receive if you had attend­ed in a class­room. With less cost, online also requires less finan­cial aid.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Actuarial Science Degree Programs

Stu­dents inter­est­ed in an online actu­ary degree also want their degree to pay off (and to pay off their finan­cial aid), so the Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter rank­ing of the best online actu­ar­i­al sci­ence bachelor’s pro­grams fea­tures only accred­it­ed, rep­utable schools. Pro­grams are ranked accord­ing to cost, grad­u­ate salary, and stu­dent reviews, using data from IPEDS and Niche.

1. Indiana University

Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence that ranks among the nation’s best actu­ar­i­al sci­ence degree programs. 

This 120-semes­ter unit degree pre­pares stu­dents for careers as a data sci­en­tist, a sta­tis­ti­cian, an actu­ary, or a math­e­mat­i­cal mod­el­er, among oth­ers. Core class­es for this degree include: 

  • Real-analy­sis
  • Lin­ear Algebra
  • The Bridge to Abstract Mathematics
  • Finan­cial Mathematics
  • Equi­ty and Fixed-income Investments
  • Ele­ments of Sta­tis­ti­cal Techniques
  • Sta­tis­ti­cal Modeling

Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty is a mul­ti-cam­pus high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion found­ed in the 1820s. IU is rec­og­nized to also be a space-grant uni­ver­si­ty with a stu­dent enroll­ment across the uni­ver­si­ty that exceeds 110,000 stu­dents each year.

What We Like: IU main­tains two pri­ma­ry cam­pus­es plus sev­en oth­er region­al aca­d­e­m­ic cen­ters across the state of Indi­ana and has a lengthy list of notable alumni.

Degree: BS in Actu­ar­i­al Science

2. Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Uni­ver­si­ty offers a Bach­e­lor of Gen­er­al Stud­ies (BGS) in Math­e­mat­ics with an aca­d­e­m­ic spe­cial­iza­tion or con­cen­tra­tion in Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence that is rec­og­nized among the best actu­ar­i­al sci­ence degree pro­grams in the state’s tech uni­ver­si­ty system. 

Class­es for the degree include: 

  • Sta­tis­ti­cal Methods
  • Finan­cial Mathematics
  • Risk Man­age­ment
  • High­er Math for Engineers/Scientists I & II
  • Ele­men­tary Geometry
  • Ele­ments of Finite Math
  • Math­e­mat­i­cal Sta­tis­tics for Engi­neers and Scientists

Texas Tech Uni­ver­si­ty was found­ed in the 1920s as a tech school, which became a uni­ver­si­ty in 1969. More than 39,400 under­grad­u­ate and post­grad­u­ate stu­dents attend class­es online and on the school’s main Lub­bock campus.

What We Like: Texas Tech University’s stu­dents play in the Big 12 con­fer­ence as the Red Raiders, with the women’s bas­ket­ball team win­ning the Divi­sion 1 b‑ball tour­na­ment in 1993.

Degree: Bach­e­lor of Gen­er­al Stud­ies in Math­e­mat­ics — Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence concentration

3. University of Massachusetts Lowell

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mass­a­chu­setts Low­ell offers a BS in Applied Math­e­mat­ics that is con­sid­ered Mass­a­chu­setts’ most ver­sa­tile and best online actu­ar­i­al pro­gram avail­able in the Bay State. 

UMass Lowell’s under­grad­u­ate actu­ar­i­al degree offers a gen­er­ous trans­fer cred­it pol­i­cy of up to 90 cred­its, offer­ing an accel­er­at­ed path that can be com­plet­ed in as few 12 months for qual­i­fied actu­ar­i­al sci­ence majors. This UMass is designed to be flex­i­ble enough for busy par­ents and work­ing learners.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mass­a­chu­setts (UML) was found­ed as a teacher’s col­lege in west­ern Mass­a­chu­setts in 1894. The uni­ver­si­ty main­tains two pri­ma­ry cam­pus­es in the Mer­ri­mack Val­ley in Low­ell and Haver­hill. More than 18,150 stu­dents attend class­es online and on the school’s dual campuses.

What We Like: The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mass­a­chu­setts’ Low­ell facil­i­ty is com­prised of six colleges/schools offer­ing pro­grams in edu­ca­tion, fine arts, sci­ence, engi­neer­ing, busi­ness, and health sciences.

Degree: BS in Applied Mathematics

4. Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edi­son State Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BA in Math­e­mat­ics that ranks among the most inno­v­a­tive and best online actu­ar­i­al pro­grams in the greater NJ/NY/PA urban areas. 

