Actuarial Science

Student on a laptop

What is Actuarial Science?

Today’s real-life financial problems require statistics, probability, and risk theory. Actuaries address the uncertainties associated with life insurance, property and casualty insurance, annuities, and pensions or other employee benefit plans.

We’ll provide you with the four basic requirements to becoming an Actuary — education, experience, strong communication skills, and assistance in the completion of a series of qualifying exams by various professional bodies, including the Society of Actuaries (SOA), Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA), and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).

  • Available as a co-op or regular program
  • There are 40 courses for this degree
  • Graduate with a Bachelor of Mathematics, major in Actuarial Science
  • Specializations in Finance and Predictive Analysis

First-year courses

  • MATH 135/145 - Classical Algebra
  • MATH 137/147 - Calculus 1
  • CS 115/135/145 - Computer Science
  • A communications course
  • One non-math elective

See full courses in our undergraduate calendar.

Upper-year courses

  • MTHEL 131 - Introduction to Actuarial Practice
  • ACTSC 231 - Introductory Financial Mathematics
  • STAT 331 - Applied Linear Models
  • ACTSC 331 - Life Contingencies 2
  • ACTSC 363 - Casualty and Health Insurance Mathematics 1
  • AFM 424- Equity Investments

Sample co-op jobs

  • Analyst, John Hancock Financial Services
  • Project Coordinator, Manulife Financial
  • Revenue Collections, Canada Revenue Agency
  • Operational Risk Management Analyst, TD Bank Financial Group
  • Actuarial Associate, Cigna Corporation
  • Web Solutions Developer, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP
  • Finance and Accounting Analyst, Parmalat Canada

Sample careers

  • Account Executive, Sun Life Financial Inc.
  • Actuarial Analyst, ING Life Insurance Korea Ltd.
  • Associate Vice President, Manulife Financial
  • Senior Analyst, Willis Towers Watson
  • Associate, Audit and Assurance Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • E-trading Developer, Citibank Canada
  • Assistant Trader, DRW Trading Group
  • Calculation Team Lead, Manulife Financial

Professional designation(s)

What is a professional designation? It's a professional approval by an employer or organization that a person can demonstrate particular standards of excellence in their field of work.

Student stories 

Meet Tiana

Tiana is a senior math ambassador and the VP of logistics in the University of Waterloo finance association. She is also the undergraduate representative in the Computing Advisory Council, the year representative in the Math Endowment Fund. Additionally, she was the lead accountant in TedxUW 2019 and a member of Club Supports Team in UWSA.

As an exceptional international student, Tiana is a recipient of the Global Scholarship from the Faculty of Mathematics which involves a large amount of on and off-campus extracurricular activities. Her off-campus involvements involve being a campus ambassador at both Coaching Actuaries and DreambigCareer. She's also a private tutor and attends dance practice.

Meet Jennifer

Jennifer is a math student ambassador and is part of the UW Student Theatre Club and EngPlay. She loves theatre, music, event planning and biking.

She worked as an Actuarial Analyst while on co-op with RSA Insurance and hopes to find a career working as an Actuarial Analyst or Data Analyst when she graduates.

She loves helping students learn the value of a mathematics degree and would be happy to connect through video, phone or email.

Similar programs

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How to apply

Apply to Mathematics for admissions consideration. If admitted, speak with an academic advisor after first year to declare Actuarial Science as a major.

Find out more information on the steps to apply.