Preparing at Carnegie Mellon for an Actuarial Career

Added 29 April 2020: The information below is still useful but somewhat dated. Please contact Rebecca Nugent (, associate head of the Statistics Department and co-director of the undergraduate studies in Statistics & Data Science, or Jason Howell (, director of undergraduate studies in Mathematical Sciences, for current information about coursework and club activities related to actuarial science at CMU.

Actuaries are statistical/financial engineers employed by insurance companies, investment firms, employee benefits consulting firms, and other types of companies that need to quantify (put a price tag on) financial risks.

Most actuaries have at least an undergraduate degree and all must pass a series of examinations in order to work in the profession. The first four exams are common to all actuarial careers:

and the remaining exams depend on your particular career path.

To prepare for a career as an actuary, the actuarial societies recommend any broad-based undergraduate program that concentrates on business and mathematics, and in particular suggest you take

Here at Carnegie Mellon a major in Statistics with a concentration in Business would expose you naturally to all of these courses. Or you might want to do a double major in Business Administration and Statistics. Another reasonable option would be a major in Math with a concentration in Statistics.

by Brian Junker

Brian Junker                    (412) 268 - 8873
Department of Statistics
232 Baker Hall                  FAX: (412) CMU-STAT
Carnegie Mellon University        or (412) 268-7828
Pittsburgh PA 15213 USA