Stu­dents enrolled in Thomas Edi­son State University’s actu­ar­i­al sci­ence pro­gram and math must com­plete class­es in: 

  • Quan­ti­ta­tive Literacy
  • Num­ber Theory
  • Non-para­met­ric Statistics
  • Dif­fer­en­tial Equations
  • Cryp­tog­ra­phy & Cryptanalysis
  • Math­e­mat­i­cal Logic
  • Risk Man­age­ment
  • Graph The­o­ry
  • Topol­o­gy
  • Matrix Alge­bra

Thomas Edi­son State Uni­ver­si­ty (TESU) is a pub­lic insti­tu­tion of high­er learn­ing that was estab­lished in the ear­ly 1970s. The school’s online plat­form and Tren­ton cam­pus serve more than 17,050 post­grad­u­ate and under­grad­u­ate stu­dents annually.

What We Like: The uni­ver­si­ty is named to hon­or the inven­tor who did most of his pro­fes­sion­al work in New Jersey.

Degree: BA in Mathematics

5. Louisiana State University in Alexandria

Louisiana State Uni­ver­si­ty in Alexan­dria offers a BS in Math­e­mat­ics with an aca­d­e­m­ic track in Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence which is one of Louisiana’s most inno­v­a­tive and best online actu­ar­i­al programs. 

The uni­ver­si­ty’s bachelor’s degree in actu­ar­i­al sci­ence pro­gram pre­pares grads to sit for the first SOA exams and gen­er­ous­ly offers up to 75% of cred­its to be trans­ferred, if eli­gi­ble. Required con­cen­tra­tion class­es include: 

  • Finan­cial Mathematics
  • Busi­ness Finance
  • Prob­a­bil­i­ty
  • Risk Man­age­ment
  • Math­e­mat­i­cal Statistics

Louisiana State Uni­ver­si­ty & Agri­cul­tur­al & Mechan­i­cal Col­lege (LSU A&M) was found­ed as a pub­lic school in 1860 and now oper­ates as the state’s land, sea, and space grant insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion with a stu­dent enroll­ment that nears 35,000.

What We Like: Louisiana State Uni­ver­si­ty & Agri­cul­tur­al & Mechan­i­cal College’s vet school is the only vet­eri­nary school in the state.

Degree: BS in Math­e­mat­ics — Actu­ar­i­al Science

6. Maryville University of Saint Louis

Maryville Uni­ver­si­ty of Saint Louis offers a BS in Math­e­mat­ics with an aca­d­e­m­ic empha­sis in data sci­ence that pre­pares grad­u­ates for careers as man­age­ment ana­lysts, actu­ar­ies, sta­tis­ti­cal con­sul­tants, insur­ance under­writ­ers, or data sci­en­tists, to name a few. 

Maryville’s best online actu­ar­i­al pro­grams require the com­ple­tion of a min­i­mum of 128 cred­it units, which are all avail­able online, with an option­al local intern­ship. Bach­e­lor’s degree class­es may include: 

  • Fun­da­men­tal Analysis
  • Opti­miza­tion
  • Finan­cial Math
  • Foun­da­tions of Mathematics

Estab­lished in the 1870s, Maryville Uni­ver­si­ty of Saint Louis is a pri­vate school that serves more than 10,950 post­grad­u­ate and under­grad­u­ate stu­dents on its cam­pus in Town and Coun­try and online plat­form. It is espe­cial­ly known for online edu­ca­tion in busi­ness administration.

What We Like: Maryville Uni­ver­si­ty of Saint Louis was estab­lished by the Soci­ety of the Sacred Heart.

Degree: Math­e­mat­ics, BS, Data Minor

7. Chadron State College

Chadron State Col­lege offers a BS in Math­e­mat­ics with a minor option in applied sta­tis­tics which is rec­og­nized as one of Nebraska’s best online actu­ar­i­al sci­ence programs. 

Actu­ar­i­al sci­ence cours­es for Chadron State’s bac­calau­re­ate degree in math include: 

  • Applied Sta­tis­tics
  • Dis­crete Mathematics
  • The­o­ry of Statistics
  • Sam­pling Techniques
  • Data Analy­sis
  • Prob­a­bil­i­ty and Statistics
  • Spe­cial Top­ics in Math
  • The­o­ry of Numbers
  • Cal­cu­lus I, II, & III
  • plus an intern­ship or inde­pen­dent research project

Found­ed in 1911 in Chadron, Chadron State (CSC) is a mem­ber school of Nebraska’s state col­lege sys­tem. Chadron State oper­ates on a 100% open admis­sion pol­i­cy with a stu­dent enroll­ment that is home to more than 2,950 students.

What We Like: Five build­ings at Chadron State are list­ed on the Nation­al Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places.

