Actuarial Science Program Details
Drake provides one of the few private actuarial science majors in the Midwest. It is a true program with a full set of actuarial science courses taught by actuaries, exclusively for undergraduates. The program strives to provide high-quality, undergraduate-level preparation for students planning careers in the actuarial profession.
Actuarial science majors at Drake learn to solve problems created by retirement, unemployment, accident, death and other contingencies of life. Actuaries combine the skills of a scientist, mathematician, business executive and sociologist. After graduation, students are prepared to be business leaders in the financial services industry and are thoroughly grounded in the technical skills required for actuarial work.
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in actuarial science
Some students decide to major in actuarial science/accounting, a joint major that requires the student meet most, but not all, of the requirements for both majors. A similar joint major is actuarial science/finance. Actuarial science majors often minor in mathematics or economics and/or earn a concentration in insurance. It is also possible for a student majoring in mathematics to use many of the actuarial science courses to satisfy the requirements for the math major.
Approximately 150 students are enrolled in the major; average class size is 35 students.
Faculty members teach the courses and advise students.
· Rahul Parsa, PhD, (Texas A & M University)
· Toby White, FSA, PhD (University of Washington)
· P aul Judd, ASA, MS (University of Iowa)
· Paul G. Ferrara, PhD, FSA, CERA
A student is most likely to succeed if pre-calculus has been taken in high school. For first-year students, no actuarial science courses are offered. A typical schedule emphasizes mathematics, computer science and statistics. The first-year curriculum should include as much calculus as the student is able to take, based on high school preparation.
REQUIRED CREDIT HOURS AND COURSES FOR MAJOR
124 hours total; at least 42 of these credit hours must be earned in courses numbered 100 or above.
Required courses for the major are:
Statistics 131 and 132 – Introduction to Probability I and II
Statistics 141– Statistical Modeling and Data Analyses I
Actuarial Science 140 – Theory of Interest
Actuarial Science 150 and 151 –
Life Insurance Mathematics I and II
Finance 102 – Advanced Corporate Finance
Economics 173 – Intermediate Microeconomics
One of Statistics 142, Actuarial Science 160
Courses prepare students to pass the first 4 examinations jointly administered by the Casualty Actuarial Society and the Society of Actuaries as well as satisfy their validation by educational experience requirements.
REQUIRED CREDIT HOURS AND COURSES OUTSIDE MAJOR 62 of the required 124 credit hours must be taken in subjects other than business.
The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.
The Drake Curriculum also requires first-year seminars, which foster development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone, in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas to bear on one project.
Many juniors and seniors work part-time in paid internships with Des Moines area businesses to gain real-world experience and explore career options. In addition, summer internships are available for sophomores and juniors. No academic credit is given for internships. These experiences augment the classroom experience and allow students to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting, thus enhancing their overall educational experience.
After graduation, the career path is almost exclusively actuarial work with an insurance company or actuarial consulting firm.
The Drake Actuarial Students Society conducts professional and social events for students interested in actuarial science. The organization sponsors Actuarial Evening, a career fair in which more than 30 employers provide information about opportunities at their firms.
Also, all members of the College of Business can consider joining one of the two professional fraternities, Delta Sigma Pi and Alpha Kappa Psi, which offer professional and social activities.
• William Oddy, BA'66, FSA, MAAA, chief executive officer, FBL Financial Group, West Des Moines, IA
• James Brock, BA'69, FSA, EA, senior vice president, Nationwide Global, Columbus, OH
• Mike Gersie, BA'70, FSA, MAAA, FCAS, EA, chief financial officer/senior vice president, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA
• James Wallace, BA'77, FSA, MAAA, president and chief executive officer, GuideOne Insurance, West Des Moines, IA
• Darrell Knapp, BA'81, FS.A, MAAA, partner, Ernst & Young LLP, Kansas City, MO
• Brian Clark, BA'88, FSA, MAAA, senior vice president/chief financial officer, AmerUs Life Insurance Co., Des Moines, IA