Do you need help with your academic journey or have a question that you need to be answered now? Browse the topics below to see if your answer is there.

If you have a question that you can't find an answer to, please contact the Statistics and Actuarial Science Advisors.

Do old/new rules apply to me?

Majoring in Actuarial Science

Course specific questions

Actuarial Science accreditation questions

Statistics FAQs

Data Science FAQs

Struggling in Actuarial Science

Other questions

## Do old/new rules apply to me?

## I like the new Calendar requirements better. Can I change Calendars?

You may follow any Calendar that has come out since you have been studying as an undergraduate student at Waterloo. Just fill out a plan modification form and see your advisors. The default is to follow the calendar from the year you started in the Math faculty.

## I read MTHEL 300 is now a required course, does this apply to me?

Only students using the 2015/2016 (or later) Calendar are required to complete MTHEL 300. So unless you change your Calendar you won’t have to take the course.

## When can I see my advisor to have my remaining courses to graduate looked over?

Students who are at least in their 4A term, and have 10 or fewer courses to finish, can request a graduation check by emailing the SAS advisors.

You can use our program sheets to check which course you need to pass.

## I’m in Actuarial Science Co-operative Education (co-op), is there anything I need to watch out for?

Students in co-op sequence B and D need to be careful because they end with 4A and 4B both in winter. In order to complete all the required ACTSC courses in time, students must get into Statistics (STAT) 330 and STAT 333 in their 3A term, so that they can complete ACTSC 431 & 432 (ACTSC) or ACTSC 431 & 445 (ACTSC Finance) in their 3B term. ACTSC 431, 432 and 445 are all only offered in fall and spring terms.

## Majoring in Actuarial Science

## When can I declare Actuarial Science as my major?

Typically students select their major in 2A or 2B, but you can do it in 3A or later too.

## What do I do to declare Actuarial Science as my major?

First check that you meet the Actuarial Science admission requirements.

To declare your major, you need to complete a plan modification form and email it to the SAS advisors for approval.

If you do not meet the requirements, you will be told to wait a term and try again. Additionally, we only admit students from within the Mathematics Faculty, so if you are in a different faculty you must transfer to Mathematics before you are eligible for entry to Actuarial Science. If you don't meet the requirements by the end of 3A you should strongly consider another major, as fourth year courses are open only to Actuarial Science majors.

## What courses do I need for my major?

Please refer to our program sheets.

## How do I know what Calendar I am using?

Students automatically use the Calendar from their first term in the Math faculty. So if you started in fall 2014 you are assigned the 2014/2015 Calendar. The only way it changes is if you change it with a plan modification form. You can find a list of Calendars on the Undergraduate website.

## What is a CAV and SMAV? How are they calculated?

The **CAV **(Cumulative Average) is the overall average grade of all courses while a student is in the Faculty of Mathematics.

The **SMAV **is your Special Major Average, and the calculation depends on what program and calendar you are in. For the Actuarial Science, Actuarial Science Predictive Analytics Specialization and Actuarial Science Finance Specialization programs, the special major average, on 2014 and later calendars is the average grade from the following courses:

- ACTSC 231 and ACTSC 232
- STAT 230 and STAT 231
- All 300-400 level math courses: math courses include ACTSC, Applied Mathematics (AMATH), Pure Mathematics (PMATH), Combinatorics and Optimization (CO), Computer Science (CS), and STAT. A MTHEL or COMM course is not considered a math course.

## What are my CAV/MAV requirements?

- You must maintain a CAV of at least 60% to stay in good standing and remain in the Math Faculty.
- Students using the 2014 or later calendar must maintain a SMAV of at least 70%.

## Course specific questions

## How can I take a sixth course in a term?

You may take six courses if you have an overall CAV of at least 80%. This requirement may be relaxed for students in 4B who need six courses to finish, but requires a petition to the Standings and Promotions (S&P) committee. Please contact the SAS advisors.

## Can I take courses while I am on co-op?

Students are always allowed to take one course while on co-op. Students may be permitted to take a second course during co-op terms if it has been approved by their employer.

## I took ACTSC 221 before I decided to major in Actuarial Science. Do I still have to take ACTSC 231?

Yes. It contains more material and is more in depth. We will not accept ACTSC 221 in place of ACTSC 231 regardless of your grade.

## The ACTSC course that I want to take is already full. What can I do?

You will have to ask the Actuarial Science advisors if they are willing to sign a course override form. In most cases you will be told to wait until the first week of classes and try to sign yourself into any free spots that open in the course.

The advisor will only sign you into the course if resources and the instructor permit. If the advisor does not sign the override form you cannot take the class. In the future make sure you course select for you upcoming terms to avoid this problem.

## What is a “non-math” elective?

Any course which does not have a subject code of Mathematics (MATH), ACTSC, AM, Pure Mathematics (PMATH), CO, Computational Mathematics (CM), Math Business (MATBUS), CS, or STAT.

## I am a first year student interested in Actuarial Science. What courses should I take in first year?

## Accreditation questions

Accreditation and exemptions by CIA, SOA and CAS

Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) accreditation

## Statistics FAQs

## What do I need to be admitted to statistics?

See the admission requirements on the Undergraduate website.

