Future undergraduate students

We offer undergraduate degrees in Actuarial Science, Statistics and Statistics for Health.

Statisticians and actuaries need a broad range of skills. The underlying theory of statistics/actuarial science has a mathematical basis and an actuary/statistician must have strong mathematical ability. They also need excellent computing skills to deal with large data sets and the computer-intensive analysis methods that are now routinely applied. Actuaries/statisticians must also be expert communicators, able to help formulate questions and explain complex technical methods and results to their collaborators.

Both actuaries and statisticians are much in demand and the professions often find themselves at the top of lists of the best jobs.


Your future as an actuary

Actuarial science is the application of statistics, probability, and risk theory to real-life financial problems involving future uncertainty. Waterloo's Actuarial Science program is one of the world's best, and is accredited by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. The program involves a solid basis in financial mathematics, statistics, and life contingencies. Through upper year courses, students may choose to gain a background in property and casualty insurance, pensions, corporate finance, or advanced techniques for life insurance. For students who are particularly interested in finance, the Actuarial Science Finance Option is available. It includes some basic accounting courses and more targeted upper-year finance courses. There are a wide variety of co-op employment opportunities for Actuarial Science students, and students can gain up to two years of work experience before graduating. In addition, since the program is accredited, exceptional students can receive exemptions from some of the professional exams required for actuaries. During the course of the undergraduate program, it is possible to complete up to five exams.

See academic plans and requirements for Actuarial Science.

Learn more about Waterloo's Actuarial Science program.

Your future as a statistician

Statisticians play important roles in a wide array of areas in science, engineering, business, technology and the social sciences. Statistical methods are central to the empirical discovery of patterns in data and to the determination of causal mechanisms in public health and many other other areas of scientific enquiry. Statisticians working in business and industry help ensure strategic decisions are based on carefully collected and analyzed data. In such settings the decisions may relate to the development and marketing of new products, changes in manufacturing processes, the evaluation of new medical therapies, or the development of strategies to make wise financial investments. More broadly, appropriate use of statistical methodology ensures reliable conclusions are drawn from data through the use of rigorous sampling and data collection schemes, valid and robust methods of statistical analysis, and careful presentation and interpretation of results. Statisticians are skilled in hypothesis testing, forecasting and predicting, and in drawing inferences from data. They often work collaboratively with researchers in other fields and individuals in government, business, industry, and academia. The University of Waterloo has a remarkable heritage in the statistical sciences - many of the current and former faculty have made and continue to make important contributions to the discipline and the many exciting programs here are renowned for their rigour, depth and breadth of coverage.

See academic plans and requirements for Statistics.

Learn more about Waterloo's Statistics program.

Learn more about the interesting world of statistics by watching this video:

Your future in Mathematical Finance

Mathematical Finance is an elite finance program offered jointly through the Pure Mathematics department and the Statistics and Actuarial Science department. While there are many different finance programs offered at the University of Waterloo, this program is specifically designed for students with elite mathematical abilities, requiring the advanced level of calculus. The program offers a challenging curriculum, including courses in corporate finance, mathematical models in finance, asset liability management, real and complex analysis, mathematical statistics, applied linear models, applied probability, and forecasting. This program offers the finance knowledge earned in Actuarial Science combined with the challenging mathematics earned in a Pure Mathematics degree. It also delves into Economics and Applied Mathematics. Students who major in this plan will have the background in both pure mathematics and the mathematical finance necessary for graduate work or a career in the highest echelons of banking and mathematical finance.

See academic plans and requirements for Mathematical Finance.

Learn more about Waterloo's Mathematical Finance program.

Your future in Statistics for Health

There is a critical shortage of people with quantitative health research and skills. Statistics for Health, an interdisciplinary program that is housed in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, draws from Waterloo's strengths in statistics, biostatistics, computer science, health studies, gerontology, and economics. It emphasizes the statistical elements of research in the areas of clinical, public and population health, through an innovative curriculum, including the use of data collection and statistical analysis for supporting decisions and informing policy for public health and health care. Statistics for Health, the only program of its kind in Canada, will equip students with skills, knowledge, and experience, and it will prepare graduates for successful careers in the quantitative sector of the health care industry.

Students follow a rigorous undergraduate statistics program similar to the Statistics major plan but with the addition of three courses (Statistics 337, 436 and 437) developed specifically for the Statistics for Health program. Students will learn to undertake independent analyses of continuous and discrete data and how to design, implement and analyze complex surveys and experiments. Through specially selected electives students will also develop information technology skills, knowledge of the health care system, and communication skills. There are also opportunities for students to engage with faculty members in the department through full or part time undergraduate research projects. Additionally, students enrolled in co-op can gain up to two years of relevant work experience.

See academic plans and requirements for Statistics for Health.

Learn more about Waterloo's Statistics for Health program.