Degree: Math­e­mat­ics, BS — minor in Applied Statistics

8. Walsh University

Walsh Uni­ver­si­ty offers one of Michigan’s best online actu­ar­i­al sci­ence pro­grams with its under­grad­u­ate accel­er­at­ed actu­ar­i­al degree designed for work­ing learn­ings in need of flexibility. 

The college’s degree in actu­ar­i­al sci­ence is among Michigan’s most afford­able online bach­e­lor’s (low finan­cial aid). Grad­u­ates of Wal­sh’s bachelor’s degree can enter the work­force as: 

  • Research Ana­lysts
  • Insur­ance Underwriters
  • Busi­ness Consultants
  • Finan­cial Specialists
  • Actu­ar­i­al Analysts
  • Per­son­al Finan­cial Advisors 
  • Invest­ment Strategists

Char­tered in the 1920s, Walsh Uni­ver­si­ty is a mul­ti­ple-cam­pus pri­vate school ded­i­cat­ed to the field of busi­ness. Walsh Col­lege began to pre­pare stu­dents for account­ing careers. Walsh offered its first bac­calau­re­ate-lev­el pro­grams (account­ing and busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion) in the 1970s.

What We Like: Walsh Uni­ver­si­ty oper­ates facil­i­ties in Clin­ton Town­ship, and Macomb Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege, and St Claire Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty College.

Degree: Online BS in Actu­ar­i­al Science

9. Indiana University East

Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty East offers a BS in Math­e­mat­ics that is among the most afford­able and best online actu­ar­i­al sci­ence pro­grams in Indi­ana and beyond. Stu­dents enrolled in IUE’s degree must com­plete at least 120 cred­it units to meet Indi­an Uni­ver­si­ty East­’s grad­u­a­tion criteria.

IU East was found­ed in the 1970s as a pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty. The school serves east­ern Indi­ana and west­ern Ohio stu­dents and work­ing learn­ers with sev­er­al cam­pus­es and facil­i­ties. IU East offers more than 55 aca­d­e­m­ic degrees. More than 3,450 stu­dents attend class­es each year offered on the school’s Rich­mond cam­pus and online, vying for degrees and diplo­mas offered by IU East’s sev­en colleges/schools.

What We Like: Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty East was first estab­lished to serve online stu­dents as an aca­d­e­m­ic exten­sion cen­ter for Earl­ham Col­lege and then Ball State Uni­ver­si­ty and Pur­due University.

Degree: Math­e­mat­ics, BS

10. Eastern New Mexico University

East­ern New Mex­i­co Uni­ver­si­ty offers two of the best online actu­ar­i­al sci­ence pro­grams avail­able in the edu­ca­tion mar­ket­place in the Gar­den State with its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence or Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in Math­e­mat­ics with an aca­d­e­m­ic foun­da­tion in Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence. Required class­es include: 

  • Cal­cu­lus
  • Lin­ear Algebra
  • Mod­ern Algebra
  • Finan­cial Management
  • Real Analy­sis
  • Intu­itive Topology
  • Top­ics in Euclid­ean Geometry
  • Ele­ments of Sta­tis­ti­cal Techniques
  • Dif­fer­en­tial Equations
  • Ele­men­tary Com­pu­ta­tion­al Methods
  • Finan­cial Math
  • Quan­ti­ta­tive Finance
  • Math­e­mat­i­cal Models

East­ern New Mex­i­co Uni­ver­si­ty (ENMU) was found­ed in the 1920s as a pub­lic two-year school. ENMU is not­ed to be a His­pan­ic-serv­ing insti­tu­tion with three cam­pus­es in East­ern New Mex­i­co. East­ern New Mex­i­co University’s sub­ur­ban cam­pus­es and online plat­form serve more than 6,010 students.

What We Like: East­ern New Mex­i­co Uni­ver­si­ty was ini­tial­ly devel­oped as a teacher’s train­ing school by the state’s legislature.

Degree: BA or BS in Math­e­mat­ics — foun­da­tion for Actu­ar­i­al Science

11. Ottawa University

Ottawa Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BA in Math­e­mat­ics with an aca­d­e­m­ic foun­da­tion in Actu­ar­i­al Sci­ence that is ranked as one of the best online actu­ar­i­al sci­ence pro­grams in the state of Kansas for online students. 

Ottawa’s bachelor’s degree in actu­ar­i­al sci­ence pre­pares stu­dents for careers in edu­ca­tion, finance, math, gov­ern­ment, research, com­put­er sci­ence, and actu­ar­i­al sci­ence, to name a few.

Ottawa Uni­ver­si­ty is a Bap­tist high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was estab­lished in the 1860s by mis­sion­ar­ies. The school main­tains sev­er­al cam­pus­es and a dis­tance-learn­ing plat­form that serves more than 600 stu­dents every year.