## What is my MAV for statistics?

The Major AVerage for Statistics is comprised of all math courses. This average should be at least 65%.

## I was in Business (or FARM) before and I took STAT 334. Does it count as STAT 330 and/or STAT 333?

No. If you want a Statistics major or minor, you must take STAT 330 and STAT 333. You will lose the credit for STAT 334, meaning you would have to take 41 courses overall.

## Do I have to get 60% in STAT 230 to take STAT 231?

No, just pass the course.

## Do I have to get 60% in STAT 230 to take STAT 330, 333, 334, 340, or 341?

Yes. If you don't get a grade above 60% the first time you take STAT 230 and you want to do a Statistics major, you must retake it. You will need an override from the SAS advisors to do so. Both marks will count in your average. You will only get credit for the course once, so you will need to take another course later to replace it (41 courses overall).

## Do I have to get 60% in STAT 231 to take STAT 331, 332, 371, or 373?

Yes. If you don't get a grade above 60% the first time you take STAT 231 and you want to do a statistics major, you must retake it. You will need an override from the SAS advisors to do so. Both marks will count in your average. You will only get credit for the course once, so you will need to take another course later to replace it (41 courses overall).

## What 400 level STAT courses should I take?

For a general guideline, look at the pre-requisite for the 400 level course. If you enjoyed the 300 level course(s) that it requires, then you will likely enjoy that 400 level course as well!

If you liked: |
STAT 330 |
STAT 331/371 |
STAT 332/372 |
STAT 333 |
STAT 341 |
STAT 337 |

Try: |
STAT 450 |
STAT 431 STAT 443 |
STAT 430 STAT 454 |
STAT 433 |
STAT 440 STAT 441 STAT 442 STAT 444 |
STAT 431 STAT 436 STAT 437 |

## Data Science FAQs

## How do I transfer to Data Science?

Entry to the BMath Data Science is competitive.

The minimum requirements are:

1. A minimum math average of 65%.

2. A minimum CS average of 70%.

3. Are enrolled in, or have completed CS 136.

If you meet these requirements, please complete this form prior to the last lecture day of the term. Application decisions are made at the start of the following term.

## How many places are available?

We accept about 16 students per term in BMath Data Science.

## What are the required averages?

We look at three averages: CAV, CS and MATH. All three averages have ranged independently from the mid 70s to low 90s. This depends on the term and the students that apply. It is impossible to predict what the average(s) will be in the term you apply.

## Can I apply a second time?

Yes, you can apply again if you are unsuccessful the first time. However it would be wise to have a back-up plan in place.

## What is an alternative to Data Science?

An alternative might be a Statistics Major with a Computing Minor. Aim to take CS 431. Another alternative might be a BCS (Data Science) or a BMath (CS)/BCS with a minor in Statistics.

## Is Statistics competitive?

No. Anyone who meets the minimum requirements can join.

## When will I hear back from my application?

If you apply in term N you will hear back in term N+1. You may need to wait until after the add period.

## What happens if I apply to Statistics, Computational Math, Computer Science and Data Science?

Then you may get accepted by all four. If you are, congratulations! Simply accept the one you want and ignore the others.

## How is BMath Data Science different from BCS Data Science?

BMath DS requires you to take MTHEL 300 as your 2nd communication course; BCS DS does not. The BCS DS requires you to take the depth and breadth requirements of CS; BMath DS does not.

Otherwise a BCS student is a CS major with some Statistics, and as such has access to any CS course. BMathDS is a Statistics degree with added CS. It does not let you into any CS course, but restricts you to the list.

## Does being in BMath Data Science give you easier access to BCS Data Science?

No.

## Struggling in Actuarial Science

## My SMAV has dropped below the minimum. What can I do?

If your SMAV is below 70% you should consider another major such as Statistics or Mathematical Studies. You can use your next term to take Actuarial Science courses that are not limited to only Actuarial Science majors to try and bring up your average in order to be readmitted. If you try this and your average is not above 70% after one term you should pick another major, as the upper year courses are for Actuarial Science majors only.

## Other questions

## What do I need for an Economics minor?

Students using the 2012/2013 Calendar or later need 8 ECON courses.

ECON 221 will not count towards the BMath degree (but will count as one of the ten required ECON courses). ECON 321 is an anti-requisite of STAT 231. ECON 372 is an anti-requisite for ACTSC 446. Taking it as the ECON version will prohibit you from getting credit for ACTSC 446.

## I am in co-op sequence B or D and my last two study terms are winter terms. Will the courses I need be offered then?

No. ACTSC 431, 432, and 445 are only offered spring and fall. If you secure an 8-month work term sometime before fourth year, this problem will sort itself out because your sequence will be rearranged around your 8-month work term and one of your last 2 terms will be spring or fall.

If you have reached fourth year and are still following your original sequence (B or D), you have two options:

- drop one work term. You would have your fifth (and final) work term in spring, and 4B in fall, graduating 4 months early.
- add an extra school term. You would have your fifth work term in spring, school in fall, sixth work term in winter, and an extra school term the following spring. You'd get all six work terms but graduate 4 months late.

If neither of those options appeals to you, plan ahead!