What We Like: Ottawa oper­ates mul­ti­ple cam­pus­es in these states — Ari­zona, Kansas, and Wisconsin.

Degree: Math­e­mat­ics, BA — Actu­ar­i­al Science

What Is an Actuarial Scientist?

An actu­ar­i­al sci­en­tist is some­one who col­lects and inter­prets large amounts of data to deter­mine the lev­el of risk that is involved in cer­tain types of activ­i­ties or trans­ac­tions. By col­lect­ing and eval­u­at­ing large amounts of data, an actu­ar­i­al sci­en­tist can deter­mine whether or not a spe­cif­ic activ­i­ty will be safe for invest­ment or avoid­ed due to high­er-than-aver­age risks. 

By per­form­ing these types of eval­u­a­tions, actu­ar­ies can uncov­er pat­terns that may be able to be changed so that the risks are low­er and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is higher.

In the finance and insur­ance indus­try, actu­ar­ies are extreme­ly valu­able. With­out their abil­i­ty to accu­rate­ly inter­pret data, there would be no way to deter­mine the lev­el of poten­tial risk. They can iden­ti­fy ways of mit­i­gat­ing risks so that invest­ments will be more pro­duc­tive and there will be much less room for error when mak­ing deci­sions. Actu­ar­ies can find work in almost any indus­try in which some type of research is performed.

What Is Actuarial Science?

Actu­ar­i­al sci­ence is used to apply com­plex math­e­mat­ics to cre­ate mod­els that rep­re­sent the uncer­tain­ty of any giv­en sit­u­a­tion. Both sta­tis­ti­cal and math­e­mat­i­cal meth­ods are used to eval­u­ate the lev­el of risk involved in cer­tain types of trans­ac­tions. Indi­vid­u­als who work with­in this field must prove they pos­sess the skills that will be need­ed to be pro­fi­cient with­in the field. 

In the past (before the 1980s), most of this work was done by hand. When com­put­ers became more read­i­ly avail­able, the old­er meth­ods asso­ci­at­ed with actu­ar­i­al sci­ence were blend­ed in with the­o­ries that had to do with finance and insurance.

Actu­ar­i­al sci­ence is far-reach­ing in terms of where it is used. Most peo­ple asso­ciate it with insur­ance and finance. In actu­al­i­ty, it is also used in eco­nom­ics, com­put­er sci­ence, man­u­fac­tur­ing, and retail. Because of the mas­sive amounts of infor­ma­tion being used today, actu­ar­i­al sci­en­tists are con­sid­ered one of the fastest-grow­ing and most pop­u­lar professions. 

In addi­tion to being a pop­u­lar choice for stu­dents who excel at math, actu­ar­i­al sci­ence is also good for indi­vid­u­als who love research and try­ing to solve com­plex problems.

In an actu­ar­i­al pro­gram, you’ll learn about finan­cial risk and build your ana­lyt­i­cal skills. Be sure of the school’s admis­sion require­ments, accred­i­ta­tion, tuition rates, and pre­req­ui­sites. Make sure you will have real-world expe­ri­ence and be pre­pared for the actu­ar­i­al exams. Your edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ence, cred­it hours, and elec­tives will make online pro­grams as good as on-campus.

Is Actuarial Science a Good Career?

No mat­ter what indus­try you work in, there will always be a need for actu­ar­i­al sci­en­tists. The Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics and the Soci­ety of Actu­ar­ies agree that there are far few­er pro­fes­sion­als enter­ing the field than need­ed. The career path to health insur­ance com­pa­nies and oth­er employ­ers is clear.

Using groups of num­bers to iden­ti­fy pat­terns and man­age all types of risks is some­thing not every­one can do. If you find that this is an area you enjoy and are pro­fi­cient in, you may be look­ing at the poten­tial for a very long and lucra­tive career. While the finan­cial and insur­ance fields are the most well-known, many oth­er career fields also uti­lize the ser­vices of actuaries.

If you are look­ing for a career in which you can con­tin­ue to advance and seek new oppor­tu­ni­ties, earn­ing a degree in actu­ar­i­al sci­ence is one of the best choic­es you can make. Not only will you be work­ing in a high­ly chal­leng­ing career, but the oppor­tu­ni­ties for advance­ment will con­tin­ue to present them­selves no mat­ter what indus­try you choose to work in. A grad­u­ate degree can bump those oppor­tu­ni­ties up even further.

By using cut­ting-edge tech­nol­o­gy, actu­ar­ies can han­dle vast amounts of infor­ma­tion, much more than has ever been stud­ied in the past. The more com­plex the prob­lem, the more lucra­tive the job. While this type of work may not be for every­one, for those who like this type of work, the oppor­tu­ni­ties for advance­ment will be endless.

Relat­ed Rankings: